Paul Roos Gimnasium – A School of Excellence for Boys

Private Property South Africa
Claire Fraser

Located on a beautiful campus in Stellenbosch, Paul Roos Gimnasium is on the banks of the Eerste River with a panorama of mountains behind the school buildings.

Founded in 1866, Paul Roos was established as a feeder school for Stellenbosch University. As such, the school is intent on excellence in academics, culture and sport. This spirit of excellence is enhanced by the tradition of the school – its ethos to prepare boys for successful careers and lives as prosperous members of society. Paul Roos has a strong Old Boys society, and many of its members occupy leadership roles in their respective industries. Amongst numerous other well-known figures in the country, Paul Roos was the school of Jan Smuts, JBM Hertzog and DF Malan, which is evidence of the calibre of leader produced within the school walls.

At Paul Roos, there is a focus on maintaining a balance between the academic, sporting and cultural lives of the young men at the school. Not only are the staff dedicated to providing top academic instruction, they are intent on giving the boys an education that extends to cover life skills, social responsibility, and the knowledge to confront and overcome challenges while fine-tuning their talents. Instruction is bilingual, and academic excellence is rewarded and so promoted in the school.

A number of winter and summer sports are available to boys on the school calendar, as well as cultural societies for them to participate in extramurally. Their commitment to their chosen disciplines is viewed with seriousness, and good sportsmen are created through their involvement in competition. As a result of the high standards expected of the boys in the practice of their sports and cultural activities, Paul Roos boys represent their school with pride and are gentlemen in the inter-school and regional arena. The instruction received in these activities is of the highest standard, and Paul Roos boasts joint first as the school that has produced the highest number of Springbok rugby players in the country.

The school offers two boarding houses, which are home to both local boys and learners from other countries. The hostels are a home for the boys during the school term and, as much as it provides a structured environment that is conducive to study and discipline, it also offers a number of social features to the learners; giving them a real sense of the serenity and happiness of home.

Paul Roos makes a real contribution to the community through a number of initiatives. The main focus of these projects is on education for disadvantaged children. With a history of strong links in rugby, Paul Roos runs a development programme for rugby players from lesser-privileged communities whereby talented learners from these communities are enrolled in the school in order to realise their academic and sporting potential. This is in keeping with a personal promise to Nelson Mandela and in the spirit of transformation within South African rugby.

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