for boys and girls
Woodridge College is a private, co-educational school situated between Port Elizabeth and Jeffreys Bay along the beautiful sunshine coast on the south eastern seaboard of South Africa. Woodridge offers a rigorous academic programme with a focus on innovative learning experiences alongside an extensive sporting, cultural and outdoor education curriculum. The awe-inspiring 365 acre estate has been utilised to accommodate a myriad of sporting activities which includes hockey, rugby, cricket, water polo, swimming, netball, tennis, squash as well as running and mountain biking trails and an equestrian centre. The Woodridge Equestrian Centre is a top-class riding facility with excellent livery and arena areas. The beautiful, unique location of the school allows for a diversity of educational activities that challenge children ranging from hiking, abseiling, scuba diving, canoeing to debating, Olympiads and the ‘Knock on Wood’ Arts festival.
The College offers boarding for both boys and girls in various residences on the estate. A number of our boarders are from neighbouring African countries and overseas so termly, as well as weekly, boarding is offered. Day scholars from surrounding areas have the opportunity to make use of a daily bus service to and from the school.
Staff members guide our wilderness excursions, which include backpacking, rock climbing, paddling, cycling and exploring the unique geography, history and ecology of the gorges and mountains in this area. Students take on leadership roles as their skills advance. Relationships created during the trips are based on open communication and mutual respect, fostered within a nurturing community. These friendships are enduring, both between students and the staff.
Woodridge College is classified as an IEB school in that it offers exit examinations through the Independent Examinations Board (affiliated to ISASA). The College offers a diversity of subjects including Advanced Programme Mathematics and Advanced Programme English as well as foreign languages, drama and music. Our music department presents specialised instruction in a wide-range of instruments and we have an impressive array of ensembles available to students including the choir, a cappella, steelband, marimba, wind and rock band. The school prides itself on providing a true holistic education with so many opportunities to excel in a wide variety of disciplines. Children are at the centre of all school activities. This is evident as pupils play music for assemblies, organise an annual Earth Hour concert and initiate community service programmes where teachers offer support and guidance. Student initiatives are encouraged and supported by the Trust, management, parents and teachers.
Academic excellence is of integral importance and we strive to provide the platform for students to exit the College as resilient and adaptable individuals who will be good citizens of our wonderful country. We believe that our extensive outdoor education programme, alongside the demands on the sports field and in the classroom, provide a platform for all our students to achieve such goals. We are fortunate to have dedicated and passionate coaches on the sports field to assist our sportsmen and women to achieve their full potential. What makes our school unique is the diversity of both provincial and national sporting representatives who fly the flag for Woodridge, both locally and abroad. We encourage an active, healthy lifestyle and, as such, participation in sport is a prerequisite.
Our extensive outdoor programme is designed not only to expose our students to our unique environment but also is intended to develop:
- Service Learning and Teamwork
- Wilderness Skills and Outdoor Leadership
- Environmental Awareness and Ethics
Our Inter-house Outdoor Education day and the annual Van Stadens River Race are highlights of our calendar that, once again, add to the unique educational experience on offer.
The school also has a Surf Lifesaving Club which currently serves the community of St Francis Bay and competes at the highest level at national championships. Our Club has a longstanding reputation for voluntary service and rescues along our coastline.
A sanatorium, with qualified nursing sisters, is situated on campus to facilitate the needs of our pupils and staff.
Woodridge College is truly a unique school and so many of our past pupils acknowledge the impact that such an educational experience has had on their successful lives.
With regards to communication, 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.
Woodridge strives to provide pupils with a stimulating academic environment that enables achievement to the best of their ability. Our underlying values are discipline, accountability, commitment, honesty and mutual respect. We prioritise and protect academic time and provide regular and meaningful communication regarding the capabilities and performance of each pupil to enhance the quality of their learning.
Although our pupils are fully involved in all aspects of school life we strive to maximise the opportunities for teaching and learning. Assessment is regular and varied. Apart from weekly test lessons and two exam sessions per year, pupils write tests in class time, complete homework assignments, carry out research, complete scientific practical investigations and presentations.
Three academic reports are sent out to parents electronically every year. Every subject teacher comments on the progress of the pupil.
We write the Independent Examinations Board (“IEB”) matric examinations. We value their excellent standards and the open feedback with examiners. Although we follow a similar syllabus as the government schools there is an independence in the examining process. The results are ratified by Umalusi, the same body that ratifies the state examination results. The IEB Matric results are recognized by many universities around the world. Most of our teachers are involved in the marking process at National or Regional level.
In Grade 9, pupils have to make the difficult choice of which subjects to take in the FET phase of their schooling. Discussions with pupils, a presentation to parents and personalized feedback from an educational psychologist all play a role in guiding an informed decision.
