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Roedean School, South Africa

Roedean School, South Africa Call : +91-915-216-2903

Private Bag X3031, Houghton 2041, Gauteng, South Africa

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South Africa

About Roedean School, South Africa , Gauteng

Roedean Story

In 1903, only two years after the end of the Boer War, Theresa Lawrence and Katherine Margaret Earle set sail for South Africa, inspired by a vision. Their mission was to create a world-class sister school to the esteemed Roedean Brighton. Founded by the Lawrence family in 1885, the core ethos of Roedean Brighton was to provide young girls with the kind of academic education that would enable them to meet the challenges they faced during this time in their struggle for gender equality.

Together, these resourceful pioneers of the teaching profession built Roedean School (SA) and so began its great history of academic excellence, civic duty, and cultural diversity. Their vision within the framework of a nurturing and caring environment was brought to life with stunning gardens and Sir Herbert Baker architecture. 110 years later, the founding ethos of Theresa Lawrence and Katherine Margaret Earle remains the guiding principle of Roedean School (SA). Roedean is committed to providing opportunities for young women to make career choices which will enable them to be competitive in the global workplace and which, we know, for the young women of this country will be a vital asset for their generation and those to come.

Notable Alumni

  • Mary Maytham Kidd, botanical artist
  • Sheena Duncan, social activist
  • Jani Allan
  • Rosemary Crouch, occupational therapist specialising in psychiatry and mental health
  • Maud Sumner, artist
  • Lauren Beukes, author
  • Jillian Becker, writer
  • Sarah Calburn, architect
  • Kate Otten, architect
  • Rapelang Rabana, entrepreneur



The Marry Williams  Boarding House is a successfully blended original style of Sir Herbert Baker with modern state-of the-art features.

The design of the facility not only makes use of the very latest eco-architectural systems available in South Africa, but for the very first time in our country, advanced-energy insulation material has been incorporated in the building. And, whilst energy conservation and water management have played important roles in the construction of the facility, the unique and contemporary design of the House has brought a special quality of both innovation and stability to the school as a whole.

This secure and comfortable House can accommodate 76 senior girls, consisting of Lambs boarding for Lower V’s (Grd 8) and Middle V’s (Grd 9), and Bears boarding for Upper V’s (Grd 10), Ante Matrics (Grd 11) and Matrics (Grd 12). They are housed in spacious single and double rooms, creating both an intimate and people-friendly communal living environment.

The actual positioning of the Mary Williams House was carefully considered before the foundations were laid. As a result, it has two sunny courtyards as well as brand new sporting facilities to ensure that our boarders can enjoy an active lifestyle under matron supervision.

The House also features two large, spacious, open-plan areas which will serve as Common Rooms, as well as flexible and exciting new learning areas for both the Upper Junior School and St Margaret’s girls during the academic school morning.

The additional access point to the school, coupled with basement parking bays, have already alleviated the traffic back-up in most areas of the school, thus creating an improved energy and flow in both the Senior and Junior School parking areas.

Living away from home can often be a daunting prospect for young students, we believe the Mary Williams House has been built and furnished in such a way that each and every girl will be cared for in a warm, comfortable and happy environment.

Roedean recognises and delights in the fact that “girls are girls” who need their privacy but also like to have fun, are conscientious about their studies and sometimes just need the companionship of their fellow learners whilst living away from their loved ones.

Termly Boarders

Termly boarders are girls who remain in the boarding house over weekends. One of the boarding matrons and a student tutor are on duty each weekend.

Entertainment and activities may be arranged for the boarders during the weekends, depending on school commitments. Most weekends, the boarders are given the option of going to one of the nearby shopping malls where they may do their shopping, meet with their friends for coffee or watch a movie.

Termly boarders are required to inform the Head of Boarding of their weekend plans for outings, but permission for such visits must be obtained in writing from the boarder’s parents by Friday at 15h00, at the latest. Full details must be provided regarding times of departure and return, along with information about the “responsible adult” who will sign them out, according to the sign-out procedure.

Weekly Boarders

Weekly boarders are girls who do not stay in the boarding house every weekend. Weekly boarders must be collected before 17h00 on Friday afternoon after signing out.

Weekly boarders may return on Sunday evening between 17h00 and 19h30. Alternatively, they may return to the boarding house on Monday morning before 06h50 – appropriately dressed in school uniform.

For further information please download the Boarding Information Booklet.


Junior School Overview

The Roedean Junior School offers a wide range of academic, cultural, and sporting opportunities and is designed to meet the developmental needs of all our girls. While we do follow the national curriculum, we strive to add value to it and aim to equip our girls with the special skills that will be required in the 21st Century.

