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School Video

Parel Vallei Timeline

Parel Vallei High School opened its doors in January 1986, with twelve staff members and 190 learners in Std 6 and 7. Its real "Date of Birth" was on 21 October 1985, when the first parents' meeting was held in the school hall of Beaumont Primary School. Mr André Muller and Mrs Nolene Duvenage were part of these twelve staff members. They are still here!

Mr Boudewijn de Vries (1986 - 1996), the founding principal, established our school at the foot of the Helderberg on a portion of the historical farm Parel Vallei.



Other historical highlights:

  • 2018
  • The governing body, management and staff are proud of the many highlights we have achieved together, The Blue Thread team, in 2018 and we look forward to build on all spheres of our body, mind and spirit approach to learning and enabling learners to achieve excellence in this ever changing world.


    NSC exam 2017: PV received the following Western Cape merit awards:
    Academic Excellence: one of the top schools in the Western Cape: 12th position;
    Most improved school in Information Technology;
    2 learners are listed on the Minister’s Top Merit list;
    8 learners achieved top 10 positions in various subjects;
    237 candidates wrote and achieved an average of 71.44%;
    71 merit awards (“A” passes);
    A 96.2% Bachelor’s pass;
    547 subject distinctions.
    The WCED awarded PV’s grade 9 class of 2017 with the following:
    Mathematics: a certificate for achieving a pass rate of 50% and above from 2016 – 2017; A certificate and trophy for consistently achieving a pass rate of 80% and above for the past three years from 2015 - 2017.
    A certificate for achieving a pass rate of 70% and above from 2016 – 2017;
    A certificate and trophy for consistently achieving a pass rate of 80% and above for the past 3 years from 2015 – 2017.


    In the national Mathematics competition of the Die Burger, Beeld and Volksblad, 3 Parel Valleiers were ranked in the top 5 positions;
    PV achieved 5th place at UCT’s Mathematics Olympiad;
    At the South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF), one learner placed 1st out of more than 100 000 learners who participated nationally;
    One learner was placed second and another learner first at the University of Pretoria’s Mathematics Olympiad.
    One Parel Valleier received SA colours for Maths Olympiads;
    At the Pan African Maths Olympiad (PAMO), a Parel Valleier won two medals and was the WINNER of the olympiad’s female section, after which she was crowned ‘African Queen of Mathematics’;
    10 learners from PV were chosen by the University of Stellenbosch for the Boland Maths Olympiad team that participated nationally.


    Once again the University of Stellenbosch awarded PV as one of their top 100 feeder schools - 2nd nationally;
    At the Junior Bio-Science Olympiad, PV achieved a second place in the country and one learner received a gold certificate and nine learners silver certificates.
    Best researched project, two special awards, one gold and seven silver medals were awarded at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists;
    At the Life Sciences Bioscience Global Olympiad, PV’s team received a gold medal and a Parel Valleier won the Olympiad;
    At the Mintek competition PV’s team achieved a second place in the provincial platinum division and one Parel Valleier came first in the individual platinum division;
    After this outstanding achievement, this learner was selected for the Western Cape team and took part in the National Minquiz. Overall, the Western Cape team attained third place and our learner, a FIRST place in the national platinum division.


    Four drama productions were staged by our very own Drama teachers and did exceptionally well;
    During the National Acting Competition, one learner achieved a 3rd place;
    Our Drama group toured to Montagu and revived a tradition;
    PV’s Playhouse festival grew to 7 plays;
    Grand West High School Jam:
    PV were once again invited to participate at Grand West. They had a smashing performance and were the first school EVER to perform original pieces, which lead to a recording session at the KFM radio station;
    PV won the Strand Rotary Debate;
    Our Eisteddfod (Stellenbosch and Helderberg) achievements include:
    8 trophies
    17 medals
    25 Best Achievement Awards
    88 Cum Laudes
    63 Gold+ certificates
    41 Gold certificates
    Additional awards across both Eisteddfods included:
    PV choir - at Stellenbosch Eisteddfod received a trophy for Best Sacred Work and at Helderberg Eisteddfod received an Outstanding Achievement certificate in the MIXED CHOIR category;
    PV Big Band - at Stellenbosch Eisteddfod received a trophy for Best Jazz Orchestra and at Helderberg Eisteddfod received Outstanding Achievement in Brass/ Woodwind Band category;
    PV Instrumental ensemble - at Stellenbosch Eisteddfod received a trophy for best small instrumental ensemble;
    Django Trio - at Helderberg Eisteddfod received an Outstanding Achievement in small ensemble category.


