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Updated: 2020/01/16



Claremont School was founded by Sir Ebenezer John Buchanan on 5 October 1892. Originally a newspaperman with the Natal Witness, he later turned to law and was admitted to the Cape Bar and later elected Puisne Judge. He was very interested in higher education in S. A. and was a member of the University of Cape Town Council from 1888 to 1918.

1894 to 1919

The first principal, Mr. George French. was appointed in 1894. A man of many interests, his great love was outdoors. A keen naturalist, he was particularly interested in reptiles and crustaceans. Mr. French was also very interested in the Scout movement and is believed to have started the Scout movement in South Africa on 3 March 1908 at Claremont School. Catering for children from the Kindergarten up to Std 7, his school was originally referred to as Claremont Intermediate School or fondly nicknamed "French's School". When Mr. French started there were only 17 pupils in the school which consisted of one room. By 1913, the numbers must have increased because a pupil remembers being taught in the old Claremont Town Hall, on the present Werdmuller Centre site, his teacher being Mr. Fort, the next principal. The Staff at the time were:

  Mr. French (Principal) Std 6 & 7

  Mr. Spry (Vice Principal) Std 7 & Woodwork

  Mr. Fort Std 5

  Miss Debridge Std 4

  Miss Short Std 3

  Miss White Kindergarten (A, B & 1)

The Superintendent General of Education made the school the first of a string of woodwork centres.  In about 1911/1912, the woodwork master was a Mr. Louis Barn. His woodwork room was a wood and iron shed erected in the school grounds. Schools from surrounding areas came to use these facilities.

During the Great War, a formal Cadet Corps under a commissioned officer, was formed.


1920 to 1939

In 1920, Mr. S J Fort took over the principalship of Claremont Public School, after having been a member of Mr. French's staff. He was also a very keen member of the Scout movement and the cadet detachment was also continued.

Mr. Frank Ferguson became Principal in 1939, after also having been a member of Mr. Fort's staff. Having a great love of nature and the outdoors, Mr. Ferguson spent many hours on the weekends walking and climbing Table Mountain. A pupil in Std 6 of that year, remembers planting gum trees around the school. Miss E Brown, a member of his staff, composed the school song which is still sung by the children today. In 1943, a number of new classrooms and a staffroom were added (where the present Special Classes are now situated). The School Hall, named the Frank Ferguson Hall, was officially opened on 23 October 1959 by Mr. J N Henshilwood MEC, Chairman of the School Committee. The funds for the new hall being raised by the parents. In 1963, the Education Department purchased the property know as Westwood, to be developed into a sports centre for C. P. S.

1939 to 1973

In 1973, Mr. Douglas Jooste took over as Headmaster. During his term of office, many changes took place at Claremont Public School. Westwood was developed, with change rooms, rugby field and tennis courts being erected. On 15 April 1978, the Westwood Sports Centre was officially opened by Mr. A Loots, MEC for Education, after an enjoyable morning of parents vs. children baseball and cricket matches. In 1979, the playing field at the school was officially named the Hitchcock Field, after Mr. H T Hitchcock, a long standing member of staff and Vice Principal of the school from 1943 to 1975.In 1981, Claremont Public School officially became known as Claremont Primary School, and a Pre-Primary class at the school was started. In 1982, building operations started at the school, with the old buildings on Palmyra Road being renovated, but the outer facade being kept intact. This area was to house the Library/media centre, science laboratory, art room, woodwork and needlework rooms, medical room and music room. After two years and eight months of noise and turmoil, the renovations were completed and were officially opened by Mr. J Fourie, Director of Education, on 27 February 1985. Mr. Jooste also instigated the Annual Spring Walk - by parent and pupils - on the slopes of Table Mountain, followed by a 'braai' at Westwood. This annual event is still an important day on the CPS calendar.

1973 to 1989

Mr. David Martin took over as Headmaster in June 1989. He continued the tradition of excellent Headmasters and displayed  great leadership qualities which was respected by all. Mr. D Martin worked tirelessly for the good of our School. He also started the tradition of our successful Camping at Westwood over the Easter Weekend in conjunction with the Two Oceans Marathon, offering many runners a reasonable camping site while they are down in the beautiful Cape. His term of office saw major changes in the school system, from the old 'whites only' school, to the mixed 'Model C' school.

1989 to 1997

Mr. Errol Richards took over as Headmaster In April 1997. He was one of the 'old school' headmasters who loved the school and treated it as 'home', spending many dedicated hours at sport and education. He was instrumental in starting the computer centre and in later years had computers placed in all the classrooms for the educators to use for their admin. He managed to get rid of the very old VW Kombi's and purchased two later model VW Kombi's, which are regularly used to take the learners to sporting and cultural events. He also purchased new green plastic chairs for the hall because the old wooden chairs were in a very poor state.

1997 to 2007

Mr E Reddy took over as Principal in January 2008.

2008 to Date

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