All pupils are offered English as a Home Language. Afrikaans and Xhosa are offered as First Additional Languages while foreign pupils are offered French or German as Second Additional Languages.
For a small school, we offer a large variety of subjects for Grades 10 – 12. The subjects in the junior Grades are generally split into specific disciplines with subject specialists offering our children a real insight into the subject. Drama was introduced in 2016 to compliment the input of the Music and Visual Arts departments.
Mathematics remains an area of focus with more teaching time given to these classes and allowing pupils access to AP Maths. All subjects provide extra assistance through afternoon clinics. Subjects teachers remain available in the classrooms to assist individuals or groups of pupils gain mastery.
2018 Matric results
Woodridge is very pleased to announce a 100% pass rate for the 2018 matric examinations. Despite the upheaval of the 2017 fire and subsequent rebuild, the Matrics, together with their teachers, did us proud. The 2018 Matrics were able to write the final examinations in the beautiful, rebuilt school hall with all construction on campus completed. Of the 64 pupils, 60 (94%) who wrote the examinations achieved a Degree Pass (BD). This statistic and the results, in general, were in line with expectations and our internal examinations, and an improvement on last year’s results.
Our top performer for 2018 was Shimeon Botes. In addition to completing UNISA Grade 8 Music and Trinity ATCL examinations, which he passed with Merit, he achieved eight distinctions, with 96% for Mathematics being his stand-out achievement. Ten other pupils also achieved a Mathematics distinction, with the overall number of distinctions across all subjects totalling 94. Kate Bendeman and Julia Hayward each achieved 6 distinctions, while Jessica Cormick, Alison Soutar and Christopher Yerolemou all obtained 5 distinctions. Christopher achieved 95% for both Mathematics and Accounting.
Arts & Culture
A cultural programme has been built into the timetable. Pupils can select to participate in specialised activities or receive exposure to culturally inclined courses. A fortnightly cultural timeslot also allows for quizzes, an inter-house public speaking competition and presentations by guest speakers and visiting musicians.
An exciting new addition to our Matric subjects is IEB Drama. Drama tuition, focused on taking external Trinity Drama Examinations is also available for a group of selected students. Our Visual Arts Matric pupils annually obtain an average of between 11 and 14 A symbols for this subject in the IEB exam. Music is also an IEB Matric Subject that teaches our young musicians to perform, improvise and to compose with the help of modern music software.
Performance opportunities, individually and in groups
Woodridge offers tuition in piano, voice, recorder, flute, clarinet, saxophone, tuba, euphonium, trumpet, trombone, drum kit, guitar and violin. The College choir, close harmony vocal group, wind ensemble, and contemporary music groups have fun making music in a team. Our College Choir annually takes part in the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ concerts, conducted by the Woodridge ‘old boy’ Richard Cock, in aid of St Francis Hospice. We have launched a Steel Band Outreach Project, aimed at the musical development of neighbouring schools.
Woodridge College has a particularly strong debating team that regularly wins the Inter-Schools League. In Grade 12 pupils may also join the Toastmasters Society, where their public speaking skills are refined.
Apart from having the opportunity to join the Drama Club, pupils with a dramatic flair may perform in the annual Inter-house plays. There were recently rave reviews for our thespians who successfully put on the musical ‘District Six’ in the Savoy Theatre during the first week of August 2017.
Festivals, Competitions and Eisteddfods
2018 Was a season of musical successes and of continued growth in the number of music pupils taught at the College. Our ‘Knock on Wood’ Arts Fest (30 Jul – 3 Aug), hosted bi-annually by Woodridge, yet again offered budding musicians, artists, actors and writers a creative platform like none other to celebrate musical solos, choirs, drama, visual arts and creative writing. The 2018 Fest proved to be of special significance, as it took place against the backdrop of the brand new Woodridge campus and again boasted top notch adjudicators and entries from over 30 Eastern Cape schools. In 2018 Woodridge pupils obtained 72 gold and double gold awards across these categories.
Woodridge also boasted a record number of entries in the regional SASMT Music Competition (7-9 August) and are proud of our Steel Band and of Shimeon Botes for reaching the finals. The other pupils participating were Evan Davies, Tamica Britz, Lauren Pienaar, Gregory Battle, Jordan Gallant, Avuxeni Tyala, Rachel Botha, Michael Kelly, Arné van Hagen, Anthlahla Ebbie, Jedidiah Botes, Kim Eden, Lea Timmermans, Kate Lagan, Lois Felix and Giverny Howorth. We are incredibly proud of Tamica Britz who was selected as a finalist in the High School Section of the National Grahamstown Music Competition. She was also the youngest candidate in this category.
