Sacred Heart College


Sacred Heart College, Observatory

Important School Information: Sacred Heart College, Observatory


15 Eckstein St, Johannesburg, 2198

Grades taught

Pre-School to Matric

A Marist Co-educational Catholic School providing innovative, values-based education from Playgroup to Matric



SCHOOL Tel: 011 487 9000

Every day we laugh and are touched by the beauty our children bring to our school. We have created our unique Sacred Heart Pre-Primary School culture and shared values are constructed here. We enjoy making palpable what is usually invisible: joy, curiosity, interest, affection, autonomy, possibility, responsibility, desire, expectation, tranquility, satisfaction, intimacy, individuality and belonging.

• The Aftercare programme is housed within the grounds of the Pre-Primary School.
• Each age group is cared for by their own experienced aftercare teacher.
• Activities include ball games, art, board games, sand and water trough play, etc.
• Hours: 13:00 – 17:30 daily


A Reggio Emilia inspired Pre-Primary School

The Reggio Emilia approach to teaching young children puts their natural development, as well as the close relationships they share with their environment, at the centre of its philosophy. The foundation of the Reggio Emilia approach lies in its unique view of the child. In this approach, there is a belief that children have rights and should be given opportunities to develop their potential. Influenced by this belief, they are beheld as beautiful, powerful, competent, creative, curious, and full of potential and ambitious desires. They are also viewed as being active constructs playing the active role of apprentices. This role also extends to that of a researcher.

At Sacred Heart, we celebrate the children being a central part of their learning. They learn through play and the questioning of the environment around them. Exploring and investigating through light, observational drawing and moulding clay are important teaching methods. Our aim is to give children a selection of opportunities to learn from, as Malaguzzi the founder of this approach believes: “ The wider the range of possibilities we offer children, the more intense will be their motivation and the richer their experiences.” Whether it be finger painting with chocolate pudding or learning to ride a two wheeler bicycle, huge amounts of fun are guaranteed in a safe, secure and loving environment.

We use the CAPS document to guide our curriculum, but add a great deal more in order to enrich and make our curriculum unique in its child-centred approach.

Our children are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning. The teachers are facilitators who help the children “set up or provoke” learning to take place. This helps them take ownership of and buy into learning opportunities. They are given the opportunity to play and learn on iPads. Educational applications concentrating on numeracy and literacy are available to them.

Extra Murals

This is offered in the form of private lessons given on the school grounds, and includes the following:

  • Little Kickers

  • Little Green Fingers

  • Ballet

  • Swimming

  • Karate

  • Gymnastics

  • Pottery

  • KinderMusiek

Download the Fees Booklet Here
Email Rashida Theys
Pre-School Enquiries please click here


About Us
In a dynamic and stimulating environment, we provide an education of body, mind and spirit.

We educate for life. We help young people to become happy, confident and competent people of hope and personal integrity, with a deep sense of justice and compassion and, with this, a sense of social responsibility to transform the world around them. At the College we are united around values that shape our vision and practice of education. Sacred Heart College traces its origins to the arrival of two Marist Brothers in the mining town of Johannesburg in 1889. The school in Koch Street Johannesburg started with five pupils but within ten years was 800 strong. It moved to its present premises in Observatory in 1924.

The school started as an all-boys, all-white and Catholic school that provided a high-quality academic and sporting education. Very soon, boys from other faiths were admitted. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, the school welcomed Chinese pupils although the government did not approve this.

In 1976, under the leadership of Br Neil McGurk, the Marist Brothers defied government decree and opened the school to boys of all races. Four years later in 1980, girls from two near-by convents were admitted and “Marist Brothers – Observatory” reverted to its religious name, “Sacred Heart College”.

In the decades before the end of apartheid, Brother Neil McGurk and the Marist Brothers welcomed the challenge of assisting with the education of youngsters from the townships as well as both children of political leaders of the struggle and the children of the emerging Black middle class despite the difficulties of appeasing conservative white families.
Sacred Heart College’s history has contributed to a school environment that fosters an inclusive society in South Africa, one which encourages all members of its community to benefit from the integration of children and teachers from a variety of ethnic, religious and economic backgrounds.

