Educational Change

The High School, located just a stone’s throw from Pretoria's eastern suburbs on Rosemary Hill Farm, offers affordable, private, independent high school education in a magnificent setting. Our school is made accessible not only to learners from Pretoria’s eastern suburbs, but also from the greater Pretoria, Johannesburg and surrounding areas with our established daily school transport service and modern boarding school facilities. We are fortunate enough to have the 50-year legacy and full support of our feeder school, The Waldorf School, to piggy-back on.
Nelson Mandela famously said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

The High School takes education as its weapon of choice very, very seriously. Young people today, our future leaders, system-shapers and labour force, live in rapidly changing times. Technology has irrevocably changed the landscape of daily life, and the pace at which life and change happen.

A traditional education model does little to address this change in pace and approach, leaving school leavers ill-equipped to enter the workforce or start their tertiary education.

South Africa’s current education system and policy, though markedly better than its forbears, still has a ways to go to inspire, connect and equip teenagers to become the responsible, critical-thinking, problem-solving, empathic world citizens we expect them to be once they leave school and embark on the ‘adult-ing’ journey.

Transforming High School Education
In the South African context, parents have a whole gamut of high school options to choose from when considering their children’s education. Apart from the government curriculum (CAPS), parents may opt to enrol their children in various international schooling systems available both locally and online, albeit private and costly.

If the past two years (living with a pandemic) have taught the adults in the room anything, it is that we need to review our approach to education and schooling constantly and critically, not from an adult perspective, but from the view of a young adult developing attributes and good habits to become a contributing member of society.

Not change for change’s sake; transformation to help forge an engaged and inspired next generation.

The High School believes that transformative thinking in the following areas will be key to keeping our schooling model visionary:
Deeper learning
Change-makers have increasingly underlined the need for deeper learning. Currently international education models have endured much criticism for its superficial, glossing-over or ‘teaching to a test’ -handling of subjects. Any learning done in this manner is quickly forgotten – a fact. Whilst teachers must contend with their learners having quick access to the ubiquitous Internet and the knowledge it serves up, good teachers know and understand that there are better ways to build knowledge, and make it stick. Experiential learning, project-based learning, passion-driven learning and various other methods have the enhanced ability to not only teach the knowledge and skills learners require, but also to develop attributes most aligned and much needed for success after schooling.
Changing economy
With unemployment standing at a dismal 35,3% (Q4 2021) and youth unemployment at a staggering 65,5% (Stats SA), all stakeholder groups need to join education thought leaders and call for deeper learning that develop our school leavers into more skilled, creative and action-oriented thinkers. Economic instability and unpredictability, environmental degradation, global interdependence, income inequality and rising automation are just some of the undeniable challenges widely recognised today – a reality any fresh-faced matriculant can expect when entering the workforce.
Technology is fast transforming our access to instruction and information – we need to turn this necessary ‘evil’ from foe to friend. With Internet-enabled devices, learners have access to knowledge previously only acquired from teachers and textbooks, immediate and at any time. Teaching methods need to leverage technology and incorporate it (in a non-invasive manner) in our classrooms to enhance the learning experience.
Declining wellness

We must be compelled to address the declining wellness, mentally and physically, of our teenagers. We are at a critical point in time and should not ignore the numbers:

  • Globally, one in seven 10-19-year-olds experiences a mental disorder, accounting for 13% of the global burden of disease in this age group.
  • Depression, anxiety and behavioural disorders are amongst the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents.
  • Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death amongst 15–19-year-olds.
  • The consequences of failing to address adolescent mental health conditions extend to adulthood, impairing both physical and mental health and limiting opportunities to lead fulfilling lives as adults.

A balanced curriculum, keeping learners engaged, inspired, their interests piqued, and being actively busy with social (volunteering) programmes in their immediate communities will develop empathic thinking and teach giving without the expectation of return – acts of selfless service, with the added advantage of feeling better about oneself. Having access to mental health professionals and therapeutic intervention, when necessary, should be a right and not a privilege.

The High School has at its core, a vision of creating an innovative and inspiring space for a new education model: 

  • A high school where learners can explore, grow, become independent and come into themselves in a safe space, supported, encouraged and fostered by their mentors (teachers).
  • A high school where teachers can be trusted to hold the learners in their care at the centre of all they do; where lessons are presented with inspiration, innovation and creative thinking to deepen the learning experience.
  • A high school where the parent-teacher-learner-bonds are fostered to create a deeper sense of community and connectedness – strong foundations for the healthy development of teenagers.

When The High School officially welcomes its first learners at the start of 2023, it will be with the open-ended promise of a carte blanche: free to build and manifest, from the ground up, the unique vision we hold. Starting a school from the ground up may seem daunting to some, but complements our ideas and inspires us to create, mould and build it into the dynamic, fluid education model of ingenuity and inspired innovation we hold. 

Starting up and starting out may present challenges to some, but to us it presents the promise of many opportunities.

The High School will always hold true to its initial vision: to provide the best high school education for young people to enter adulthood with verve, inspiration, aspiration, independence and self-awareness to be fully contributing members of society.

We are collectively responsible and accountable for raising healthy, balanced, well-rounded children to become healthy, balanced and well-rounded adults, raising healthy, balanced, well-rounded children, and so on.

