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.

The majority of after-school clubs are run by external providers. Please be aware that the school is not responsible for the organisation of these clubs and communication will be sent directly to you from these providers once you have enrolled your daughter.

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 by contacting the Lower School Office. 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, 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, Monday to Friday within the dates specified, 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 provisional SMASH dates for the academic year 2023-24 are as follows:

October half term: 16-27 October

Christmas holidays: 14-15 and 18-20 December

February half term: 19-23 February

Easter holidays: 25-28 March and 2-5 April

May half term: 28-31 May

Summer holidays: 15-19, 22-26 July and 5-9 August


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 presented to pupils when joining the school so they can wear them 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. Throughout the year house points are also awarded for:

  • Ambitious
  • Bold
  • Compassionate
  • Dynamic
  • Enquiring

House point totals for each class are collected weekly and the winning house is presented with the house point cup. There is also a total for which school value as been achieved the most during the week. 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, Eco team, committees and charity work, and taking on roles of responsibility.

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 Head of Lower School in representing and promoting the school
• sit on the School Council
• meet with the Head 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

Our Locations

St Mary's Colchester
Two St Mary's Lower School pupils sitting in a Library holding books and laughing
Additional places now available

Due to increasing demand at St Mary’s, additional places are now available from September.


Enquire today to find out more: www.stmaryscolchester.org.uk/contact/enquiry-form/