A place to express myself

Creative and performing arts are an integral and important aspect of our education.

In the classroom, and through a wide choice of extra-curricular activities, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Why not take centre stage in one of our many drama productions? Or find creative inspiration in our dynamic Art and Photography centre? Or perhaps you'll explore your musical talents, as part of our orchestra or in one of our choirs or musical ensembles?

Art and Photography

From Year 7 through to Year 11, creative talents flourish in our bespoke Art and Photography Centre.

The Art and Photography Department at St Mary's is credited with being an inspirational, successful, and flourishing department which embraces both traditional creative skills and advancements in digital technology. Our students are encouraged to experiment widely with different media and concepts in order to find their individual creative pathway.

Our students learn a range of 2D and 3D disciplines, underpinned by critical and contextual understanding, including:

  • Painting
  • Ceramics
  • Sculpture
  • Illustration
  • Print-making
  • Drawing
  • Photography
  • Digital manipulation

We have a proud reputation for exceptional results in GCSE and A Level Art and Design, and many of our leavers bypass their Art Foundation Year at Art School since their portfolios are of such a high standard.

Our talented students enjoy great success in both local and national art competitions, and we regularly inspire students through visits to exhibitions and galleries, to extend their appreciation of technique, context and culture.

Exceptional artists are supported through our scholarship programme.

Dramatic and performing arts

All girls study Drama in Year 7 and Year 8; thereafter, they can take it as an option in Year 9 and at GCSE and at A Level.

We offer GCSE Dance as an additional GCSE.

Each year, we produce several school productions open to girls studying Drama and those who wish to be involved in an extra-curricular capacity.


Many students study Speech and Drama and undertake London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) examinations with remarkable success. Our annual Speech and Drama showcase provides the perfect opportunity for students of all ages to perform their examination pieces to a large audience.


Our specialist dance coordinator oversees extra-curricular dance classes in various styles, including tap, ballet and pilates. New dance classes are often introduced as a result of student requests. Our popular biennial Dance showcase includes performances from Junior School and Senior School, ensemble and individual performances, highlighting some of our talented dance scholars.

Scholarships are available in Drama and dance. The holders of these awards play a key role in promoting opportunities for girls across the school to be involved in the performing arts.

Music for everyone

We believe music is for all, and create opportunities for every student to thrive: catering as much for students with no musical experience as we do for those with Grade 8 experience.

Our vibrant Music department comprises teachers, an enthusiastic team of peripatetic staff and our Musician in Residence.

Each week, we run an impressive 15 extra-curricular clubs, and there are frequent opportunities for students to showcase their performance skills, whether in one of our intimate chamber concerts, performing liturgical music in one of our Masses or services, or performing to a packed auditorium at the University of Cambridge concert hall.

Our ensembles perform in a range of styles, from jazz to pop, and classical to world music. We have been honoured to give premiere performances of bespoke music written especially for our students, by internationally acclaimed composers and we welcome notable musicians into school to judge our annual Young Musician of the Year and Young Pianist of the Year competitions.

Scholarships are available for excellence in Music.

This film shows Year 11 Music Scholar and GCSE Musician Gerri S. (who recently gained a distinction in the prestigious, post-Grade 8 ARSM Examination) performing with professional mezzo-soprano Anya S.


Creative news in Senior School

GCSE Art Exhibition 2022