Year Groups & Key Stages

A balanced education

In the Junior Years (age 7-13), pupils will discover a deep love of learning in an environment where their natural curiosity is encouraged to grow. We believe in the importance of understanding the whole child; ensuring that they feel valued and confident, whilst also being challenged and inspired.

Throughout these early years, and beyond, pupils will be supported in line with their needs, growing in confidence as they learns new skills and develops strong working habits that will see them flourish here at St Mary's Hall. They will learn to think critically and independently, to become a good listener as well as speaker, and to develop a global outlook that is socially aware.


Year groups explained...

Playroom/year group Education stage Age of child
Lower Prep Year 3 7-8
Upper Prep Year 4 8-9

Lower Elements

Year 5 9-10
Upper Elements Year 6 10-11
Figures Year 7 11-12
Rudiments  Year 8 12-13

Did you know... at Stonyhurst the word 'Playroom' represents each year group but also the name of the social space where pupils socialise and relax throughout the day.

KS2 (Years 3,4, 5 and 6)

Creating independent learners

In the Jesuit tradition, KS2 at Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall focuses on developing the whole child into an independent learner with a growth mindset, who is given the opportunity to express and develop their talents and skills across a broad-based curriculum and give their all “Quant Je Puis”.

In addition, the school strives to give each child a firm foundation in the core subjects ensuring that our most able pupils exceed the national average levels in both English and mathematics. Classes are small to ensure that each child receives optimum individual teacher attention and, wherever possible, the children are grouped by ability for mathematics and English.

The teaching of Critical Thinking in Upper Elements (Y6) and the school’s participation in a wide variety of national competitions, including mathematics, creative writing, public speaking, debate and classical civilisations provides numerous opportunities for them to become independent learners.

Learn more about our co-curricular programme

KS3 (Years 7 and 8)

Preparation for Stonyhurst College

Pupils in KS3 (the final two years at St Mary’s Hall) experience an exclusively specialist teacher model which prepares them for their move to Stonyhurst College and beyond. The curriculum is taught by talented and creative subject specialists, which ensures that Year 7 and 8 children are stretched and challenged academically. Children are encouraged to discover how they learn best and are supported in developing an independent and responsible approach to their studies. In addition, every pupil has a Tutor who oversees their academic journey and provides pastoral care and support. Close liaison between St Mary’s Hall and The College’s teachers, ensures seamless transition for all pupils.

In Figures and Rudiments (Years 7 and 8), pupils have the opportunity to study languages from a choice of French, Spanish and German. Pupils are taught in streamed sets, based on their academic performance, in mathematics, English and languages in order to maximise progress but, for all other subjects and activities, children are taught in mixed ability groups, broadening their social horizons. 

 Stonyhurst College


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The outstanding personal development of the pupils is a clear indication of how the schools prepares them spiritually and emotionally to provide leadership, in keeping with it's aims.

ISI Report

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