Academic and beyond

In the classroom

St Mary’s School caters for pupils from pre-school education through to their final national examinations. The school’s aim has always been to be a leader in the education of young women and set the pace for educational change. The school believes in an unconditional positive regard for all in its care. We subscribe to the Independent Examination Board (IEB) curriculum, which has as its focus independent, critical thinking and creativity. 

There is a long history of outstanding matriculation results, with an unbroken record of 100% pass rate. Both the very talented and those who find their studies challenging fulfil their potential as they develop a positive work ethic and are encouraged and supported by an experienced, highly qualified and dedicated staff. What is important to us is that you can always expect a first-class effort from St Mary’s girls in all their undertakings.

Co-curricular programme

Our girls are exposed to a wide variety of sports and activities beyond the classroom. Research has shown that it is in creative, service and team activities that girls encounter situations that challenge, excite and inspire them. Education does not consist of academic endeavours alone and, by providing extensive co-curricular opportunities, St Mary’s is able to encourage each girl to extend her boundaries beyond the ordinary and discover her talents in whichever arena they lie. It is by finding one’s place in a community that one is able to develop confidence and strength.

Cultural and service activities

Junior School

Aerobics Arts and crafts Ballet
Board games Chess Dance
Drama Environmental club Kumon Maths
Listener’s library Choir Orchestra
Chapel band Marimbas Recorder
Piano Flute Clarinet
Saxophone Violin Cello
Brass Guitar Bass guitar
Drums Pottery Public speaking

Senior School

Art club Bass guitar Brass
Calligraphy Cello Chapel band
Chess Choir Clarinet
Clarinet ensemble Classical, jazz and contemporary piano Community service
Dance Debating Digital photography
DJ Drama Drums
Environmental awareness Fabric painting First aid
Flute Flute ensemble Guitar
Jazz band Keyboard ensemble Marimbas
Music theory Orchestra Peer counsellors
Performance art technology (stage management, lighting, sound and set building) Piano Pottery
Public speaking Rock bands Saxophone
Saxophone ensemble Sewing club String ensemble
Student Christian society Violin Vocal group
Vocal training Writers’ circle  


Athletics Basketball (Senior School only) Diving
Equestrian Hockey Netball
Rhythmic gymnastics Rowing (from Grade 7) Squash
Swimming Tennis Water polo (from Grade 5)

Beyond the classroom

St Mary’s offers an extensive co-curricular programme to encourage all its girls to explore and develop their talents beyond the classroom.

From Grade 4, girls become involved with various community and environmental awareness projects. Each year group is taken on an annual camp or tour experience, designed to address the specific needs of that developmental age. The camps form an integral part of extending the girls’ education beyond the classroom, and allow learning within a different and often challenging environment. St Mary’s is committed to raising awareness of each individual’s role in preserving our natural heritage and developing habits of stewardship. To this end, all aspects of responsibility are encouraged.

Our pupils live in a world in which challenges are complex and multidimensional, and require them to be talented problem-solvers, clear and articulate thinkers, caring and skilful in engaging with people different from themselves, and capable of resisting conformity and self-interest. The St Mary’s curriculum addresses this by giving our Form II (Grade 9) girls the opportunity to experience a two-week wilderness school in an environment that encourages curiosity and allows for learning about self through reflection and personal physical endeavour.

We offer academic tours to both local and overseas destinations, and focus on the relevance of the education offered to our pupils. Our girls write Mathematics, English, Afrikaans, Accounting and isiZulu Olympiads, and have enjoyed great successes in these challenging external academic endeavours.

Senior girls have the opportunity to participate in exchange programmes with schools in Australia, the United Kingdom, Ghana and India. The experience of living the lives of others from different cultures and countries extends our pupils’ understanding of the wider world, and develops a more global perspective.

St Mary’s offers a unique boarding experience, either termly or weekly, from Form I (Grade 8) to matric. There are comfortable homes, each with a charming and friendly ambience. Dedicated staff monitor the academic, social and emotional progress of each girl, ensuring that she thrives in this environment. The boarders are taken on outings, and their experience in boarding is as rich and warm as possible.