Kearsney College

Kearsney College is a private boarding, English medium high school for boys in Botha's Hill, a small town between the provincial capital of Pietermaritzburg and Durban, in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa.

Kearsney College
Kearsney College logo.jpg
Kearsney College school crest
TypeAll-boys private school
MottoCarpe Diem
(Seize the Day)
Religious affiliation(s)Methodist Church
Established1921; 101 years ago (1921)
FounderSir Liege Hulett
School number+27 (031) 765 9600
HeadmasterE.D. van den Aardweg
Exam boardIEB
Grades8–12 (Forms 2-6)
Age13 to 18
Number of students650 boys
Schedule07:30 - 14:00
CampusSuburban Campus
HousesJunior Boarding houses :
Senior Boarding houses:
Colour(s)  Blue
School feesR 259 000 p.a. (boarding) 2019
R 178 640 p.a. (tuition) 2019
Feeder schools
World Choir GamesWorld Champions for Folklore (2012)


Kearsney College was founded by Sir Liege Hulett in 1921. Hulett founded what would become Tongaat Hulett Sugar. Sir Liege Hulett cherished the idea of establishing a boys' school for Methodist ministers and their sons and those of the families of the free churches. Kearsney took its name from Kearsney, Kent where Sir Liege Hulett had moved to where his father established St Martin's Academy.[1]

He considered Kearsney House, the house he originally built for his family to be ideally suited for this purpose. On 29 November 1920, a contract was signed with the Wesleyan Church for the use of Kearsney House as a school. This was the birth of Kearsney College and remains a living memorial to Sir Liege. The school opened with 11 boys. Kearsney College remained at the Kearsney Estate until June 1939 when it moved to its present site at Botha's Hill between Pietermaritzburg and Durban. The decision to move the school was based on the reluctance of parents to send their sons to a school on the north coast that suffered many cases of malaria in the 1930s, although none were reported at Kearsney.[2] On hearing of this, Clement Stott of Botha’s Hill donated 25 acres (10 ha) of land. At the same time, J.J. Crookes offered to build a boarding house. The move was completed a month before the beginning of World War II. The new Kearsney College opened with 196 boys.

Kearsney's badge was designed by the then-headmaster, R.H. Matterson, and the chaplain, the Rev. W.H. Irving, in about 1923.[citation needed][3] The greyhound is taken from the arms of the founder, Sir James Liege Hulett[3] The scallop shells and the dividing chevron are from the arms of the founder of Methodism, John Wesley.[citation needed] The pheon, or arrowhead, is taken from the badge of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, where Matterson studied.[3] The motto Carpe Diem, traditionally at Kearsney translated "Seize the Day," comes from the Roman poet Horace.[4]


  • D. Pyne Mercier (1921–1922)
  • R.H. Matterson (1923–1946)
  • S.G. Osler (1947–1964)
  • J.H. Hopkins (1965–1974)
  • E.W. Silcock (1975–1990)
  • O.J. Roberts (1991–2000)
  • E.D. van den Aardweg (2001 - present)

Boarding HousesEdit

There are five boarding establishments - four senior houses and one junior house. They are Finningley (blue), Gillingham (red), Pembroke (green), Sheffield (yellow) and Haley (house for student's first year of boarding). Finningley is named after the town of Finningley in South Yorkshire, England. Gillingham is named after Gillingham, Kent, England Where Sir Liege Hulett lived as a young man[1] Pembroke is named after the town of Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales. Sheffield is named after Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England where Sir Liege Hulett moved to following his time in Gillingham.


