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About Us

Founded in 1884, we are a school which embraces change and actively
prepares our young women to take their place in a democratic South
Africa and throughout the world.

Vision

Wynberg Girls’ High School is a value-based, eco and socially conscious learning environment encouraging the development of confident and unique learners who strive for excellence. Our six core values are Integrity, Courage, Accountability, Respect, Empathy and Inclusivity.

Our History

2007 – Current

Dr J Wallace, Principal (2020 – current) Since Dr Wallace was appointed Principal, many significant changes have been made to the school in a short time even though the world was impacted by COVID 19 pandemic.

2020 a gender-neutral bathroom was created at the school. In the same year, the new house names were implemented to signify a school that is inclusive of all. The house names were specially chosen through a voting system which was shared with all staff and learners. In 2021 the existing Cavan Road Netball Court Clubhouse was renovated, more toilets, as well as showers, were added. It has since been named the Wynberg Girls’ High School Sports Pavillion.

1989 – 2006

In 1990 all government schools were officially desegregated in South Africa. The library was completely refurbished in 1993: a mezzanine floor was put in and the library administrative area was extended.

A new tuck shop between the hall and what was then the art room was built. In 1994, South Africa had its first-ever Democratic elections. In 1995 the Muslim Students Association was established at WGHS.

1950 -1988

In 1963, the school song was written. In 1965, nine new classrooms were built. In 1968 four new tennis courts were built in Ellerslie Road. In 1969, the swimming pool was built (entirely out of school funds) and in 1970 the hockey field was grassed.

The first tuck shop was opened behind the ballet hall, where our present kitchen is today. The 7th Duke of Wellington visited our school in 1969, and the names of our houses were associated with him.

1920 -1950

The land the school was built on originally belonged to Capitan Underwood who fought under the Duke of Wellington at the battle of Waterloo. He named his estate Waterloo.

A new hostel was built and Miss Hawkins named it Waterloo House. Mis. Hawkins asked the 5th Duke of Wellington if she could use his coat of arms as the new school badge.

To access the full articles, scroll down to the Timeline

Timeline

1799
1799
1799

• In 1799 a Dutch colonist purchased part of De Oude Wijnbergh farm. Upon his death, his common-law wife, Rachel van der Kaap, inherited everything. She later married Abraham Zasman, a local free tradesman. Their descendants formed the nucleus of a small Muslim community, many of whom remained in Wynberg until the forced removals of the apartheid era.

1815
1815 – 1898
1815 – 1898

• Sometime after 1815 Captain Underwood also purchased part of De Oude Wijnbergh and called it Waterloo Estate. Captain Underwood had served under the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo which marked the end of the Napoleonic wars in Europe.

• In 1839, one year after the Emancipation Proclamation , some newly freed people settled and worked in Wynberg. The Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) decided that Wynberg required its own dominee to serve the growing community. Part of Captain Underwood’s estate was purchased for the pastorie (Dominee’s home) which was named Waterloo-aan-den-Berg.

• The DRC established Wynberg Girls’ in 1884 and the first school building, now the ballet hall was built behind the pastorie’s orchard

• The school was opened as Wynberg Girls’ Seminary but accepted boys into the kindergarten classes up until the 1930’s. Dominee PA Strasheim acted as headmaster until Miss Stewart was appointed.

• As the 1891-1892 school calendar shows, the school offered a variety of subjects that were considered necessary to produce educated young women of the British Empire who would go on to fulfil the traditional roles of wife and mother.

• The school motto was chosen in 1890. The phrase “Honour before Honours” means “Personal integrity and character are more important than winning prizes and awards.” The first Standard Ten class matriculated in 1892, and until 1936, the school included pupils from Sub A to Standard Ten. The Cape Education Department took over the running of the school in 1905.

1899
1899 – 1919
1899 – 1919

• During this time Physical Education and Sport were introduced into the school. Wynberg was the first girls’ school in South Africa to have a fully qualified Physical Education teacher, Mrs Dolly Rees who studied in London. A gymnasium was erected in 1900, and a hockey field was laid out where the Honours Quad is today. Activities at school were hockey, cricket and tennis.

• During Miss A Chambers’ time (1909-1914) as principal, the school hall was built. It is now our Ballet Hall, and is the oldest building in the school, dating back to 1891.

• Under the leadership of Miss King, a new building was made for the junior pupils. The Peninsula Girls’ Schools Games Union was formed and Inter-schools events became a feature of school life. Prefect and House systems were introduced and the school magazine was revived, and has been published every year since 1916.

1920
1920 – 1950
1920 – 1950

• In 1936, the Junior School became a separate school, but still wore the same uniform as the High School. School colours were originally brown and gold, but changed to navy and blue, until Miss Hawkins discovered an original silk banner and changed the colours back to brown and gold.

• The land the school was built on originally belonged to Captain Underwood who fought under the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo. He named his estate Waterloo. A new hostel was built and Miss Hawkins named it Waterloo House. Miss Hawkins asked the 5th Duke of Wellington if she could use his coat of arms as the new school badge.

• A new gymnasium was built, and opened in 1944, after the other one was damaged in a gale force wind.

• The classroom which is called Room B today was the only new classroom built during the difficult years after World War 11. In 1958, the new hall, the Aileen Currie Hall, as we now know it was opened.

