Welcome to Penryn

Where we make a difference and enable one and all to soar on eagles' wings



Executive Head's Welcome

Welcome to Penryn College’s website – I hope that you enjoy learning more about our unique school.

Penryn College was founded in 1991 through a partnership between private enterprise, key members of the Mpumalanga community – including the late Dr Enos Mabuza – and St Stithians College in Gauteng.

The original vision was to establish a community centre that would act as a ‘beacon school’; a centre of excellence from which an educational community initiative (now called Penreach) would reach out into the surrounding disadvantaged school system.

This vision still holds true today.

This initiative, begun in 1994, was to be a powerful force in the reconstruction and development of education in the Mpumalanga Lowveld, by striving in real and practical ways to meet the educational needs of partner communities, and has achieved this.

Today, Penryn College is a top independent, co-educational school situated between Nelspruit and White River that provides quality holistic education from Pre-school through to Grade 12.  A Christian ethos pervades all that takes place at the primary and high school and as such its links to the Methodist Church of South Africa are all the more valued.

Scholars and staff are still involved in the outreach activities of Penreach, now a fully-fledged NGO that annually reaches between 300 000 and 500 000 learners across Mpumalanga.

Penryn’s unique and spectacular setting overlooking the Crocodile River valley provides an idyllic space for its scholars to grow and learn. The school’s innovative approach to nurturing the intellectual, physical, spiritual and emotional well-being of our scholars sets it apart as a leader in education in the area and beyond.

From the youngest 3-year-old to those about to move on to tertiary education, our scholars are challenged to step beyond their comfort zones in order to develop into strong, independent-minded, responsible, global citizens. We focus on all aspects that make up a vibrant school life including academics, sport, drama, art and leadership activities. Our boarding houses offer a unique experience, filled with opportunities for personal development and establishing life-long friendships.

The respective sections on this website contain more information about each of these 3 entities that constitute Penryn College.

This year we celebrate 25 years as a beacon school in Mpumalanga and we encourage one and all to join us in celebrating the successes of our exceptional school through the special events taking place during the course of  2016.  Please visit the Quick View page for a link to our dedicated 25 year webpage.

Christian Erasmus
Executive Head of Penryn College

Parent Information

General Ethos

Penryn College believes that children inherently want to do the right thing, and as such positive behaviour is reinforced and encouraged.

Every scholar entering Penryn College is expected to follow the guidelines of the Courtesy Charter, a set of guidelines that outline the values and behaviours that we hold as revered, and abide by the behavioural expectations of the Disciplinary Policy. They are based on Christian principles.

Copies of the policy documents are available on the Quick View page under Downloadable Documents.

Making an Impact

The school continues to produce young men and women who will make a contribution to our country across a broad range of professions. Scholars are encouraged to involve themselves in the many outreach opportunities available, including those through Penreach.

The education offered at Penryn is not limiting and dogmatic, but 
rather encourages scholars to engage, debate and form opinions of their own.

Read the article about two Penryn Alumni that received the prestigious Mandela-Rhodes scholarship in 2015. Tessa Ware and Natasha Ashley were selected out of 5 000 applicants across the continent and are among 50 candidates who have received the scholarship. 


Penryn College provides a contemporary education which challenges, stimulates and excites. Scholars are taught by enthusiastic, passionate experts in their field, producing outstanding results.

Foundation Phase

The Foundation Phase curriculum gives prominence to the improvement of each child’s English skills, stresses the importance of play in learning, and provides a balanced age-appropriate curriculum.
Read More

Preparatory School Phase

The Senior Primary Phase curriculum is broad-based and encourages experiential learning, while at the same time preparing children for the academic standards expected of them in College.
Read More

College Phase

Scholars are taught in an environment centred on individual academic excellence. The focus is not only on achieving fine results, but on expanding minds.
Read More


At the heart of life at Penryn is the expectation that all will strive towards activities and behaviour that follow Christian principles.

A Chaplain is seconded from the Methodist Church of South Africa, who is employed to provide guidance and counselling for the Penryn family.

All scholars at Penryn attend Divinity/Religious Education lessons and Christian chapel services twice a week. Prayer meetings are held regularly during break times as are communion classes.

Visits to neighbouring churches, along with Christian camps and activities, add to the Christian ethos of the school.

Penryn College is an inclusive school and we welcome all religions. 



Penryn's latest news

Much fun has been had this week in the build-up to our away Derby at Uplands. As part of the build up, our Scholar Exec. organised a spirit week where scholars swopped their school uniform to dress up as their teachers and teachers dressed up as scholars (creating great confusion in the staffroom). The week has been really successful and these have been four days of such fun.

A reminder, exams are just around the corner and all scholars really need to be hard at work in preparing for these June exams. Should your child be struggling and need guidance regarding study skills, they must speak to either their Tutor, Mes Hay or Carstens to assist in drawing up guidelines.

On another note, I would once again like to congratulate the Matric Class of 2016. Today we received the results of the supplementary exams that some scholars wrote. I am pleased to announce that our university pass rate increased to the highest ever at Penryn. The rate is now 92,5% Bachelor Degree Pass. This really is a testament to their hard work as well as that of our incredible staff. Well done!

EV Challenge:
The 2017 race was the 6th annual running of the South African Electric Vehicle Challenge and had the largest number of entries ever, with 33 teams entering and 28 teams making it to the starting grid.

For two of the team members, this has been their 4th attempt at the Challenge, so the victory was particularly sweet for them, after so many attempts and near misses. On their journey to the victory this year, they achieved a second place in the drag race event held in April, and then landed up partially destroying the car the weekend before the race at the qualifying event. After repairing the car during the week, they were afforded the opportunity to attempt a late qualification, during which they set a new lap and sprint record for the track. This resulted in them taking up 6th place on the starting grid. 

