Cornwall Hill College

Cornwall Hill College’s educational philosophy entails the creation of a solid foundation for its pupils by providing ample opportunities and exceptional facilities for them to excel in academic, sporting and cultural spheres, while still retaining traditional values of honesty, integrity, compassion and responsibility.

In other words, our pupils are offered a values-based education underpinned by excellence. Independent thinking, self-discipline and the development of a positive self-image are encouraged to enable pupils to realise their full potential.  

Founded in 1998, the College has a relatively short history, yet it is regularly ranked as one of the top independent schools in South Africa. Its success is largely due to consistently excellent academic results thus gaining its pupils entrance to prestigious universities worldwide, combined with top-class facilities as well as the nurturing, secure environment that produces happy well-rounded individuals. Our broad-based curriculum incorporates a wide range of co-curricular activities, while our traditional values are coupled with a forward-thinking approach to education. On this basis, our pupils are equipped with a set of skills that will enable them to thrive in a challenging future world.    

Cornwall Hill College is a co-educational independent school situated in Irene on some 25 ha of idyllic surroundings, where our beautiful buildings project an old-world feel, while our state-of-the-art facilities provide optimal opportunities for our pupils’ growth and development. Currently our enrolment is in excess of 1 700 pupils, ranging from Grade 000 to Grade 12.

At the heart of our approach to educating our pupils is the three-tier structure of our school. This structure allows our different age groups to live, work and socialise in their own unique areas, yet with a certain degree of interactive participation that provides opportunities for mentoring. Other than the Pre-Preparatory Phase (Grades 000 to 0), the school’s two tiers include the Preparatory Phase (Grades 1 to 7) and College Phase (Grades 8 to 12). This enables the staff to focus more clearly on the needs of each age group and the pupils thrive in an environment where they can spend more time with friends of their own age without social pressure from older or younger peers.

A strong partnership between parents and school is encouraged, and parent involvement is actively sought to support various parts of our programme as together we strive for the best for each child.    

Our teachers are not only subject specialists, they are child developmental specialists. They are committed to the success of the pupils, and this success is built on strong relationships of mutual respect. The College is more than just a place where a child comes to learn, it’s a nurturing environment that develops a sense of self-worth and community in every child through relationships of trust with teachers and peers.   

In the Pre-School Phase, emphasis is placed on exploration and discovery within a framework of personal and social responsibility. Within a nurturing environment, we plan our curriculum around individual needs for growth, creating opportunities for our children to become independent by learning to take care of themselves, to work out their problems and to become responsible for their actions. Close attention is paid to each child’s progress. Ongoing observation of the children’s behaviour, participation and progress is documented and shared with parents verbally, graphically and through written reports.

In our Preparatory Phase, the focus is on the acquisition of basic skills in numeracy and literacy. Teaching becomes more formal, requiring children to develop self-discipline and organisational skills. We strive to create a friendly, secure and stimulating environment, allowing children of all abilities, aptitudes and interests to develop at their own pace, yet adhering to our high standards.

In the College we bring together the Grade 8 and 9 pupils in a logical peer group. This facilitates a dynamic, pupil-centred environment that promotes experiential learning, capturing the vitality and enthusiasm of the adolescent. Learning opportunities in a specialist environment ensure that pupils gain not only knowledge, skills and values, but also the academic rigour to move with confidence into the final phase of schooling.

Grades 10-12 are characterised by our high academic standard and wide involvement in the sporting and co-curricular programme to ensure that our pupils develop into well-rounded, mature adults who are able to contribute to our country in a meaningful manner and become part of a global community. The staff members strive to make them aware of their opportunities and accompanying responsibilities. We believe it is vital to give our pupils knowledge and understanding of the “real” world to prepare them for the important choices that will determine their career values and lifestyles as adults.

In Grade 12 our pupils write the Independent Examination Board’s National Senior Certificate Examination. Since its inception, the College has had no failures, while our pupils are mentioned in the top 1% of various subject areas and a number of our top performers appear in the top 50 nationally.

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