Extra-curricular opportunities


A rolling programme of activities is on offer for girls at St Mary’s, from first aid and craft club to school radio and engineering, and trips abroad take place all year round to complement the curriculum. Two Enrichment sessions every week are set aside for students to take part in an activity of their choosing from the wide range on offer. Students are encouraged to try something new which contrasts with any other activities they might be already involved in. As many students travel to school by school bus or public transport, clubs and activities are not scheduled after school, apart from sport training sessions and matches.

Trips abroad bring studies to life and are often cross-curricular, such as the History and Religious Studies visit to Krakow. A whole week in June is set aside as Activities Week, when each year group is offered the chance to travel abroad for a residential visit to a place of cultural or educational interest. A popular ski trip is arranged every other year.
Students also benefit from further enhancing their wellbeing – both mind and body – by engaging in activities that are designed to be calming, skilled and challenging.

Activities Week

Broadening horizons is the aim of St Mary’s Senior School’s annual Activities Week. Whether travelling across Europe or closer to home, every student takes part in cultural visits, excursions and challenges designed to bring an extra dimension to their studies and to develop their general understanding of the world.

Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award

St Mary’s offers students the opportunity to participate in the DofE Award Scheme, which challenges young people aged 14 to 25 around the world to serve others, acquire new skills, experience adventure and make new friends.

Valued highly by colleges, universities and employers, the DofE Award has provided our students with some life-changing experiences, as well having been a lot of fun!

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. To arrange music lessons, parents should contact the relevant peripatetic music teacher directly – contact details will be distributed at the new parents and student induction.


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 students.
When joining St Mary’s, every girl and every member of staff is allocated to one of the four houses: Abbeygate, Balkernegate, Headgate and Scheregate. Students and staff remain in their houses throughout their time at St Mary’s. House badges are part of the school uniform. Each house has its own House Officials.

The houses compete during the year at various sporting and fun events (including Sports Day) and throughout the year house points are awarded for:

  • Good pieces of work, Perseverance in coping with a subject they may find challenging
  • Consistent effort over time, exceptional helpfulness
  • Significant improvement in any area of school life

Positions of responsibility

There are numerous positions of responsibility available to the girls, which help develop their leadership skills and foster team spirit.

Girls in all year groups have the opportunity to become form and deputy form captains, Eco reps,
School Council members and Healthy Schools reps. In addition, students in Year 10 and 11 can become Listeners, Round Square members, STEM Ambassadors, Digital Leaders, House Officials, Prefects and School Games Captain.

Head Girls are selected following our Head Girls Hustings and interviews with the Director of Senior School, Head of Year 10 and current Head Girls. Head Girls are involved in key roles representing St Mary’s, such as welcoming visitors at the new Year 7 inductions, giving speeches at our end of year celebration events and assisting with Open Days.

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