    Cycling - at the Western Province Spur Schools’ Mountain Bike League, our mixed team placed 1st. At the National Spur Schools’ Mountain Bike League, Parel Vallei finished 4th in the Mixed School category and 5th in the Boys’ category. In the provincial final, a PV cyclist claimed 3rd place.
    PV is proud to be realised as one of the Top 5 cycling schools in SA;

    Rugby - Last year, we reported that it will only be a matter of time before we are included in the premier B rugby league, and this year this dream became a reality!

    This year, two learners have been selected for the WP Coastal Tournament team;

    Tennis - PV’s u/15 players won the HSB T4J doubles tournament;

    Hockey - 32 Parel Valleiers were selected for Boland hockey sides;

    Our u/18 hockey girls ended second and won the silver medal at the Cape Town International Schools' Hockey Festival. During the Investec Hockey Festival, this team placed second overall. These girls rank 16th and our u/18 boys 55th, nationally;

    In the u/16 category, our boys and girls ended in top 12 positions;

    At the end of term one, more than forty Parel Valleiers had the privilege of visiting the Netherlands as part of the PV hockey tour for thirteen days to play against well-known Dutch hockey clubs while exploring the Netherlands;

    Swimming – PV won 2nd place at the Frank Myburgh Twilight Gala;

    Netball - a full-time netball manager has been appointed to head up PV’s 25 netball teams and to take this sport at PV to the next level. One u/17 learner was chosen for the Western Cape Oaks team;

    Overall 56 learners were awarded colours for provincial school sport, 52 for non-school sport and one learner achieved national colours for a school sport;

    During August; more than 1 500 children took part in the PV/Pearson exchange. Parel Vallei welcomed 705 learners and 85 staff members from Pearson High School on home soil for the first time. This was truly one of the highlights of the year, with activities in various sporting, cultural and academic fields!


    This year, the long-jump runway, telephone and irrigation system was completed. The following projects are in process: the purchasing of new musical equipment and the upgrading of the Technology class.

    In 2018, PV received over 630 applications for the 260 places in grade 8 and we look forward to growing this proud brand with the support of all role players, because we know, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Aristotle

    Proud to be a Parel Valleier!

  • 2017
  • The governing body, management and staff are so grateful for the many highlights the school managed to achieve throughout this year. Excellence in a changing world certainly rings true.

    On academic level:

    NSC exam 2016:PV is once again listed as one of the Top 20 schools in the Western Cape.
    Five grade 12 learners achieve top 10 positions in their subjects.
    PV places 7th among WCED schools for Afrikaans Home Language.
    203 candidates pass the exams with an average of 70.67%.
    53 merit awards.
    A 96% Bachelor’s pass.
    407 subject distinctions

    The WCED awards PV with a certificate of excellence for the grade 9 provincial mathematics systemic tests. (PV was one of only our schools to receive the award).

    Two learners achieve 1st place at the University of Pretoria’s Mathematics Olympiad.

    PV achieves 3rd place (for the fourth time) at UCT’s Mathematics Olympiad.

    Die Burger ranks PV in 4th position for Mathematics in the Western Cape.

    During the Bio Science Olympiad, PV is ranked 2nd in South Africa.

    Two special awards, two gold and seven silver medals are awarded at the Eskom Expo for Young scientists.

    On the cultural front:

    Three drama productions are staged by our very own drama teachers. One of the pieces, Kopskoot, is invited to the national ATKV-tienertoneel finals at Artscape and achieved 4th place.

    During the National Acting Competition, two learners achieve 1st and 2nd place respectively.

    PV wins the Strand Rotary Debate.

    Our eisteddfod achievements include:
    8 medals
    28 Best Achievement Awards
    59 Cum Laudes
    47 Gold+ certificates
    33 Gold certificates

    On the sports field:

    For the fourth consecutive year, PV reigns supreme at the Interschool’s’ Athletics!

    PV cycling holds the position in the Top 5 cycling schools in SA. At the Western Province Spur Schools’ Mountain Bike League, our boys achieved 2nd place, and our mixed team ended 4th. At the National Spur Schools’ Mountain Bike League, PV’s cycling team showed true grit and pedalled their way to a 1st place in the mixed category, 1st place the girls’ category and came 2nd in the boys’ category.

