As a Christian School, Woodridge adopts a holistic approach to education and aims to develop the body, mind and spirit to enable each pupil to reach his or her potential.
To achieve this, Woodridge offers and challenges pupils to experience the broadest possible range of academic, cultural, spiritual, social, outdoor and sporting interactions by exploiting the following attributes:
- Individual attention
- A healthy, natural interaction with the environment
- Nurturing of leadership and self-discipline
- Encouraging free thinking and independent individuals
- Service to the community
Basic Rights of the ‘Family’:
- Pupils have the right to learn
- Staff have the right to teach
- Parents have the right to service
In order to uphold these rights, the following moral values are encouraged:
- Mutual respect and dignity
- Integrity and honesty
- Empathy and interaction
- Tenacity and teamwork
- Appreciation and care for the environment
In 1996, the executive function of the Trust was vested in the hands of the Executive Committee of Trustees to be more inclusive and more effective. The full Trust meets once per annum, while the Executive Committee of Trustees meet at least quarterly.
The Executive Committee of Trustees for 2019 is as follows:
- Mr A Puggia – Chairman (Ex Parent and Old Boy)
- Mr P Lynch – Vice Chairman (Current parent and Old Boy)
- Mr W Moss – Trustee (Current Parent)
- Mrs K Turro – Trustee (Current Parent)
- Mr G Yerolemou – Trustee (Current Parent)
- Mr D Nezar – Trustee (Old Boy)
- Mr D Bradley – Ex Officio (Headmaster, College)
- Mr T von Berg – Ex Officio (Headmaster, Prep)
- Mr N Kilfoil – Ex Officio (Interim Business Manager)
- Mr G Puttergill – Ex Officio (Current Parent, OWA Representative)
Account name: Woodridge Trust
Bank: Standard Bank
Account number: 080372120
Type of account: Business Current Account
Branch: Port Elizabeth
Branch code: 050017
Women of Woodridge
The Women of Woodridge, previously also known as Moms on the Move (MOM) came about in the early years of Woodridge, when local mothers stepped forward and took boarders home over weekends. Over the years, the focus of the initiative has shifted towards providing support during sports festivals, and other functions at the school, as well as running the Preparatory School tuckshop, where most of the committee’s funding is generated. It is also no longer just the mothers who are involved, as dads are now often seen also lending a helping hand when necessary.
From time to time, the WOW committee facilitates social gatherings amongst parents, with a guest speaker invited to address the audience. These sessions are beneficial to parents as it covers topics of interest, such as anxiety in children, ADHD and other learning barriers often encountered in a school environment.
The majority of funds raised by the committee are utilized to fund out-of-budget projects or improvements in the classrooms, to the benefit of both teachers and pupils. The committee is always on the lookout for new members to join in and offer their support. To find out more about how to get involved, please contact Preparatory School Secretary, Lizaan Stamos on [email protected] / 041 492 0006.
Day Scholar Buses
Daily Buses are provided to transport day-pupils to and from Woodridge. These pupils are collected and dropped off again in areas where they are seen by the general public and it is therefore important that they present a good image for the School. To check the various times for each venue, please take a look at the booking form below.
At Woodridge, we value an open and cooperative relationship between parents and staff. It is therefore important to ensure that the school has your correct contact details. All communication and calendar dates regarding sporting fixtures and school activities will be placed on the School Communicator. Follow the steps below to install the D6 School Communicator:
- Go to www.school-communicator.com/download.php
- From the DOWNLOADS page you can install it on both your mobile phone and computer – to install on your phone, select either App store, Google Play or Mobi Site and proceed with installation from those sites – for desktop installation, select South Africa from the dropdown list and type Woodridge when prompted to enter the school. Select MAC or WINDOWS to proceed with the installation.
My School Card
MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet is one of South Africa’s biggest fundraising programmes and raises over R5 million every month for schools, charities and animal welfare organisation. The program allows you to make a difference, just by shopping. Every time you use your card at any of their partner stores, a percentage of your purchase value will be given back, on your behalf, to the school or charity you choose, at absolutely no cost to you! The card is absolutely free, so get it today!
As a cardholder, you can select up to 3 schools or charities to support. With over 1500 partner stores to swipe at, it is really easy to raise funds for Woodridge and get instant discounts.
If you are already a cardholder, please ensure that your status is active and that Woodridge College & Preparatory School has been selected as one of your 3 beneficiaries.
In return, the school will endeavour to inform cardholders about projects completed with the use of My School funding. Keep an eye out for these updates via social media, school newsletters and the annual magazine.
Apply for your card online at www.myschool.co.za/supporter/apply, call 0860 100 445 or download the free MYSCHOOL app from App Store or Google Playstore. Alternatively, get your card at the Woodridge School Shop.
National partner stores include Woolworths, WoksheetCloud, Flight Centre, Loot.co.za, Engen, Bidvest Waltons & Quick Shop.
Port Elizabeth based partner stores include Ultimate Stylists, Supa Quick, Brian Bands Sports, Wimpy, Havilah, Jack’s Paint & Hardware, Webster, Torga Optical & The Pro Shop.
Now all you do have do is Shop & Swipe
Business Manager (Interim)
Bursar, Head of Founders Residence
Debtors Administrator (Accounts)
PA to College Headmaster
PA to Prep Headmaster, Prep Admissions
Preparatory School Secretary
Heather von Berg
PA to College Deputy Headmaster
College Receptionist, College Admissions, Day Buses
Head of Carter Residence
Rynhardt van der Poll
Anthony De Villiers
Director of Marketing
Marketing & Communications
Assistant to Estate Manager
School Shop Manageress
School Shop Assistant
School Shop Assisant
Prep & College Librarian, Head of ECO Committee
Functions, Catering Manageress
Senior Catering Manageress
Equestrian Centre Manager & Instructor
School History: a Legacy
In 1862 the Divisional Council of Uitenhage granted a license to operate the Cadle Hotel to Henry William Carpenter Cadle. Although it is not clear exactly when it was built, it became a popular nineteenth century coaching inn, especially amongst newlyweds as a honeymoon destination, sometimes affectionately referred to as ‘Cuddles’.
In 1916, Cadles ceased to be a hotel and 8 years later, in 1924, it was purchased by Dr George Porter Mathew as a weekend retreat for his family. Daughter of Dr George Porter Mathew, Mervynne Mathew, married Leslie Carter in 1930. He attended St Andrews College and studied at Rhodes towards a BSc degree. Leslie also taught at Michaelhouse, before joining some distant cousins, the Ruddles, who were starting up a Prep School in Pretoria, called Waterkloof House Preparatory School. Leslie and Mervynne spent several happy years there but always wanted to return to the Eastern Cape and particularly to Cadles. Upon Dr Mathew’s retirement it took a great deal of persuasion by his daughter and son-in law to convince the good doctor that starting a school in the years of the Great Depression was viable. He eventually allowed them to use the buildings of the old hotel to establish the school. He and his wife, Mabel, lived in a cottage on the school grounds. He loved woodwork, and busied himself building desks and other furniture.
Once the decision had been made to start the school, there was much discussion around the name until they eventually settled on calling it Woodridge, which so ideally suits the surrounds of the school. The Christmas holidays of 1935 saw a hive of activity at Cadles with friends and relatives being roped in to help set up the school in time for the opening.
In January 1936, Woodridge Preparatory School opened its doors for the first time in what used to be the Cadles Hotel. With no financial backing, it was an act of faith by the founders, Leslie and Mervynne Carter, who enrolled only two boys and a girl on the first day.
Prior to the first day, only one boy, Derek Pike, the son of a neighbour had already enrolled. Undaunted, the Carters toured the area to inform the locals of the start of the new school. With the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, progress in terms of admissions was severely curtailed by both building and petrol restrictions. It was only after the war that the numbers climbed to the planned maximum of eighty pupils.
On the 2nd of December 1957, Leslie Carter handed over the ownership of the school to the Woodridge Trust in the hope that what he had started, would be perpetuated.
In 1965 it became obvious that there was a need to develop a senior school as some of the parents were having difficulty in placing their sons in private schools after they had completed their Preparatory education. By the end of that year, a decision was taken to found Woodridge College and to develop the School along the lines of the ideals so successfully applied at Gordonstoun in Scotland. One of the prime movers behind this decision was the then Chairman of the Trust, Mr Leo Kohler, who occupied this position until he retired in 1986.
In 1966, the first four standard 7 pupils were accepted for Woodridge College, while ten standard 6 boys at the Preparatory School were regarded as part of the new school. At the end of that year, Mr Leslie Carter, who had been suffering from ill health, retired and the Trust appointed Mr Keith Starck to take over the running of the College, while Mr Carter’s son, Roger, was asked to oversee the Preparatory School.
