St Mary’s School has exceptional facilities, which encompass the academic, cultural, sports and spiritual aspects of the school.
The St Mary’s chapel is an integral part of the school, and its peace and comfort are defined by the beautiful stained-glass windows and tranquil garden.
St Mary’s has a fully wireless campus, with interactive whiteboards in most of the classrooms to facilitate visual learning.
The Desmond Tutu Centre for Natural Sciences, which comprises six superbly equipped laboratories and six teaching venues, was completed in 2004. This has resulted in increased interest in the sciences at St Mary’s.
The Edge is a state-of-the-art facility with a 530-seat concert hall or theatre, natural light art studios, music practice rooms and loud practice rooms, dramatic arts venues and a superbly fitted dance studio, providing our girls with the facilities they need to extend their creativity.
The modern Wantage Resource Centre in the Senior School is fully WiFi connected, enabling teachers and learners to use their mobile devices anywhere within the centre. There are desktop Windows PCs and Apple Macs for use by pupils. A computer classroom of 30 computers, as well as an auditorium seating 100 people, also form a part of the centre.
The 15 000-strong print collection is enhanced by a digital library. This digital library consists of downloadable eBooks and audiobooks, and is globally available 24/7 on all Internet-connected devices. All newspapers and magazines are digitally available on iPads in the library. There is also a collection of iPads available to teachers and pupils for use when in the Wantage Centre, or anywhere in the school.
A large-screen TV features current affairs, book trailers made by pupils, videos, book reviews and other items of interest. Pupil volunteers are trained as resource monitors in the skills of computers, research, digital library, iPads and library use.
The Clare Rossouw Media Centre, named after Clare Rossouw, headmistress of the Junior School from 1985 to 1997, was opened in the Junior School in 2006. This centre comprises a 90-seat auditorium, an extensive age-specific library and notebook computers for research purposes. There is also a reading room for the Junior Primary classes.
The Edge is used for school productions, drama and music practices, the development of a dance crew and a creative resource centre. The spacious seminar room is used for conferences and discussion groups. The high-volume entrance and design make this area ideal for art and photographic exhibitions. Site-specific drama presentations are most effective in this facility. On the top level of this building are two natural light art studios, which allow the girls’ creative talents to flourish. The theatre is easily converted into an acoustically superb concert hall that seats 530 people.
The St Mary’s Aquatics Centre boasts an Olympic-size pool with superb diving facilities. There are 1m, 3m and 5m boards, a diving bubble and a hot tub to encourage our divers. Dry land work takes place during the winter months. We have water polo facilities and ergo training available for our rowers.
The AstroTurf provides an excellent base for the training of all our hockey players, from the Juniors to the prestigious 1st team. Glass-backed squash courts, tennis and netball courts, the school’s new multi-purpose facility for basketball, hockey and athletics, and the indoor basketball court all add to the excellence that defines St Mary’s sport.
The St Mary’s Health Centre is well equipped and staffed by experienced, qualified school nurses.
The nurses provide superb care for girls who are ill or injured. They also inform parents and girls about seasonal viruses and other contagious diseases. Their focus is not only on healing, however. They also promote healthy living and good eating campaigns in both the Junior and Senior Schools.
The Health Centre also encourages St Mary’s girls to complete levels 1, 2 and 3 first aid courses. The school has an active group of first-aiders who perform regular duties at sports and other events. The first-aiders have received many accolades for their excellent service.