top of page

A Brief History of Scottsville Primary School (1915-2013).


Scottsville Government School, as it was originally known, was founded on its present site in 1915. The school started the year with 43 pupils. The first principal was Miss Snow.


Our Story


School closed in November 1919 due to Spanish Influenza and re-opened on 3 February 1920



Heavy rains in March of 1925 prevented 62 of the 146 pupils at Scottsville from attending school.



In 1928 the girls travelled to Longmarket Girls’ School for Cookery lessons, whilst the boys travelled to Merchiston Prep School for Woodwork lessons. Both Cookery and Woodwork were new subjects introduced into the syllabus.



Scottsville was placed under quarantine on 20 April, due to the number of reported cases of Diptheria



29 November 1935


Affair of the Dynamite. 


Violence in schools and pupil activism, it is popularly believed, is a modern development blamed on overcrowding and various other environmental and social problems.


But to Scottsville Primary school this type of stuff is all old hat. They had to learn to face and deal with these problems as far back as 1935.


That was the year the “Affair of the Dynamite” took place – on November 29 to be precise. Although the whole incident probably doesn’t rank with the notorious Siege of Sydney Street In London (there is no evidence of the Prime Minister having been called in or having taken a personal interest) it was still a traumatic experience for the then staff and pupils of the school.


Although the exact details of the whole dangerous affair have been lost in antiquity, it appears, from the scant evidence still available, that a 12-year-old pupil arrived at the school and was “found to have for sticks of dynamite, two candles and fuses in his satchel”. As far as the record shows the pupil was never proved to have any direct or even indirect, association with the IRA but he did eventually appear before a local magistrate and was “bound over for two months.”


No mention was ever made of his motives but it could have been something to do with long hair or corporal punishment.



On 30 March, 1942 a pupil, Eric Clayton, died of Meningitis and the school was then closed by the Inspector of Schools. The School re-opened a month later.



The school re-opened for the second term on 24 April 1957 with the pupil roll exceeding 500 for the first time.



At this stage, Scottsville School had run out of space for the number of pupils. A marquee tent was erected in the quad (Gr 4 & 5) to house some of the classes.



On 26 April 1965, the new prefabricated classrooms were opened at the school as a temporary measure. Today, forty years later, these ‘temporary’ classrooms are still in use.



The new toilet block was handed over to the Principal.



The Junior Primary classrooms, the Administrative Block and the Hall were completed and opened by the MEC of Education, Mr Frank Martin.



On 6 September 1973 five houses that had been purchased by the Natal Educ­ation Department, were demolished to clear the way for new playing and sports grounds.



The school roll rose to 600.



The Senior Primary swimming pool was completed.


Former Principal, Mr. Paddy Kelly retired on 31 December, 1979. At the final farewell function Mr John Dean from the NED mentioned that he had been reading through Mr Kelly’s file and came upon a letter written by a parent whilst he was principal of Bulwer Primary School. The parent was complaining that Mr Kelly was using the cane too freely. The Inspector at the time wrote to Mr Kelly enquiring why this was the case. Mr Kelly replied: “In the Bible it says, ‘Thy rod and thy staff shall comfort thee.’ Well I have not had any comfort from my staff so I have turned to the rod!”



The longest serving principal, Mr George Snyman (present today), was appointed. He served Scottsville from 1980 to 1993 (14 years)



The pupil roll had escalated and opened with 745 pupils on roll.


Zulu was introduced as a subject in Grades 6 & 7 to become a part of our school curriculum.



The tennis court and tiered seating at the Junior Swimming Pool were completed.



The Aftercare Centre started at Scottsville. This was started in order to meet the changing needs of working parents.



The pupil roll broke 800.



Scottsville became a multiracial school.


Part of the school was declared a National Monument.



Mr Nefdt was appointed principal. He is Scottsville’s 16th principal in the school’s 90 year history. He was appointed to Scottsville as an educator in 1977, serving under the previous three principals, Mr Paddy Kelly (1972 - 1979), Mr George Snyman (1980-1993) and Mr Digby Rhodes (present today: 1994-1996). Mr Rhodes is the father of the famous SA cricketer, Jonty Rhodes.



Scottsville Primary School acquired a new property in Rutland Rd. Scottsville Gardens Pre-Primary School, formerly The Garden Pre-Primary, relocated to Scottsville Primary School premises. The school began to market itself as ‘Three Schools in One.’ Education was offered from Gr RR to Gr 7 – 10 years in one school.



Outcomes Based Education (OBE) was introduced in Grades R-3 in SA schools, amidst much criticism from education pundits.



OBE was introduced into Grade4-7.



New computers were purchased for the Computer Room.



“The Deck,” comprising of new change-rooms for Gr 6 & 7 pupils, a storeroom, change-rooms for male and female staff, three garages for school vehicles was officially opened on ** May by the MEC Education – Mrs Ina Cronje.



A roof over “the Deck” and “the Mini-Deck” was erected. This will allow pupils to be protected from the sun and rain whilst they wait for their parents.



The Tuck Shop was relocated to the ‘Mini-Deck’ and the old Tuck Shop converted into a classroom. The Sports Coordinator’s Office was relocated to the SP Pool area.



The Grade 4 & 5 Change-rooms were upgraded, an artificial turf was laid at the P-P school, the Computer Centre was upgraded to include 17 more computers.



Our pupil roll exceeds 1 000 pupils.Thabiso Sibiya and Tashveer Sitharpasad represented SA at the World Sport Stacking Championships in the USA. The parking area in front of the school was tarred.



Scottsville took a giant step into the technology age: Whiteboards were installed into each classroom; a Wireless network was installed throughout the school allowing teachers access to all the computer programs in the Computer Centre as well as to the Internet; Data projectors were installed in each classroom; Mimeo Boards were installed into each classroom thus making the white boards interactive “Smart boards,” and each teacher was given a ‘Notebook’ for their use in the classroom



Two new buses were purchased for the school: a 23 seater VW Crafter and a 16 seater Toyota Quantum.


Scottsville Primary School continues to provide a holistic education to its learners in a changing and challenging world.




Over the last few years an average of 8-10 Grade 7 pupils at Scottsville have been awarded scholarships at local state and independent schools.




Scottsville had always been renowned for its standard of sport over the years. This has not changed.


The girls have always excelled at swimming, netball, squash and hockey. The girls won the PMB and District Swimming Shield for 21 consecutive years (1978 to 1999).


The boys have excelled at chess, soccer, cricket, basketball and hockey.

bottom of page