Cornwall Hill College, Pretoria

Important School Information: Cornwall Hill College



Pre-School - Grade 000 - 0
Preparatory School
Grade 1 - 7
- Grade 8 - 12
Boys & Girls Grade 8-12
Religious Denomination: Christian Ethos
Number of Pupils: 1800
For Admissions:  Mrs Jenny Geffen   Email admissions

 Telephone: +27 (0) 12 667 1360




Cornwall Hill College's educational philosophy entails the creation of a solid foundation for its pupils by providing ample opportunities and exceptional facilities for them to excel in academic, sporting and cultural spheres, while still retaining traditional values of honesty, integrity, compassion and responsibility. In other words, our pupils are offered a values-based education underpinned by excellence. Independent thinking, self-discipline and the development of a positive self-image are encouraged to enable pupils to realise their full potential.


Founded in 1998, the College has a relatively short history, yet it is regularly ranked as one of the top independent schools in South Africa. Its success is largely due to consistently excellent academic results thus gaining its pupils entrance to prestigious universities worldwide, combined with top-class facilities as well as the nurturing, secure environment that produces happy well-rounded individuals. Our broad-based curriculum incorporates a wide range of co-curricular activities, while our traditional values are coupled with a forward-thinking approach to education. On this basis, our pupils are equipped with a set of skills that will enable them to thrive in a challenging future world.

Cornwall Hill College is a co-educational independent school situated in Irene on some 25 ha of idyllic surroundings, where our beautiful buildings project an old-world feel, while our state-of-the-art facilities provide optimal opportunities for our pupils' growth and development. Currently our enrolment is in excess of 1 800 pupils, ranging from Grade 000 to Grade 12.

At the heart of our approach to educating our pupils is the three-tier structure of our school. This structure allows our different age groups to live, work and socialise in their own unique areas, yet with a certain degree of interactive participation that provides opportunities for mentoring. Other than the Pre-Preparatory Phase (Grades 000 to 0), the school's two tiers include the Preparatory Phase (Grades 1 to 7) and College Phase (Grades 8 to 12). This enables the staff to focus more clearly on the needs of each age group and the pupils thrive in an environment where they can spend more time with friends of their own age without social pressure from older or younger peers.

A strong partnership between parents and school is encouraged, and parent involvement is actively sought to support various parts of our programme as together we strive for the best for each child.

Our teachers are not only subject specialists, they are child developmental specialists. They are committed to the success of the pupils, and this success is built on strong relationships of mutual respect. The College is more than just a place where a child comes to learn, it's a nurturing environment that develops a sense of self-worth and community in every child through relationships of trust with teachers and peers.



In the Pre-School Phase, emphasis is placed on exploration and discovery within a framework of personal and social responsibility. Within a nurturing environment, we plan our curriculum around individual needs for growth, creating opportunities for our little people to become independent by learning to take care of themselves, to work out their problems and to become responsible for their actions. Close attention is paid to each child's progress. Ongoing observation of the children's behaviour, participation and progress is documented and shared with parents verbally, graphically and through written reports.

In our Preparatory Phase, the focus is on the acquisition of basic skills in numeracy and literacy. Teaching becomes more formal, requiring children to develop self-discipline and organisational skills. We strive to create a friendly, secure and stimulating environment, allowing children of all abilities, aptitudes and interests to develop at their own pace, yet adhering to our high standards.


In the College we bring together the Grade 8 and 9 pupils in a logical peer group. This facilitates a dynamic, pupil-centred environment that promotes experiential learning, capturing the vitality and enthusiasm of the adolescent. Learning opportunities in a specialist environment ensure that pupils gain not only knowledge, skills and values, but also the academic rigour to move with confidence into the final phase of schooling.

Grades 10-12 are characterised by our high academic standard and wide involvement in the sporting and co-curricular programme to ensure that our pupils develop into well-rounded, mature adults who are able to contribute to our country in a meaningful manner and become part of a global community. The staff members strive to make them aware of their opportunities and accompanying responsibilities. We believe it is vital to give our pupils knowledge and understanding of the "real" world to prepare them for the important choices that will determine their career values and lifestyles as adults.

In Grade 12 our pupils write the Independent Examination Board's National Senior Certificate Examination. Since its inception, the College has had no failures, while our pupils are mentioned in the top 1% of various subject areas and a number of our top performers appear in the top 50 nationally.


Boarding at Cornwall Hill College
Cornwall Hill College offers boarding facilities for both boys and girls from Grade 7 - 12. Hill House, established in 2008, caters for over 60 boys while a newer Tintagel House, opened in 2014, offers accommodation for 32 girls. The caring and supportive boarding environment allows space for the pupils to grow in confidence and develop friendships that will last a life time. Cornwall Hill College Boarding is an exciting and vibrant community, a "home away from home". The pupils are strongly encouraged to participate in all aspects of school life to become active and happy members of the school community. Socially, they learn to interact with boys and girls of different ages from diverse backgrounds, teaching them tolerance and understanding.