Want to learn more, or meet with us?


Our Story

How exhilarating to write the opening chapter of a story!

Most stories start off with ‘long, long ago in a distant land…’. Ours, not constrained by history nor deep-seated ideology, is a written account of events as they unfold, every beautiful detail.

The High School at Rosemary Hill can mould and weave its own storyline, crafting rich content, colourful and lively characters and strong, inspired endings that will leave readers craving for sequel upon sequel. A literary version of our story starts like this:
“Chapter 1.
The wind whistles a welcome melody through a row of casuarina trees, swaying lazily on the open landscape sho’t left of Pretoria’s eastern suburbs. A busload of teenagers, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, arrives at Rosemary Hill Farm, ready for their school day at The High School. A school day like no other preceding this day because the teachers keep the lessons fresh and inspired and the learning lively – the only constant they can safely predict.”
The prologue to The High School’s narrative is the 50-year proud educational heritage and experience of our feeder school, The Waldorf School. The principles and progressive ideals of The Waldorf School have invariably prompted parents to express the need for a high school to have their children continue their schooling based on these principles. This level of involvement and investment is instrumental: the equilateral triangle, parent-learner-teacher, is interconnected with each role carrying the same weight as the other. Parents, in their role as bridge between home and school, foster the support of the learners as a community – it takes a village to raise a child to become a whole adult.

The ideal came to realisation when serious conversations and workshops started in 2021. We will continue to leverage off our partnership with The Waldorf School and optimise synergies and shared resources as we grow The High School into an independent entity over the next few years. Starting with adding grade 10 in 2023, grade 11 in 2024 and grade 12 in 2025, we hope to bridge the gap between Matric and our learners’ entering the adult world as free-thinking, fully contributing, inspired, innovative and empathic members of society.

Following the IEB curriculum, it affords our teaching staff the prospect of independence, initiative and autonomy in the classroom in their teaching of a curriculum they are able to effectively and dynamically utilise to deepen learners’ learning experience.

Ideally positioned on Rosemary Hill Farm, just east of Pretoria, our school is close to the busy economic hubs of Johannesburg and Pretoria and its front-seat access to a myriad of opportunities, whilst simultaneously offering learners a calm countryside setting where they can experience a stress-free learning environment, close to nature.

Our wish is to involve the pioneer group of learners in the conceptualisation, planning and actual building of their new campus. Not only will the building methods and materials be sustainable, but our aim is to be 80 to 90% off-grid and completely carbon neutral. This project will be the blueprint with the objective of giving the learners consistent real-world exposure to a plethora of opportunities in various fields, broadening their horizons and aiding them to achieve success in whichever path each individual may be inspired to pursue as their ultimate career choice.
The High School’s primary objective is to provide an inclusive, welcoming environment where young people are guided, with empathy, toward a future where their adaptability and resilience will stand them in good stead as the ever-increasing career paths, mostly yet to be discovered, await them. Exposure to situations where we can hone skills such as innovation, conflict resolution, collaboration, entrepreneurship, communication, self-awareness and resilience will be crucial for our learners’ tool kits as they embark on their exciting future paths.

We are confident that our new school is well positioned to provide a unique opportunity for a select group of young people to embrace. We have no doubt that the calibre of graduates that exit from this place will write the chapters of their own stories and leave an indelible mark wherever they may find themselves in future.

This is just the introduction. The rest of the story, as yet unwritten, is begging to be penned.

Dreams & Commitments

The High School creates a space for teenagers to dream-design, explore pathways and follow their own star.

  • Innovation, creativity and critical thinking is encouraged.
  • Learning happens in a dynamic environment.
  • Equal thought and attention is given to learners’ mind-body development and increasing awareness.

The High School commits to

  • creatively inspire and encourage critical thinking.
  • actively seek dynamic learning opportunities and environments.
  • foster and mentor our learners’ increasing awareness and mind-body development.

The High School at Rosemary Hill will graduate innovative, mindful, and successful citizens willing to take ownership of their choices and actions to make a positive contribution to their community and the world at large.

We design dreams by
  • providing challenges and exposure to business, civic and social responsibilities, many imaginative and creative tasks and unique opportunities for personal growth in our pursuit of academic excellence.
  • providing opportunities for learners to develop knowledge and skills in academic, sporting, cultural and citizenship fields.
  • sustaining a positive culture built on strong school leadership, core values, respectful relationships, and successful partnerships with a culture that supports innovation, enthusiasm, and commitment.
  • establishing ourselves as an outstanding school that provides quality high school education in a safe environment with meaningful accountability practices and excellent teaching. 
  • endeavouring to make every learner a successful learner. We strive to ensure all learners leave The High School well-prepared for their future. Our aim is for every learner to be equipped to prosper and be happy and secure in themselves, capable of contributing to their community and broader society.
  • instilling a high level of confidence in our school. We want parents to trust us with the education of their children, be known for our culturally responsive teaching and ensuring a first-class education for their children.

Do our dreams and commitments resonate with your view on high school education? The High School is an independent private boarding school offering the IEB-curriculum for grades 8-10 (grade 12 by 2025).


Our People


Grace Rakgoale

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Thea Voges

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Jeff Mahlangu

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