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St. Mary's School, Nairobi

  (Redirected from St Mary's School, Nairobi)

Saint Mary's School, commonly known as just Saints, is a private boys' day school owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi. It is a combined primary and secondary school, which offers KCPE, KCSE, IGCSE and IBDP certification. As a boys' school, female students are only allowed to enroll for the IB Diploma Programme.

St. Mary's School
The official badge of St. Mary's School.
Official crest of the school.
James Gichuru Road



Coordinates1°15′53.3″S 36°46′44.2″E / 1.264806°S 36.778944°E / -1.264806; 36.778944Coordinates: 1°15′53.3″S 36°46′44.2″E / 1.264806°S 36.778944°E / -1.264806; 36.778944
TypePrivate day
MottoMotto: "Bonitas, Disciplina, Scientia"
("Goodness, Discipline, Knowledge")
DenominationRoman Catholic
Patron saint(s)Virgin Mary
FounderThe Holy Ghost Fathers
Sister schoolBlackrock College
Loreto Convent Msongari
AuthorityArchdiocese of Nairobi
PrincipalPeter M. Macharia
ChaplainPhillip Akanisighe
GradesKCPE (Class 1–8)
KCSE (Form 1–4)
IGCSE (Year 8–11)
IBDP (IB 1–2)
GenderBoys, mixed (IB only)
LanguageEnglish, Swahili
Hours in school day07:50–16:00 UTC+3
(8 hours 10 minutes)
Campus size34 ha (85-acre)
Campus typeSub-urban
HousesSt. John (red)
St. Luke (yellow)
St. Mark (green)
St. Matthew (blue)
Colour(s)         Blue and white
Song"We Stand for God"
AthleticsTrack and field
SportsRugby, football, basketball, swimming, cricket, squash
RivalKianda School

The school's motto is "Bonitas, Disciplina, Scientia", which is Latin for "Goodness, Discipline, Knowledge".


An early student of the school with his parents in 1949.

St. Mary's School was founded in the Parklands area of Nairobi in 1939 from Blackrock College in Dublin, Ireland.

In 1946, the school was moved to a temporary structure on an 34 hectares (85 acres) site on the land belonging to the St. Austin's Mission in the Muthangari area of Westlands. The present-day school buildings were completed in 1954, including the twin towers that stand at the school's quadrangle and the St. Austin's Catholic Church, which sits beside the school's parking area. In between the towers is the staff room where teachers convene for meetings and take their breaks, which used to be the school's library.

Present dayEdit

From the outset, Saints has always had a combined primary and secondary school. Although only boys are admitted to the primary and secondary schools, girls (along with boys) are admitted to the International Baccalaureate diploma course which is a post-O-level programme offered by the school since 1982.[1] Entrants are chosen on the basis of their KCSE and IGCSE results. The school year runs from January to November.

The school is near its neighbouring sister school, Loreto Convent Msongari, separated only by a fence and a gate, and is situated about 1,000 metres away from rival Strathmore School.

Students are encouraged to participate in extra curricular activities, which include sports, clubs, music and drama. All the school's sports teams are nicknamed "Saints", also the school's nickname.


Since 1971, the school has been staging a musical every year, open to the general public. The musical week runs on specific dates from Tuesday to Saturday. The school has staged its own productions of famous plays such as The Mikado, The Yeomen of the Guard, The King and I, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,The Sound of Music, Sarafina!, Cinderella, Oklahoma!, The Music Man, Ipi N'tombi, Aida, Zambezi Express, Amazing Grace (the musical).[2]

Notable guests who have attended the school's shows in the past include former Prime Minister of Kenya Raila Odinga.[3][4]



In line with its Irish origins, rugby is a central concern and a key activity designed to foment "spirit". Their rugby team won the Prescott Cup twice in a row (2008–09) but lost to Mang'u High School in the 2010 finals. They also host and have won the Blackrock Rugby Festival ten times (1994–99, 2004–05 and 2010–11) and have been runners-up seven times (1988–89, 1992, 2000, 2002–03 and 2006), recently winning[when?] the 28th edition final, alongside many other cups. They also won the 2014 Nairobi county rugby championship against rivals Nairobi School at Upperhill school Nairobi, under head coach Thugana Riunga and Assistant coach Anthony Nyandigisi.

However, the rugby team was relegated to Damu Pevu Cup from Prescott Cup in early 2015 due to poor performances in the 2014 Prescott season.


Football is also a popular sport in the school, with honours in the recent past, such as the Keele Plate runner-up finish in 2010 and the Strathmore Under-11 Football Cup win for the under-11 team in 2008.[citation needed]


Under the guidance of some of Kenya's coaches, the school has consistently produced strong swimmers who have dominated local competitions and gone further to represent Kenya in continental and international championships.



  • Fr. Laurence Murren (1939)
  • Fr. Kevin Devenish (1939–1941)
  • Fr. Thomas O'Sullivan (1941–1948)
  • Fr. James Kavanagh (1949–1950)
  • Fr. James Barrett (1951–1953)
  • Fr. John Horgan (1954–1956)
  • Fr. Paul Cunningham (1956–1968)
  • Fr. Thomas Farrelly (1968–1970)
  • Fr. Oliver Ellis (1971–1977)
  • Fr. Michael Malone (1977–1980)
  • Fr. Sean O'Connell (1980–1982)
  • Fr. Cormac O'Brolchain (1982–1984)
  • Fr. Eddie O'Farrell (1984-1990)
  • Fr. Thomas Hogan (1990–1995)
  • Fr. John McMahon (1996–2002)
  • Mr. Simon Otieno (2003–2005)
  • Fr. Boniface Kariuki (2006–2010)
  • Fr. Francis Mburu (2011–2014)
  • Br. Moses Wafula (2015–2016)
  • Mr. Benedict Otieno (2016-2018)
  • Mr. Peter M. Macharia (2019-Present)

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ International Baccalaureate
  2. ^ Arts | St. Mary's School Nairobi
  3. ^ Patrick Vidija (11 March 2014). "Kenya: St Mary Musical Thrills". Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  4. ^ @RailaOdinga on Twitter: "Arriving at St. Mary's School to watch the musical play "Aida" performed by the students." (6 March 2014). Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  5. ^ Daily Nation, December 26, 2009: Duncan's mustang ride to victory
  6. ^ a b The EastAfrican, February 14, 2009: 'Traitor' who stayed true to Kenya
  7. ^ Njoki Chege (17 March 2014). "Lupita was every bit the Cinderella in high school". Nairobi News. Nairobi, Kenya: Nairobi News. Retrieved 21 April 2014.

External linksEdit