Jupiter Street Primary School celebrated the fifth anniversary of its founding, last Thursday.
Principals from surrounding schools, members of the governing body and various education officials were among those at the event, held at Ocean View High School.
The no-fee school’s marching band showed what it can do, and the choir sang the school song, which was composed by music teacher Edwin Mullins with lyrics written by the school’s staff.
Principal Andre Pretorius said he had been enjoying his retirement and had just joined the Falcons motorcyle club in 2019, when he had been asked to help out at the school for six months.
“It has always been a dream of mine to have a motorbike,” he said.
He had retired earlier that year after 40 years at Heathfield Primary School, where he had been the principal for 26 years.
In the first month at his new posting, he said, there had been no furniture and pupils had had to sit on the floor.
The past five years at the school had been a “joy for him”, he said, adding: “The school is placed on the mountain for a reason. It is a spiritual place and place for learning, a place where you can achieve your dreams.”
He will be retiring at the end of the year.
Cherie Meyer-Williams, director of the metropole south education district, said Jupiter Street Primary had become the school of choice in the community.
From humble beginnings with 102 pupils at the start of 2019, it now has 608 pupils and 21 staff members.
“Jupiter Street Primary is a place where children can learn to grow, where they can be challenged and supported. It is a place where they can learn the importance of character and the importance of service,” she said.
Khayakazi Namfu, CEO and founder of Education Ally, a non-profit that supports no-fee schools, said the school was the embodiment of what a community could achieve when they put their minds to it.