Additional cultural activities include:
Speech & Drama
Speech and Drama is offered as a specialised extra-mural activity in the afternoons. Drama is valuable in developing good, clear communication skills and self-confidence which are essential tools in an increasingly media driven world. The students learn to interact harmoniously with one another and work effectively as teams, promoting good social habits. These lessons allow children to express themselves creatively through movement and vocal work whilst exposing them to a broad range of literature, music, dance and art. These skills are further developed in the extra-mural programme as well as more focus on vocal production, acting, theatre, arts and story development. The self-confidence children develop through this activity is very empowering and participating in regular public performances, rewarding for student and parent alike.
Individual Instrumental Tuition
Tuition options include Piano, Voice, Flute, Violin, Saxophone, Clarinet, Guitar, Drum Kit and Recorder. Music theory is either taught by the music teacher during practical lessons or in specialised music theory classes as when pupils advance and prepare to write external UNISA examinations. Students are also encouraged to enter external examinations through Trinity Guildhall and Trinity Rockschool. An informal school evaluation assessment and report is produced at the end of the first semester and a formal examination and report is made at the end of the year.
Sport is a vital part of the curriculum at Woodridge, not only for promoting physical development and coordination, but also to build character and nurture self-confidence. While we believe that competing against other schools encourages the development of self-control, co-operation, loyalty, unselfishness, determination, commitment, leadership, teamwork and initiative, we also feel that sport should be played for the right reasons, with enjoyment being a priority.
At Woodridge it is compulsory to participate in sport. Each term, the various choices will be presented to pupils and each pupil will have to select at least one summer and one winter sport. Attendance at all practices as well as matches are compulsory and pupils are expected to be available for sporting events on weekends.
The spirit and determination shown by Woodridge sports teams have, more often than not, enabled our sides to achieve fantastic results. This is backed up by the solid reputation our teams have when attending festivals, especially the Independent Schools festival, where we have been consistently successful.
Individually a number of our pupils have excelled even further and have been selected to represent provincial sides in swimming, cricket, water polo, athletics, hockey (both boys and girls) squash and rugby.
- Amica de Jager (SA Open Water Swimming)
- Jade De Klerk (SA U19 Cricket)
- Lauren Booysen (SA U18 Ladies Cricket)
- Olu Siyo (SA U18B Ladies Cricket)
- Edith Molikoe (SA U18 Hockey & SA Womens Indoor Hockey)
- Caylin Maree, Atlegang Koka, Sidne Adams (SA U16 High Performance Hockey Squad)
- Cody Schoeman, Marc du Toit, Jordan Bendeman (SA U16 High Performance Hockey Squad)
- Kamva Dyakala (SA U17 High Performance Hockey Squad)
We are very proud of the achievements of our sportsmen and women over the years and our latest success story is Colin Ingram, South African Protea Cricketer.
Equestrian (select group)
Equestrian (select group)
Athletics (select group)
Athletics (select group)
Squash (2nd choice, select group, Gr 10 – 12))
Squash (2nd choice, select group)
Tennis (select group)
Tennis (select group)
Soccer (2nd choice, select group, Gr 10 -12)
Equestrian (select group)
Equestrian (select group)
Squash (select group)
Squash (select group)
Compulsory outdoor activities remain a unique component of the educational philosophy of the College. There are a variety of mental and physical challenges allowing our students to broaden their experience and promote resourcefulness, teamwork and leadership. Woodridge College strives to maintain and expand upon this excellent programme of outdoor education (OE) and adventure sport offered at Woodridge Preparatory School.
The aims of the Outdoor Education programme are to expose students to a variety of activities, nurture an appreciation of nature, help students overcome personal fears and develop self-discipline, responsibility and leadership qualities.
During their time at the College, students will be exposed to most of the following:
- Survival skills, orienteering, cooking
- Initiative tests, rock & wall climbing, abseiling
- Assault course, canoeing, pacing
- Mountain biking, hiking, camping
- Adventure racing, trail running
The OE programme is made up of three basic components:
- Compulsory Component: includes Bi-annual Grade Camps, Gr 11 Leadership Camp and annual X-Country, River Race and Outdoor Education Day.
- Voluntary hikes, camps and expeditions: offered at various levels of expertise throughout the year. These vary from simple day trips, one and two night camps, survivor-type scenarios to full-blown expeditions
- Voluntary clubs: such as surf lifesaving, canoeing, climbing, surfing, fishing, scuba diving and snorkelling, horse riding, mountain biking, archery, adventure racing, sport climbing, kloofing, and sailing etc.
As with all lessons in life, much will depend on attitude. With so many activities on offer, the onus lies on the individual to volunteer and become involved. As the College academic, sports and cultural programmes are full and demanding, many OE activities are offered on a voluntary basis to allow students to choose those which suit their interests, ability and time constraints.
Woodridge Equestrian Centre
The Woodridge Equestrian Centre offers a wide variety of schooled horses and ponies for the riders to train on. We have a full-size sand dressage/ show jumping arena on which our riders train on. Woodridge offers a limited amount of stabling for the student’s horses, with grass and shaded paddocks for the liveries.
