Beyond the Classroom

At St Mary’s we prepare our students for life after school by providing ample opportunity for girls to broaden their skills and knowledge.

As many students travel to school by school bus or public transport, clubs and activities are not scheduled after school. The exceptions are sport training sessions, matches and drama rehearsals. This also means the girls can continue attending any clubs or activities they enjoy participating in outside of school.

Enrichment programme

All students have two Enrichment lessons every week as part of their timetable. From Biology Workshops, Public Speaking, Women Around the World, to Code Crackers, Engineering and Chess. The students are on a carousel programme in mixed year groups organised in their House. They move around every term so they will have the opportunity to take part in different activities over the course of the year. Every term students also have the option to choose a PE Enrichment in this session. This allows students to take part in the chosen sport for an hour each week.

Lunchtime clubs and sports fixtures

Lunchtime Clubs are entirely optional but present more opportunities for students to broaden their interests. There are opportunities for sportswomen of all abilities to take part in clubs and squad training throughout the year. Sports fixtures take place after school, either at home or away. We have a diverse range of thriving clubs including Drama sessions, Choir and Orchestra, craft club, and a student-led taster course in Japanese.

Sports Fixtures

Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award

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

It is 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!

The Award is split into four sections. Each of which participants must satisfactorily complete. The first three sections of the Award are almost limitless in their range of choice. Within these sections, each girl is encouraged to select her own programme of activities. Some of which she may already be involved in, and others of which may be entirely new experiences.

Both the Bronze and the Silver Award are offered at St Mary’s.


We have a choir, chamber choir and orchestra that perform at concerts every term. The Carol Service and Prize Giving are whole school highlights. There are also events focusing on particular year groups such as music showcase for Year 7 and 8. They combine with the Drama department for productions.

A full-scale drama production takes place every two years. Recent productions have included Scrooge, Aladdin and The Wizard of Oz. The productions have involved girls from most years, both as performers and crew.

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, students take part in cultural visits, excursions and challenges. They are designed to bring an extra dimension to their studies and develop their general understanding of the world.

Trips and residential stays

There is a programme of trips and visits to enhance students’ learning in all subjects. For example, there are a variety of science trips throughout the school year, such as the Eden Project and New Scientist Live.

The Classics department has arranged trips to London to see productions of relevant works of literature. There have also been visits to places of interest to classicists, including Silchester Roman City Walls and Amphitheatre, Colchester Castle and, of course, The British Museum.

There are numerous opportunities for fieldwork in Geography. This includes trips such as a day at Walton, where students look at coastal processes and management issues. And the History Department offers a wide range of trips, such as visiting the battlefields of the First World War.

The Art Department organises trips to the most influential exhibitions. And the Girls are very enthusiastic about the many trips to see musical productions such as Wicked.

There are also whole school ski trips abroad and inspirational day trips to watch major sporting events.

Girls have the opportunity to represent the School at Round Square conferences across the globe. The students join others from all over the world in workshops and activities. They provide outstanding personal development opportunities, enhancing social and leadership skills. They also broaden intercultural understanding and forge lifelong friendships.

You can find out more about all the visits and activities on offer at one of our Open Mornings or on a private tour, which can be arranged for a time that’s convenient to you.

“Pupils’ academic and other achievements are excellent, in confirmation of the school’s aspiration to help pupils develop creative flair, sporting prowess and other talents”

From ISI inspection report 2023 - rated 'excellent'

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: