Ground-breaking Shifts at Bridge House School
Situated in a spectacular country setting in the most beautiful Cape valley, close to Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, and Paarl in the Western Cape, Bridge House is a wellestablished, independent, co-educational day and boarding school from Playschool to Grade 12.
This vibrant school, which takes pride in its distinctiveness, offers a unique combination of an amazing setting with 28 hectares of land on one campus; small classes; qualified, experienced, and dedicated staff; future thinking and being engaged in the invigorating challenge of writing its own extraordinary history; global relevance; innovative use of IT with a 1:1 ipad programme from Grade 4; sports strategy, facilities, structures, growth, and achievements; dynamic creative and performing arts; International Round Square membership; international exchanges; a strong President’s Award programme; boarding for Grade 7 to 12; warm relationships; and a “can do” attitude.
Taking a revolutionary approach to traditional education models, Bridge House has recently introduced exciting new elective subjects for Grades 8 and 9 pupils, where the two years merge in some classes. Pupils are thereby afforded the opportunity of learning to interact in class with people outside their normal social groups.
In designing a curriculum born of innovation, Bridge House asked its staff a simple question: “If you could teach anything you like in your subject, what would you teach?” Staff revised their subjects and developed modules that were linked to their particular areas of expertise and passions, resulting in a collection of subjects that very few schools could dream of offering. Through these numerous exciting subjects, pupils have worked on designing optimal living spaces for crowded cities, conceptualising new species, designing their own games and websites, and developing and presenting new products, among many other projects.
While typically Grades 8 and 9 have their subjects chosen for them, at Bridge House, they choose and take ownership of their own learning, while the core subjects of Languages, Maths, Science, and Arts and Culture remain in place. In Grade 10, pupils resume the National Senior Certificate curriculum administered by the Independent Examinations Board (IEB), where the school has achieved a 100% pass rate to date and recognition by universities both at home and abroad.
Bridge House pupils have achieved outstanding results in various national olympiads, eisteddfods, and competitions. The school has strong Art, Music, and Drama departments, with all three disciplines being core subjects up to Grade 9 level. In Grade 10, pupils can choose to continue with one or two of these subjects. The Music Department at Bridge House offers a wide range of instruments for individual tuition.
A variety of team and individual sports – including indoor and outdoor hockey, soccer, netball, sevens rugby, cricket, tennis, water polo, swimming, golf, mountain-biking, trail running, and canoeing – is offered, and active participation is encouraged.
Facilities at the school include: a new pre-primary facility with spacious, light, well-equipped classrooms, wide verandas, and a huge grassed play area with lots of fantastic outdoor equipment; a purposebuilt Maths and Science Centre; a fully equipped theatre; a flood-lit, world class astroturf hockey facility; an indoor sports centre; swimming pool; sports fields; as well as tennis and netball courts.
Boarding students from Grade 7 to 12 are housed on campus in four modern, family-style boarding houses which have spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Boarders come together for relaxation in large communal lounges with fireplaces, TVS, and games to play. An organised programme for prep and recreation is supervised by the academic staff who live on the premises and provide strong pastoral support for the boarders.
The school is a member of the International Round Square Organisation and is guided by the six IDEALS of the organisation: Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership, and Service. As a member of Round Square, Bridge House is part of a network of more than 140 schools worldwide, and is able to offer international exchange and conference experiences with countries all over the world to a large number of pupils.
The President’s Award is a programme which seeks to encourage young people to chart their own path of self-discovery and growth. The four components of Sport, Community Service, an Expedition, and Skills and Interests are designed to provide a balanced experience of life. Pupils in the Prep School undertake the Learning for Life Leadership programme, and College pupils are registered for The President’s Award at Bronze, Silver, or Gold Level.
As a member of the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA), Bridge House School is committed to playing its role in building a democratic, nondiscriminatory South Africa and a diverse and equitable school and community. In a changing world, the school aims to deliver a globally relevant education which realises each individual’s potential to lead, innovate, and serve with confidence
For more information, please visit www.bridgehouse.org.za.