    Rugby: for the first time in PV history, we have four age groups on national ranking lists. (It is but a matter of time before we are included into the premier B rugby league). 5 learners are chosen for the Southern Cape rugby touring side that represented South Africa in Australia.

    Tennis: For the first time in PV tennis history, we now play in the B league!

    Hockey: our u/18 hockey girls win both the Fairmont and Kingswood Hockey tournaments. During the international Spur Hockey Tournament, our girls place second and went on to WIN the Investec hockey tournament. During the Fairmont tournament, PV is also awarded Best co-ed school.

    Seventy learners are awarded colours for provincial school sport, 52 for non-school sport and four for national school sport.

    2017 will always be remembered as the year we first visited Pearson High School. With over 700 PV learners and 60 members of staff, we trekked to Port Elizabeth with expectation and bucket loads of gees.

    We competed on all terrains: sport, culture and academically. We look forward to their visit to Parel Vallei in August 2019.

    On the home front, we installed a new telephonic system, bought a discus cage and upgraded the long jump runway. The municipality provided additional parking in Aberdeen Street for which we are so grateful.

    We look forward to the upgrading of our music instruments and equipment, effective irrigation, the continuous upgrading and improvement of technology in our classrooms, improved security systems and the renewal of our tennis courts.

    We are proud of the 587 grade 8 applications we received for 2018. We will continue to strive for excellence in all areas of body, mind and spirit. As a Blue Thread family we will always strive for excellence in a changing world.

    PV pride

  • 2016
  • “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

    This quote by Aristotle is surely the case at Parel Vallei, as we celebrate the following 2016 highlights we achieved TOGETHER:

    On an academic level:

    PV is once again listed as one of the Top 20 schools in the Western Cape and was invited to the Western Cape 2015 National Senior Certificate Awards Ceremony at Leeuwenhof hosted by Helen Zille, Minister of the Western Cape, and Debbie Schäfer, Minister of Education in the province. At this event PV received the following merit awards:
    One of the top schools in the Western Cape with a Bachelor’s Pass rate of more than 90%;
    The best improvement in Information Technology;
    Excellence in Engineering Graphics and Design: Siann Bester.
    The grade 9 class of 2015 is recognised for excellence in Language at the Western Cape Litnum Awards;
    At the regional finals of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, 9 Parel Valleiers achieved: 2 gold medals, 1 silver medal and 6 bronze medals;
    Through the Parel Vallei Advanced Education trust 2 learners achieved more than 80% for their IEB AP Maths exams and 5 CIE A Level distinctions were achieved by Parel Valleiers.

    On the cultural front:

    PV produced four dramas this year – the most ever! One of the plays, ‘Van Ons Moeders’, WON the Logan Tienertoneelfees at Fraserburg as BEST PRODUCTION as well as the Dawie Maritz trophy for several achievements on stage;
    Six drama students were selected to compete in a national drama competition and one of these Parel Valleiers won the junior division;
    We are proud of the following Eisteddfod achievements: 6 medals, 25 best achievement certificates, 87 Cum Laudes, 62 gold + and 25 gold certificates.

    On the sports field:

    The Inter-schools’ athletics’ trophy remains on PV ground – where it belongs;
    Our girls’ first hockey team moves up 13 places claiming a 16th place in the country and our boys’ first team, 26th in SA (10 places up from last year). Source: www.sachoolsport.co.za.
    At the WESTERN Province Spur Schools’ Mountain Bike League, PV’s cyclists were crowned as the best mixed team, best girls’ team and our boys won a 2nd place;
    At the NATIONAL Spur Schools’ Mountain Bike League, PV’s cycling team showed true grit and pedalled their way to a 2nd place in the mixed category and came 4th in the boys’ category (only 3 points behind the 3rd place winner);
    Parel Vallei won the “RUGBY SCHOOL OF THE YEAR” award, as the school that most improved their rugby! This award truly shows the BLUE THREAD spirit of commitment and pride (www.ruggas.co.za);
    The u/19A rugby team won 80% of all matches played and received various accolades;

    A new student leadership structure was welcomed and a prefect body were elected to various portfolios representing specific constituencies. The portfolios are: Tradition, Media, Culture, Service, Academics, Sport, Spirit and the RCL (Representative Council of Learners) with representation from all the grades reporting directly to the SGB through the head boy and head girl.