The pupils are divided into family groups, each of which is under the care of a Family Head who supervises their daily activities and takes responsibility for the pastoral care of the pupils in the group, much like parents would do at home. Through bonding sessions created by various shared activities, the boys and girls have established a "brother and sisterhood" where "all for one and one for all" really does become their mantra.

A structured programme, monitored by the Boarding Staff and Head of Boarding, has been developed to promote a balance between the pupils' academic and co-curricular programmes. Academic monitoring and support is available both at the school and at the Boarding Residences.
The facilities available in our Boarding Residences are modern and comfortable. The pupils have a private area as their bedroom, even though the rooms are two pupils sharing. The ratio of pupils to bathroom facilities is low and great care is taken by the pupils to respect the privacy of their fellow house mates. Comfortable Recreation Rooms will be found in each of the residences where the pupils are able to relax and watch television in their free time. Next to the Boarding Residences are the swimming pools and Fitness Centre. With parental consent, these are available for use of the boarders during the week and weekends.

College Sport
We believe sport is part of the greater school curriculum and pupils must participate in a summer and winter sport. We encourage maximum participation irrespective of a pupil's skill level. Involvement in sport is essential in the development of life skills and the establishment of a life-long healthy living programme. Team sport develops a sense of camaraderie amongst the pupils and a vibrant school spirit, in addition to enhancing their ability to work together towards a common goal.

Those who excel on the sporting field are offered opportunities to test their mettle against top sporting schools, and are given a chance to be considered for possible provincial selection. We produce winners and strive to perform above the norm, yet we teach our pupils to accept losing with grace and maturity.

The College offers swimming, cricket, tennis, horse-riding, hockey, rugby, netball, cross country, athletics and golf. We have a number of advantages in the sporting arena: we are considered to be one of the top equestrian schools in Gauteng. We play in the A League Boys and Girls hockey as well as A league Cricket. Our sporting facilities are phenomenal with an Astro turf, Pitch cricket nets, heated Swimming pool, Netball and Tennis courts.


Cornwall Hill College offers a diverse cultural programme in the form of music, art, drama and extensive co-curricular activities. We have a vibrant musical tradition at the College and our purpose built Music Centre caters to the needs of every pupil in a relevant and contemporary manner. In the Preparatory Phase, the pupils have two class music lessons per week, while music is offered in the Senior College as a choice subject to matric level. An in-house collection of guitars and keyboards provide each pupil with hands-on instrumental experience, regardless of talent or ability. Alternatively, pupils may choose the co-curricular option, which offers a wide variety of instruments and styles of music. Private tuition is offered in a range of instruments such as piano, guitar, percussion, voice, keyboard, clarinet, saxophone, flute, recorder, drums and violin.

Ample opportunities abound for budding musicians to perform individually or in groups. In this way, they are able to derive maximum enjoyment and benefit from their music involvement. The College currently boasts an orchestra and jazz band, a sax trio, flute choir, string ensemble, two marimba bands, various choirs and eight other ensembles. The pupils perform at various music competitions, concerts and eisteddfods.

Investment in music technology has given the College an additional edge in this field. The computers in the music department feature the latest software that enables pupils to compose, record, produce and arrange their own compositions, keeping them motivated and enthusiastic to practice and excel in music. In this way, music theory becomes relevant and practical, enhancing performance at music exams.
The music experience at the College instils in the pupils a positive self-image, a desire to achieve excellence, an ability to set goals, co-operation and group cohesiveness.

The art department focuses on creative expression with a variety of materials before introducing conventional art techniques. In the process of producing an artwork, a pupil is exposed to creative problem-solving, sensory perception and self-expression.

During the school year, there are a wealth of opportunities for pupils to showcase their talents in the school productions, an extensive programme of music concerts and various other shows. The interhouse drama festival, provides pupils with the opportunity to write and produce their plays under the guidance of a mentor. We provide a platform where pupils can bring their ideas to life.

The cultural aspect of the co-curricular programme at the College is as highly valued as academics and sport. Pupils are given the opportunity to participate in an extensive range of activities such as debating, public speaking and drama. Recent cultural trips have included Grahamstown, North America and Europe.

The exploration of the world beyond the classroom contributes considerably to the personal development of our young people combined with access to a fully equipped media resource centre. Furthermore, opportunities abound for leadership and extra-curricular learning experiences.

Please do contact us to make a personal visit to our school for a closer look at what we can offer your child.


For Admissions:  Mrs Jenny Geffen   Email admissions