Senior school girl taking a photo for an art class at St Mary's private independent school

Creative & Performing Arts


The Art Department at St Mary’s is dedicated to make art and creativity accessible for all. We aim to encourage students to extend, explore and expand their creative thinking and problem-solving skills. Lessons and units are aimed at being knowledgeable and vocabulary rich so that pupils build on what they already know to develop powerful knowledge.

Knowledge is sequenced and mapped in a coherent format with the aim to make meaningful connections and developments. Our curriculum aims to be flexible to meet the needs of all learners and evidence informed through rigorous application of best practice and the science of learning.

We prioritise creating a broad, exciting, challenging, diverse curriculum by committing to diversity in the language, artists, texts, and media we use, so all pupils feel positively represented.


We believe that students should be able to develop a wide range of knowledge and skills within a Drama department working to professional industry standards. We ensure students explore a variety of topics, styles, issues and characters, working cooperatively with their peers.  They should use resilience during their rehearsal time, as well as teamwork and problem-solving skills, allowing them to devise their own theatre or bring scripted plays to life. They will build the confidence and creativity to express themselves through the use of drama and performance. Drama embeds verbal use of self and peer feedback where students can demonstrate how to improve a performance to make it further engaging for an audience.

In studying drama, students develop the skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing that they will need to participate in society and employment. Students learn to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others confidently and effectively.


Our aim is to provide a varied and interesting music curriculum which is suitable for all pupils but provides suitable challenges for the more able. We intend the work to be enjoyable and provide a foundation for pupils’ creativity. We include learning beyond the National Curriculum, and give pupils the opportunity to develop their musical talents across three core skills; listening and appraising, performing and composing. These skills run through key stage 3 and GCSE and A-Level.

We believe in the importance of music to a full and rounded education, as recognised by so many important organisations: Music touches the very heart of our humanity and a sense of the wonder of music has touched human societies throughout history. Music education offers young people the chance to understand, perform and create in an aural dimension that often sits outside our capacity to describe in words. For many pupils, the music they love will be part of the narrative of their lives and bring colour to the experiences that shape them.

Food and Hospitality and Catering

Food is a subject that brings pupils together with staff and parents in an atmosphere of inclusivity and collaborative working. Our curriculum equips pupils with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to cook well. Out students learn to apply the principles of nutrition, food science and healthy eating to their cooking whilst instilling a love of food and cooking as a process. Students become independent and self-motivated learners, enabling them to make informed decisions about food and nutrition and acquire knowledge to maintain a healthy relationship with food into adulthood.

Design and Technology: Textiles

The Textiles Department is committed to providing opportunities for students to develop their design and technology capabilities, by combining design and making skills with knowledge and understanding.

We encourage students to challenge themselves, take risks and to show resilience. We want to build our student’s self-esteem and develop their confidence so that they can take ownership of their learning and celebrate in their successes.

Through a broad and well-balanced curriculum which students engage with and enjoy, we are able to teach our young people how to learn so that they can improve and master new techniques, skills and concepts. These skills are transferable across all disciplines and are facilitate progressive learning in their education and personal development.

Within our Textiles curriculum, students will gain knowledge of textiles, explore a range of processes and techniques to develop individual creativity and confidence, as well as facilitate the development of fine motor skills.

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: