Paul Roos Gymnasium

Paul Roos Gymnasium is a public, dual medium (Afrikaans & English) high school for boys in the town of Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa, and opened on the 1st of March 1866 as Stellenbosch Gymnasium. It is the 12th oldest school in the country.[1]

Paul Roos Gymnasium
311 Suidwal Rd, Krigeville

Coordinates33°56′31″S 18°51′41″E / 33.9419°S 18.8614°E / -33.9419; 18.8614Coordinates: 33°56′31″S 18°51′41″E / 33.9419°S 18.8614°E / -33.9419; 18.8614
School typeAll-boys public school
MottoSemper Splendidior
(Always Brighter / Always More Splendid)
Religious affiliation(s)Christianity
Established8 January 1866; 156 years ago (1866-01-08)
Sister school
School districtDistrict 9
RectorMr André van Staden
Staff120 full-time
Age14 to 18
Number of students1,300 boys
Schedule07:40 - 14:20
CampusUrban Campus
  • Braid
  • Hofmeyr
  • Murray
  • Neethling
Colour(s)  Blue
Fight songOld Boys of Paul Roos
NicknameThe Roos, The Maroon Machine, PRG.
AccreditationWestern Cape Education Department
PublicationThe Semper

In 1910, the school was renamed Stellenbosch Boys' High School and old boy Paul Roos became the sixth rector of the school where he served for thirty years. In 1946 the school moved to the new buildings in Krigeville and was renamed Paul Roos Gymnasium after Paul Roos, old boy and captain of the first Springbok team, was himself a teacher at the school, and was the school's rector from 1910 to 1940, after which the school was renamed in his honour.

A notable characteristic of the school is its gees (Afrikaans for spirit) and their famous fight song "Old boys of Paul Roos" which is the melody of Flower of Scotland in remembrance of the first three Scottish rectors, which they sing with their old boys.[citation needed]

Paul Roos Gymnasium has produced more Springbok rugby players than any other school (54). It is also the school with the most players in the 2019 Rugby World Cup including five Springboks namely Schalk Brits, Willie le Roux, Steven Kitshoff, Herschel Jantjies, Damian Willemse and Braam Steyn who played for Italy.[citation needed]

Associations and facilitiesEdit

Though Paul Roos Gymnasium is a school for boys from grade 8 to 12, the curriculum includes some subjects presented in conjunction with the two sister schools, Hoër Meisieskool Bloemhof and Rhenish. The school is dual medium;[2] Afrikaans- and English-speaking pupils study under one roof, but classes are largely separated according to mother tongue. The school shares sport and internet facilities with Stellenbosch University.

School facilities include a library and computer labs.

Sports facilities include hockey fields, the Markötter rugby fields, a swimming pool, an Olympic Waterpolo Aquatic Centre, tennis courts, and a gymnasium.

The main residential facilities are the two school hostels (dormitories) called Prima and Prima Nova. They accommodate 245 boarders, mainly from South Africa and Namibia.

Notable attainmentsEdit

Paul Roos was classified as a 'prestige' school, being among the best-performing schools.[3] In 2018 the University of Stellenbosch, which evolved out of this school, celebrated its centenary. In the first 100 years of its existence, 26 old boys received honorary doctorates from this university more than any other school in the country. Also, since the inception of the Chancellor's Medal in 1961, thirteen old boys were awarded this medal for the best final year student by Stellenbosch University.

Notable alumniEdit




  • Anton van Niekerk, professor of Philosophy
  • Wim de Villiers, former head of gastroenterology at Kentucky University and current Rector of Stellenbosch University.



  • Egmont Sippel, South African journalist


  • T.O. Honiball artist and cartoonist
  • Portchie, well-known South African artist and owner of the Red Teapot Gallery.


  • Arnold van Wyk, composer, musicologist
  • Heinz Winckler, the winner of South Africa's first Idols competition and popular musician (latterly mainly gospel)
  • Koos Kombuis, South African short-story writer, poet, novelist and cult musician



International sports starsEdit




American FootballEdit

Road CyclingEdit

  • Stefan de Bod, professional cyclist for Astana-Premier Tech.
  • Willie Engelbrecht, professional cyclist


  • Kerwin Noemdo, South African Paralympian and F46 Shot Put African recordholder.
  • Christian Sadie, South African Paralympian swimmer.

Rhodes ScholarshipEdit

The Rhodes Scholarship was instituted in 1903, and Paul Roos is one of four schools in South Africa entitled to award a Rhodes Scholarship annually to an ex-pupil to study at the University of Oxford.[5]


  1. ^ "This list with 200 of South Africa's oldest schools may surprise you". Parent. 9 April 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  2. ^ Malherbe, Ernst Gideon (1946). The bilingual school: A Study of Bilingualism in South Africa. London: Longmans. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-405-11086-3.
  3. ^ Marking Matric: Colloquium Proceedings, Vijay Reddy, 2006. HSRC Press. ISBN 0-7969-2116-4
  4. ^ van Onselen, Charles (2003). "The Modernization of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek: F. E. T. Krause, J. C. Smuts, and the Struggle for the Johannesburg Public Prosecutor's Office, 1898-1899". Law and History Review. American Society for Legal History. 21 (3): 483–525. doi:10.2307/3595118. JSTOR 3595118.
  5. ^ Rhodes, Cecil John. "Will and Condicils of the Rt Hon. Cecil John Rhodes" (PDF). Rhodes Trust, University Press Oxford. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2009.

External linksEdit