Joburg Expat: Your Expat Child in a Private School in Johannesburg

October 12, 2015

Your Expat Child in a Private School in Johannesburg

*** To go directly to the list of private schools in Johannesburg, click here ***

South African schools - it's a topic I've written about multiple times. It's also one of the most asked-about topics when readers contact me. When I recently posted a reader question on the Joburg Expat Facebook Page regarding which of the private schools on his list were the most desirable, the response was overwhelming but also interesting: Not a single responder was attempting to rank the schools in any way by labeling any "good" or "bad." Everyone was purely intent on sharing their own experience, listing additional options, and giving helpful hints on how to secure a place - something that has become increasingly difficult in South Africa's overcrowded private school scene.

While I absolutely loved the school our kids went to, I realize in hindsight that it was not as exceptional as I thought. It was a good school, of course, but there are a ton of other excellent choices out there - and each of them packed with students, as one reader pointed out, so the parents must be happy with them. Finding the perfect school in South Africa is a little bit like selecting the perfect safari lodge: Each of them is unique and wonderful and you can't really go wrong with any of them.

Interhouse competitions at South African schools are always affairs of great spirit and fun.

Selecting the right school is more about location than anything else, given Johannesburg traffic. Our school ended up being the perfect choice for us primarily because of where it was located. Nothing gave me more pleasure during our years in South Africa than watching our kids leave the house in their school uniforms in the morning to walk to school while I got down to the business of reading the morning paper with my tea on our beautiful sunny terrace.

Location is one of the most important criteria you should consider when selecting a school in Johannesburg. 

There are others, such as cost, the school year calendar, special needs accommodation, academics and sports, and I've elaborated about them here, but trust me when I say that location of school vis-a-vis work and home should be your first consideration. 

To this end, I've not only created a detailed alphabetical listing of Johannesburg private schools, including some distinguishing information such as religious affiliation and founding date, I've also grouped them a second time by Johannesburg suburb. I hope that you will find this list handy. If I've left off the wonderful school your kids went to, I apologize - please do send me a friendly note so I can amend my list accordingly.

Before we get to the school listing, here some important notes and explanations:
  • International students are only permitted to study at a South African school with a valid study visa/permit (typically as an accompanying dependent of a work visa holder); make sure you apply early for your kids' study permits
  • South African schools are either preparatory schools (typically divided into Junior Prep Grades K-3 and Senior Prep Grades 4-7) or high schools (Grades 8-12). The term “college” often refers to a school that encompasses both prep and high school.
  • Some of the prep schools only offering Grades K-7 are "feeder" schools tracking into some of Joburg's most excellent high schools/colleges, so don't write off such schools just because the system looks unfamiliar to you.
  • Most, but not all, schools on this list are members of the Independent Schools Association of South Africa (ISASA).
  • All schools offer South African matric examinations except some of the international schools where noted.
  • All follow the South African school year (January-November), except some international schools where noted.
  • In South Africa, Kindergarten is called "Grade 0" or "Grade Nought." Pre-K options are often noted as "000," meaning a nursery school with two years prior to Kindergarten or Grade 0 is offered. I've decided to stick with "K" and "Pre-K" in this school listing, using the American terminology.
  • Some South African schools take on boarders alongside day students; where applicable, this is noted in my list.
  • Conditions such as dyslexia and ADHD are considered special needs in South Africa and might be better accommodated by a special needs school (of which a few are included here) than a mainstream one; if your child has any special needs, make sure you check thoroughly what your school of choice is prepared to do to help your child.
  • Many South African schools are parochial, i.e. cater to only one gender, as is noted below. Some schools admit both boys and girls but offer separate tracks, and this is also noted where applicable.
  • On the map below, don't forget to factor in traffic, as distances that look short on the map are not necessarily short in real time. Checking Google Maps during rush hour may give you an approximation of traffic patterns.
  • I would like to thank my fellow expat and friend Natalie for her valuable research and contribution of her local knowledge in making this such an extensive list.

