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 Newclare Primary School, Randburg, Gauteng:
South Africa 2023            

The school was established in 1917 by Founders Memorial Congregational Church. The school at this stage was the biggest school in South Africa, consisting of 84 teachers and approximately 3600 pupils. It originated as a double story building made of corrugated iron with 10 classrooms. The office block was made of brick and it is still in use today.

Newclare Primary School Badge

Mission Statement

We the educators and parents of Newclare Primary School herewith pledge our commitment to achieving excellence and enrichment. We further pledge to manage the educational system in a manner that is transparent, accountable, democratic and effective by engaging all stakeholders and the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE).

To achieve this, we must strive to ensure:

1. That the school is well managed and has a healthy, friendly and effective learning environment
2. That the stakeholders participate in the planning, policy development and vision of the school
3. All learners are empowered by developing skills to lead a productive life
4. All learners are taught correct attitudes and values such as self-respect and respect for democratic rights, religions, cultures and languages of every person
5. All learners are developed into well balanced individuals i.e. Spiritually, intellectually, socially, physically and emotionally
6. All educators are empowered by affording them training in new and effective teaching methods
7. All educators are encouraged to help learners in different ways to promote culture of eaching and learning
8. All the above is possible if the school has the necessary finances


There are 1100 pupils from Grade R to grade 7, aged 4-14
Principal -
Mr Derek Eastwood
International Link Teac
her - Mrs Maureen Mesimela

Mrs Mesimela became involved in International Activities between Smiling Valley Inrtermediate Farm School and Byrchall High School in 2011, while working as the Director of Education for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Port Elizabeth.

Mrs Mesimela continued her connections when she moved to Johannesburg. She now teaches at Newclare Primary School. Both of the schools are developing and planning a new library. Newclare Primary School will open the library in November 2023. Byrchall High School will open its new school and library in September 2024.

Newclare Primary School has been supported in the development of its new library by Newton-le-Willows Rotary Club in the UK, who are already connected with Byrchall High School. The exploration of the design of a new library and subsequent work to develop literacy, writing and oracy will follow, as both schools are at the design stage of a new library, and then will develop its use.


The schools will start with a small focussed project, with communication between the pupils in the 2

Reading for Life


  • Awareness of the importance of reading and the pleasure that can be found in books.

  • Lifelong love of reading

  • Improved reading level to age or beyond 

  • Reading for enjoyment is vital to a child’s development and future success in life

  • Increased pupils’ access to books with characters who are diverse, inclusive and representative

  • Broaden knowledge beyond their locality and develop cultural capital increased the focus on reading for enjoyment in their school

Update for May 2024

Next Steps

Byrchall High School has its plans for the Learning Resource Centre, opening in September 2024. Newclare Primary School have a new library in place already, and are looking to expand this to include a study area and computers. The schools are sharing how they are encouraging pupils to use these areas and encourage reading and study.

In South Africa and in the United Kingdom there are government elections during these current months. The schools are going to follow up with reading, writing and speaking activities for the pupils based on the book “If I Ran the Country”.

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