HISTORY OF WATERKLOOF PRIMARY SCHOOL

In 1956 a group of English speaking parents of young children living in Waterkloof Ridge, decided that it was time they had a primary school in their vicinity. As a result of their efforts Waterkloof Primary School opened in 1958.

Many of the parents helped establish the school grounds and planted trees and shrubs still in evidence today.

In the years that followed, principals, teachers and parents all made their contributions in various ways to the well-being of the school and its learners to make it the leading primary school that it is today.

Over the years past learners of the school have achieved great heights in many fields academic, sporting, cultural and as leaders in society.

 

MEMORIES OF PAST HEADMASTERS

 

The First 25 Years

Although the school was established in 1959 under the leadership of Mr le Roux, the permanent staff was only appointed in 1960. Mr Minnaar was principal and I was his deputy principal.


Our first Saturday morning fun day in 1960 was to be a low-key affair – bring your pets to school – suggested by Rodney Clayton. As some of the children threatened to bring snakes, parrots, hamsters and white rats, we decided to limit the pets to dogs and cats. We certainly did not expect the huge response that resulted. Hundreds of dogs, and a few cats of all breeds arrived! Some families brought all four of their dogs. Mrs O’Brien, the vet’s wife, had kindly offered to judge the pets, not on their pedigree, but on their owner’s care and grooming. The dogs had to be leashed to the surrounding fences to prevent one huge dog fight. Mrs O’Brien was overwhelmed and urgently called her husband, the vet, to help her with the judging. Things finally settled down, tea was served and the occasion ended happily.


In the days before the fathers’ committee were in charge of the maintenance of the swimming pool, I routinely checked the chlorine levels and added the soda ash. On a particular day I rushed around the pool hurling the chemicals as far as I could. However, I missed the turn at the corner of the pool and feel backwards, soaking my suit and covering myself in chlorine granules. I clambered out of the pool and made my way to the secretaries’ office. I got no sympathy from them – they both burst out laughing!


On the academic and cultural side of school life, the wonderful valedictory services, the superb concerts and successful fashion show will always be remembered. The Standard 5 parties at the year end were joyous occasions. The hall was decorated superbly by the pupils, always with a particular theme in mind, and everyone danced!


The first 25 years in the life of Waterkloof Primary School was an exhilarating experience for teachers and pupils alike, and I am sure everyone looks back with feelings of achievement and happiness.

Frank Salmon

 

 

The Second 25 Years

In 1998 the school celebrated the 40th anniversary. A week of celebration and festivity was enjoyed by all. Each member of the school received a gold coloured lapel badge bearing dates and the school crest. The die used to mint these badges became the property of the school, and after 1998 had no further value. The principal, unable to simply discard it, used it as a door stop at his office door. The anniversary was concluded with a ceremony to entomb a sealed box containing items of memorabilia reflecting the school at that time. This box, with a message from each child, is bricked into the wall outside the science room. It is due to be opened in 2028!


A detail which the Principal kept hidden and has remained a secret for many years now needs to be exposed. The grounds man (since left) who marked out the spring tract for an Inter House Athletics meeting believed that, as we start counting at the numeral 1, the measuring tape should be held at the 1 mark for the start line. That year the 60m and 80m sprints were in fact 49m and 79m respectively. Several records were broken that year and remained unbroken for a few years ahead.


The nineties decade was marked by growth and development. The Media Centre was significantly enlarged; the front door entrance arch was built; the administration wing was extended; car ports were erected for staff; the tennis shelter and stores adjacent to the tuckshop were developed; two computer centres were built; eight new classrooms were built, and finally the Technology Centre became a reality.


Too many adults are not aware of the problems that face small children, illustrated by the installation of the public phone outside the kitchen. The technician installed the new phone at the normal level. It was not long before some of the children complained that they could not reach the dialing keys. Shortly afterwards the cell phone arrived and that created a new set of problems and solutions.


It was a requirement that each Foundation Phase child shared birthday treats with the Principal. One principal issued a birthday sticker to each celebrant and consumed 6742 cup cakes in his office. It is believed that this is a world record for cup-cake consumption!

 

W.M.D. Bowker

 
Admissions 2020    
Please note the application process to be followed for all new Learners that wish to be enroled at Waterkloof Primary School during the 2020 academic year.


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