St Mary's offers an excellent Outdoor Education programme for its students, which centres on camps for Years 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11. In Year 4, the girls experience an overnight mother/daughter camp at St Mary's at Metricup. Apart from the Year 6 camp, which is held on Rottnest Island, the School property at Metricup acts as a base for the camps. These camps are part of the school curriculum and are aimed at delivering the best possible education for girls. In addition, the Duke of Edinburgh Award involves camps for girls who choose to be part of the scheme.
The camps are designed to encourage and develop initiative and independence, communication, co-operation and teamwork within a group, awareness of the environment, bushcraft and safety skills, while having plenty of fun.
The Year 7 camp, held in Term 1, is a group-focused camp, designed to welcome new girls to the School, develop friendships and break down barriers. With a focus on developing teamwork, activities include raft building, team challenges, TheatreSports, camping out, Indigenous cultural experiences and visiting local tourist attractions.
The Year 8 camp, held in Term 2, is in the ideal location for a variety of activities, including bushwalking, camp-outs, snorkelling, surfing, caving, art activities and games.
In Term 1, the Year 9s camp out for six days at Metricup and in the Margaret River region. They participate in a range of challenging activities such as abseiling, rock climbing, canoeing, hiking, mountain bike riding and caving. For most of the girls, the challenges of this camp are very different from other experiences, and all learn a great deal about themselves, their capabilities, relationships and working with others.
Camping at Metricup, Year 11 camp is in Term 3. It is a challenge-based programme where students develop skills in leadership, problem-solving, group awareness and communication. Activities including abseiling, problem-solving games, bush tucker, canoeing and hikes are used to challenge them, highlighting their resilience and positive attributes.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award
In Year 10, students can work towards their bronze medal in this programme, with activities taking place outside normal class time. This programme assists these girls in further developing their leadership skills, as they assist in planning and organising their own camps throughout the year. A number of girls continue on, to work towards their silver medal in Year 11.
St Mary’s also offers The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. The Award is a worldwide self-development programme for young people aged between 14 to 25 years. The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award has three levels, each with four sections: Skills, Service, Physical Recreation and an Adventurous Journey (a fifth section for Gold level: Residential Project). Each year the Award gives thousands of young people the chance to set and achieve personal challenges and to prove to themselves that they can succeed in anything they turn their hand to. The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is recognised by government and industry and is a valuable achievement to have listed in a resume. It is also a School Curriculum and Standards Authority endorsed programme.
The Scuba Diving programme includes basic and advanced open water courses, photography, snorkelling, fishing and diver lifesaving. In the Term 2 holidays an expedition to Exmouth to view the whale sharks is often conducted.
The Surfing programme at St Mary's includes before-school surfing lessons, a school surfing team and camps conducted at Metricup during the year. The School has its own Surf Club and members are selected to represent the School in various surfing competitions, including state and regional competitions. Students have also represented the School in national competitions.