The Woodridge Equestrian Centre offers the following lessons:
- Morning lessons are offered for parents on Wednesday and Friday mornings.
- Lessons for Grade 000 to Grade 00 are offered on Thursday mornings.
- Preparatory School riders have lessons from 13:00 onwards every day of the week.
- College students have lessons from 14:00 onwards every day of the week.
- The centre is open from 08:00 until 16:30 during the week.
Boarding forms an integral part of the Woodridge experience and places in each residence are constantly in demand. There are 4 residences, 2 housing girls (Founders Residence and Carter Residence) and 2 catering for boys (Kohler Residence and Starck Residence).
While each residence maintains its own unique ethos and idiosyncrasies, there is consistency in how the House Parents and duty staff applying the basic rules and regulations and all boarders are constantly monitored, mentored and guided. These young adults come from the Eastern Cape, other South African provinces as well as from other countries all over the world and this diversity is celebrated.
All Staff involved with the boarders aim to uphold the following:
- To provide a safe and comfortable environment in which individuals may flourish, be afforded adequate privacy to be free from intimidation and discrimination and where healthy diversity is encouraged. This leads to a healthy community, based on mutual respect and an inclusive sense of belonging.
- To provide ample opportunities for physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual and social development and to promote the concept of balance.
- To encourage initiative and the development of leadership skills, based always on an understanding of the responsibilities which accompany privilege and the need to serve. This is achieved by encouraging self-discipline, independence, the development of confidence and a real sense of self – worth.
- To support and encourage open and honest communication between pupil and staff.
- Finally, but most importantly, to encourage parents to be close partners in the holistic education of their children and to provide adequate opportunities which allow for this.
Foreign pupils interested in boarding at Woodridge must, in accordance with the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2002), supply the school with a valid study permit, issued by the South African Department of Home Affairs, prior to the commencement of attendance.
Woodridge pupils are supported in various ways by the Staff, while they are also positioned in leadership roles or appropriate situations in order to offer support of their own to other members of the community.
Pupils are either Boarders or Day Scholars. The Head of Boarding directs the Heads of Residences to manage everything that pertains to boarding. The Head of Day Scholars deals with matters that pertains to pupils that do not reside on campus.
Self-discipline is the ultimate goal for each pupil and to help guide them to maintain the appropriate behavior patterns a code of conduct is used. Added to this a demerit system is in place to deal with negative behavior and to ensure an environment conducive to optimal learning is adhered to. This is managed by the Director of Student Affairs in conjunction with the Heads of Residences and the Grade Heads.
The Woodridge Student Leadership Development Programme (WSLDP) has replaced the original Training Scheme and is the means by which all pupils learn self-discipline and leadership. This allows natural leaders to surface to become student leaders in their final year as members of the Student Executive, but also caters for later developers, as all Matrics are given a leadership portfolio (under staff supervision) within the school routine and certificates awarded at the Valedictory Service reflect the degree to which each has succeeded.
Community Service (Outreach) is encouraged. This affords pupils the opportunity to give and serve their fellow man. This is done through Interact (a Round Table initiative), various initiatives under the guidance of the Community Partnership Co-ordinator, as well as the teaching of basic computer skills by our pupils to pupils of Van Stadens Primary school.
Woodridge is run on Christian principles and values and so the spiritual aspect of Student Affairs also needs to be taken care of. Aside from the regular Divinity classes on offer from Grades 8 – 11, church services are conducted every Sunday and cell groups meet on a weekly basis. Confirmation classes are held each year by the School Chaplain for pupils who desire them from Grade 10 onwards and those who are ready are confirmed in October each year.
Deputy Headmaster, Science
HOD: Physical Science, Assistant Housemaster Kohler
Director of Academic Administration
HOD: Commerce, Accounting, EMS
HOD: Life Science
HOD: isiXhosa & Tourism, Grade 10 Head
HOD: Mathematical Literacy
HOD: History Grade 12 Head
Patricia van der Ploeg
HOD: Dramatic Arts, Visual Arts
Campus Head of Outdoor Education
Anneliese van Niekerk
Life Sciences, Natural Sciences, Housemaster (Starck Residence)
English, Assistant Houseparent Carter Residence
Grade 11 Head, Accounting Business Studies, EMS, Head of Student Affairs
Grade 9 Head, Geography
Piet Du Plessis
Physical Sciences, Life Sciences
EMS & Business Studies
Mathematics and Science
Afrikaans, Assistant Housemaster (Starck)
Edurné van Hardenbroek
Sandi-Lee de Bruyn
Afrikaans, Grade 8 Head
College Sport Intern
Adria van der Merwe
College Academic Intern
Van Staden's Pass Heights
Latitude: -33.916796 | Longitude: 25.203623