Private Schools in Johannesburg - Alphabetical Listing


American International School of Johannesburg
http://www.aisj-jhb.com/
Northern Suburbs, Pretoria, Co-ed, Pre-K to 12, Founded 1982 (offers American High School diploma and/or International Baccalaureate, no matric, follows American school year)

Auckland Park Preparatory School
http://apps.co.za/
Melville, Girls only, K-7, Christian, Founded 1921

Beaulieu College
Kyalami/Midrand, Co-ed, Pre-K to 12, offers Equine Studies, Founded 1996

Bellavista School
Birdhaven, Co-Ed, K-7, Special Needs

Brescia House School
http://www.brescia.co.za/
Bryanston, Girls only, K-12, Catholic, Founded 1966

British International College
http://www.bicollege.co.za/
Bryanston, Pretoria, Co-ed, K-12, (offers Cambridge A-Level examinations, follows South African school year)

Charterhouse School
http://www.charterhouse.co.za/
Roodepoort, Co-ed, K-7, (SA curriculum plus Cambridge International Primary Programme; Cambridge exams in Grade 6)

Crawford Schools
http://www.crawfordschools.co.za/
Sandton, Fourways, Lonehill, Bedfordview, Pretoria (all owned by AdvTech), Pre-K to 12, Founded 1993

Christian Brothers College (CBC)
http://www.cbc.org.za/
Boksburg, Boys only, Pre-K to 12, Boarding (since 2013) and Day, Catholic, Founded 1935

Dainfern College
Dainfern College
http://www.dainferncollege.co.za/
Dainfern, Co-ed, K-12, Christian Ethos, Founded 1997

Deutsche Internationale Schule Johannesburg
http://www.dsj.co.za/
Parktown, Pretoria, Co-ed, Pre-K to 12, Bilingual German/English, Founded 1890 (offers dual track South African matric and German Abitur, follows South African school year)

Grayston Preparatory
http://www.graystonprep.co.za/
Sandown,Co-ed, Pre-K to 7, Private since 1994, Founded as Government School 1977

Heronbridge College
http://www.heronbridgecollege.co.za/
10 km north of Fourways, Co-ed, Pre-K to 12, Christian, Founded 2001

Holy Rosary School
http://www.holyrosaryschool.co.za/
Edenvale, Girls only, Pre-K to 12, Catholic, Founded 1940

Japanese School of Johannesburg
http://www.jsj.org.za/
uhm... having trouble reading Japanese characters, waiting for update from school.

King David School
http://www.kingdavid.org.za/
Linksfield, Victory Park, Co-ed, Pre-K to 12, Jewish, Founded 1948

Kingsmead College
http://kingsmead.co.za/
Melrose, Girls only, Pre-K to 12, Christian, Founded 1933

Kyalami Preparatory School
http://www.kyalamischools.org/kyalami-preparatory/home
Kyalami, Co-ed, K-7, Founded 1999

Lycée Jules Verne French International School
http://www.lyceejulesverne.com/
Morningside, Pretoria, Co-ed, Pre-K to 12 (Pretoria Pre-K to 5), Bilingual French/English, Founded 1992 (offers French Baccalaureate only, no matric, follows European school year)

Michael Mount Waldorf School
http://www.michael-mount.co.za/
Bryanston, Co-ed, K-12, Christian, Founded 1960

Pridwin Preparatory School
Pridwin Preparatory Boys' School

http://www.pridwin.co.za/
Melrose, Boys only, K-7, Christian Ethos, Founded 1923

Reddam House School
http://reddamschools.com/
Bedfordview, Waterfall, Co-ed, Pre-K to 12

Redhill School
http://www.redhill.co.za/
Morningside, Co-ed, Pre-K to 12, Founded 1907

Roedean School
http://www.roedeanschool.co.za/
Parktown, Girls only, K-12, Boarding and Day, Anglican, Founded 1903

Sacred Heart College
http://www.sacredheart.co.za/
Observatory/Houghton, Pre-K to 12, Catholic, Founded 1889

Saheti School
http://saheti.co.za/
Senderwood, Co-ed, Pre-K to 12, Greek-Orthodox, Founded 1974

St. Andrew's School for Girls
http://www.standrews.co.za/
Bedfordview, Girls only, K-12, Christian, Boarding and Day, Founded in 1912

St. Benedict's Catholic School
http://www.stbenedicts.co.za/
Bedfordview, Boys only, K-12, Boarding and Day, Catholic, Founded 1958

St. David's Marist Inanda
http://www.stdavids.co.za/
Inanda, Boys only, Pre-K to 12, Catholic, Founded 1948