At present Sacred Heart College accommodates children from Pre-Primary School to Grade 12 in the Pre-Primary, Primary, Junior High and Senior High School. The school equips children with a high-quality, academic education using 21st century skills and incorporating the latest technology. We provide a faith-based education that produces learners who can think critically, find innovative solutions to challenges and succeed in life. We are affiliated to the global network of the Institute of the Marist Brothers, a Catholic order founded by St Marcellin Champagnat, and involved in the education of children and young people.

Families choose Sacred Heart College for their children’s education for a variety of reasons. Some choose the school because of its co-educational nature, or because a child can remain on the same campus from Pre-School to Matric. Some attach importance to its excellent academic record. Some are drawn by its religious affiliation and identity. Its unique characteristic, however, is its diversity, which represents the mosaic we call “the South African Rainbow Nation”. It offers an educational experience that is based on the values of the gospel, which include justice, tolerance, fairness, peace and respect for one another. Open dialogue and critical thinking are nurtured.

We have an extensive community service programme, which has as one of its goals: “Children supporting Children” in which learners across all grades participate in fundraising and community service projects. We also support a refugee educational programme called “Three 2 Six” which educates 150 Grade 1-6 learners in basic literacy, numeracy and life skills.

Sacred Heart College’s co-curricular program offers a variety of cultural activities. We aim to develop a well-balanced child by encouraging children to participate in both sporting and cultural activities throughout the year. Our main focus is on participation, giving each and every child an opportunity to participate in an activity that they enjoy

January to December

Chess – Grade 2 to 6
Choir – Grade 2 to 6
Music – Grade 1 to 6
Art – Grade 1 to 6
Drama – Gr 4 to 6

Primary School Sports

Summer season

January to March and October to December

Swimming – compulsory from Grade 1 to 6
Cricket – Grade 3 to 6
Basketball – Grade 4 to 6
Mini Cricket – Grade 1 and 2
Mini Basketball – Grade 1 and 2
Tennis – Grade 4 to 6
Mini Tennis – Grade 1 to 3

Winter season:
March to June

Soccer – Grade 3 to 6
Netball – Grade 3 to 6
Tennis – Grade 4 to 6
Mini Soccer – Grade 1 and 2
Mini Netball – Grade 1 and 2
Mini Tennis – Grade 1 and 2

July to August
Hockey – Grade 3 to 6
Cross Country – Grade 3 to 6
Mini Hockey – Grade 1 and 2
Tennis – Grade 3 to 6
Mini Tennis – Grade 1 and 2

September to October
Athletics – Grade 3 to 6
Mini Athletics – Grade 1 and 2
Tennis – Grade 3 to 6
Mini Tennis – Grade 1 and 2
Fun Fitness – Grade 1 and 2

October to December
Swimming – compulsory from Grade 1 to 6
Cricket – Grade 3 to 6
Basketball – Grade 4 to 6
Mini Cricket – Grade 1 and 2
Mini Basketball – Grade 1 and 2
Tennis – Grade 4 to 6
Mini Tennis – Grade 1 to 3

Download the Fees Booklet Here
Email Veronica Peters 
Primary School Enquiries please click here


Sacred Heart College subscribes to a curriculum that supports the socio-political underpinnings of the National Curriculum (NCS). In so doing, we value the importance of the democratic values-based foundation of the NCS in the South African democratic political dispensation. Bruner (1999 in Culture, Mind & Education) contends: “how a culture or society manages its system of education is a major embodiment of a culture’s way of life, not just a preparation for it”.