Their race was also not without incident, in that both Michaela and Siya had serious altercations with other vehicles on the track, from which they escaped relatively unscathed.  However, Siya’s accident did result in the rear tyre deflating, so the last 5 laps of the race were completed with the car riding on just the rim of the rear wheel. It was largely fortitude and unfailing attention to keeping the car moving along steadily for the entire hour that resulted in them ascending victorious onto the winners’podium.

Congratulations to the Phoenix team from Penryn College. They walked away as overall winners of the Electric Vehicle Challenge 2017 and as winners in their vehicle class. #penrynpride

Please see the latest College Newsletter for more details :College weekly 16 24 May


Today sees us welcome a myriad of visitors to the campus for our annual Winter Sports Festival.  Our Netball and Rugby teams will be in action against visitors from St Stithians, Woodhill and The Ridge from the Highveld, as well as numerous local schools from Nelspruit, Malelane and Hazyview.  It promises to be a most exciting weekend, and I would like to encourage all our families to pop in and support our boys and girls on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Please note that the ring road will be closed from 13h00 on Friday until 11h00 on Saturday morning.

On behalf of all at the Prep we extend our best wishes to the College for their Derby weekend at Uplands this Friday and Saturday.


Eskom Expo for young Scientists, 2017
Due to project based learning taking place at Penryn Prep during the 1st and 3rd terms, a decision was taken by school management not to make the Penryn Science Expo a compulsory event. Pupils from Grade 5 - 7 are however welcome to enter the Eskom Expo for young Scientists individually. If pupils are interested in doing so, they should speak to Mr van Rensburg by 2nd June 2017.  Pupils cannot enter the Expo on their own as it needs to be done through the school. Mr van Rensburg will register all interested scholars interested for the Regional Expo which takes place on the 26th August 2017 at the Shalamuka Science Centre. 

Pupils are advised to browse through the following webpage (https://www.exposcience.co.za) regarding the various topics they can choose from.


Penryn Prep Latest Newsletter :Newsletter May 25


  • Congratulations to Julanie Stapelberg (Class of 2012) who passed her BSc Honours in Plant Sciences with distinction. Julanie was also awarded the Inqaba Biotechnical Award which is awarded to the student with the best grade point average in the Biotechnology Honours programme.




School Activities

A comprehensive and vibrant programme of sporting and cultural activities complements the excellent academic curriculum.


Culture permeates every aspect of our being. It has been said that “culture is like an iceberg, that only ten percent of it is visible and the other ninety percent is hidden below the surface”.

Penryn aims to give every scholar opportunities to develop in every aspect of their person. Somewhere between academics and sport, the cultural activities find a niche. From competitive one act house plays and choir to ballroom dancing and crazy cards – Penryn wants to do it all. If you have an idea that will enrich the lives of others – Penryn Cultural activities are for you.


Scholars are required to play a team sport each term. Grade 12s are expected to play a winter team sport, and be fully committed to the sport programme where they have had a role to play in the years leading up to their matric year. Scholars are expected to practice and play in uniform and according to guidelines on commitment and communication. Participation and excellence in sport are acknowledged in the Penryn Awards Policy. 

The Goal of Penryn Sport 
The Goal of Penryn Sport is to be competitive amongst the top independent schools in South Africa, and in local leagues, while encouraging scholars to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle.

Sports offered are as follows:

First Term:
Athletics club, Swimming and Training for winter team sports
Second Term:
Rugby, Boys & Girls Hockey, Netball, Tennis, Mountain Biking, Chess and Rock Climbing
Third Term:
Boys & Girls Soccer, Tennis, Boys & Girls Cricket, Inter-house Athletics, Mountain Biking, Chess and Rock Climbing
Fourth Term:
Cross Country, Boys & Girls Cricket, Swimming and Athletics




Penryn College offers a rich, varied and exciting range of sporting activities to enhance the extra-curricular lives of those who attend the school.

The physical well-being of our scholars is an important aspect of the education offered at Penryn College, not only to encourage life-long physical wellness but also for the obviously positive aspects of socialising with their peer and opposition players. 

The sports programme caters both for those who seek a highly competitive environment, with fixtures both locally and nationally, or for those wanting to enjoy more relaxed, sociable physical activity.

In addition to all the traditional, mainstream sporting codes, Penryn makes the most of its breath-taking surroundings to offer such alternatives as falconry, archery and mountain bike racing, with several trails on and around the campus. There can be few venues around the country where sport can be enjoyed in a setting quite so spectacular.



Penryn College is located on a spectacular site on the Boschrand Hills overlooking Nelspruit, covering over 400 000 square metres of land. Classrooms and educational spaces are attractively located amongst lush gardens, with winding paths leading between the various buildings. Extensive playing fields and sporting facilities and change rooms are comparable with the best in the country – but very few can compete with the breath-taking view.

Penryn Technology

Internet access is available on campus through our WiFi mesh and three computer laboratories. While a sophisticated firewall is in place, central to the provision of Internet access to our scholars is educating them on the safe and appropriate use of online resources. In addition, Penryn is rapidly integrating portable learning technologies into the teaching and learning endeavours of the school. Students are encouraged to use the network for research and the facilities are made available to them during class time, breaks and afternoons, and for boarders in the evenings. Penryn uses Obami as an intranet.

Prep Computer Centre

We have a well-equipped Computer Centre that is used extensively by both our learners and teachers. Our computer teachers introduce the learners to computers from Grade 1, and computer lessons form part of the weekly timetable up to Grade 7.

Lessons are integrated with what the teachers are doing in the classroom, using our wide variety of software. This enables us to make