In 1893 a group of people, lead by the Rev BP Marchand, decided that a school for girls was badly needed in Rondebosch and they obtained transfer of a portion of the Rustenburg Estate where, on the 19th January 1894 classes began at what was known as Rondebosch Girls’ High School, Rustenburg.
The school opened with 76 pupils, including 7 boarders and 11 boys. Despite the efforts of the authorities to channel boys to the newly established Rondebosch Boys’ High School, kindergarten classes included boys into the 1940’s, just as some girls attended the Boys’ school kindergarten classes. One notable “Old Boy” was a certain Dr Oscar Wollheim.
As the school grew, new premises were obtained, and a move began to split the school into Junior and High schools, although both under the supervision of Miss Bleby, the first principal. A site on Camp Ground Road was purchased and buildings erected, but when the school opened in 1906, Camp Ground School (later known as Oakhurst) was an entirely separate institution. From 1921 pressure for space on the Rustenburg Main Road site grew again, and in 1929 the School Board purchased the “Erinville Estate” and the neighboring “Charlie’s Hope” property. Handsome new buildings were erected, and in 1932, 311 pupils in Standards 7 to 10 moved to the new site, leaving behind 400 pupils in the Junior School.
While the façade of the school has remained unchanged over the years, various new classrooms have been added, a dedicated Music Block built, attached to the hostel, and in 1971, the new school hall, incorporating the old Kemp Hall and a brand new foyer was opened. In 2014, a new Mathematics and Physical Sciences building was opened and a new Astroturf Hockey Playing Field inaugurated.
Today, Rustenburg is ranked highly among the top ten schools in the Western Cape, and there is no doubt that the foundations laid at the start have been key to its success.