Developing young minds

The development of two new Life Science labs and five new classrooms, and the upgrading of the Consumer Studies classroom at Camps Bay High School, is nearing completion, with the project team currently working on the roof structure.

Construction on the project began in February and is due to be completed by the end of October. The project represents a R10.7m investment for the school, and has been entirely self-funded with the school’s savings and a bank loan.

Longstanding chairperson of Camps Bay High School’s School Governing Body (SGB), Colin Harvey, says: “We have been working on this plan for some 10 years now. Without the contributions of all the SGB members and school management this vision would not be turning into a reality, and we are truly grateful to them all.”

David de Korte, Camps Bay High School principal, adds: “Over the past five years, our school has grown from having 640 learners to 730 learners this year, with plans for an additional 30 learners and two teachers to be added in 2019. We cannot keep up with the demand for space at our school – we had over 400 applicants for Grade 8 this year, but we only have place for 170 new learners. To meet these demands, these new classrooms and labs are vital to run the school effectively.

“We also recognise the increased demand for subjects like Consumer Studies, which is of particular interest to our learners as the hospitality industry is a leading source of employment in the Western Cape. So, with this new building project, we are able to move our current science labs into the new extension of the school and make room for a state-of-the-art Consumer Studies classroom which can accommodate more learners.

“The Life Science labs were also in need of an upgrade as they have seen little or no change in the past 50 years and, of course, the additional five classrooms are needed to accommodate the increased intake of learners at Camps Bay High School.”

Harvey explains that some of the school’s venues are available for outside companies to rent, which supplements the income for the school.

“We are very lucky to be situated in one the most beautiful locations in South Africa. A few years back, when we were looking at alternative revenue streams to fund the very best education for our learners, we saw this untapped potential. We now have some state-of-the-art venues that organisations and individuals can hire for conferences, seminars, special events and weddings. These can be hosted outside of school operating hours, making the venues truly dual purpose and maximising their potential.

“These venues currently include our school hall, drama hall, sports fields and seminar room, and the new venues under construction will further augment the potential of increased revenue for operating the school. The state-of-the-art Consumer Studies classroom is already garnering interest for cooking courses and film and photo shoots. The fully equipped Consumer Studies classroom will have 13 kitchen workbenches with stoves and undercounter ovens.”

De Korte concludes by praising the school for being an innovator in education and having “dedicated and committed teachers”.