The School offers the following subject choices for Grades 10,11,12 : English; Afrikaans or isiZulu; Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy; Life Orientation; Accounting, Business Studies, Dramatic Art; Engineering Graphics and Design; Geography; History; Information Technology; Life Sciences (Biology); Music; Science; Mandarin and Visual Arts.[5]

In 2020, Kearsney had a 100% pass rate and a 100% Bachelor Degree pass rate.[6][7]

Clubs and Cultural ActivitiesEdit

Clubs offered range from academic extension (12 Club; History Club) to personal enrichment (SCA; Dale Carnegie Course; Chess) to creative (Photographic Club; Video Editing Club; Enviro Club) to the physical (Surfing; Survival Club; Mountain Bike Club) and to the just plain fun (Board Games Club). Finally, boys are coached in the skills of public speaking through their membership of the Speakers’ Circle and Inner Circle Speakers’ Club.[8]


Sports facilities include several rugby fields, several cricket ovals, an artificial turf for field hockey and two swimming pools. Included is the SportZone, an indoor training facility that holds several cricket nets, two indoor and two outdoor basketball courts, and a gymnasium.[9]

Sports on offer at the College include:

Kearsney has been the host of the Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival since 2008. This school's rugby tournament regularly attracts top South African schools teams.[10] Previous festival players that have achieved higher honours include : Handré Pollard, Warrick Gelant, Jan Serfontein, RG Snyman, Dan du Preez, Jean-Luc du Preez, JJ van der Mescht, [James Hall][11]

Exchange ProgrammeEdit

Kearsney has an international exchange programme with several schools. Schools that Kearsney pupils spend time at include: Catholic University School in Dublin, Ireland, Mount St Mary’s College, Derbyshire, England, Rossall School in Rossall and Canberra Grammar School in Red Hill, Australia.

Notable alumniEdit









  • Jonathan Lowe 1968 - South African Hockey[23]
  • Paul Logan 1985 - South African Hockey[23]
  • Greg Pilling 1992 - South African Hockey[23]
  • Justin King 1995 - South African Hockey[23]
  • Greg Last 2013 - South African Hockey[23]
  • Wayne Madsen 2004 - South African Hockey[23]
  • Lloyd Madsen 2007 - South African Hockey[23]
  • Nqobile Ntuli 2017 - South African Hockey[23]
  • Siphesihle 'Sihle' Ntuli, South Africa 2020 Summer Olympics he assistant coached the South Africa men's national field hockey team and coach South Africa men Junior World Cup[24]




  1. ^ a b "Sir James Liege Hulett comes to Natal". Kearsney College. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  2. ^ "A Brief History Lesson - Kearsney Manor". Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Kearsney College Crest". Kearsney College. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  4. ^ Odes 1, xi, 8
  5. ^ "Academics". Kearsney College. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  6. ^ "IEB matric results: Kearsney College". Highway Mail. 7 January 2020.
  7. ^ "Outstanding IEB NSC results for the Class of 2019". Kearsney College. 7 January 2020. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Clubs and Cultural Activities". Kearsney College. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Sporting Environment". Kearsney College. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  10. ^ "Standard Bank Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival". Kearsney College. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  11. ^ "EPCR Challenge Cup's South African stars: Stade Français Paris". 6 September 2022.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Notable Alumni". Kearsney College. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  13. ^ "Nicholas Sloane". Kearsney College. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  14. ^ "Henry John Markram". Kearsney College. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  15. ^ a b "Kersney Old Boys Leave their mark on World Stage". Natal Mercury. 20 September 2012.
  16. ^ "World's First Use of Thulium Laser-Assisted Fetal Cardiac Surgery". Kearsney College Foundation. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  17. ^ MacLeod, Donald (15 June 2001). "Queen's birthday honours for academics". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  18. ^ "Dire Straits call up local muso Terence Reis". News24. 9 April 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  19. ^ Scurlock, Jonathan (3 September 1999). "David Hall". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  20. ^ "AmaMPONDO - Xhosa Culture". Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  21. ^ "'It was incredible': Hampshire quick's 17-wicket haul best since 1956". The Sydney Morning Herald. 18 September 2019. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  22. ^ "ESPN cricket profile".
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h "Story of Kearsney Hockey". Kearsney College. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  24. ^ "Kearsney hockey coach to coach SA U16 – Kearsney College". Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  25. ^ "Durban's 'John' to back up Italians". Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  26. ^ a b "Story of Kearsney Rugby". Kearsney College. Retrieved 15 September 2019.

External linksEdit

Official website

Coordinates: 29°45′56″S 30°44′52″E / 29.765548°S 30.747810°E / -29.765548; 30.747810