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Shaw Park Primary School
Bathurst district, Eastern Cape



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33°27'19.86" S 26°56'47.36" E Alt: 239m

Shaw Park Primary School


Shaw Park Primary was started in 1880 as a mission school for the children of the 1820 Settlers in the area. Apart from during the South African War and the two World Wars, the school has remained open and functional. We opened our doors to all races in 1993 and now service not only the rural learners, but many learners from Wesley, Hamburg, Kleinemonde, Port Alfred and Bathurst as well.


26 September 1821William Shaw preached first sermon under a tree near present Shaw Park School. William and Thomas Cockcraft donate 25 acres of land to the Methodist Community of Shaw Park.

10 September 1864Shaw Park Church officially opened.

1874Shaw Park Day School granted permission to use the Chapel as a school.

1879Permission requested for a school building to be erected on the grounds of the Shaw Park Methodist Church.

1885Mr Sampson elected as the first teacher of Shaw Park School. It was decided at a meeting that the teacher was to repair the schoolhouse out of his own purse.

June 1890A clock was bought for the school.

July 1891The Shaw Park Masonic Lodge made a donation of £13.10 to the school.

1892Mr Timm elected as teacher after Mr Sampson's death. The Committee decided that his holiday would be granted when they thought it necessary! School fees were set at 13/- (class 1), 12/- (class 2), 10/- (class 3), 9/- (Class 4).

1894A school concert was held to raise funds for the school. £5.9.6d was raised.

1900The School Committee requested the Superintendent General of Education to close the school from 1 April “owing to the depressed state of the country through drought, locust and the war and other things”. The school was closed until 1911.

1910The school was taken over by the Department of Education.

17July 1911 The school was reopened and 15 pupils were enrolled.

1913A group of the schoolboys brought loads of antheaps to the school with the aid of a cart and, on their own, built the cricket pitch.

1914-1918The schoolmaster was instructed to forbid pupils to carry firearms in the school grounds after they were found to have a revolver!

1918After the Armistice, the pupils of Shaw Park planted a row of fir trees to commemorate the end of WW1.

1920's and 1930'sAlthough Grade 7 was taught at the school, most pupils moved to schools in Grahamstown after Grade 6.

1938The first Primary Schools Sports Day was held for all the local farm schools. The sports days were suspended during WW2 but commenced again in 1947.

1954Shaw Park School was given a telephone number.

1957The first sermon preached by Rev Shaw was commemorated.

1960Decision taken to build a second classroom and employ a second, permanent teacher.

1961Foundation stone laid for the new grade 4 -6 classroom.

1962New classroom taken into use.

1964Burglary forced the committee to replace the wooden windows with steel windows.

1967Tennis court built.

1970Netball field levelled and marked.

1979Tennis practice wall erected.

198018 September: school centenary.

1981Gestetner/Roneo machine acquired for copying worksheets, etc.

198216 pupils enrolled. Girls went on a netball tour to East London. Elliotts allow the school to use their swimming pool for lessons.

1983Competitive interschool gala held in the Purdon family pool. Rugby introduced and the Oribi’s (rugby team) were born.

1984The Shaw Park Creativity Centre was opened for pre-primary children.

1987Principal away for two months for military service.

1989School connected to ESKOM.

1990School allocation from the Government for the year: R160. This paid for stationery and other supplies.

1991Enrolment of 29 pupils: a record!

1993Shaw Park Primary opened to all races.

1994The school held an “1820’s” camp at Penny’s Hoek. Pre-primary building is erected.

1995Enrolment increases to 54 pupils. “Lucas of the Apes” production performed at the Grahamstown Arts’ Festival.

1996First Annual Cycle Race held.

1998Outing to Oudsthoorn.

2003“A midsummer night’s dream” performed by Shaw Park children.

2004RNCS (Revised National Curriculum) instituted.

2005First Duckling Derby held.

2012Annual Granny and Grandpa Day concerts started.

2013New red and black sports’ uniform introduced.

2014First Shaw Park Primary Golf Day held at the Royal Port Alfred Golf Club.

2015Hamburg included in the Wesley bus route.

2017Grade 2-5 classes are split into single grades.

2018Grade 6 and 7 classes are split. The church is gifted to the school by the Methodist Church. Grade 4 and 5 classes move into the church. The senior class block is split into three classes (grade 2, 6 and 7).

2019An extra class is built for the grade 1’s and the tuckshop.

2020The phasing out of Afrikaans as second additional language begins. Grade 1 now has English and Xhosa as their official languages at school.

About us

Set in the beautiful surroundings of pineapple country, Shaw Park is a small, co-ed school situated outside Port Alfred and Bathurst. We educate about 100 children every year from Grade RR to Grade seven in an environment where our children feel safe and secure and have the freedom to develop to their full potential. Much of the school’s success lies in the team of dedicated teachers and staff who often go beyond the call of duty to ensure that each and every child is cared for and acquires the skills necessary to develop into caring, confident and respectful adults who are able to cope with life in all its spheres. We strive, at all times, to live up to our motto, “Initium Validum” (a good start) by giving our learners the very best grounding in all spheres of their development. At Shaw Park our children are encouraged to be children and to enjoy all that nature has to offer. While the school provides an environment where learning is fun, we expect cooperation, a positive attitude and mutual respect from all our pupils.


As part of their holistic development, all the children at the school are required to participate in sport. We offer tennis, hockey, netball and cricket. We play matches against a number of schools in the area. Our teachers are all sports coaches but we also call on the expertise of community members who are willing to share their skills with us. As many of our children travel from far afield, we incorporate our sport into our daily programme, staying for an extra hour on a Monday and Thursday for practices.


Our vision is to be recognised, by the Department of Education, parents and learners, both past and present, as an exemplary educational facility in the Lower Albany District. Our school will be noted for:

  • being a safe, refreshing and stimulating educational environment;
  • offering dynamic and relevant education to all;
  • respectful, generous and loving interpersonal relationships;
  • individual attention for all learners, regardless of ability.

Mission statement:

All who work at Shaw Park Primary School are committed to:

  • creating an educational environment in which the rights, customs and beliefs of all are respected and protected;
  • providing services to our colleagues, our parents and our learners that not only meet, but exceed their requirements;
  • providing a nurturing and caring environment in which all people feel secure and relaxed;
  • striving to work to the best of our ability, both as individuals and as a team;
  • encouraging creativity, innovation and excellence from everyone in our school;
  • cultivating leadership at all levels of the school;
  • maintaining financial discipline and keeping our school financially viable;
  • promoting healthy relationships with all in the Shaw Park and Lower Albany Community.


The school has three buses which collect children from Port Alfred, Bathurst, Kleinemonde, Wesley, Hamburg, Fish River, Mpekweni and surrounding farms. The children are brought to school and taken back to their various stops in the afternoon.

(Liezel Willows and Eve Clayton, October 2020)

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These notes were last edited on 2020 10 13