Exchanges and tours

Trips and tours

Each year group goes on a camp. The camp programme is carefully designed to meet the needs of the group. By experiencing an off-campus programme, the girls are able to extend their skills in a different, and often more challenging, environment and learn to interact with girls whom they may not have encountered in a team situation.

The camp programmes focus on:

  • Form I: Friendship and orientation
  • Form II: Discover (Bush School, a two-week camp)
  • Form III: Explore
  • Form IV: Leadership

St Mary’s School arranges tours, both locally and overseas. In the majority of cases these tours take place during the April and August school holiday periods.

On the sporting front, a variety of local sports tours occur each year, giving girls the opportunity to participate in tournaments and events against schools across South Africa. We also offer international sports tours. Past teams having travelled to Australia,Europe,  the USA and Asia. On separate occasions, our tennis girls have had the opportunity to attend both Wimbledon and the US and Spanish Open, and during this time be exposed to expert international coaches.

Cultural and subject tours depart regularly for Europe and the USA and more recently we have added South America to the list of continents. Here, girls have the opportunity to be exposed to new languages, an array of galleries, museums and places of worship. The most recent Geography and Life Sciences tour took the girls to the Galapagos Islands, where Darwin’s notions of evolution were explored in a truly adventurous manner.


Exchange programmes

Learning beyond the classroom and the “hidden curriculum” are important aspects of a holistic education. To this end, St Mary’s School has initiated an extensive exchange programme with schools in other countries. Girls are encouraged to apply for exchanges, as these broaden their outlook, educate them about communities in other parts of the world and expose them to different cultures.

Importantly, girls develop a sense of independence and responsibility, which are necessary life skills as they move into the senior phase of schooling and eventually onto tertiary study.

Girls in Form II (Grade 9) and Form III (Grade 10) may apply for an exchange programme. At present, exchanges are offered to:

Exchange programme  Time frame 
Form IIs:  
Oakhill School, Knysna, South Africa   July [2-week exchange]
Auckland House, Shimla, India June [3-week exchange]
Fahan School, Tasmania, Australia October- December [2-month exchange]
Form IIIs:  
Oakhill School, Knysna, South Africa   July [2-week exchange]
Auckland House, Shimla, India June [3-week exchange]
Bamford Nightingale, New York , USA November/ December [3-week exchange]
Hans Sachs Gymnasium, Nuremburg, Germany November/ December [3-week exchange]
Kloster Disentis, Switzerland January [3-week exchange]
Sherborne Girls, UK January [3 weeks]
Hockey exchange: Framlingham College, United Kingdom Full third term [3-month exchange]
Open to Forms I-IV:  
St Mary’s, Accra, Ghana June [10 days]


Those girls who have experienced exchange programmes tend to have a heightened awareness of their place in the world, an understanding of tolerance and cultural differences, and greater self-knowledge.