The Arts

The philosophy behind our arts faculties and our co-curricular programme is one of a collaborative pathway where every student has the opportunity to express and create.


Our arts programme is inclusive and open to all levels of ability and experience, within which there are options for extension. We offer more than 40 co-curricular arts groups, one or more major performing arts production each year (often in collaboration with our brother school Christ’s College), and a range of opportunities to showcase our performing and visual arts groups to our wider St Margaret’s College community.

As part of our arts offering, we also offer opportunities for students to develop their creativity through oratory and participation in our debating club, and their literary skills through creative writing.


Our dance groups provide an avenue for students to extend their technique, gain experience and develop their confidence through performing.

We offer a wide range of dance groups, many of which are offered the opportunity to perform at College events. Students are invited to put forward suggestions for new dance groups, and there are opportunities for both experienced dancers and those new to dance.

Students can also enrol in our Theatre Dance Academy (TDA) outside of school hours, which offers additional technical training in a range of disciplines, through the support of our TDA dance teachers.

  • Dance options

    • Pop Company
    • Highland Dance Group
    • Jazz Dance Group
    • Hip Hop Dance Group
    • Junior School Dance Group
    • Musical Theatre Company
    • Middle School Dance Company
    • Middle School Performance Dance Group
    • Senior Dance Company
    • Senior Performance Dance Company


A range of co-curricular opportunities are available for students, aimed at developing confidence and teamwork, and a life-long appreciation of theatre.

Our drama groups, clubs and ensembles allow students of all abilities to engage in the creative process, empowering them to perform in both formal and informal settings and to represent the school both regionally and nationally.

Speech and drama tuition is available each term, for individual students or in a small group of no more than four students. Lessons aim to develop the mind, voice and body skills necessary to communicate effectively in a wide variety of situations, and are based on the requirements of the Trinity College and The New Zealand Speech Board Syllabus. Parents arrange and pay for these lessons directly with itinerant teachers.


  • Drama options

    • Major production
    • Sheilah Winn Shakespeare
    • Theatre Appreciation Club
    • Theatresports
    • Middle School Drama Club


Our music programme is progressive and wide-ranging, offering more than 15 different groups. We provide opportunities to form new groups in response to student demand and the continued evolution of music genres. Groups perform at school events throughout the year, and some groups also compete in regional and national competitions and events.

Individual music lessons can also be arranged and paid for with itinerant teachers, with lessons taking place during the school day on a rotating basis.

  • Music options


    • Fun Choir
    • A Cappella
    • Barbershop Quartets
    • Pop Choir
    • Chamber Choir
    • Junior Choirs
    • Middle School Choir
    • Year 13 Choir


    • SMC Orchestra
    • SMC String Orchestra
    • Combined Orchestra with Christ’s College
    • Ukulele Orchestra
    • Chamber Music
    • Flute Choir
    • Jazz Band
    • Jazz Combo
    • Percussion Ensemble
    • Rock Bands

Visual arts

We offer opportunities for students to develop their creativity across multiple mediums.

Our visual arts department includes no less than five current exhibiting artists, who guide students to develop their conceptual thinking within a range of practices.

Arts events, assemblies and exhibitions held over the course of the year offer our girls the opportunity to display their work throughout the College. Students are also offered the opportunity to enter local and national art competitions.

Arts achievements

Our students are offered opportunities to participate in regional, national and international competitions, where they perform at the highest levels.

  • Recognition

    NZ Dance Made National Finalist
    First place in national competitions across multiple disciplines
    Top distinctions and placings in dance exams 

    SGCNZ Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival National Finalist
    – 5 minute scene
    SGCNZ Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival Regional Awards
    – Best Student Performer
    – Best Student Director
    – Best Ensemble
    – Best 5 minute scene
    ATCL Speech and Drama achievements

    Canterbury Schools’ Debating Council
    – Winner, Senior tournament
    – Winner, Junior tournament
    – Winner, Junior Regional one-day tournament

    Lion Foundation Songwriting Competition, Finalist
    Southern Jam Youth Jazz Festival, Silver Trophy

Discover the unique educational opportunities at SMC