Over the Years at Port Shepstone High School




Port Shepstone High School was officially opened on February 13th 1953.  There were 211 pupils, occupying 12 classrooms, with 14 teachers on the staff.  The school grounds were devoid of any trees or grass – it was a real dust bowl.  There were no playing fields at this stage and all games were played on what was then known as the Bedford field, presently the old Railway Bus Depot.


school hall

Over the years the school has grown immensely and has expanded its classrooms and facilities. A school hall was added and the first awards ceremony held there took place on December 10, 1964.


change of headmasters

By 1964 the school enrolment was 445 and staff had increased to 29, including the Principal. Mr A.S. Webster retired at the end of 1968 and Mr Nixon was appointed as Headmaster. 


opening of the swimming pool

The swimming pool was opened by the Administrator of Natal, The Honourable W.W.B. Havemann on 4th August 1972. 

1974 - 1975

Change of Principals

Enrolment had now risen to 745 and staff numbered 44. At the end of May 1974 Mr Nixon was transferred to Dundee on promotion and Mr N.F. Rowe was appointed as Principal at the beginning of 1975.

1974 - 1976

Construction of the New Block

In 1974, construction started on the ‘New Block’ of classrooms and specialist rooms. This four-storey classroom block was completed in 1976, and is, 45 years later, still referred to as the ‘New Block.”


Noel Rowe Sports Centre

The Noel Rowe Sports Centre was opened in 1989. This impressive building was funded by an anonymous donation, which enabled it to be equipped and put into use immediately.

1991 - 2023

Change of Principals

At the end of 1991, Mr Rowe, after serving as Principal for 17 years, retired and Mr P.G. van der Watt was appointed Headmaster at the beginning of 1992. Mr van der Watt transferred to Head Office in 1996 where he served as a Superintendent of Education.

Mr Black took over as Acting Principal in July 1996, and was confirmed in the post in 1998.  Mr P. McKillen took on the reigns of principal from 2002, until he retired in ….. Mr D. Salotto served as Acting Principal until Mr Jenkins started as Principal from 2014 until 2020.  Mrs K. Nel was inducted in as the Acting Principal upon his retirement, and officially took over the reins on December 1st 2020.

Port Shepstone High School is currently under the wise guidance of Miss K. McKillen, who took over as Acting Principal, upon Mrs Nel’s retirement at the end of January 2023.


The school badge was first adopted for the school in 1943. It is still used by all three schools that have developed from the initial Government School. The original colours were pale blue and dark blue, the colours of Oxford and Cambridge Universities, the foremost educational institutions of the early 20th century. The High School chose to express its individuality by changing the colours to pale blue and maroon.

The chosen design for the badge was a result of a competition run by the headmaster, Mr Armitage, in 1943. Sybil Mann, a standard eight pupil at the time, submitted the winning entry.

The badge is based on the Cross of St Anne. The significance of this is that the first school in Port Shepstone was a church school called St Anne’s. The book of learning occupies the upper quarter and the two stars represent ‘Stella Aurora” (the star of the morning – the beginning of a new day) which is the motto of Port Shepstone. The Southern Cross is a navigational constellation

The Sailing Ship recalls the fact that Port Shepstone was a port in its pioneering days. The Diaz Shop provisioned in Port Shepstone.

The motto ‘Labora in Fide’ is Latin and means ‘Work with integrity’ or more literally ‘Labour in Faith’.

The first batch of 120 badges was manufactured and distributed on 18th October 1946. The first matric pupils were honoured to be among those present.

In recent years, the expansion of the school facilities has continued.  The new front office area was modified in 1998.  More classrooms were added to the ground floor of the ‘New Block’ in 2010 and these now house the computer graphics and design department.  Our beautiful library was re-vamped in 2016, thanks to funding from Epoch and Optima Trust.  The library houses 43 computers for the learners to utilise for research purposes.

The boarding establishment is much sought after by those who live further afield.  It caters for 120 girls, but does not accommodate boys anymore.  ‘Four Winds’ hostel opened in 1951.  The second hostel ‘Seven Seas’ was first occupied in 1957.

Today, Port Shepstone High School is home to 1 345 eager learners