Changes in a developing global, knowledge-based world, together with a growing understanding of how people learn, have shifted the focus of education from gaining and replicating knowledge, to developing students who can transfer and apply their knowledge both in and beyond the classroom.
When a child joins Sacred Heart College, he or she begins a journey that will carry them through to 18 and beyond.
Our curriculum runs seamlessly through every section and is designed to prepare your child for life in the 21st century. It teaches children and young people to think creatively and critically, to care and build flexible skills for a fast-changing world of new technologies.
We are guided by the five Characteristics of our Founder, St Marcellin Champagnat
Relate with sincerity and openness
Avoid pretence and duplicity
Be humble and modest
Spend time with each other beyond the classroom
Listen to each other
Make an effort to understand the world
In the Mary’s Way
Reflect on the meaning of life
Be grateful for God’s love
Love of Work
Recognise work as an act of service and love
Do your work. Do it well
Appreciate the dignity of work
Balance work with rest and recreation
Care for each other
Lookout and care for the weaker ones
The Marist History
The Marist Brother movement dates back to 1816, where Marcellin Champagnat, a young French priest, tended to a young boy on his deathbed, who had no knowledge of God and His love. He founded an order of teaching brothers near Lyon. They called themselves The Little Brothers of Mary. As the Brothers grew in number, they travelled around the world, with their mission to make God known and loved. They arrived in South Africa in 1867 and began to transform the way the education system worked.
The Marist Brother movement began in France in 1816 in the wake of the French Revolution. From 1817 Fr. Marcellin Champagnat, accompanied by seven brothers, ran a primary school in the village of La Valla and educated children in the basics of reading, writing and Christian teachings
Sacred Heart College was founded in 1889 by two Marist brothers, who arrived with the discovery of gold in Johannesburg. The first boys’ school was founded in Koch Street, where – two years later – attendance was 300 students.
As the school rapidly grew, separate grounds were located in Observatory. The foundation stone was laid this year.
The high school Marist College opened. Soon, the school expanded, which led to a need for a second primary school being built in the orchards of the Observatory site.
Many Jewish children enrolled, and so the school organised for a rabbi to come every Friday to give classes. The school accepted many Chinese students, even though this was not approved by the government.
During the 60s the Koch street school site became overgrown with high-rise buildings and commercial properties. This location was closed down.
Brother Neil McGurk led the school. He had an inspired vision for South African education. The school defied government decree and opened its gates to boys of all races.
The name of the school was changed back to Sacred Heart College. This school transformed from an all-boys, all-white school to a multi-racial, co-educational school, as the result of the union of Yeoville Convent and St Angela’s Ursuline.
Leaders of the uprising approached Sacred Heart College asking the school to assist with education of hundreds of young children from townships. The school welcomed this challenge, understanding the difficulties they would face with conservative white families attending the school.
The Student Representative Council was formed, encouraging students to be responsible leaders in the school as opposed to being an extension of the headmaster’s discipline authority that the prefect system promoted.
Brother Neil McGruk transformed the Yeoville satellite campus into a community school for students who had been exiled out of South Africa. As a result of this expansion, Sacred Heart College built on to its school. New classrooms, indoor sports facilities, an art, design and technology centre, among other extensions, were added to the schools grounds.
Over the past 120 years, we have provided education with heart that knows no bounds, an education that speaks to the heart and soul of each individual child. Our transformative approach continues in all aspects of our school. Sacred Heart College boasts 1 100 students from pre-primary to grade 12. We continue to look ahead, into a future that is brighter and lighter as each year passes.
The Marist Network
The Marist Network thrives in 80 countries on five continents, with a lot of focus on their 520 schools. The network also operates in a number of organisations and groups. Most recently, they have initiated the La Valla 200 international groups: Brothers and laity living in community and working together to serve those most vulnerable on each continent.