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Herschel was established in February 1922.

The property belonged to VA Schonnberg, who, when he sold the main estate in 1834 to the astronomer Sir John Herschel, retained this portion of land and named it after his illustrious neighbour.

In July 1921, the estate was bought by The English Church Schools Association, with the aid of a generous loan from John William Jagger, to provide for the needs of the many girls living in the Southern Suburbs who wished to attend a private school. The first Headmistress was Miss Morley Armitage Ralph, and the school opened on Wednesday, 1 February 1922, when the first seven boarders arrived. On the following day, Thursday, the roll call was taken and the first school day began with prayers led by Archbishop Carter. There were twenty-nine girls on the roll and seven staff members. Herschel’s first head girl was Enid Harsant. The formal opening was held two weeks later, on Thursday, 16 February 1922 and we still celebrate our Founder’s Day on the Friday closest to 16 February.

The Honourable William Jagger would take delight in the proud institution that Herschel has become today. It is a school that enables its pupils to attain high academic achievement and become citizens who are able to make a difference in the society they enter. Although the school has a long tradition, it has remained innovative and relevant to changing educational needs.

School Song

We are assembled here in love,
We are united, we care for one another.
The greatest lesson of all is the one
That teaches us to live together, together.

Everyone’s a spark and in the night
Together we make a light, a fire burning bright
Ad Dei Gloriam; Inkosi mayibongwe:
To the glory of our God: this is what we believe.

In times of trouble we support
Our fellows; we are taught to be there for our friends.
And all around us, there will be
That special unity, that binds us all together.

If we come back after many years,
We will think fondly of the things that we remember,
And the friends that we made then,
These will be friends forever, forever.

By Thandi Siebert, Head Girl 1993