At Roedean, teachers strive to bring the world into an integrated classroom and to ensure that subject content is exciting, interactive, and relevant. Presentations by guest speakers are encouraged and include talks by leading academics, artists, authors, entrepreneurs, and successful sports and business men and women. Educational day trips and class camps are the highlight of every girl’s year.

Our Cognitive Education strategic initiative (from Grade 0 to Grade 12) focuses on developing critical and creative thinking skills.

By bringing the world into our teaching and into our classrooms, the Roedean values-based educational approach encourages resilient, self-directed thinkers, who will be able to work collaboratively in living a life of significance.


The Form II (Grade 4), Form III (Grade 5), Lower IV (Grade 6) and Upper IV (Grade 7) classes form the Upper Junior School at Roedean. Each class is looked after by a class teacher and a co-teacher. There are two classes at each level and the girls stay in their classes for most subjects. For English and Mathematics, the two classes are divided into three groups, so that the individual learning needs of each girl is met.

The curriculum at Roedean is guided by the National Curriculum Statement and subjects offered in the Junior School include: Mathematics, English, Afrikaans (First Additional Language), isiZulu (First Additional Language), Social Sciences (History and Geography), Natural Sciences (Physical Science and Biology), Technology, and Information Skills. The vibrant Arts and Culture Department at Roedean plays a critical role in enhancing the creativity of our girls and Visual Art and Music are highly valued subjects. Physical Education lessons are an important part of the Upper Junior School day and our dynamic Sports Department also ensures the girls have many opportunities to grow their personal fitness by participating in a range of individual and team sports.

Understanding the learning needs of each girl is central to establishing a positive learning environment. Throughout the year, the girls are exposed to different forms of formal and informal assessment tasks. Continuous assessments are part of a process of gathering information to determine each girl’s academic progress. When a formal assessment is appropriate, the class is well informed and given time to prepare.

Our participation in external tests which include the IBT (International Benchmark Testing), Conquesta Language Olympiads, and the Independent Schools’ Shared Assessments, serve as benchmarks for our own educational standards. Our girls also successfully enter the Commonwealth Essay Writing Competition.

The most important focus in Upper Junior School is to create an environment that will develop, in each girl, a passion for learning. It is a passion for learning, or a love and enthusiasm for a particular subject, that will give each girl the energy and confidence to persevere and persist, and enable her to achieve her personal best. Sustained success at Roedean is not only in the passion and talent we find in our teachers, or in the girls around us but also in a strong value-based educational approach. Our school values, ‘Truth, Honour, Freedom and Courtesy’, are the foundations for encouraging resilient, life-long, self-directed thinkers, who are able to work collaboratively in living a truly honest ‘Life of Significance’.


One of Roedean’s greatest strengths is the standard of the academic programme at the school. Roedean is a school which is steeped in tradition and, while the curriculum that is offered reflects the traditional values of the school, it is dynamic, and continues to be both relevant and exciting.

A team of highly-qualified, experienced and deeply committed teachers works to assist Roedean girls to achieve to the best of their ability. The five-year journey through the national curriculum culminates in the writing of the National Senior Certificate Examinations of the Independent Examinations Board.

There is a wide range of subjects on offer, including a number of foreign languages.

Each year, we are filled with pride when we receive the results of our Matric pupils as these are, without fail, quite superb. While we are always thrilled by the large number of distinctions, we often derive even greater joy from the achievements of those pupils who have required significant, sustained support to obtain their certificates.

While it is always gratifying that our pupils enjoy overwhelming success in their placement, in the courses of their choice, at local universities, we are also very proud of those girls who have gained places at international universities, as this illustrates the international competitiveness of the education offered at Roedean. Below is a list of past pupils who have been accepted at overseas institutions since 2005.

Although we follow the national curriculum, we do add extra value to it, striving to equip our pupils with the special skills that will be required in the 21 st Century. With the present explosion in knowledge, pupils must be equipped to access, analyse and evaluate information; they require excellent cognitive and social skills. There is extensive use, throughout the curriculum, of Information Technology, and a special Cognitive Education Programme, which began in earnest in 2011, focuses on developing critical and creative thinking skills, and encourages self-directed learning. It also aims to develop responsible citizens who are aware of topical issues and are able to consider and evaluate possible solutions.

