The miracle that is today Penryn College has its origins in the dark days of the late 1980's. The active pursuit of a policy of under-educating black South Africans has left generations functionally illiterate and with no background in mathematics, science or even simple book-keeping. The massive socio-economic disparities between the different communities in this region are nowhere more obvious than in education. This was a problem that no single school outreach programme could address. Every aspect of education from physical facilities through educator capacities and motivation, learner attitudes, learning materials to management were in disarray. The dream was that if Penryn could make a difference to 100 educators in 10 schools then 5,000 pupils would have a better future.
Against this background of simmering revolution of the late 1980's, Penryn College was unique in that its very establishment was to address the problems in education. The vision was to build a beacon school; a centre of excellence from which a major education outreach programme would be developed into the surrounding disadvantaged school system.
Penryn College would:
Share its expertise and facilities with underprivileged schools;
Have a strong environmental component;
Be linked to the Methodist church;
Be twinned with St Stithians College.
From its humble beginnings in a small church in 1991, Penryn is now a vigorous, growing school with over 800 pupils on a 22 hectare campus. It consists of three schools: Pre-primary, Preparatory and College, catering for pupils from Grade 00 to Grade 12.
The key to Penryn's success thus far has been its continued commitment in using its resources for the improvement of education within the Lowveld. The facilities and the expertise based at Penryn are therefore also to be used for educational outreach for traditionally disadvantaged students and adults from the wider community. This has resulted in the formation of PENREACH - a schools' development initiative of Penryn College.
Since the first brick was laid, the Penryn Trust has raised several million rands for the development of the present facilities and they continue to raise funds for the completion of the school. Many prominent National and International business have invested in Penryn's vision (Sponsors)
At present the school has over 24 classrooms, four Science laboratories, two Computer Centres, a Media Centre, Junior Hall and impressive Chapel. There are also Boarding Houses, a swimming pool, 4 tennis courts, netball and basket ball courts and fields for soccer, hockey, cricket and rugby. The school has a staff of dedicated teachers which has led to the creation of a disciplined, happy learning environment.