    PV constantly updates the facility and grounds and this year a roof was built over the pavilion, the kitchen next to the hall was updated and more air-conditioners were installed.

    PV definitely stayed relevant and competitive during this year and will continue to strive for: Excellence in a changing world, in all spheres of life!

  • 2015
  • This year 1 240 learners and 104 staff members once again pursued excellence by following our school’s BMS (Body, Mind and Spirit) approach. For the first time the feeling of belonging, unity and love that binds us all has been captured in the all-encompassing term the BLUE THREAD.

    This year we celebrate our 30th anniversary and new traditions such as Founder’s Weekend and the grade 8 camp are established.

    Together we are proud Parel Valleiers and we are happy to celebrate the following 2015 highlights!

    On an academic level:

    PV is once again listed as one of the Top 20 schools in the Western Cape, achieving the 17th position
    the grade 9 class of 2014 is placed 10th in the Western Cape for excellence in Mathematics and Languages at the 2015 Litnum Awards.
    PV achieves a 4th place at the UCT Mathematics Olympiad.
    PV is registered as a Cambridge Associate School for advanced education by the British Council.

    On the cultural front:

    four drama students are selected to compete in a national drama competition and one of these Parel Valleiers win the competition!
    PV achieves an overall 2nd place at the annual Grand West Backstage Pass, High School Jam!
    more than 90 Parel Valleiers participate in the Back to the 80’s musical and together reach cultural excellence!

    On the sports front:
    the bulldog dedication and fighting spirit is tangible when PV wins both the spirit AND athletics trophies at this year’s Interschools! ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts!’
    our PV mixed cycling team cycles away with an overall first place in the Western Cape.
    our girls’ first hockey team achieves a 29th place in the country while the u/16A rugby team manage to claim the 17th position (Source: www.sachoolsports.co.za).

    The perimeter fence around the school is completed and the bathroom renovations continue. A new rain shelter is constructed at the main entrance of the school.

    PV receives more than 500 applications for 260 vacancies in Grade 8 for 2016. Once again we are reminded that PV is a school to be reckoned with in this ever-changing world in which we live!

  • 2014
  • In April, a dedicated and respected Parel Valleier, Mr Ettienne Gouws, retired as headmaster after more than 17 years of dedicated service to the school. Mr David Schenck was welcomed in May as the new leader.

    This year was characterised by many highlights such as the record amount of applications (470+) that we received for the 260 places in grade 8 for 2015, as well as the official launch of the PVU (Parel Vallei Union) for old learners, parents and friends of Parel Vallei.

    On campus, the foyer and Ledbury House (headmaster’s residence) were upgraded.

    The use of the school badge and PVH logo on the school uniform was amended.

    Through the school’s BMS (Body, Mind and Spirit) approach, the following were achieved:

    Mind: PV once again excelled in academics and retained itself as one of the Top Performing Schools in the Western Cape.
    Spirit: One of PV’s drama productions (WolkKop) achieved the highest accolades nationally, when they won the 50th ATKV-Tienertoneelkompetisie!
    Body: The boy’s cycling team excelled by being ranked 3rd and the mixed team 5th in the country; and our first hockey teams climbed the national ranks for High Schools.


  • 2013
  • Early in 2013, we discovered that, based on the total number of Matric passes, as well as the percentage of Bachelor passes and overall matric results, we were the Top Performing School in the Western Cape in 2012.  This is quite an achievement!

    In various sports, eight of our learners received National Colours and fifty learners Provincial Colours.

    In the cultural arena, our Drumline received the highest awards at the Stellenbosch and Helderberg Eisteddfods.  PV’s English drama production (Hyperbole) secured first place at the Durbanville High School Drama Festival and our newly established Film club paired with Macassar High School to produce a short film for the Ubuntu Teen Film Festival.

  • 2012
  • Probably one of our most challenging years, when it comes to managing a large school, while still doing two huge projects.  During the course of 2012, the Hockey Astro-turf was built. At the same time, ten new classrooms were erected at the northwestern end of  the existing building.  This was well- received by the whole Somerset West community as it will enable our school to take in more pupils in the future.  We also had the second team of consultants, from Georgetown University in Washington, who  came  to help us with the long-term planning of our school’s future.  Their input was invaluable. Our strategic planning is in place and has been  well thought- out for the next five years.