- Tessa and Tanya Lee – Brown University, USA

- Michaela Tiller – Harvard Univesity, USA

- Alexandra McIlraith – Princeton University, USA
- Charlotte Savage – Edinburgh University – Declined offer – at London School of Economics, UK
- Adele Rossouw – Yale University, USA

- Nancy Lee – Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, USA
- Radhika Mahidara – Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, USA
- Li Chi Pan – Universtiy of Melbourne, Australia

- Ayanda Collins – Brown University, USA
- Oyinkan Olojede – New York University, USA
- Kara Birkenmayer- Harvard University, USA (Accepted 2013)

- 2012 Savannah Price – St Andrews, Scotland
- Ariana Pather- Brown University, USA (Accepted 2014)

- Katherine Perdikis- The University of New South Wales, Australia
- Lindiwe Makgalemele- Harvard University, USA
- Behnazir Mohamed- University of Pennsylvania, USA
- Ngozi Olojede- Has been made offers to University of Berkley California and University of Pennsylvania, USA

Allan Gray Fellowships
- Prianka Pillay (2009)
- Lindiwe Makgalemele (2013)


  • The daughters of Sheena Duncan, past Roedean pupil , came to talk to SAORA about Sheena’s life and launch a book written on her
  • Mary Burton, past TRC commissioner and member of the Black sash, came to speak to the AM class, and some UVs managed to attend as well. Mrs Burton was poised as ever, but explained the difficult decisions to be made in the TRC and outlined the History of Sash as covered in her new book on the organisation
  • The AMs visited Liliesleaf Farm, and had a guided tour. This museum proved to be very interesting to the girls, from so many aspects of SA history. The feedback was that they had learnt so much form the visit and wished they had covered more of this content in the lower grades.
  • A film evening was held for the AMs on Platoon, to enrich their understanding of the Vietnam War.
    Four girls accompanied Mrs Brown to Constitution Hill, for a debate on the current issue of Racism in SA. The workshop was coordinated by SAHA, and had speakers form the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, Steve Biko Foundation and Nelson Mandela Foundation. The girls were able to report back in discussions about the 1970s and 1980s struggle to end Apartheid, and the issues today.
  • A History and Science tour was launched for April 2016, and the take up was overwhelming, leading to 80 girls signing up for the tour, to be organised in two groups of 40, leaving within 3 days of each other. It is very exciting that History and Science will be collaborating on this tour, and the destinations are part of the Matric History syllabus.


Strategic Initiative

In 2008, the school committed to a number of strategic initiatives which would continue to build Roedean’s considerable reputation as a centre of academic excellence. We are determined to create new horizons and exciting challenges for both girls and staff members which will equip them in the future to lead lives of significance.

For the past 3 years, all our Grade 8 (LV) and Grade 9 (MV) pupils have participated, during the second term, in a cross-curricular programme, lasting for the best part of a week. During this time they have been required to use the skills and knowledge they have acquired in many disciplines to solve, in a creative way, a real-world problem. By working together in small groups, the team-work skills of the girls have been developed and they have, in addition, been required to master some essential Information Technology skills. The tasks have been extremely successful in enhancing the academic experience of each girl and in developing critical skills which will be essential for success in the 21st century.

In a world where information is doubling in a remarkably short period of time, it is impossible to teach all the knowledge that will be required by future generations. It is therefore essential to equip pupils with skills that they will be able to employ throughout their lifetimes. To this end, we are in the process of implementing a carefully designed programme which will teach critical and creative thinking skills from Grade 0 to Grade 12.

Yet another aspect of our strategic plan will enable us, as a community, to develop key partnerships with other communities, to help build the skills of the future generations of our young leaders. Our areas of focus will be Mathematics and the Sciences. It is the vision of Roedean to establish departments that will link with both national and international imperatives of Mathematics and Sciences teaching and learning. It is our intention to generate skills and excellence, in both Mathematics and the Sciences, involving girls and staff at the school and at carefully selected partner schools.

The model would serve to :

  • develop critical curriculum resource material
  • promote collaborative expert knowledge workshops
  • create exciting opportunities for the ongoing development of the integration of Information Technology in producing lessons for distribution through various media
  • provide opportunities for the development of teacher training in Mathematics and the Sciences.

While our strategic initiative focuses on Mathematics and the Sciences, we have vibrant and most successful Arts and Culture departments (Dramatic Arts, Visual Arts and Music) whose pupils achieve an exceptional standard of work. These subjects are highly valued at Roedean and the role that they play in enhancing creativity amongst our pupils is considered to be critical.

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Academic Strength
Extra Curricular Activities
School Life
Year of Foundation 1903
Age Range 4.2
Enrollment Phase / Grades : Na
Gender : NA
Boarding : Private
Number of Students : NA
Teacher Student Ratio : NA
Accreditations :
Headmaster : NA
Yearly Tuition Fee (Min) : NA
Yearly Tuition Fee (Max) : NA
Nationalities : NA
Curriculum : 1995
Languages of Instruction : NA
Foreign Languages : NA
Examinations : NA
University Counseling : NA
Learning Support : NA
School Trips : YES
Community Service : YES
Performing Arts : YES
Sports : YES
Summer Programs : YES
Summary :

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