Beaconhurst School

About Us

Cover - About us

Originally there were several dairy farms in the Beacon Bay area. The largest dairy farm in the area was known as the Beaconhurst Dairy. The name Beaconhurst was derived from the trigonometric beacons situated in Beacon Bay. “Hurst” is a hill – hence the name Beaconhurst. A development company bought up a large track of land, in Beacon Bay, for the development of the East London North Township. Soon afterwards, Beaconhurst Dairy was sold to residential developers and its name was changed to Beaconhurst Estate.

Beaconhurst Primary School opened on 21 January 1959, as a temporary school, in a house – 4 Hillcrest Drive. Mrs van Rooyen was the temporary headmistress. Most of the Bonza Bay residents, however, did not send their children to the newly established school and only 14 pupils enrolled. In 1959 Mr J.J. Coetzer was officially appointed as principal. There were 26 pupils and he had one assistant teacher to help him, Mrs Anna Wanda Willis. Mrs Willis was in charge of the Sub A – Std 3 learners and Mr. Coetzer was in charge of the older learners. The lounge and a bedroom served as the first classrooms. The kitchen eventually became the third class room.

Mr Fred Cooper, a member of the Provincial Council invited Dr Smith, the Director General of Education to visit the premises. Soon afterwards, plans for a school building were approved. On 21 September 1962 Mrs Ruth McJannet, Chairlady of the School Board, laid the foundation stone to the new building that consisted of 2 Kindergarten and 2 Junior Primary classes, an office block and a staffroom. The building was officially opened by Dr D.J. Liebenberg, the Superintendent–General of Education, on 23 March 1963. There were 75 pupils and the teachers were Mrs Willis, Miss Motar, Miss Maclachlan and Mr Coetzer. The enrolments soon increased to such an extent that the staffroom and even one of the storerooms were used as classrooms.

In 1966 ten more classrooms were added. In 1968, the Department purchased the original Beaconhurst Tennis Club to accommodate the school’s growing needs. The principal and Mr Chapman, a school committee member, flew to Cape Town to discuss further developments with the Chief Provincial Architect. This resulted in further classrooms being built. The single storey section was changed to a double storey and the school hall was added. The cornerstone was unveiled in 1972 by Mr Fred Cooper of the Provincial Council. On 3 May 1973 the new extensions were officially opened by Minister Chris Heunis. After 10 years of hard work and planning the current main campus building was eventually completed to host between 750 – 800 pupils.

Mr. J.J. Coetzer retired in 1989, after serving the school for 30 years as Headmaster. Mr Lyndon van Hoeslin was appointed as the second Headmaster of Beaconhurst in 1990. Mr Van Hoeslin retired in 1993 and Mrs Barbara Taljard held the acting appointment until 1995.  Mr Peter Mey was appointed as the 3rd Headmaster at Beaconhurst Primary School.

In 1997 Beaconhurst Primary School took the first tentative steps towards becoming a combined school when it applied for permission to extend its curriculum to Grade 12. After two years of preparation, the school had its first intake of Grade 8 learners. There were 17 of them! At the same time the name was changed to Beaconhurst School. To accommodate the growing needs of the school, the Foundation Phase Campus was built on the Delta Park complex adjacent to the school’s tennis courts and swimming pool. It was officially opened on 22 March 2000 and accommodated the Pre-Primary and Foundation Phase classes. In 2003, a Beaconhurst dream was fulfilled when the first matric class achieved a 100% pass rate in the final matric examination. That year we had our first Valedictory Service and it was fitting that Founders’ Day was reintroduced.

In 2011, it was decided that the high school grades be moved to the Delta Road Campus and the Foundation Phase grades be moved to the Hillcrest Campus. This would then split the school into Primary and High School Campuses. It was also in this year that the sport facilities at Beaconhurst Park were completed.

Mr. Mey retired from education in 2013. Mr. Douglas Prior acted as principal from January – September. Mr. Aubrey Norman was then appointed as principal in October 2014.

In 2022, a mini – hall facility was developed at the High School Campus. This facility was named after the current principal of the time, Mr A. Norman.