+27 21 887 6807


Koch Street

PO Box 87

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  • On 1 May 1860, the Rev P.D. Lückhoff, head of the Rhenish Mission Church at Stellenbosch, founded a private school for girls. It was to provide schooling for the daughters of the Rhenish missionaries who were stationed in South Africa (for more than 30 years already) and would otherwise have had to send their daughters to school in Germany
  • In the first year there were only 8 pupils in the school but by 1866 there were already 47 girls, many of whom were from the wider Stellenbosch community and not just the daughters of the German missionaries.
  • (The success of the girls’ school, led the Rhenish Society to found a school for boys in 1865, under the control of Rev Alheit. Within a year, this school grew to more than 50 boys. However, a new State school was later opened - the Stellenbosch Gymnasium - later to become Paul Roos Gymnasium - and the Rev. Alheit’s school was incorporated into that)
  • The first Rhenish Girls' school was housed in a cottage in Alexander Street
  • In 1862 the school was moved to larger premises owned by Rev. Terlinden (now the P.J. Olivier Art Centre) and here hostel facilities were also provided
  • By 1874 Rhenish was training teachers and in 1877 the first candidates from Rhenish entered for the university examinations
  • In 1882 The Rev Jacob Weber came as a missionary to the Rhenish Church and became very involved in the Rhenish School, playing a vital role in keeping the school open and self-supporting during the depression of the 1890s, when other schools where forced to shut
  • In 1901 the Rhenish Institute was taken over by the government
  • In 1904 the school badge was designed
  • In 1906 the main building of the Rhenish Institute became the administrative and boarding complex and the new school building was officially opened on the Braak. Over the next 50 years the school increased its enrolment every year
  • In 1910 we celebrated our Jubilee : 50 years of Rhenish! The occasion was marked with afternoon sports on the Braak and an evening reunion of past pupils which was concluded - in true Rhenish tradition - with a concert
  • In 1928, Rhenish boasted an enrolment of 207 - Junior and Senior -and we maintained these numbers for the next 10 - 15 years
  • By 1958, the school was beginning to out-grow its premises and a decision was made to it split in two - a high and a primary section. The high school moved to the present premises in Krigeville, whilst the primary school remained in the original buildings on the Braak
  • In 1960, Rhenish celebrated its centenary with great Pomp and Ceremony - the highlight being the PTA’s Centenary Ball in the Stellenbosch Town Hall
  • In the 1980s the average enrolment for the high school was 400
  • In 1984 the Primary School moved to its new (current) premises opposite the high school and the old buildings now house the PJ Olivier Art Centre (and also the regional offices of the Education Department – our district’s Educational VIPs)
  • In 1991 Rhenish Girls' High School was one of the first government schools to open its classrooms to all races
  • In 1993 the Hostel matric annex was opened - now called the Pat Starke Wing
  • The new school wing, incorporating the computer centre, was opened in 1995
  • In 1997 a centre for the teaching of third languages in Rhenish, Bloemhof and Paul Roos was established
  • In 1999 the Stellenbosch I.T. Academy was established, operating from Paul Roos and Rhenish and the co-operative teaching programme between Paul Roos Gymnasium and Rhenish was further expanded to include Technical Drawing and Additional Mathematics
  • In 2003 Dramatic Arts was added to the curriculum
  • In 2005, thanks to the co-operative teaching programme between Rhenish Girls' High School and Paul Roos Gymnasium, our girls became eligible to apply for Rhodes Scholarships upon completion of their first degrees.  Ha-Eun (Grace) Kim was the first Rhenisher to receive this Rhodes Scholarship in 2010 and Helen Taylor was awarded the 2012 Scholarship
  • In 2007 the establishment of the Rhenish Archives and The Rhenish Room began in preparation for the 150th Birthday Celebrations and to source, collect and protect our school’s heritage
  • In 2007 a Principal's residence as built on the school grounds
  • In 2009, to accommodate the increasing demand for admission to Rhenish, a fifth Grade 8 class was added and this has been phased in and we now have five classes in each grade
  • In 2009 the interest in Engineering Graphics and Design (previously Technical Drawing) had grown so much that Rhenish appointed our own teacher and girls - Grade 8 - Grade 12 - are now taught this subject on site
  • In 2010 we celebrated our 150th Birthday in grand style with various events and projects throughout the year. Among our many celebratory events there was a mass 150 formation on the sports fields, High Tea at the Rhenish Institute, the establishment of The Heritage Club (a parent initiative), glorious music concerts, a procession through Stellenbosch streets, fireworks, a ghost walk and much more. Full details are recorded in our school magazine of 2010 (an annual publication). Towards the end of the year, we were delighted to witness the first “Rhodes Scholarship Award” for International Postgraduate Study to a Rhenisher (Grace Kim - matric 2004)
  • In 2010 we added 6 new classrooms to accommodate our ever-growing numbers.  Also as a result of our growing numbers, our annual Thanks Giving Service - a way of giving thanks and paying respect to our roots - traditionally held at the Rhenish Church on the Braak on the last day of the school year, moved to the Moederkerk.
  • In 2014 we upgraded our infrastructure with eight additional classrooms, a new school hall - the Ebenezer Hall - and the Letitia Snyman Astro Hockey field
  • In 2016 we upgraded our reception area, the Principal's secretary's office, the sports office, the Consumer Studies classroom and the Physics laboratory and in 2017 the second Physics laboratory was also upgraded.
  • We currently have an enrolment of over 720 girls, of whom 150 are also accommodated in the Hostel

The Rhenish 150 Book - available from the School for R150

Written by two legendary Rhenishers, Letitia Snyman and Penny Berens, this nostalgic coffee table book skilfully depicts our incredible journey of 150 years, with stories, facts, and treasured photographs. It captures the buildings, the people and the essence of Rhenish; it is a truly proud and meaningful contribution to the official recording of this milestone for both Rhenish and Education in South Africa. The two authors are true Rhenishers - Letitia Snyman was Principal at Rhenish for 18 years, from 1986-2002 and Penny Berens (nee Starke) matriculated in 1960, the school’s centenary year.

+27 21 887 6807 | info@rhenish.co.za
Koch Street, Krigeville, Stellenbosch
PO Box 87, Stellenbosch, 7599
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