Founding of Beaconhurst School

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. They introduced an affordable housing scheme for young couples and a very good house could be bought for £1500. Soon afterwards Beaconhurst Dairy was sold to residential developers and its name was changed to Beaconhurst Estate.

In 1951, shortly after its completion, floods swept the first bridge that was built across the Nahoon River away. The original Batting Bridge that was completed in 1953 suffered a similar fate. In 1965 Beaconhurst Estate and Bonza Bay Village combined to form a Village Management Board. This new board was granted municipal status in 1968 and became known as Beacon Bay, with its own mayor, town clerk and councilors.

Beaconhurst Primary School opened on January 21, 1959, as a temporary school, in a house – 4 Hillcrest Drive- with Mrs. van Rooyen as 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, Mrs. Anna Wanda Willis, to help him. 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. Mrs. Willis taught in the lounge. 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 Mc Jannet, Chairman 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 enrolment 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. Today these facilities are known as the Foundation Phase Campus and it accommodates all learners from grade R to grade 3. The principal and Mr. Chapman, a school committee member, flew to Cape Town to discuss further developments with the Chief Provincial Architect, Mr. Clark. 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. The PS (Prestige Student) System was introduced in the same year. In 1991 the school blazer was replaced by the wearing of a school tracksuit. Mr. Van Hoeslin retired in 1993 and Mrs. Barbara Taljard held the acting appointment until 1995 when Mr. P.K. 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 accommodates the Pre-Primary and Foundation Phases. 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.

VISION

To become a community supported school.

MISSION

To educate people for life in a community school up to grade 12

VALUES – BEACONS

  • To base education on a strong Christian foundation while fostering respect for other faiths and belief systems
  • To ensure the learners and staff experience a caring, secure and disciplined environment
  • To maintain a high standard of education
  • To develop the self image and social skills of the learners
  • To provide quality sporting opportunities for learners
  • To expose our learners to a variety of cultural activities that will enrich their lives
  • To constantly upgrade the school resources through effective planning and responsible management.

Principals Report

This website is intended to help you to get to know us better. Beaconhurst School is situated in Beacon Bay and the majority of our learners are from the immediate community. As a school we try to make every learner feel that he or she is part of a caring family. Our dedicated teaching staff ensure that the learners receive quality education. They continuously encourage and support every child to give of his / her best.

Beaconhurst School promotes a balanced, healthy lifestyle that can be persued well after the child’s school career has ended. For this reason we encourage every child to be actively involved in our school’s extra mural programme. We also encourage the parents to become actively involved in the everyday life of the school.Together we strive to create a warm, caring environment that is condusive to happy children receiving quality education.

At Beaconhurst School learners are respected for whom they are.