Nature of Knowledge
• The subjects in the NCS are arranged into Learning Fields, which serves as a home for cognate subjects, which integrate knowledge, skills and values. The boundaries between subjects are blurred as subjects are viewed as dynamic and responsive to new knowledge.
• Aside from the content and skills taught in each subject, our curriculum is driven by Critical and Developmental Outcomes, which focus on values such as critical and creative thinking, collaboration, responsibility, knowledge organisation, communication, environmental awareness and an holistic approach to problem solving.

• Our pedagogical practices are geared towards the advancement of the ‘self’. That is, cognisance is taken of the fact that individuals need to advance their own potential through education. There is a large degree of autonomy on the part of our teachers and learners. This is achieved by a high degree of teacher innovativeness and expertise.

Social Awareness
The Manifesto on Values, Education and Democracy (Department of Education, 2001) identifies sixteen strategies for familiarising learners with the values of the Constitution. These strategies were devised to give expression to the values of the Constitution in education. At the same time, the strategies are meant to enable schools to help in the process of realising the aims of the Constitution. Our Life Orientation, Religion and Life Skills Programmes are instrumental in enabling the achievement of these.

Examples of the implementation of some of the 16 strategies
• Nurturing a culture of communication and participation in school. Communication and participation are the two bastions of the democratic process. The classroom at Sacred Heart College is the space in which learners can express themselves without feeling threatened. This allows for freedom of speech and expression.
• Infusing the classroom with a culture of human rights. The emphasis of human rights in the classroom is aimed at ensuring that the curriculum will address issues of racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination.
• The introduction of religious education into schools. Exposing learners to different religions seeks to endorse the values of diversity, tolerance, respect and compassion. Our multi-faith approach to religion teaching makes this an integral part of the curriculum.
• Nurturing the new patriotism, or affirming our common citizenship. Schools are obliged to promote a shared sense of pride in commonly held values in an effort to create a national identity. Our Grade 10’s engage in Citizenship Project as part of the Life Orientation programme.
• Role modelling: Promoting commitment as well as competence among educators. Educators are expected to model the behaviour that they expect from learners. At the same time, educators must ensure that they are appropriately qualified to teach. In this time of a severe scarcity of qualified teachers, Sacred Heart College has an academic staff who are highly qualified, experienced and competent.
“Hidden Curriculum?”
• What is central to our transformative curriculum is not only what our curriculum offers but how it is offered.
• For instance, the Social Sciences (History in the Senior High) develops in learners a commitment to addressing social injustice, abuse of human rights and a deteriorating environment. Geography, another of the Social Science subjects, ensures that learners are prepared to become informed, critical and responsible citizens who can make sound judgements and take appropriate action that will contribute to equitable and sustainable development of human society and the physical environment.

Sacred Heart College’s co-curricular program offers a variety of cultural activities. We aim to develop a well-balanced child by encouraging children to participate in both sporting and cultural activities throughout the year. Our main focus is on participation, giving each and every child an opportunity to participate in an activity that they enjoy.

High School Sports Department
The High School Sports Department aims to provide the learners at Sacred Heart College with a multitude of opportunities to develop knowledge and experience in the domain of physical activity.

Physical Education lessons at the College focus on skill development in the junior high, and explore variations of physical fitness in the senior high. Lessons are designed to not only target the physical aspects of an adolescent’s development, but to also allow for mental stimulation and critical thinking. Our programmes combine education with entertainment in an effort to keep learners interested, but most importantly, enthused about their own learning process.

Our co-curricular programme is extensive. We offer 9 sporting codes annually, separated into 3 sports seasons as follows:

Term 1 – Summer
Swimming (league season; beginners, intermediate and advanced)
Basketball (boys and girls)
Tennis (boys and girls)

Term 2 – Winter
Soccer (boys and girls)
Hockey (boys and girls)
Athletics (pre-season; boys and girls)

Term 3 – Winter / Summer
Athletics (league season; boys and girls)
Swimming (relay gala season; beginners, intermediate and advanced)
Basketball (boys and girls)
Tennis (boys and girls)


Download the Fees Booklet Here
Email Jennifer Hartmann
High School Enquiries please click here