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St Stithians College is a private Methodist Parochial school situated on the border of Randburg and Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa. It follows a co-ordinate educational model within a village of schools consisting of boys' and girls' colleges, boys' and girls' preparatory schools, and a junior preparatory. It is built on a 100 hectare estate, one of the largest school campuses in the country.

St Stithians College
St Stithian's badge
St Stithians College is located in South Africa
St Stithians College
St Stithians College
Coordinates26°04′58″S 28°01′05″E / 26.08278°S 28.01806°E / -26.08278; 28.01806
TypePrivate & Boarding
MottoOne and All
Religious affiliation(s)Methodist Church
RectorDr Tim Nuttall
Exam boardIEB
GradesJunior Prep: R-2, Boys' Prep: 3-7, Girls' Prep: 3-7, Boys' College: 8-12, Girls' College: 8-12
Number of students742 boys, 530 girls
School color(s)Navy, Grey, Red
RivalSt John's College, Johannesburg
TuitionZAR 140.550,00
AffiliationsRound Square, G20 Schools, ISASA
Former pupilsOld Stithians

As a Methodist school, it has ties to Kearsney College, Epworth High School, Penryn College and Kingswood College.

The school is also a member of Round Square, an association of global independent schools known for their academics, culture, selectivity and innovation. The Boys' and the Girls' Colleges are members of the Round Square Conference of Schools.

St Stithians College was listed as the top performing independent school in South Africa in 2017 by Business Tech.

St Stithians College is also the host of the annual Saints Sports Festival which is the largest and longest continuous school sports festival in the world. The 2017 edition witnessed over 1400 participants in 8 fields of sport, 200 fixtures and over 50000 spectators.


The Boys' CollegeEdit

The idea of setting up a Methodist school in Johannesburg came to Gilbert Tucker, who wanted to base it on the pattern of his old school, Kingswood College in Grahamstown. The Methodist accountant did not have the money so he turned to people who would be interested in financing it.

He met two Cornishmen, both born in 1859, Albert Collins and William Mountstephens, who were Methodists and promising new businessmen who had started to make a name for themselves in their new country.

Collins, who never married, died first and this led to the creation of the Trust for building the Methodist school Tucker had dreamt of. The Trust was formally opened in April 1941 and, at Mountstephens' suggestion, was named after Collins' birthplace, Stithians, a village in Cornwall.

These trustees were D.F. Corlett, C.H. Leake, J.B. Webb and G.K. Tucker.

The Trust was able to purchase a piece of land, which was part of the farm Driefontein (one of the "fonteins" can be found on the grounds) for an amount of £8713 in 1943 but nothing further was achieved until after the War. At first it was thought that building costs might drop and so the trustees waited until it became obvious that prices would not drop and so the decision to build was made in 1951.

Mountstephens lived to see the land purchased, but not the school built; his widow on the other hand, was to take an active interest in the school until her death. The school was to have been a secondary school only and at first, the debate on co-education was open. Circumstances were to make decisions for the Trustees: the area was new and remote; its people wanted a boys' school and a preparatory school as well as a secondary school.

The first classes began on 28 January 1953, with Grades 1 and 2, and 8 and 9. On 3 February 1953 there was a formal opening ceremony. W.G.A. (Wally) Mears, formerly of Rondebosch Boys High School, was the first headmaster, and taught English, Latin, History and Geography to the high school classes, with Mr E.M. Harris teaching Maths, Science and Scripture, and Mr Minnaar teaching Afrikaans. In the second year (1954) classes in the school ran from Grade 1 to Grade 10, and in 1956 the first group wrote the matriculation examination. As the school grew, Wally Mears, the headmaster, did less teaching, and became more an administrator. The school's hall is named for him.

