Playing to learn at St Mary’s College
St Mary’s College Adelaide is leading the way with their play-based, inquiry learning approach, starting with the building blocks, quite literally, for the absolute youngest in the St Mary’s community.
In the early years, learning through play is one of the most important ways children discover and develop their knowledge and understanding of the world.
Little Sprouts: St Mary’s Community Playgroup
St Mary’s inquiry learning approach begins from the word go, with the College offering a community-based Playgroup; a fun place for parents and their children to play and learn together.
Running every Wednesday morning during term time, St Mary’s Little Sprouts Playgroup is a place for learning and thriving, encouraging free play where children are supported to choose, experiment and play at their own pace.
Little Sprouts also offers a unique opportunity for families and children to connect as a part of the St Mary’s College community, right from the very early years of their child’s learning, providing an important foundation from which to build.
From little things big things grow
Starting school when the time is right for your child, is an important first step along her educational journey.
Understanding what an important transition this is, from a Kindergarten or Early Learning environment, St Mary’s offers two Reception intakes each year, one in Term 1, and another mid-year in Term 3. This allows an extra opportunity to look at what’s right for each individual child and their development.
The inquiry learning approach fostered at St Mary’s College continues through to the Junior School, where students engage in play-based learning experiences, helping them to make their own connections about what they learn.
These learning experiences give students the opportunity to develop their skills as lifelong learners. Skills like creativity, cooperation, resilience, intrinsic motivation, problem solving and critical thinking, work alongside literacy, numeracy, the arts, science, history and more, and enable them to recognise and develop their individual strengths.
Learning environments tailored to each age and stage
St Mary’s College provides learning environments tailored to each age and stage, offering lots of practice in how to make decisions, initiate ideas, persist, find out, try again, take risks, explore and research in a range of ways that relate to children’s own interests.
The College designs learning experiences through dramatic play, sensory work, literacy and numeracy activities as well as creative tasks and science experiments. This approach ensures that learning is personalised and uses each student’s interests to motivate her to explore their world.
Big Sister Program
St Mary’s values and fosters connections between older and younger students, by offering a wonderful Big Sister Program. This program partners the oldest students with the newest to act as friends and mentors. Students across Reception – Year 2 also engage and work together each afternoon.
Nurturing Accomplished, Confident Young Women
St Mary’s College has proud tradition of nurturing accomplished, confident young women. Emphasis and careful thought are given to the important task of assisting each child to find their place.
Book a Tour
You and your family are invited to tour the College and discover the St Mary’s difference.
About St Mary’s College Adelaide
St Mary’s College is the oldest continuously running school for girls in South Australia. For over 150 years, the College has offered a learning community in the heart of Adelaide that is vibrant, welcoming and safe. St Mary’s knows girls and you can feel confident your daughter will not be lost in the crowd when she joins the St Mary’s family.
The secure city campus offers the best of both worlds for students from Reception to Year 12. St Mary’s is small enough to offer a boutique, tailored environment for students and diverse enough to explore the many opportunities presented by their location in the CBD of a capital city.
Adelaide is the local neighbourhood and the curriculum incorporates the multitude of world-class places and programs on offer- the magnificent Adelaide Parklands, Adelaide Central Markets, the Museum, Art Gallery, University Hubs, Parliament House, the Law Courts, Elder Conservatorium, the Festival Centre, and more. Of course, the St Francis Xavier Catholic Cathedral is within walking distance and St Mary’s celebrates Mass at St Patrick’s church co-located on the same city block.
The St Mary’s tagline – Empowering Young Women – is lived every day. As a Dominican school, they do not sit back and passively watch the world go by, indeed the school only came into being because of the courage of seven intrepid sisters from Cabra in Ireland who undertook the year-long journey to Adelaide in 1868. These women left both a legacy and duty; to speak up and judge fairly; to defend the rights of those who have the least amongst us, to be called to action, and to be the voice for the voiceless.
For more information: