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Our School

In a safe and beautiful farm environment surrounded by rolling hills of apple orchards, vines and fynbos, Applewood Preparatory is a caring country school with a big heart.

We concentrate on innovative, dynamic, individualised learning in an outdoor environment with a strong focus on integrity, grit, effort, compassion, respect, self-control, commitment, initiative and kindness. Every child with their family is encouraged to participate in all aspects of school life; from sport, cultural, music and academics to social responsibility and care of the environment.

We welcome you to Applewood Preparatory to share in our vision for happy, knowledgeable, confident, well-rounded children that are well prepared for life. 

Our History
Applewood Prep School in Elgin Valley

Applewood was founded by a handful of courageous Elgin / Grabouw parents and their heartfelt vision to establish an independent private school in the Elgin Valley, with the long-term vision of it becoming one of the top private schools in South Africa.


Applewood Preparatory School was ‘born’ on the 12th of May 1997 and the doors officially opened in January 1998 with 27 children and four enthusiastic teachers. The first board of governors, chaired by the late Tiens Kruger, believed implicitly in the potential of Applewood to become a top independent preparatory school and set a course to be moulded and developed by future boards and heads.


Applewood has grown from the initial 27 children to the current roll of 160 children. A total staff complement of 35 teachers, assistants, administrative and support staff ensure the children enjoy a happy, lively and challenging school day.


The infrastructure at Applewood has developed from the original “guest house” and garden to include two new classroom blocks housing ten classrooms, a school hall, the Molteno Trust music block with individual practice rooms, a Learning and Support Centre, a Media Centre, and separate Afrikaans Home Language and Xhosa classrooms. These are all tastefully connected by catwalks clad in vines, ensuring the country school sentiment remains in the architecture.


The school’s sports facilities have been updated to include the Linquenda Oval, the Jimmy Rawbone-Viljoen Oval, cricket nets and a tennis / basketball / netball court. 2018 saw the opening of our brand-new Aquatic Centre which boasts a 25m free flowing pool as well as a custom designed indoor learn to swim pool. We have a mountain biking track and a skills development park on our grounds. Future developments include a multipurpose sports surface, a multi-purpose hall and staff housing.


Shane André is the new head of school, having begun his tenure in April 2024.

Our Philosophy
Good Roots - Good Fruits

A singular country school education with a solid foundation. Applewood’s strength is meeting children at their level of need and creating a curriculum that moulds to the child and helps them understand their progress in a meaningful way. Our commitment is to deliver a relevant, custom-made education aimed at the individual child.


Our vibrant, progressive, environment-based curriculum is the hallmark of our school education. Our children have the freedom to play and explore in the unique countryside environment and glean knowledge and wisdom from their interactions with nature.


At Applewood, we are especially concerned with developing an understanding in our children of how to be kind to the world. 


English is the medium of instruction and we strive to understand, welcome and accommodate the needs of children from all cultural and religious backgrounds. We provide the opportunity for children to take both English and Afrikaans at home language level.

What do 
we do?

Applewood is a safe and positive environment where children can explore and develop their understanding of the world.

Our country environment fosters a whole child approach to learning. We nurture positive relationships between staff, children and families. We believe in growing a generation who will have a positive mindset with strong social and emotional skills.

We strive to create well-adjusted children by providing a balanced education.

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