In a dynamic and stimulating environment, we provide an education of body, mind and spirit.
We educate for life. We help young people to become happy, confident and competent people of hope and personal integrity, with a deep sense of justice and compassion and, with this, a sense of social responsibility to transform the world around them. At the College we are united around values that shape our vision and practice of education.
Sacred Heart College traces its origins to the arrival of two Marist Brothers in the mining town of Johannesburg in 1889. The school in Koch Street Johannesburg started with five pupils but within ten years was 800 strong. It moved to its present premises in Observatory in 1924.
The school started as an all-boys, all-white and Catholic school that provided a high-quality academic and sporting education. Very soon, boys from other faiths were admitted. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, the school welcomed Chinese pupils although the government did not approve this.
In 1976, under the leadership of Br Neil McGurk, the Marist Brothers defied government decree and opened the school to boys of all races. Four years later in 1980, girls from two near-by convents were admitted and “Marist Brothers – Observatory” reverted to its religious name, “Sacred Heart College”.
In the decades before the end of apartheid, Brother Neil McGurk and the Marist Brothers welcomed the challenge of assisting with the education of youngsters from the townships as well as both children of political leaders of the struggle and the children of the emerging Black middle class despite the difficulties of appeasing conservative white families.
Sacred Heart College’s history has contributed to a school environment that fosters an inclusive society in South Africa, one which encourages all members of its community to benefit from the integration of children and teachers from a variety of ethnic, religious and economic backgrounds.
At present Sacred Heart College accommodates children from Pre-Primary School to Grade 12 in the Pre-Primary, Primary, Junior High and Senior High School. The school equips children with a high-quality, academic education using 21st century skills and incorporating the latest technology. We provide a faith-based education that produces learners who can think critically, find innovative solutions to challenges and succeed in life. We are affiliated to the global network of the Institute of the Marist Brothers, a Catholic order founded by St Marcellin Champagnat, and involved in the education of children and young people.
Families choose Sacred Heart College for their children’s education for a variety of reasons. Some choose the school because of its co-educational nature, or because a child can remain on the same campus from Pre-School to Matric. Some attach importance to its excellent academic record. Some are drawn by its religious affiliation and identity. Its unique characteristic, however, is its diversity, which represents the mosaic we call “the South African Rainbow Nation”. It offers an educational experience that is based on the values of the gospel, which include justice, tolerance, fairness, peace and respect for one another. Open dialogue and critical thinking are nurtured.
We have an extensive community service programme, which has as one of its goals: “Children supporting Children” in which learners across all grades participate in fundraising and community service projects. We also support a refugee educational programme called “Three 2 Six” which educates 150 Grade 1-6 learners in basic literacy, numeracy and life skills.