Westerford High School

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Westerford High School
Westerfordbadge1.jpg
Location
Cape Town, South Africa
Coordinates 33°58′9″S 18°27′54″E / 33.96917°S 18.46500°E / -33.96917; 18.46500Coordinates: 33°58′9″S 18°27′54″E / 33.96917°S 18.46500°E / -33.96917; 18.46500
Information
Type Public high school
Motto Nil Nisi Optimum
(Nothing but the Best)
Established 1953
Staff Rob le Roux (Principal)
Anthony Cain (Deputy Principal)
Joyce Lamond (Deputy Principal)
Steven Anderson (Deputy Principal)
Faculty Approx. 65 Teachers Full and Part-time
Enrollment 950+ students
Information admin@whs.wcape.school.za
Colours Maroon, gold and blue
Website

Westerford High School is a public co-educational high school in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

It has a campus in Rondebosch where the main school buildings are located and a secondary campus in Newlands used for sport. The school is located close to the Newlands Rugby Ground and Table Mountain. The school opened on 21 January 1953 and celebrated its Diamond Jubilee on 7 March 2013.

Westerford enjoys a prominent position in the local community, hosting visits from key figures within South Africa such as the then President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela and guest speakers such as former Minister of Education Kader Asmal .[1]

In 2009, Westerford High School was ranked by the Sunday Times newspaper as the top state school in South Africa.[2]

History[edit]

View of a sports field looking towards Table Mountain

Westerford opened at the beginning of January 1954, housed in an old homestead which no longer exists. The site was originally known as Westervoort, but the school was known as Claremont Secondary School from the name of the school which shared a property with a small primary school on Dean Street. The pupils from Claremont Secondary school had transferred their desks to the new property at the end of 1952 [3]

Noel Taylor, the first headmaster, began referring to the institution as Westerford Secondary School and in 1953 the Cape School Board recognised the name. In 1956 when the first pupils matriculated the school became Westerford College Schools.

The institution enjoyed rapid growth from 29 pupils to 34 in its first year and grew further until 1959 when a new hall, named for the first headmaster, was opened as part of new school buildings for the 504 pupils and 27 staff members employed.

Origin of School Badge[edit]

The first headmaster, Mr Noel Taylor, is credited with the design of the school badge. It is said that when he paid a visit to the site, he saw the sun setting behind Devil's Peak, the light shining through the oak trees on the property. Based on this scene he sketched the design, which is still in use today. However, the badge is also very similar to nearby Oakhurst Primary School (established 47 years earlier) and the two schools share the same motto.

Campus[edit]

The institution is currently based on the same site as the original homestead, although no trace of the homestead remains. The school now has extensive facilities for use by the students, including a dedicated sports centre and AstroTurf.

Students[edit]

The school has approximately 900 pupils in 5 grades ranging from ages 13 to 18. There are roughly equal numbers of girls and boys in classes kept ideally below 30 learners.

A Westerford Matric pupil, Wiebke Louise Toussaint, was placed 12th in the Senior Certificate Examination results for 2005.[4] The school also received a book voucher award in the Senior Certificate Awards for 2005 [5] for achieving excellent academic results. The school was placed in the top 10 schools in the Western Cape with a 100% pass rate, 47% distinction and 96% matriculation endorsement rate. In July 2006 two Westerfordians were finalists in the national English Olympiad - Anique Greyling was placed 8th and Joanna Mostert achieved the top position in the country.In the final results in 2006 the school was once again in the top 10 with a 100% pass rate, 46% distinction and 98% endorsement rate. In 2007 Stefan Conradie was ranked 14th in the province and Birte Toussaint 10th. Again the pass rate was 100%, the distinction rate 43% and endorsement rate 97%. In 2008, in the new NSC, Saxony Moolman was ranked 16th, Tanya Scott 9th and Anique Kruger was announced as the top achiever in the Province.

Every year the school holds a celebration that honours pupils with outstanding achievements, held in October, usually in the week of Valedictory.

Faculty[edit]

The current school headmaster is Mr Rob le Roux, and the school has nearly 90 teaching, administration, maintenance and grounds staff.

Former School Headmasters[edit]

  • Mr Alan Clarke
  • Dr John Gibbon
  • Mr Noel Taylor (founder)

Extracurricular activities[edit]

The institution currently has over 40 clubs and societies run by pupils. These are involved in many facets of the school's life from art and culture through to religion, politics and social welfare. One of the most prolific of these clubs is History and Current Affairs, a student-run society which holds events where speakers come and address students and teachers. Examples of speakers who History and Current Affairs have hosted include President Jacob Zuma, Kader Asmal, Justice Albie Sachs among many more.

Curriculum[edit]

Westerford has a strong cultural tradition, with an art and a music department. Students have nine specific learning areas in grades 8 and 9 and seven subjects for grades 10, 11 and 12 with an elective eighth subject.

Website[edit]

The Westerford school website is run entirely by students, who are part of the Web Team. It is updated constantly with news and information about the school.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Asmal, Kadar. "Speech at the Millennium Minds Educational Computing Conference". 
  2. ^ Nombembe, Philani. "You don't need to ring a bell". Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  3. ^ "Armoria academica - Westerford". Archived from the original on 2009-10-27. 
  4. ^ "WCED - Merit List 2005". 
  5. ^ "WCED - School Awards 2005".