Our range of clubs and activities offers girls the chance to discover and develop new talents and interests.


A comprehensive Clubs Booklet is distributed at the end of the Summer Term so that girls may choose clubs ready for the start of a new academic year. It is very helpful if parents can make their requests for their daughters as promptly as possible. If your daughter would like to join a club at any other point in the school year, please speak to the Lower School Office staff who will be able to inform you which clubs have available spaces. It is important that girls attend clubs for the right reasons. Girls who do not show commitment may be asked to leave, to make space for those who may appreciate it more. Most clubs finish at 4.30pm. Girls should be collected on time please.

Some after-school clubs are run by external providers, including:
Ballet: Miss Stephanie takes ballet lessons in school for pupils in Kindergarten and Prep and also on a Thursday after school.
Theatre Arts Academy: This popular drama club is run by external drama teacher Karen Binks.
LAMDA: Girls are offered the opportunity to prepare for the LAMDA external drama examinations by professional actor Millie Binks.
Karate: Peter Shaw runs the popular after-school Karate clubs for a variety of age groups. Participants are prepared for grading examinations.
Junior Art Club: Mrs Mercer runs the new Junior Art Club for those who enjoy art and would like to develop their artistic talents.

Please be aware that the school is not responsible for the organisation of clubs run by external providers.

Instrumental lessons

The school has a team of peripatetic music teachers, who teach a variety of orchestral instruments, as well as voice. Music lessons are scheduled during the school day – lessons are missed in rotation, although English and Mathematics lessons will never be missed. To arrange music lessons, parents should contact the relevant peripatetic music teacher directly – contact details can be found in the clubs booklet, or the Lower School Office will be able to put you in touch. If your daughter wishes to stop learning an instrument in school, a term’s notice must be given to the peripatetic teacher.


SMASH (St Mary’s Activities in the School Holidays) is a programme of daily activities for St Mary’s pupils in Prep to Year 6, held at the school. Sessions may include arts and crafts, drama, sports, adventure, outings, games etc. Girls may take part for either a full week, or on a daily basis.

The SMASH programme is made available to parents in advance of each school holiday. The SMASH day is 9am-3pm, with the option of an earlier start for breakfast at 8.30am and a late stay until 4.30pm. A charge is made per day/week and added to the fee invoice with parents’ permission.


The House system at St Mary’s aims to engender a sense of identity in the school, to encourage teamwork across the year groups and to foster respect between the girls. On joining St Mary’s, every girl is allocated to one of the four houses: Abbeygate, Balkernegate, Headgate and Scheregate. House badges are given to the girls to wear with pride on their blazer. Pupils remain in their houses throughout their time at St Mary’s Lower School and Senior School. Each house has its own House Captain. The houses compete at various sporting and fun events and throughout the year and house points are awarded for:

  • Communication
  • Inquisitiveness
  • Problem Solving
  • Courage
  • Team Work
  • Responsibility

House point totals for each class are collected weekly and the winning house is presented with the house point cup. At the end of the academic year, the house with the most house points is presented with the house shield.

School responsibilities

Girls are encouraged to play an active part in the school community and to develop their leadership skills by becoming involved in our School Council, committees and charity work, and taking on roles of responsibility.

School Council

The School Council meets once a month during lunchtime and offers the girls an opportunity to contribute their views to the running of certain aspects of their school. The Head Girls sit on the School Council along with a representative of every form in Years 1 to 6, elected by the girls. The format for elections is as follows:

  • class teacher speaks to the class about the role of the School Council
  • the pupils put themselves forward if they wish to stand for election
  • the pupils write a short speech about why they think they should be chosen as class representative
  • a secret ballot then takes place after all the speeches have been heard
  • the teacher informs the Director of Lower School
  • representatives are announced in assembly and awarded badges

Eco-Schools Committee

Representatives in Years 3 to 6 form the Eco-Schools Committee, which spearheads eco activities throughout the school, particularly Eco Week and recycling. Lower School girls meet regularly with the Senior School Eco Team to share ideas and help implement school-wide eco initiatives. These meetings will take place via Microsoft Teams.

Roles of Responsibility

At the beginning of the autumn term, Year 6 girls have the opportunity to make a written application for one of the school’s roles of responsibility. These are appointed by the Director of Lower School and work closely with the Assistant Director of Lower School (Pastoral). Roles are: Head of House, Charity Rep and Prefects.

It is expected that girls appointed to these roles demonstrate, in their everyday lives, all the values that St Mary’s upholds. Girls who apply should give evidence of their suitability to:

  • be a role model for other girls in the school
  • demonstrate independence, responsibility and reliability
  • monitor the welfare of other girls
  • assist in the organisation of school activities and events
  • wear the school uniform correctly and with pride
  • behave in an exemplary manner
  • demonstrate good work habits
  • be competent in self-management
  • have good personal organisation skills
  • be punctual and well-prepared for their responsibilities
  • be able to carry out delegated tasks efficiently

Prefects’ responsibilities:

  • to become involved in regular and special school events
  • to assist in Assembly organisation
  • to arrange facilities for school activities
  • to assist and direct parents who are attending school functions
  • to carry out break duties as required
  • to show new parents/visitors around the school
  • to meet regularly with the Assistant Director of Lower School (Pastoral)

Head of House responsibilities:

  • co-ordinate house points for the house
  • lead and support house members in whole school events
  • work on House Charity events
  • to become involved in regular and special school events
  • to arrange facilities for school activities
  • to assist and direct parents who are attending school functions
  • to carry out break duties as required
  • to meet regularly with the Assistant Director of Lower School (Pastoral)

Charity Rep responsibilities:

  • to meet regularly with the staff lead to organise charity events
  • to help to choose charitable organisations for donation
  • to organise and meet deadlines for set tasks
  • to become involved in regular and special school events
  • to carry out break duties as required

Head Girls

The election of Head Girls takes place in the summer term for the following academic year and the new Head Girls are announced at Prize Giving. Head Girls are required to:

  • support the Director of Lower School in representing and promoting the school
  • sit on the School Council
  • meet with the Director of Lower School
  • represent the school at events
  • make speeches promoting the school
  • show new parents/visitors around the school
  • assist and direct parents who are attending school functions
  • carry out break duties as required
  • arrange facilities for school activities

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