Kearsney College

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Kearsney College
Kearsney College logo.jpg
Carpe Diem
Botha's Hill, KwaZulu-Natal
South Africa
Type Private, Boarding
Established 1921
Locale Suburban
Grades Forms 2 - 6 (grades 8-12)
Number of students 600+ boys
Colour(s) Maroon and White          
School color(s) Maroon, white
Mascot Greyhound
Fees R 181 350 p.a. (boarding)2014
R 124 800 p.a. (tuition)2014

Kearsney College is a private boarding school for boys in Botha's Hill, a small town that lies between the provincial capital of Pietermaritzburg and Durban, the largest city of KwaZulu-Natal, a province in South Africa.


Kearsney's badge was designed by the then headmaster, R H Matterson, and the chaplain, the Rev. W H Irving, in about 1923. The greyhound is taken from the arms of the Founder, Sir James Liege Hulett. The scallop shells and the dividing chevron are from the arms of the founder of Methodism, John Wesley. The pheon, or arrowhead, is taken from the badge of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, where Matterson studied. The motto "Carpe Diem", traditionally at Kearsney translated "Seize the Day", comes from the Roman poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus, known as Horace, (Odes 1, xi, 8).

Kearsney College takes its name from a small Kentish Village and owes its existence to the foresight and generosity of Sir Leige Hulett who gave his family home on Natal's North Coast near Stanger to the Christian Church.

Although remotely situated, the school opened with 12 boarders and two day scholars in August 1921. The mid-1930s was a difficult time in Kearsney's history. The Great Depression and threat of malaria on the North Coast prompted a search for a site where the school would be better placed to grow and prosper.

On hearing of the school’s predicament Mr Clement Stott of Botha’s Hill donated 25 acres (100,000 m2) of land. At the same time Mr J.J. Crookes offered to build a Boarding House. The move was completed a month before the outbreak of World War II, on a wattle-crested rise where Shaka’s Zulu Impis once rested after crossing the Umgeni River. The new Kearsney College opened with 196 boys.

Botha's Hill with its proximity to Durban and Pietermaritzburg has provided an excellent site and the school has profited from the theatrical, cultural and sporting activities offered by these two major centres.

Many of the colleges buildings and facilities have been donated over the years by people who shared the same vision as its original benefactors. The college now stands on an estate of 50 hectares and includes a Conservancy area on a section of virgin land which adjourns the college.


  • D. Pyne Mercier (1921–1922)
  • R.H. Matterson (1923–1946)
  • S.G. Osler (1947–1964)
  • J.H. Hopkins (1965–1974)
  • E.W. Silcock (1975–1990)
  • O.J. Roberts (1991–2000)
  • E.D. van den Aardweg (2001 - present)


Since 1996 the Kearsney College Choir's performances have achieved international recognition and acclaim. The choir is one of the most accomplished school choirs in South Africa having earned nine gold medals and championship status at the World Choir Games.[citation needed]


Applications for Grade 8 close in December in the year prior to entry. The application fee is R 600.00 in 2014.


The years of study are referred to as Grades 8 to 12. Grade 8 boys are usually 14 years old during their first year. The pupil-teacher ratio is 10:1, with a maximum of 25 boys in a class and often fewer - particularly from Grade 11.[citation needed]

The majority of its school-leavers attend top South African universities such as the University of Cape Town, Rhodes University, Stellenbosch University and University of the Witwatersrand, and the University of Pretoria and a few attend overseas institutions.[citation needed]

Pembroke house Flag

Subjects offered[edit]

Sheffield house Flag

Boarding Houses[edit]

There are five boarding establishments, four senior houses and one junior house. Finningley(Blue), Gillingham(Red), Pembroke(Green), Sheffield(Yellow)and Haley(The junior house).

Gillingham Coat of Arms
Finningley Coat of Arms
This is Sheffield Boarding house
Finningley Boarding house


Facilities include: several rugby fileds, several cricket ovals, an artificial turf for field hockey, two swimming pools (one heated), a 280 sq meter indoor weights gym, indoor basketball and hockey fields as well as indoor cricket nets in the SportZone and a conservancy area.

An annual overseas sports tour to compete with other schools takes place in one of the sporting codes.

The following sports are offered:

Kearsney has a sporting rivalry with other schools in the province, including Hilton College, Michaelhouse, Maritzburg College and Westville Boys' High School, as well as other schools that are prominent nationally.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Colleen Dardagan (2005-12-16). "Top Durban pupil accepted at Harvard". The Mercury (Durban). Retrieved 2014-07-22. 

External links[edit]

Official website

Coordinates: 29°45′56″S 30°44′52″E / 29.765548°S 30.747810°E / -29.765548; 30.747810