In 1967 the College officially opened with twenty-seven pupils in standards six, seven and eight and eighty pupils in the Preparatory School.
In 1968, the year in which Leslie Carter died, the first permanent brick structure, named after him, was built. About 3 years later, in 1971, wooden houses were purchased from the contractors of the new Van Staden’s bridge after the structure was completed. These became, and still are, the nucleus of Kohler House, the boy’s dormitory.
By 1972 the Prep had 110 pupils, while the College had grown to 180. Initially intended to be a boys’ only school, even from its earliest days, Woodridge Preparatory was seldom without a girl or two – the official policy was that staff daughters and those of neighbours could attend the school up to standard three. With an increase in the amount of requests from parents, the first official girls were accepted in 1973 at the College. Today the girls make up nearly half the total enrolment.
Conditions in the early years of the College were rather spartan and accommodation at a premium for the staff. Water had to be pumped up to the reservoirs from the Van Stadens River and electricity was generated by two old Lister engines. The College was initially housed in prefabricated buildings but later, due to the generosity of Anglo American’s Chairman’s Fund and the Industrial Council, more permanent structures such as the Science Block (1972) and the Dining Hall and Kitchens (1974) were erected.
Apart from the initial buildings at the College, which were erected by contractors, all subsequent structures were built by the school’s own labour force at an enormous saving.
In the early 1990’s, the school introduced a ‘day scholar’ option for parents and today some 300 pupils are bussed to and from school from various pick up points within Port Elizabeth, and from Uitenhage. Jeffreys Bay, Hankey and St Francis, amongst others.
Woodridge has, as its main philosophy, the development of the whole character of the pupils. Whilst academics remain the main consideration, the site of the school lends itself to the furthering of character-building activities, not only on the sports fields, but in the wider context of Outdoor Education. This involved, amongst others, mountaineering, canoeing, sailing and surf lifesaving. Since 1974, Woodridge was the first school with its own Lifesaving Club, which patrolled the treacherous Van Stadens beach, and later looked after the Jeffreys Bay Beach. Today this club patrols the St Francis Bay beach. Another noteworthy achievement was the establishment of a Nature Reserve within the confines of the school.
In 2011, the Preparatory School celebrated 75 years, while the College celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016. Over the years, both the College and Preparatory School have shown remarkable growth, with numbers reaching just over 700 between the two schools, a far cry from that first day in 1936!
Situated on a magnificent 365-acre multi-adventure eco-estate between Port Elizabeth and Jeffreys Bay, Woodridge College & Preparatory School is one of the Eastern Cape’s leading multi-denominational, co-educational, Christian institutions, offering both day schooling and boarding. Founded in 1936, the school has a rich heritage, steeped in tradition and characterised by growth. The Preparatory School celebrated 75 years in 2011, whereas the College turned 50 years in 2016.
Over the years, both the College and Preparatory School have shown an increase in enrolments, with numbers reaching just over 700 between the two schools, from Grade 000 to Grade 12. With the aim of developing pupils holistically, in body, mind and spirit, in order to enable them to reach their full potential in life, Woodridge offers and challenges pupils to experience the broadest possible range of academic, cultural, spiritual, social, outdoor and sporting interactions. The staff complement is therefore comprised of multi-skilled individuals who are as competent in the classroom as they are on the sports field and in the outdoors.
Although Woodridge follows the same syllabus as government schools, there is independence in the examination process,
governance and finance, which sets it apart from state schools. At Woodridge, the ultimate authority is the Woodridge Trust, while operational functions of the schools are vested in the College Headmaster, Prep Headmaster and Business Manager. The headmasters of the respective schools are directly responsible to the Executive Committee of Trustees.
At Woodridge, we believe that pupils have the right to learn; staff have the right to teach, and parents have the right to service. Having rebuilt a large contingent of the campus recently, following the fire in June 2017, the facilities in the classrooms are modern, while class sizes generally do not exceed 20. With the offer of both boarding and day schooling, transport is provided via bus to and from school (subject to availability) at a number of designated points within Port Elizabeth and surrounds for staff and pupils.
If you believe that you can add value to our offering at Woodridge, we would be delighted to hear from you.
Van Staden's Pass Heights
Latitude: -33.916796 | Longitude: 25.203623