    Academically, we hit all the right notes!  Our Matric class achieved tremendous success.  Three of our Matrics were  placed in the Top 20 in the Western Cape.  Besides this, we were awarded Top Mathematics and Top Science School in the Western Cape.  This is a fantastic achievement.  We also received accolades for producing one of the largest groups of 100% Matric passes in the Western Cape.
  • 2011
  • Academically, this unheralded year has probably produced the best Matric results of any Matriculation group.  For any Matric class to achieve a 72% average is quite exceptional.  There were no pupils in the WCED Top 20, but as a group, unrivalled success was achieved.  It was also the year during which a really big decision was taken – to build an Astro-turf for our hockey players the next year (2012) Right at the end of the year, the Education Department took their final decision to invest 7, 6 million rand in a project which would provide 7 extra classrooms.
  • 2009 - 2010
  • Our next goal is to install two Astro - Turf hockey fields to meet the huge demand for this sport, amongst both boys and girls.

    2009 and 2010  proved to be financially challenging years. The recession could be felt in many different spheres. However, we  maintained clear focus on our core business - educating children through our key imperatives: Academic, Sporting and Cultural excellence. By doing this, we develop the mind, the body and the soul of every young person, “ ENABLING EACH INDIVIDUAL TO ACHIEVE EXCELLENCE IN A CHANGING WORLD”!
  • 2008
  • 160 learners, 72 staff members, 206 matrics 12th best Mathematics school in SA with more than 100 Maths HG passes in the 2007 Matric Exam! (Only 13 other schools in SA achieved this) Major additions to the school building - class rooms, offices, library, mini- theatre, music block, cafeteria. Improvements to main entrance hall, admin block, staff room, school hall, indoor sports hall under the “Afdak” were undertaken and taken into use in January 2009.
  • 2006
  • We celebrated 21 years of excellence with 1 065 learners, 55 staff members, 156 matrics Our own pavilion was completed!
  • 2000
  • The “Afdak” was completed next to the school hall.
  • 1997
  • Mr Ettienne Gouws was appointed as the second headmaster of Parel Vallei.
  • 1993
  • The Club House was constructed at the sports fields.
  • 1990
  • 454 learners, 30 staff members, 88 matrics.
  • 1989
  • First Matric Class: 40 learners (16 boys, 24 girls) First Head Boy; Paul van Niekerk and First  Head Girl; Kim Meldrum (now Groenewald).
  • 1987
  • School Uniform introduced - navy, white and bright blue. School Badge, designed by Christo Maritz, a std 7 learner. It is comprised of: the gable of the Parel Vallei Farm homestead -a window in the gable, symbolises insight (”Intellegentia”) -the open book symbolises wisdom (”sapientia”) -sun and light emphasise the message of our motto “Sapientia et Intellegentia”, a Biblical quotation used at the first gathering of pupils and staff, at the opening in January 1986. School Song - text written by Mr J.F. Spies. Music composed by Dr Guurt van der Tas.


In 1997 we had a very important strategic session during which the staff, management and Governing Body plotted the future of our school.

After very meaningful discussions and deliberation, we came to the conclusion that we were entering a time of huge change. We were on the threshold of introducing OBE (Outcome Based Education) and realised that the one constant going into the future would be change!

We were very proud of our academic excellence and were working hard at bringing sport and culture up to the same level as the academics. Around the table we penned our Vision for the future: "EXCELLENCE IN A CHANGING WORLD"

Since those very important discussions we are very proud to be able to say that we really do achieve excellence in our ever changing environment.

Some 10 years ago my wife and I attended a stage production of the musical ‘Evita’ which depicted the life of Evita Peron, wife of the Past President of Argentina.
During the show, Evita says, in a very defiant moment: "I’m proud to be and Argentinian."

At school at the time, I was thinking about ways in which I could spark off some pride in the school. Although many of our pupils had tremendous talent, they were often lacking in confidence and were almost scared to show pride in themselves or their school. I took Evita’s words and entered our own name and got: "Proud to be a Parel Valleier". I motivated and encouraged pupils to buy into the concept of having pride in themselves and in what they do but without being arrogant.

We also started to use this slogan on the foot of all our outgoing mail and on our letterheads. Interestingly, some of the grade 8’s, when they answer the question in their little test about the motto of the school, say that, “Proud to be a Parel Valleier” is the school’s motto instead of the real motto "Sapientia et intellegentia."

Long may this slogan live in the hearts and minds of our learners and may they always be "Proud to be a Parel Valleier".

Ettienne Gouws