1950
1950 – 1988
1950 – 1988

• Miss J Urie, Principal (1962- 1988)

• In 1963, the school song was written. In 1965, nine new classrooms were built. In 1968 four new tennis courts were built in Ellerslie Road. In 1969, the swimming pool was built (entirely out of school funds) and in 1970 the hockey field was grassed. The first tuck shop was opened behind the ballet hall, where our present kitchen is today. The 7th Duke of Wellington visited our school in 1969, and the names of our houses were associated with him.

• The counselling department was established in 1967. The Social Workers continue to provide an invaluable service in the holistic development of learners and staff.

• In 1974, Ballet was introduced as a subject. In 1984, in time for the Centenary celebrations, 17 new classrooms were built on the old hockey field and our school as we know it was complete. The grassy area was named the Wellington Quad.

• In 1988 the year in which Mrs Walters was appointed principal, a Parent Teacher Association was established for the first time, and matriculants were encouraged to become paid up members of the Wynberg Old Girls’ Union.

1989
1989 – 2006
1989 – 2006

• In 1990 all government schools were officially desegregated in South Africa.

• The library was completely refurbished in 1993: a mezzanine floor put in and the library administrative area extended. A new tuck shop between the hall and what was then the art
room was built.

• In 1994, South Africa had its first ever Democratic elections.

• In 1995 the Muslim Students Association was established at WGHS.

• Significant technological developments were made between 1996 and 1998: more television sets and video cassette recorders were bought; the new state of the art computer room was opened in 1997; and scanners, a digital camera and a hi-tech digital projector system were purchased, establishing this computer training centre as one of the finest in the country.

• In 1997 the Ubuntu Society was established by Mrs Thandi Sibhukwana. WGHS teacher 1997-2011.

• The hostel and the hockey clubhouse were renovated in 1997. Wynberg became the first South African school to lay an Astroturf. Computer Studies was introduced as an academic subject in 1998, and A-levels courses were offered either as a post matric course or as one which could be studied concurrently with Grades 11 and 12.

• Mrs S Harding, Principal 1999-2019

• Mrs Harding officially took over as Principal in 1999 after serving as School Counsellor, Head of Department and Deputy Principal at various times since 1977. Mrs Harding made significant changes to buildings and policies since taking over as Principal. The computer room, a project Mrs Harding coordinated, is one of the most modern, advanced computer centres to be found in any school in South Africa.

• The magnificent Art Studio, with spectacular mountain views, and a large classroom teaching venue, was opened in October 2002. The Life Skills wing followed, catering for Life Skills classes, counsellors and the extensive social work and support programme.

• The students’ welfare was of main concern with extensions to the tuck shop and the building of the rain shelter at the new Aliwal Road entrance, now allowing Wynberg girls to wait for their parents safely inside the school gates and to be protected from the weather.

• In 2006 – 2017, Mrs Nazeeba Moerat was appointed at the school as a Mathematics, Physical Sciences & Mathematical Literacy teacher; she was the first Muslim teacher at WGHS.

2022
2007 – Current
2007 – Current

• In 2012 the Current Affairs Club started

• Robotics + Jazz band + Marimbas + Dance Society +FemSoc were all established in 2015.

• In 2016 a new inclusive variations uniform was introduced. The hockey field grass was lifted and a Hockey Astro turf was installed.

• In 2017 Dance Sport was introduced to the school and major renovations were done to what was once known as the Wellington Quad, and renamed the Honours Quad. With these renovations the school gained much needed extra class space with an additional 8 classrooms and a state-of-the-art quad that the learners make use of daily. The new quad design has won architectural awards for its unique design.

• In 2018 the first ever Touch Rugby team was formed and the Queers and Allies Society was formed.

• Dr J Wallace, Principal (2020 – current)

• Since Dr Wallace was appointed Principal, many significant changes have been made to the school in a short time even though the world was impacted by COVID 19 pandemic.

• 2020 a gender-neutral bathroom was created at the school. In the same year the new house names were implemented to signify a school that is inclusive of all. The house names were specially chosen through a voting system which was shared with all staff and learners.

• In 2021 the existing Cavan Road Netball Court Clubhouse was renovated, more toilets as well as showers were added. It has since been named the Wynberg Girls’ High School Sports Pavillion.

• In 2021 the transformation for the school reception foyer and what was once known as the memory room has been transformed into a meeting room that all staff and learners can utilise. What is special about the meeting room is that it has a timeline on the wall that reflects the school’s history. In the same year, in the midst of the covid pandemic, the Wynberg Girls’ High School Veggie garden was established to bring about hope and renewed energy and to continue to make sustainability a tangible and practical part of WGHS. The garden serves to educate and provide for those in need in the WGHS community. Learners are involved in planting, maintaining, harvesting and either donating or making use of produce from the garden.

Our Staff

We have 97 staff members across academic, administrative, management, hostel and support areas.
Find Out More

Governance

The Governing Body is a statutory body, and plays
a key role in the governance of the school.
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Our Facilities

Wynberg Girls’ High School boasts a number of
facilities, shared across our campus of schools.
  • Astroturf Complex
  • Multi-purpose swimming pool
  • Fully Sprung Ballet Hall
  • Two exquisitely lit Art Studios
  • Well-equipped Library & Media Centre
  • Computer Laboratories