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Short History

1 February 1893


Helderberg Primary School has a very unusual history, making it very difficult to decide exactly when the school did come into being.

The school was run by Helderberg College right up to 1976, when it then fell under the auspices of the Cape Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Helderberg College opened its doors on 1 February 1893 in Kenilworth, Cape Town, offering primary, secondary and tertiary education to students.

Thereafter Helderberg College was moved to a farm near Ladysmith in Kwazulu Natal. Here only tertiary education was offered from 1919 until 1928, when the College moved to its present position. We thus are more inclined to date our school from when Helderberg College moved to the present campus in 1928.

There is thus not a specific day in January 1928 which we can give as the day our school opened. There was no ribbon-cutting ceremony or fanfare. It seems most logical to date our school from 1928 when it moved to this campus in Somerset West.

The Primary School was originally founded to teach Helderberg College staff children and those of missionaries serving in Africa. These children were accommodated in a hostel. The present Theology Building of Helderberg College used to be the Helderberg Primary School. The top floor was the hostel and the bottom floor housed the classrooms.

In 1939 Helderberg College began training primary school educators and Helderberg Primary School was the school in which the student educators did their practise teaching.

The learners of the primary school were included in the statistics of the number of students at Helderberg College until 1978.

In approximately 1970, it was decided to move the primary school to a piece of ground higher up the slope of the Helderberg Mountain and convert the entire old building into college classrooms. Building began on the new school building in 1973 and then in 1974, educators and learners excitedly moved into the new buildings.
In 1976 the College ceased to operate a hostel for primary school children, and in 1977 handed over the control of Helderberg Primary School to the local Seventh-day Adventist Churches, run under the auspices of the Cape Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
1979 Until Today
Due to an increase in the number of learners, the new school building had to be extended by adding two classrooms in 1979. In 1981 a media centre was also added to the school.

The town of Somerset West became interested in this unique, independent school which offered individualised Christian education by dedicated, Christian, caring educators.

Helderberg Primary School has been extended four times. One of our main attractions is the amiable, almost family-like atmosphere which we have at our school and this is one aspect which we wish to carefully guard. Expanding on a large scale would endanger this wonderful ambience.

Parents whose children have moved on to high school often come back and share with us the fact that they miss the ‘special feeling’ at our school. Educators who have taught here on a temporary basis also comment on the ‘happy’ feeling at our school and note that there definitely is something unique about Helderberg Primary School.

Helderberg Primary School is very fortunate to be located on the beautiful campus of Helderberg College. The grounds encompass 150 hectares of land situated at the base of the Helderberg Mountain. Thus we are in a rural setting and, within minutes of leaving the classroom, we can experience the pleasures associated with walking on the mountain contours, with beautiful views of the Basin. With having the beauty of nature on our doorstep, we often take advantage of this privilege. There is nothing better than teaching a lesson under the shade of pine trees on a hot day.

Our school policy is to educate the whole person, and thus our instruction is aimed at developing the mind, the body and the spiritual being.

We believe that it is in the primary school that educators can work with parents in impressing the learner to be a positive human being with character, and the ability to withstand the pressures of life. Our aim is to equip the learner with skills which enable him or her to make the best of any situation they may find themselves in, and be citizens who make a difference in the community in which they live.

We are not only a school for Seventh-day Adventist children, but provide a program which is attractive to all Christian families.

It is advantageous to be situated so close to the College, as the Primary School has access to facilities which it would not otherwise be able to afford. We use the Half Olympic-sized pool, we use their gym, their tennis courts and their large soccer field. During 2002 we built our own netball court and this is, in turn, also used by the College.

Helderberg Primary has a high standard of education and is thus thought of highly by the Helderberg Basin community. We are extremely pleased with the fact that high schools in the area, especially those that turn many learners away, are happy to accept Helderberg Primary learners. We will always endeavour to maintain the high standard of Christian education for which we are known.