Cordies Facts

Click on a category title to reveal the facts of Cordwalles.

  • The school is an Anglican Church School founded by Bishop Samuel Baines in 1912.
  • It is a member of the Independent Schools’ Association of Southern Africa (ISASA) and as such, enjoys the support and advantages of belonging to such a body.
  • The Headmaster is responsible for every aspect of the administration of the school – academic, sport, structure, grounds etc. and also teaches Life Skills from Grades RRR to Grade 7 boys.
  • The Board of Governors meets once a term on policy and strategy issues; there are sub – committees for Finance, Grounds and Maintenance and Marketing, which also meet termly.
  • The Board of Trustees of the Cordwalles Endowment Trust is an independent body that manages funds bequeathed to the School by various benefactors.
  • Enrolment for 2002 was 234 boys and enrolment today has increased to 360 boys from Pre-Primary to Grade 7.
  • There are between 70 – 80 boarders of all ages in a homely, comfortable boarding establishment. A fully qualified nursing sister is in residence.
  • Casual boarding is welcomed, on a daily to termly basis. Twenty-four hour security is provided.
  • The school’s land is owned by the Board of Governors.
  • Cordwalles is a ‘Hurt Free School’. Any form of hurtful behaviour or bullying is dealt with in the appropriate manner and a happy and caring atmosphere is encouraged throughout the school. Senior boys interact comfortably with juniors.
  • The boys are encouraged to have a healthy self-esteem and confidence.
  • A harmonious, multi-cultural environment exists throughout the school.
  • Teaching staff attend termly in-house development seminars to ensure they are always up to date with teaching trends and developments. Staff members also benefit from courses run throughout the year; professional, motivational and personal development seminars and conferences which are offered all over the country.
  • There is a balance between male and female teaching staff, both of whom are considered extremely important in the academic, cultural and sporting development of the boys.
  • Some staff are housed on the property and assist with the administration of the Boarding Establishment and its weekend activities.


  • Class sizes are between 18 and 25 boys ensuring individual tuition yet healthy competition between the boys.
  • Boys are encouraged to be problem solvers and critical thinkers.
  • The boys are exposed to excellent resources, teaching them to think laterally and make full use of all learning tools available via the Media and Information Technology Centres.
  • Entrepreneurial programmes are in place in the Senior Primary.
  • Computer studies is an integral part of the curriculum and the IT component of the school is being expanded and improved upon each year.
  • The subjects offered include English, Afrikaans, isiZulu, Maths, Science, Social Science, Art and Design Technology, Physical Education, Computers, Speech and Drama, Music, Life Orientation and EMS.
  • Specialist teachers teach Music, Art, Design Technology, Drama and IT.
  • The curriculum is made relevant and exciting by exposing the boys to many outings.


  • Sport is encouraged as an essential process in the physical, mental and social development of the boys.
  • 12 student masters who are competent sports coaches, are employed to assist with sport and ensure that all boys receive personal attention.
  • Every team has its own coach and fixtures are arranged for all teams ensuring each boy gets a chance to play matches.
  • Boys are taught to be sportsmen in every sense of the word.
  • Visiting specialist coaches assist with the coaching of rugby, cricket, swimming, tennis and ball skills.
  • The boys are encouraged to make the most of the school’s grounds such as the forest and stream.
  • There are four fields used for rugby, cricket, hockey and athletics during their respective seasons. Each is kept in excellent condition, thanks to the school’s Support Services Manager, his staff and the water provided by efficient boreholes and pop-up sprinklers.
  • The Pennington Pavilion, on Oval Field, is also the venue for many functions held through the year.
  • A 25 metre, heated swimming pool allows inter-school galas to be held at Cordwalles.
  • All the boys participate in sport and they all play in matches.


  • Cordwalles is an Anglican Church School.
  • As such, Cordwalles seeks to ground all of its activities in faith and prayer. While we welcome and respect boys from other religious traditions or from no religious tradition, the Chapel plays a central role in the school and it is compulsory for ALL boys to attend assemblies, weekly Chapel services and any other Christian celebrations. Chapel services and school assemblies will include Christian scripture and prayer.
  • However, no boy will ever be asked to say or do anything that is against his personal religion or beliefs. Twice a term boys from grade 4 – 7 attend a service of Holy Communion as part of their spiritual development. Boys are instructed in the significance of Holy Communion. However, although all must attend the service, receiving the Sacrament it is entirely voluntary and no boy may receive it without the specific permission of a parent.
  • Boys in the Boarding establishment will be helped and encouraged to end their day with prayer.
  • All teaching in all lessons will reflect Christian values and beliefs, though boys will be encouraged to understand and respect other beliefs in a way appropriate to their age.
  • Cordwalles is affiliated to the Anglican Church of South Africa. The Bishop of KZN sits on the Board of Governors and boys attend Chapel services and assembly weekly.
  • Divinity lessons are taught to all the boys from Pre-primary to Grade 7.


  • Drama is a compulsory subject for boys in Grades 3 – 7.  An hour a week is dedicated to this subject for each class. Every boy in the school, including the Pre-Primary and Junior Primary boys,  participates in several productions during the course of the year.
  • Art and Technology form an integral part of the boys’ problem solving techniques and skills development. An Art and Technology Expo takes place at Cordwalles annually and the Grade 7 boys are involved in a Technology Challenge with other schools.
  • Grade 7 boys participate in teams in a Go-Kart Race where they design, construct and race their Go-Karts.
  • Every boy in Grades 2 learns to play the ukulele and every boy in Grades 3 and 4 learns to play the ukulele, violin and guitar in class music time.
  • All grades are exposed to at least one half-hour period of music each week.
  • Boys from Grades 4 to 7 participate in a wide range of hobbies including environmental club, squash, fishing, model building, pottery, mountain biking, canoeing, golf, board games, fabric painting, scrap booking, computers, cooking and other interests.
  • Junior and Senior choirs support school functions and participate in inter-school festivals.
  • Music is flourishing and approximately 120 boys are learning, through individual tuition, to play a range of musical instruments including the piano, guitar, drums, djembe drums, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, violin and flute.
  • Soloists, ensembles, a drum-line, rock band, guitar group, djembe drums and the Big Band play at major events.
  • Boys are exposed to the rigours of performing at assemblies and music concerts.

