About Us

Cordwalles aims to be a boy’s best foundation for life.

Cordwalles Preparatory School is situated in Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal, a province in the Republic of South Africa. The school, proudly ‘boys only’, was founded in 1912 by the then Bishop of Natal, Bishop Samuel Baines, catering for twelve boys. Enrolment has now grown to three hundred and sixty six boys in 2021.

Boarding facilities are available for boys from Grade 4 to 7.

Cordwalles is a member of the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA). A focus on personal excellence; an emphasis on Christian values; long-standing tradition – these are just some of the facets which make Cordwalles Preparatory School a popular choice for young boys. The seventh Headmaster is Lance Veenstra.


Cordwalles is an Anglican Independent Boys’ Preparatory School.


Courage Builds Character.
(Devised by Andrew Lee – Grade 5: 2006)


To stand up for the truth, persevere, take risks, have faith, take action, feel compassion, be the best you can be.


This implies laying down a foundation on which further development takes place. Building relates to making progress, transforming, growing and achieving.


Each one of us has a distinctive and unique character. Our character is determined by our mental and moral qualities. It is exposure to situations which require courage that builds our individual personalities and makes us who we are.

We believe that a boy’s foundation is secured by building and developing SAVY

  • Skills (Knowledge): These two aspects need to be developed so that the boys are able to cope confidently in a changing and competitive world.
  • Attitude (Passion and Motivation): Our boys need to be inspired, dedicated and focused on doing the very best they can in the activities to which they are exposed.
  • Values: Boys at Cordwalles need to be instilled with the following core values:

Respect                –        for God, oneself, others and the environment

Courage               –        to stand up for the truth and what is right

Compassion        –         to care for the wellbeing of others in our community

Integrity              –          in all things to act with honesty and fairness

Responsibility      –         to act and take responsibility where necessary

  • Y – Why!?: It is so important to develop the art of critical thinking in our boys.

These aspects contribute to ensuring that boys leave Cordwalles with confidence and self belief providing them with the essential foundation for life.


Key Goals (Celebrate)

Citizenship and community
Boys are encouraged to become responsible Citizens of our country. We need to develop a learning environment in which all members of our diverse community are encouraged to understand and respect each other.

Furthermore, Cordwalles is committed to developing a shared vision, effective communication, respect and courtesy in order to form a basis for the partnership between parents, boys and staff.

Cordwalles will strive for excellence in all that it does to educate its boys. It is also essential to develop personal excellence in each boy enabling each boy to realise his God-given potential.

It is the goal of Cordwalles to develop leadership, independence and interdependence in boys so they make a positive contribution to society in the various environments in which they live.

Cordwalles aims to develop in each boy a respect for and appreciation of the environment. We believe that it is vital that our boys engage positively with the environmental issues facing the world today.

Boys only
Boy-centred education focuses on boys learning styles, interests and skills whilst catering for every boy’s individual needs. Cordwalles strives to develop Best Practice for boys, staying abreast of global trends.

Relevant and balanced
A relevant education is one that builds the spiritual, social, emotional, intellectual and physical potential of our boys through the academic, extramural and cultural elements of the school curriculum.

Cordwalles aims to develop an awareness in the boys of the difficulties faced by different sectors of our community and thereby fostering compassion for those in need which results in action and caring.

As a school we recognise the importance of embracing technology so that our boys are able to function effectively and confidently in our fast pace technological world.

Developing the emotional intelligence of all our boys is an important goal. We strive to nurture and grow boys who are able to empathise with those around them and thereby socialise and interact effectively.

Cordwalles Boys should be:

(Cordwalles to the power of three)

  • Creative, confident, computer literate
  • Organised, open minded, honest
  • Respectful, responsible, resilient
  • Determined, disciplined, diligent
  • Well mannered (Humble in victory and gracious in defeat)
  • Attitude, adaptable, aware
  • Learn, live, love
  • Listen empathetically, lead, leave a legacy
  • Emotionally intelligent, enthusiastic, environmentally aware
  • Servant Leader, sensible, significant

Strategic Plan Focus Groups

  • Curriculum
  • Staff Development
  • Grow Boarding
  • Facilities Upgrade
  • Culture/Ethos of the School
  • Financial Sustainability

Why boys only?

  • Differences between boys and girls
  • Developmental lag
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Role exploration
  • Language and reading
  • Expert handling
  • Learning styles

Why Cordwalles?

  • Small classes
  • Critical thinking
  • Specialist teachers
  • Holistic education
  • Individual attention
  • Good facilities
  • Dedicated teachers
  • Feeder to world class high schools
  • Happy boys
  • Character based

Cordwalles Badge

The Cordwalles Badge has, since the school’s inception, been a simple and bold ‘C’. This has been an easily recognisable symbol of the school to the many boys who have passed through its doors.

The school is in a constant state of growth and part of its developmental plan has been to update the badge, transforming it into one that has meaning and relevance to the boys of Cordwalles, a school that was established ‘for the promotion of Christian Education and sound learning’.

To this end, a new badge and motto was designed, with the input of Cordwalles pupils, staff, parents and old boys.Cordwalles-Landscape-Logo

The badge’s key elements are:

The shield: The shield of faith which protects us from all that is thrown at us by those forces of evil surrounding us.

The sword: The sword of truth is God’s word. We need to be brave to stand up for what is true and right according to God’s laws and decrees. It is God’s message to us that destroys the evil around us.

The St George’s cross: This reminds us of St George; what he did to fight against evil and to stand up firmly against the powers of greed, selfishness and destruction.

Cordwalles has a close association with St George. The school in the UK after which our own school was named has a huge picture of St George and the Dragon painted on its chapel wall; here in our own Cordwalles chapel is a stained glass window depicting St George and the Dragon.

St George was a Turk who came from a very wealthy family in Palestine. He rose quickly through the ranks of the Roman army, became a Christian and gave up all he had to the poor and destitute, before being martyred for his beliefs in about 300 AD. The legend of St George and the dragon grew out of his bravery to stand up for the truth and to demonstrate great compassion. It depicts him as a courageous warrior who saves a town from a dangerous dragon while on his travels around the world. Thus, St George seemed to be the logical figure around which to centre our badge and its story.

The objective at Cordwalles is to equip our boys with skills, motivation and values so that they, like St George, can courageously stand up for what is right and compassionately give to those in need, fighting against evil in our society.

In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he writes,’ Let your faith be like a shield, and you will be able to stop all the flaming arrows of the evil one… For a sword use God’s message that comes from the spirit.’


Cordwalles Purpose and Mission Cordwalles School Badge and Motto Cordwalles School Song & School Collect Cordwalles Pledge Facts of Cordwalles Code of Conduct, Disciplinary Code & Manners A Hurt-Free Environment School Charter & Committees Role