Welcome to Maris Stella High School

At Maris Stella, our high school girls are presented with many opportunities to explore and develop their talents. Our pupils are encouraged to strive for academic excellence, whilst contributing to the life of the school and developing other skills through sporting and cultural extramurals. Our values-based education promotes respect for the human dignity of each individual in our society and actively encourages participation in our school’s social outreach programmes.

Why Maris Stella High School?

As an all-girls high school in Durban, Maris Stella girls are taught the value of relationships, community and sisterhood. At the same time, we challenge our girls to develop resilience and nurture them in their own individual needs so that they grow their gifts and talents for a better world. In addition to our excellent academic record and standard, we are a high school for girls that caters for the individual, offering support in emotional, physical and spiritual development.

Maris Stella follows the prescribed national curriculum and, since 1996, pupils have written the IEB (Independent Examination Board) Matriculation Examination. Pupils are encouraged to take part in Subject Olympiads and in other extension programmes. Schools are usually measured by their final matriculation results and our pupils have always excelled, with a 100% pass rate, and a notable spread of A aggregates and subject distinctions. The majority of our pupils continue their academic education at tertiary institutions such as universities and technikons.

Our medium of instruction is English and all pupils study English as the home language. They then choose between Afrikaans and IsiZulu for their first additional language. French is offered as a second additional language. The study of German, Chinese, Hindi and other languages as an eighth subject in Matric is also available.

There are a wide variety of subjects studied by the pupils in Grade 8 and 9, enabling them to make informed choices at the FET (Further Education and Training) level.

Subjects offered in Grade 8:

  • English
  • Afrikaans or isiZulu (first additional language)
  • Mathematics
  • History
  • Geography
  • Economic and Management Sciences
  • Natural Science
  • French
  • Technology – Food Technology and Information Technology
  • Arts and Culture (Art/Drama/Music)
  • Life Orientation
  • Religious education

Subjects offered in Grade 9:

  • English
  • Afrikaans or isiZulu (first additional language)
  • Mathematics
  • History
  • Geography
  • Life Science
  • Physical Science
  • French
  • Economic and Management Sciences
  • Engineering Graphics and Design
  • Arts and Culture (Art/Drama/Music)
  • Life Orientation
  • Religious education

Subjects offered in Grade 10 -12:

There are four compulsory subjects:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Afrikaans or isiZulu (first additional language)
  • Life Orientation

Three of the following subjects, all of which are designated, are also selected:

  • Physical Science
  • Life Science
  • Geography
  • History
  • Accounting
  • Business Studies
  • French (second additional language)
  • Engineering Graphics and Design
  • Consumer Studies
  • Visual Arts
  • Dramatic Arts
  • Music

There is the opportunity for pupils to extend their studies in English, physical sciences and mathematics by doing Advanced Programme Mathematics and/or Advanced Programme English and/or Advanced Programme Physical Sciences in addition to their seven subjects.

Extramurals

We offer a wide variety of sports, cultural and outreach activities at Maris Stella including:

  • Athletics
  • Swimming
  • Cross-country
  • Road running
  • Water polo
  • Action and outdoor netball
  • Indoor and outdoor hockey
  • Tennis
  • Diving
  • Surfing
  • Soccer
  • Interact
  • Adopt-A-Granny
  • Edith Benson Babies Home
  • Film club
  • Dance club
  • Public speaking
  • Debating
  • Forum discussion
  • Peer mentoring
  • School production
  • House plays
  • Choir
  • Vocal ensemble
  • Adult literacy

Living our Faith

At Maris Stella we strive to develop and deepen our relationship with God, through Jesus Christ. Our faith-based education at Maris Stella is holistic, and is put into practice through a variety of school and community-based projects and programmes. Every girl is expected to:

  • Respect the religious and cultural affiliations of others
  • Participate in our religious education classes
  • Respectfully attend our school Masses and other compulsory religious celebrations
  • Attend her annual class retreat

Our girls are enriched by their participation in their Grade’s annual retreat, which includes personal and spiritual growth, as well as team and relationship building, and Christian leadership.

We promote servant leadership at Maris Stella and encourage each girl to strive for personal excellence. Our community outreach projects provide opportunities for our girls to serve those less privileged than themselves, and to help bring about positive change in society.

School Life

Maris Stella’s High School is a vibrant, stimulating yet nurturing environment. We continually evaluate our programmes to ensure that they are relevant in preparing our girls to take their place as mature young women who will contribute positively to a better society. Some of our extension programmes include:

  • A week-long orientation for our Grade 8 girls
  • Our Grade 9 Touchstone Experience, where our girls spend 10 days in the Underberg area hiking the Giant’s Cup Trail and working in a rural school. This project was initiated in order to expose our girls to situations which encourage their formation as young girls and adults who believe in themselves, value teamwork, and know that they can contribute positively to the building of a better society and world. We want our girls to learn the value of a living faith in God and service to all people
  • Our Peer Mentor programme which encourages our Grade 10 girls to grow in emotional intelligence as they take part in an eight-week programme of personal development and listening skills. Our peer mentors provide a sympathetic listening ear for the younger girls in our school
  • Our Toastmasters course which provides our Grade 11 girls with the public speaking skills they need to develop into confident young women
  • Grade 12 career days
  • Subject excursions
  • House plays
  • Art exhibitions

Special assemblies at which various topics and projects are presented.

Our girls have the opportunity to participate in the following externally-organised programmes and competitions:

  • English, Science and Mathematics Olympiads
  • Grahamstown Festival
  • Grade 12 French Dinner
  • Hilton Arts Festival
  • Toastmasters
  • Durban Youth Council
  • World Challenge
  • The President’s Award

Holiday programmes are implemented for various groups of girls and overseas cultural tours and sport tours are organised. A French tour takes place regularly, and Grade 11 girls have walked the Camino De Santiago De Compostela pilgrimage in Spain.

Our girls are extended through participation in our programmes and projects, and extra lessons are offered in most subjects. Our Guidance and Counselling Department, together with all our staff, offer support to those pupils who need assistance at any stage of their high school journey.

Excellence, in each girl’s own capacity, is what we strive for at Maris Stella. To achieve this we play and participate by the sentiment: “We are what we repeatedly do; excellence therefore is not an act but a habit” – Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy