Our School History
The Applewood school history started – in the very beginning – with a handful of parents and a big vision. They collaborated to open a caring, innovative and independent private school in the Elgin Valley, with the long term vision of it becoming one of the top private schools in South Africa. They wanted a nurturing, yet dynamic country school for their children and the wider Grabouw and Elgin community. As such, Applewood Preparatory School was ‘born’ on the 12th May 1997.
The doors officially opened in January 1998 with 27 children, and 4 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 so set a course to be molded and developed by future boards and heads.
Mrs Helen Briston served as Applewood’s first Head setting a course of academic excellence, freedom to innovate and a willingness to meet each child as an individual. Mr Alan Wyborn was appointed as headmaster in 2000 until he was replaced by Mr Gareth Allman in the middle of 2002. After almost eight years at the school’s helm, Gareth moved to another Headship and Mr Brendan Carroll was appointed from January of 2010. Mr Brendan Carroll left at the end of 2014 to take up a position in KZN. Mr Brendan Brady began his tenure as head of Applewood in January 2015 and left at the end of 2016 to take up a position in EC. Mr Sam Hamman began his tenure as head of Applewood in January 2017.
A total staff complement of 35 teachers, assistants, administrative and support staff ensure the children enjoy a happy, lively and challenging day at school.
Applewood has grown from the initial 27 children to the current roll of 190 children. A total staff complement of 35 teachers, assistants, administrative and support staff ensure the children enjoy a happy, lively and challenging day at school.
The infrastructure at Applewood has developed from the original “guest house” and garden over the years to include two new classroom blocks housing 10 classrooms, a school hall, The Molteno Trust music block with individual practice rooms, an accelerated learning and support centre, a media centre, computer room and language classroom. These are all tastefully connected by catwalks covered in vines ensuring the country school feel is retained in the school architecture.
The school’s sports facilities now include the Linquenda Oval, the Jimmy Rawbone-Viljoen Oval, cricket nets and a tennis/basketball/netball court as well as a brand new Aquatic Centre, proudly opened in 2018. The approved school development plan includes additional tennis and netball courts, a sports hall and staff housing.
Applewood’s reputation as a top private primary school in South Africa is well secured thanks to the work of the people involved with the school over the past 18 years. Ours is a happy, secure, country school of excellence, instilling a good sense of moral value, Christian ethos and social awareness.