Education in 2024

The UmhlangaMarch 5, 2024

As the school year gets into full swing, we look at how these top schools are getting ahead of the curve and adding to their offerings for students to receive the best education.


Kearsney College 

Founded in 1921, Kearsney College is one of the country’s top independent traditional boys’ schools, renowned for its balance and all-round excellence. Their 125-acre estate is located in Botha’s Hill, on the edge of the Valley of a Thousand Hills, midway between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. 

The College has an outstanding record of academic achievement in the IEB Matriculation Examinations and enjoys a proud reputation for academic excellence. They have invested heavily in establishing maths and science as centres of excellence and consistently achieve outstanding results in these key subjects.

They also offer flexible weekly or termly boarding and day scholar options. Transport is provided on Monday mornings for boarders from all over the province.

Kearsney has a proud track record of sporting excellence, consistently producing provincial and national sportsmen across the codes. Boys in the High Performance Sports Programme have access to the expertise of a biokineticist, a sports scientist, a dietician and physiotherapists. Personalised training programmes are developed to help each boy perform at his peak.

Exciting new projects on the cards for Kearsney for the next couple of years include a substantial extension of the gym and the indoor SportZone, renovation of the Media Centre, development of a box theatre, installation of padel courts, extension of the chapel, upgrade of the sound and light system in the hall, upgrade of one of the pools and development of the Aquatics Centre, and renovation of the Music, Arts and Drama Centre.


St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls 

St Mary’s is a Christian, all-girls school offering Grades R to 12 as well as boarding from Grade 8. It is a traditional school with strong family values based in Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal. Since 1906, this school has been sparking curiosity in students and helping them become remarkable women. It is not just a school, it is a start for a bright future and a beautiful journey ahead.

At St Mary’s, they nurture talent and encourage success. They embrace creativity, innovation and a progressive approach to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing landscape of education. They want school to be stimulating and interesting, and a place where girls can learn and have fun. This ensures that every girl who walks through those gates finds a place to belong and thrive – in school and life. The exciting Signature Programmes in Grades 8 and 9 certainly set St Mary’s apart and are offered beyond the curriculum. The Grade 8 programme is designed for girls to learn something new through investigation. This covers modules like drones, art and music, sustainable consumerism, technology and design, robotics, debating, wellness, photography, green screen and so much more.

Their Grade 9 programme helps students discover their identity and ensure future success. It covers entrepreneurship and start-up opportunities and allows them to create, explore and discover. Other modules include robotics, critical thinking, artificial intelligence, music, teamwork, outdoors and emotional intelligence (EQ) to name a few.


Durban Girls’ College 

Established in 1877, Durban Girls’ College is a world-class South African school located high above the city of Durban’s Berea. An independent, Christian school for girls, they offer education from Grade 00 to Grade 12, with weekly boarding from Grade 7.

Mrs Heidi Rea took up the leadership of Durban Girls’ College in January 2022. With over 30 years of educational experience, Mrs Rea has been engaged in designing and driving DGC’s strategic direction, whilst managing the school through a rapidly changing educational landscape. Their vision is to develop significant young women who embody the values of integrity, courage, agility, respect and empathy through a holistic education that is globally relevant.

Durban Girls’ College inspires pupils to realise their potential through a dynamic educational experience built on tradition, innovation, inclusivity and excellence. The pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit of the DGC founders remains in effect today, as the school embraces positive change, reform and the best of new trends in education policy, curriculum development and teaching methods. This proactive and creative management ethos also permeates facets of school life such as staffing and admissions policies.

The outstanding school-leaving results achieved by generations of Grade 12 girls and the successes of alumni are a testament to the school’s quality education. 

The school made several key upgrades to the campus last year, including the acquisition of a generator, the upgrade of IT infrastructure, the building of a pavilion over the grandstands, the erection of lights on the astroturf, the renovation of the high school library, and the acquisition of portable seating stands.

The year ahead also offers some exciting new developments. The Sports Department will now include the services of a biokineticist, Wayne Minnie, on campus. Their CORE Centre, which offers academic support and counselling to the pupils, moves into new premises in Miller Grove. The Primary School library is currently being moved to a bigger and better location. 

Two innovation centres are currently being developed in both the Primary School and High School, and the High School library was launched at the end of January 2024. The Drama Department has also secured the rights to produce The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time which shows from 27 February to 1 March in the DGC Lecture Theatre.

In a rapidly changing world where communication and technology rule, education is key to providing children with the ability to adapt and thrive.


Clifton School 

Started in 1924, Clifton School ran as just a preparatory school up until 2002, when the college was added. In 2023, the school saw the inclusion of the Grade 00 class. 

Clifton prides itself on holistic education. Boys are equipped with the knowledge and guidance to believe in themselves, knowing that it is their unique attributes that set them apart from others. It offers an inclusive environment that focuses on the connection between the boys and staff. They are strong with traditions built over the last 100 years while constantly aiming to be innovative in thinking. They aim to allow every boy to excel in his specific areas of interest. No specific department is put on a pedestal at Clifton, and this is echoed through their actions. Sports, academics and culture are all considered to be of equal importance.

Recently, Clifton has been very active in upgrading their facilities, including the upgrade and opening of the prep and college IT rooms, as well as the inclusion of podcast equipment, green screens and virtual reality gear. Most recently was the inclusion of a new field that allows for two cricket and rugby fields on campus, as well as more space to play at break time and after school. 

Adjacent to the field is the new senior primary academic block (Prodesse House), which was opened late in 2022. This block now houses classes for Grades 4 to 7. Beyond the senior primary block is the most recent addition, the boarding house (Centenary House). This building can accommodate 120 boys as well as five staff members.

2024 is a big year for Clifton as it is their centenary year. There are many events on the cards, notably the 100th birthday on 5 February, the gala dinner on 9 February, and the founders weekend from 9 to 11 May.