St. Dunstan's College
Benoni, Co-ed, Pre-K to 12, Anglican, Founded 1918

St. John's College
St. John's College
http://www.stjohnscollege.co.za/
Houghton, Boys only, Pre-K to 12 (plus co-ed Sixth Form year offering Cambridge A-Levels), Boarding and Day, Anglican, Founded 1898

St. Katharine's Preparatory School
http://stkatharines.co.za/
Parktown, Girls only, K-7, Founded 1916

St. Martin's School
http://www.stmartin.co.za/
Rosettenville, Co-ed, Pre-K to 12, Boarding and Day, Anglican, Founded 1908 (closed briefly under apartheid 1956, reopened 1958)

St. Mary's School
http://www.stmarysschool.co.za/
Waverley, Girls only, Pre-K to 12, Boarding and Day, Anglican, Founded 1888

St. Peter's College
http://www.stpeters.co.za/
Sunninghill, Co-ed (college only, for last 8 years; prep school still divided into boys and girls tracks), K-12, Anglican, Founded 1998

St. Stithians College
Sports Day at St. Stithians

http://www.stithian.com/
Bryanston, Co-ed (but separate girls' and boys' tracks for senior prep and college), K-12, Methodist, Founded 1953

St. Teresa's School
http://www.stteresas.co.za/
Rosebank, Girls only, Pre-K to 12, Catholic, Founded 1930

Summit College
http://www.summitcollege.co.za/
Kyalami, Co-ed, Pre-K to 12, Boarding and Day, Founded 1989

The Ridge School 
Westcliff, Boys only, K-7, Christian Ethos, Founded 1919

Trinityhouse Schools
http://trinityhouse.co.za/
Randpark Ridge, Little Falls, Palm Lakes, Heritage Hill, Northriding (all owned by AdvTech), Co-ed, K-12, Christian, Founded 1995

Unity College
http://unity-college.org.za/
Chartwell, Co-ed, Grade 1 to Post-Secondary (ages 6-20), Special Needs

Private Schools in Johannesburg - by Suburb


Here it is, my handy-dandy color-coded map. Please don't hold me to too high a standard with respect to actual proportions. I tried to do my best here, but some distances may be off, and some schools might not appear EXACTLY on the spot they are. Also, you may not agree with the division of suburbs I've used - there are many different ways of dividing them up. However, I do think it's probably a good start, especially if you are still in the process of moving to Johannesburg. Following the map is a more detailed listing of all the suburbs and schools.


[Click on image to enlarge]

Midrand 

(including Waterfall, Kyalami)

American International School of Johannesburg
Beaulieu College
Kyalami Preparatory School
Summit College

Fourways/Sunninghill/Lonehill 

(Including Dainfern, Broadacres, Fernridge, Douglasdale, Northriding, Craigavon, Beverley)

British International Preparatory School
Crawford Lonehill
Crawford Fourways
Dainfern College
Heronbridge College
St. Peter's College
Unity College

Sandton/Bryanston 

(Including Morningside, Wendywood, Sandown, Sandhurst, Hyde Park)

Brescia House School
British International College
Crawford Sandton
Grayston Preparatory School
Lycee Jules Verne French International School
Michael Mount Waldorf School
Redhill School
St. Stithians College

Randburg/Ferndale 

(Including Randpark Ridge, Cresta, Blairgowrie, Windsor East, Victory Park, Northriding)

King David Victory Park
Trinityhouse Randpark Ridge
Trinityhouse Northriding

Rosebank/Parktown 

(Including Houghton, Melrose, Saxonwold, Killarney, Westcliff)

Bellavista School
Deutsche Internationale Schule
Kingsmead College
Pridwin Preparatory School
Roedean School
Sacred Heart College
St. David's Marist Inanda
St. John's College
St. Katharine's Preparatory School
St. Mary's School
St. Teresa's School
The Ridge School

Bedfordview 

(including Oriel, Bedford Gardens, Edenvale, Linksfield)

Crawford Italia Preparatory
Holy Rosary School
King David Linksfield
Reddam House School
Saheti School
St. Andrew's School for Girls
St. Benedict's Catholic School

Northcliff/Melville 

(Including Blackheath, Auckland Park)

Auckland Park Preparatory School
Japanese School of Johannesburg

Roodepoort 

Charterhouse School
Trinityhouse Little Falls
Trinityhouse Palm Lake

Boksburg

Christian Brothers College

Benoni

St. Dunstan's College

South Johannesburg

St. Martin's School


More on Schools in South Africa