A Brief History

Our Roots |  What are our roots?  |  Where do we come from?

Ferndale Primary School’s origin can be traced back to a wood and iron structure known as the ”School House” registered with the Cape School Board in 1894 as Wynberg Flats Public School.

Miss Rudkin, was appointed to teach mainly German speaking children from the Philippi and Ottery farming communities. Learners between the ages of five and fourteen years were taught in the same classroom while sitting on the floor. Miss Rudkin became principal in 1909. 

During the First World War, the first school building was built which consisted of two classrooms and a small staff room. The toilets were outbuildings. The playground consisted of sand, weeds and Port Jackson trees.  The two teachers who taught in the new school building were Mrs Lawrence and Miss Swarts. 

In 1919, Mr Humphries became the new principal. He was succeeded by Mr Enslin in 1926.  Mr Thys du Toit became the principal in 1944 and it was during this decade that Wynberg Flats Public School’s name was changed to Ottery Primary which was a dual- medium school, with classes taught in Afrikaans and English. During Mr Van Rensburg’s term as principal from 1954 to 1962, the school building was enlarged to cater for the growing number of learners who resided in the developing Ottery suburb.  In 1962 a Foundation Phase wing with special classes and new toilets were added. This was completed during the years when Mr Swiegelaar (1963 to 1980) was the principal.

In 1981, Mr Oosthuizen became the principal and in 1982 Ottery Primary School officially became Ferndale Primary School. In 1983 the first pre-primary class and tennis courts were added. During this decade, seven prefabricated classrooms and a garage were erected. In 1987 steps were taken to amalgamate Springfield Primary in Philippi with Ferndale Primary School. At the end of 1987 Springfield Primary School closed its doors and Ferndale Primary School grew. In 1991, Ferndale Primary School became a Model-C school and learners of all races were enrolled in the previously “white” school. In 1994 four new classrooms were built. 

In 1996, Mr Watkins became the principal. The 1990’s also saw the shrinking of the Afrikaans medium classes. By 2000, Ferndale Primary School became an English medium school. 

In 2005, Mr Lewis, was appointed.

In 2019, Mrs JC De Kock, our current principal was appointed.