The Girls CollegeEdit

St Stithians Girls College was opened in 1995 to form the coordinate module with the Boys College. The founding headmistress was Mrs Anne Van Zyl. The initial opening classes were grade 0 - 3 which was to expand rapidly to include all the grades up to and including grade 11 with the first grade 12 class being inducted in 1997. The Girls College was originally named the St Stithians Girls Collegiate, which would subsequently be changed when expanded. During 1994 the first classes would be held on the boys 'side of the rugby field' using already available infrastructure. As a part of the co-ordination module girls and boys school often have mixed classes in Drama, English, isiZulu, Afrikaans, Art and Computer Science. In 1996 the Collegiate would move across the field to newly developed complete school. The College facilities was further developed to include a large library, several computer rooms, a 'tuck shop' and gymnasium as well as a lecture theatre - used for assemblies and individual class plays. The first Matriculents of the college would sit their exams 1997.

In 1999 the founding houses of the Girls College were chosen. They were all named after towns within Cornwall, linking the College to its fore bearers. The girls were then to pick a name out of a hat to randomly divide the grades into the four houses. The names of the houses are Cambourne, Kenwyn, Stratton and Trewen respectively. These individual houses compete in various cultural and sporting house competitions as well as part take in different philanthropic endeavours. The uniform has changed over the years, with initially the girls wearing white floral dresses - which the girls prep still use as a summer uniform - to a Blue and red checked skirt and white blouse. The first top was a white golf shirt but this was changed to a white blouse in 2008.

The BadgeEdit

The Badge is based on the coat of arms of the Duke of Cornwall, which is a Crusader shield on which are displayed 15 golden Bezants in the shape of a triangle with the motto 'One and All'. The story of the 15 bezants occurs during the Crusades when the Duke of Cornwall was captured by the Saracens. A ransom of 15 bezants was set up. All the people of Cornwall contributed to raise the money for the ransom. It was paid and the Duke was set free. The inhabitants had all helped together One and All to raise the money – hence the motto.

The founders decided that the shield would have to be modified to suit the school, as a new badge. It was then decided that it should have a dark blue border along the outside edge of the shield with 15 gold bezants arranged equally along either side on the blue border. On the inside would be a silver shield on which the red cross stands out boldly to signify the Christian foundation of the College.

House systemEdit

St Stithians College has a house system. Each house competes against each other in Interhouse events to win the Harris Cup (Boys' College) at the end of the year. St Stithian's Boys' College has 10 houses, St Stithians Girls' College has 4.

Boys' Houses

  • Collins (Navy Blue) Boarding House
  • Henning (Maroon)
  • Krige (Purple)
  • Mears (Green)
  • Mountstephens (Red) Boarding House
  • Penryn (White)
  • Pitts (Grey)
  • Tucker (Yellow)
  • Webb (Light Blue)
  • Wesley (Orange)

Girls' Houses

  • Cambourne (Yellow)
  • Kenwyn (Green)
  • Stratton (Red)
  • Trewen (Blue)


The colleges write the Independent Examinations Board exams.

IEB Results 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008[1] 2009[1] 2010[1] 2011[1] 2012[1] 2013[1]
Number of candidates 200 239 217 240 232 236 229 239 242 251
Number of failures 10 12 5 7 0 0 16
University endorsement (%) 98 96 97 97 94 95 90
A aggregates (%) 50 33 32 26
A-B-C aggregates (%) 87
Subject distinctions 239 251 306 352 323 366 321 348 312 328 393 385 511 394
Subject Distinctions (%) 18.5 18.7 22.5 21.1 25.3 19.1
Number in top 50 7 2 7 3 1 5
Bachelor's degree 209 216 205 217 232 245
Bachelor's degree (%) 90.1 91.5 89.5 90.8 95.9 97.6
Diploma, Higher Certificate 22 20 24 21 9 6
Diploma, Higher Certificate (%) 9.5 8.5 10.5 8.8 3.7 2.4
Did Not Qualify 1 0 0 1 1 0
Did Not Qualify (%) 0.4 0.0 0.0 0.4 0.4 0.0
Total All Levels 1687 1753 1747 1822 2017 2068

Notable alumniEdit



Arts and cultureEdit

See alsoEdit


Further readingEdit

  • Mears, W. G. A., comp. (1972) The Early History of St Stithians College. Randburg: Council of St Stithians College

External linksEdit