Personal Growth

  • A Leadership Course for all boys in Grades 6 and 7 is co-ordinated and guided by senior members of staff.
  • Leadership is encouraged throughout the school with class monitors and servant leadership being promoted at every level.
  • A Psychomotor programme includes all boys in the Pre-Primary
  • ‘Cordies Families’ is a tutor system involving Grades 1 – 7 boys in the school. Each ‘family’ is headed up by Grade 7 boys with the assistance of a teacher. The aim is to develop community awareness, camaraderie amongst the boys and to learn to respond to various situations.
  • A tutor system in the Boarding House is in place with each Boarder Master being assigned 4 to 6 boys.
  • The House Master meets with all dorm captains every week.

Boys Only Education

  • We believe that ‘boys only’ schools serve the best educational, sporting and cultural needs of our boys and this environment ensures that the boys are able to achieve personal excellence.
  • We are able to provide our boys with opportunities to explore various roles and different pursuits without the fear of ridicule.
  • We acknowledge that boys learn differently and at varying paces which may impact negatively on the boys’ self esteem if educated together with girls. Boys tend to be academically, socially and emotionally behind girls of the same age.
  • Educating boys in a boys’ school means that many distracting factors are minimised so that our focus remains on the boys and their particular well-being and personal excellence.
  • Boys enjoy firm boundaries and structure and in a ‘boys only’ school we are able to provide this more consistently.
  • The Staff at Cordwalles are experienced and knowledgeable in ‘boys only’ education.

Parents/Teacher Relationship

  • Cordwalles encourages open, two-way interaction between parents and teachers.
  • Parent evenings for all grades are held regularly, occasionally involving a visiting speaker.
  • The Parents’ Association exists not only as a fund raising body but also to facilitate communication between the school and parent body. Fund raising is devoted to specific projects each year.
  • The system of Class Mothers has been successfully implemented to assist class teachers and to develop good relationships between parents in the grade.
  • Homework books are kept by each boy to ensure efficient communication between teachers and parents.
  • Each term ‘The 100 Club’ social evening enables parents and teachers to meet in a relaxed environment at the Pennington Pavilion.
  • A newsletter is published weekly to ensure close communication between the school and its Parent Body. This newsletter is uploaded on to our school app for the parents to read and download if they wish. It is also placed on the school’s website

Community Projects

  • The boys are reminded of those less fortunate than themselves by being exposed to a Community Service programme, whereby:
    • Projects are initiated each term where particular items are collected and donated to various projects and charities, on an organised basis.
    • Support is offered on a professional and resource basis for Ashdown Primary School in Edendale.
    • Each Grade is encouraged to engage in a community project which is connected to classroom themes; this is done to reinforce the curriculum.

Fees, Scholarships and Bursaries

  • A detailed fee structure is available from the Bursar and the Admissions Secretary.
  • Fee increases have been kept to below 10% over the past several years. The school endeavours to keep school fee increases as low as possible.
  • Bursaries are available for parents with genuine financial need. The funds for bursaries are obtained from the Cordwalles Endowment Trust Fund and are awarded by a subcommittee of the Board.
  • Scholarship exams are sat in Grade 4 to be awarded for Grade 5 and these continue for Grades 6 and 7. These are open to boys from outside the school. Scholarships are awarded for Academics, Music and Sport.
  • Expressed as an average over the past five years, eight High School scholarships have been awarded to Cordwalles boys each year.
  • The Jackson Foundation funds the fees of 2 boys per grade (from Grade 4 to Grade 7) from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. The boys are awarded these scholarships on merit.

Cordies Families

The Cordies Families concept is one of boys building relationships in small groups, each made up of boys from Grades 1 – 7. There are two to three boys from each grade in every Cordies Family. All the boys in the family are from the same school house, as is the teacher assigned to the family. There are approximately twenty families, each lead by the Grade 7 boys in the family. The teacher assigned to each family is there merely in a supervisory capacity, and to support the Grade 7s where necessary.

Some of the topics which have been discussed are:
Positive role models; Role models in politics, business and sport; Leadership and leaders; Self Discipline; Manners Maketh Man; Reaching out / Outreach; Values / Core values; Human Rights; Giving; Healthy lifestyle – food; Planning and Managing our lives; St George Certificates; Peace keeping skills; Public Holidays; Hurt – Free Cordwalles; Rights and Responsibilities; Making a difference; Are you being the Best for the World?;Count your blessings; Be outstanding and Excellence in choices.

Some of the aims of the programme are as follows:
For the boys

  1. Develop relationships with boys outside their grade.
  2. To foster better understanding of one another.
  3. To empathise with others.
  4. To make others feel secure within the school.
  5. To have the opportunities to lead in different areas.
  6. To comfort others in need.
  7. To feel part of the whole school.
  8. To be exposed to different staff as role models.
  9. To develop multiple points of contact within the support structures of the school.
  10. To enhance the self esteem of each boy.
  11. To develop camaraderie amongst the boys on a vertical plane rather than simply horizontally.

For the staff

  1. Mentorship of pupils in the family.
  2. Get to know boys in your house better.
  3. Develop the Cordwalles family.
  4. Get to know pupils throughout the school.
  5. Help staff to take a special interest in individual boys.
  6. Develop community awareness.