Celebrating 110 years

2016-05-03 09:49
The first school building, which now houses the Camps Bay Preparatory School, was built from sandstone mined at Table Mountain. The school celebrates 110 years this month.

The first school building, which now houses the Camps Bay Preparatory School, was built from sandstone mined at Table Mountain. The school celebrates 110 years this month.

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Times may have changed drastically since the Camps Bay schools opened its doors for the first time in 1906, but this has not stopped the school from growing.

As the schools celebrate their 110th anniversary this week with a number of celebratory activities, it is also a time for reflection, says Vivienne Ashcroft, the schools’ marketing co-ordinator.
The original school was started in a church hall in Argyle Road with seven pupils. According to oral history, the Anglican Church leaders felt it was a pity for the buildings to stand empty for six days a week when there was a need for a school in the area.

By 1912, the school had grown to 42 pupils – a far cry from the 1500 pupils across three campuses the school boasts today – and a new school building was built from Table Mountain sandstone. This building still houses the lower grades and used to be home to the preparatory school, which merged with the primary school last year.
In 1953 the school, now at 300 pupils, was granted status as a secondary school and an additional building was constructed in Dunkeld Road for the primary school. The school was given high school status in 1955.
Housed in the original building, the high school soon outgrew the premises and a site was sought for expansion. Construction on the high school commenced in 1967 and the school was opened in 1970.

The school may sprawl across three campuses, but this has little impact on the culture and ethos at the school, says Ashcroft. Pupils move freely between the campuses and share the various facilities.
“People often think we’re separate and three schools. We’re not. We’re one school on three campuses,” she explains. “The school has a strong sense of community involvement and is involved in supporting a number of charities as well as schools in disadvantaged communities.”

Although initially serving the Camps Bay community, the school has grown in recent years, with pupils now coming from other areas on the Atlantic seaboard, including Hout Bay and Sea Point, and the City Bowl.
“The children and families here are so happy. I can only imagine the school going from strength to strength. Past pupils love coming back to the school and we even have past pupils as teachers,” she says.
The school’s celebration will include the pupils forming a ‘110’ on the school field tomorrow (Wednesday) and a concert, in which staff members will also perform, on Thursday and Friday. For more information, contact campsbayschools@gmail.com or 021 438 1507.


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