Herschel Girls' School

Herschel Girls School is a private, weekly boarding and day school for girls, located in Claremont, a southern suburb of Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa. The school has pre-nursery through to grade 12 and is affiliated with the Anglican church, which owns the school buildings.[1][2]

Herschel Girls School
Herschel Girls school crest
21 Herschel Road, Claremont

Coordinates33°59′15″S 18°27′59″E / 33.98750°S 18.46639°E / -33.98750; 18.46639
TypeAll-girls private school
MottoLatin: Ad Dei Gloriam
("To the Glory of God")
Religious affiliation(s)Anglican
Established16 February 1922; 100 years ago (1922-02-16)
School districtDistrict 9
School number021 650 7500
HeadmistressMrs Heather Goedeke
Exam boardIEB
Age3 to 18
Number of students927 girls
Schedule08:00 - 15:00
CampusUrban Campus
Campus typeSuburban
Colour(s)  Blue
MascotHippo, Rabbit,Lemur and Reindeer
Nickname Herschel
School feesR210,000 (boarding)
R110,000 (tuition)
AlumniOld Girls

The school, described as "one of the country's best-known schools for girls",[3] is one of the top performing schools in South Africa, achieving the highest academic results in the country for National Senior Certificate exams in 2019.[4] The purpose of Herschel Girls School is and always has been to provide an empowering education for girls and to be a leader in girls’ education and advocacy for women in South Africa.[5][6] Herschel Girls School is one of the most expensive schools in South Africa.[7] There are waiting lists for every grade, including pre-nursery.[8]


Herschel was established in February 1922. The property belonged to VA Schonnberg, who, when he sold the main estate in 1834 to the astronomer Sir John Herschel, retained this portion of land and named it after his illustrious neighbour. In July 1921, the estate was bought by The English Church Schools Association, with the aid of a generous loan from John William Jagger, to provide for the needs of the many girls living in the Southern Suburbs who wished to attend a private school. The first Headmistress was Miss Morley Armitage Ralph, and the school opened on Wednesday, 1 February 1922, when the first seven boarders arrived. On the following day, Thursday, the roll call was taken and the first school day began with prayers led by Archbishop Carter. There were twenty-nine girls on the roll and seven staff members. Herschel’s first head girl was Enid Harsant. The formal opening was held two weeks later, on Thursday, 16 February 1922 and we still celebrate our Founder’s Day on the Friday closest to 16 February.

The Honourable William Jagger would take delight in the proud institution that Herschel has become today. It is a school that enables its pupils to attain high academic achievement and become citizens who are able to make a difference in the society they enter. Although the school has a long tradition, it has remained innovative and relevant to changing educational needs. [9]

Notable alumnaeEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bridget McNulty (2017). "The most prestigious schools in the Southern suburbs". Neighborhood. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  2. ^ Delene Mark; Ignatius Swart; Austin Jackson. Welfare, Religion and Gender in Post-Apartheid South Africa. p. 178.
  3. ^ Joyce, Peter (1989). The South African Family Encyclopaedia. Cape Town: Struik. p. 166. ISBN 0869778870.
  4. ^ de Villers, James (7 January 2019). "These are the top 10 academic schools in South Africa right now". Business Insider South Africa. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  5. ^ "The best performing schools in every province in South Africa". BusinessTech. 9 January 2020. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  6. ^ "Herschel Girls School".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "60 of the most expensive boarding and day schools in South Africa in 2020". BusinessTech. 9 January 2020. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  8. ^ Jooste, Bronwynne (14 January 2011). "Be ready to dig deep for education at the city's best". Cape Argus. ProQuest 839934745.
  9. ^ "Herschel Girls School".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Diana Russell obituary". the Guardian. 23 August 2020.
  11. ^ "BBC Philharmonic appoints new concertmaster". 1 May 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External linksEdit