Introducing our pupils to the arts and sport during school time adds depth and richness to their education and sparks interests that could well last a lifetime.
In weekly Music lessons, pupils sing, play percussion instruments and learn musical notation, as well as appreciating different musical styles. Children begin to play the recorder in Year 2 and we offer lessons in flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin, guitar and piano.
Performance: There are very many opportunities for girls to develop their performance skills. Infants take part in the Christmas Nativity Musical with the juniors all participating in the Musical Production held in the Summer Term. Other performances include our Carol Service at the Charter Hall, the Wassail Evening, a Summer Concert and Prize Giving. We have also supported Barnardo's in concerts held at the Royal Albert Hall and Wembley Arena. We are delighted to be part of the National Sing Up Campaign and are very proud to have achieved the 'Platinum Award'.
Instrumental lessons: We have an established team of experienced instrumental teachers and at present are able to offer lessons in flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin, guitar and piano. The teachers prepare and enter pupils for the Associated Board, Trinity/Guildhall examinations. Music lessons are taught individually and are competitively priced.
Ensembles: Our School Orchestra is impressive and gives girls a great opportunity to enjoy playing their instruments together. Our Recorder Ensemble is a very popular group and performs a wide variety of pieces.
Through Drama our pupils develop their confidence and imagination. Every infant has a role in the Christmas nativity and the Juniors take part in a summer production and arts performances throughout the year.
Drama space: We have a superb drama space, equipped with wall mirrors, where pupils enjoy developing their skills and this is well used during and after the school day.
Productions: Every girl takes part in one of the annual school production - either the Infant Nativity Play or the Junior Summer Musical.
Drama Club: Our very popular after-school Upper Junior drama club stages a spring term production. The Infant and Lower Junior Drama Clubs are run by Karen Binks of Theatre Arts Academy, who works with the girls to present a series of small productions throughout the year.
LAMDA: The school has a link with an experienced local LAMDA Speech and Drama teacher, who offers lessons after the school day in preparation for LAMDA Speech and Drama examinations, in which many of our girls enjoy tremendous success.
Art is taught as a discrete subject and our dedicated Art Room space is an inspirational space where pupils tackle larger creative projects – from sculptures to textiles.
Physical Education is lively and fun at St Mary’s. Our team sports are netball, hockey and rounders and we take part enthusiastically in local competitions and tournaments! Tennis and athletics are popular in the summer and there are year-round lessons in swimming and gymnastics, as well as specialist dance lessons, which may include Indian Dance, Samba Dance or Street Jazz.
PE at the Lower School introduces girls to a variety of activities designed to keep them fit and healthy and also to teach the basic techniques of a wide range of sports and team games.
Fun and lively group activities in the gym or on the playing fields begin to build younger girls' fitness. They soon progress to simple bat and ball games as well as the techniques of our main sports - netball, hockey and cross-country running in the winter and rounders and athletics in the summer. Our teams take part in tournaments with local schools through the Colchester-Blackwater School Sport Partnership.
Year-round PE lessons are varied. As well as gymnastics sessions, Year 1 and above swim for one term every year and there are specialist dance lessons in the junior years, including Street Jazz. Our extra-curricular sports clubs are extremely popular - particularly karate, tennis, cross-country, multi-sports, netball and football.