Aurora Private School, popularly famous as Aurora, is a private institution situated in Sundowner, Randburg. Three women, Debbie Adam, Wendy Benbow-Hebbert, and Judy Nicholas initially set up the educational institution in 1993.
The present venue of Willowridge School at TV Park Campus was originally the location of Aurora. After buying the site in 1998, from a well-known TV production company, the institution was shifted to its present location. The Puttick and Taurus roads are the two major throughways that lead to the school.
With an unconventional layout, the school has its complexes designed in circular shapes, which has names inspired from the planets of our solar system.
Ranging from event management, business management, ITSI and ICDL computer to catering, Aurora offers a wide variety of external certificates that can be achieved by the students throughout their time spent at the school and this, in fact, makes Aurora different when compared to any other school in Johannesburg,
With an affiliation to the independent assessment agency of IEB, Aurora strives for its entire matriculates to graduate with their NSC after completing their grade 12.
The subjects allotted for 7-9 graders include: Afrikaans/Zulu, Arts and culture, Computer literacy, Economic Management, Science, English, Human and Social Sciences, Life Orientation, Mathematics, Physical Education, Natural Science and Technology.
For 10-12 graders, the subjects include: Afrikaans/Zulu, Mathematics/Mathematics Literacy, English, Life Orientation, Travel and tourism and Physical education, as compulsion, wherein additional subjects are: Business Studies, Consumer studies, Drama, Design, Economics, Geography, History, Life Science, Physical Science, CAT and IT; out of which three choices have to be made by the students.
Situated on the periphery of Sandton and Randburg in Johannesburg, St Stithians College is basically one of the Methodist church schools in South Africa. It abides by a coordinate educational plan with a group of institutions within a village comprising of a junior preparatory, boys’ and girls’ preparatory schools, boy’s and girl’s colleges and since it is a Methodist school, it shares ties with Penryn College, Kearsney College, Kingswood College and Epworth High School.
The institution is also an active participant in the list of G20 Schools Group. The Boy’s and the Girl’s Colleges are the participating delegates in The Round Square Conference of Schools.
With a vision based on the design of his previous school in Grahamstown, G.K. Tucker got an idea to start a Methodist school in Johannesburg. He turned to the people for finances, as The Methodist Church didn’t have enough money. William Mountstephens and Albert Charles Collins, were the two cornishmen Methodists who started making a name in the country.
Out of the two;Collins died first, which led to the birth of the Trust that helped in building Tucker’s dream of the Methodist school. The Trust was officially inaugurated in April 1941 that had a name inspired from the’ birthplace of Collin, Stithians (village in Cornwall), as suggested by Mountstephen.
The trustees were G.K. Tucker, D.F. Corlett, J.B. Webb and C.H. Leake.
The Trust then purchased a land, a part of Driefontein farm for a value of 8713, in 1943. But unfortunately, no further success was achieved until the War ended. At the beginning, it was believed that the building prices might drop; hence, the trustees put the process to a halt. But later, since it didn’t turn out as expected, the decision to carry the work further was made in 1951.
Sadly, Mountstephens could not make through it and he passed away before the school was built. Simultaneously, his widow took a great interest in this school till the time she was alive. Initially, the school was kept running like any other secondary school but later, the debate to make it a co-education arose. Since, the area was newly formed, the Trustees had to give up their decision in front of the circumstances. The people who live there wanted to have a boy’s school, a preparatory school and a secondary school too.
The first classes in this school began on 28 January 1953, which covered only a few Grades including Grades 1 & 2, and 8 & 9. On 3 February 1953, a conventional opening ceremony of the school was held. W.G.A. (Wally) Mears was elected as an introductory headmaster, who also taught Latin, English, Geography and History to its high school. Scripture, Mathematics and Science were taught by Mr. E.M. Harris, while Mr. Minnaar taught Afrikaans. In its second year (1954), grade 3 to 7 and Grade 10 were added too. And, in 1956, the school had its first group of Matriculates. As the years passed, Wally Mears drifted from teaching and moved to administration. The school has its hall named after him.
In 1995, St Stithians Girls College was established to create a coordinate module to its Boy’s College. Mrs. Anne Van Zyl was elected as the headmistress. The classes that were primarily opened included grade 0 – 3 that expanded later to cover all the grades including grade 11 and 12. In 1997, the school had its first batch of grade 12 graduates. The Girls College was basically called the St Stithians Girls Collegiate, which was changed later. In 1994, the boy’s side of its rugby field, held the first classes. As participants in the co-ordinate module, boys’ and girls’ school frequently had mixed classes in Afrikaans, isiZulu, English, Art, Drama and Computer Science. The Collegiate was then shifted to freshly built complete school later in 1996. The College added on to its facilities further that included a huge library, more number of computer rooms, a gymnasium, a ‘tuck shop’and a lecture theatre which was used to conduct assemblies and class plays. The college had its first batch of matriculates in 1997.
In the same year, the Girls College had its first founding houses chosen too, that were named after the towns within Cornwall, connecting the College with its ancestors. The process of allotting the houses to the students included randomly picking a chit out of a hat with son it. The houses were named Cambourne, Stratton, Trewen and Kenwyn respectively. There were many competitions held in which students from different houses competed against each other. The uniform changed with time, from white floral dresses initially (girls still use it as their summer dress) – to Red and Blue checked skirt with White blouse. At first, they had a white golf shirt as a top, which was replaced with a white blouse later in 2008.
Brightwater Commons in Randburg has the perfect golf course. Practice your golfing skills in a mini-golf round in a very relaxed and serene environment any day from Monday to Sunday. This is a perfect venue for the hole family to chill and enjoy their time. Apart from families, they also cater for children and corporate parties or functions. There is also a golfing competition when you join the ‘Golf League’ which is bound to be more exciting. Adventure Golf is played with a putter only with the holes being at par 3, 4 and 5.
After golfing you can choose to spend the night at their cool facilities or just enjoy their sumptuous meals.
Karting is a great way to spend your time in Randburg. If your family is between 7-70, you have a perfect spot at Randburg Raceway. Your safety is of high importance and that is assured with the imported karts with the latest safety equipment installed; like protective side pods and front and rear impact protection. There are also tires along the tracks for protection in case of crushing. The race tracks are wide enough hence easy overtaking and taking corners during races. The kart tires are sleek and perfectly suited for cement surfaces and you are promised great fun here. There are competitive races and top three drivers are given certificates, making up a perfect family or group activity. The Grand Prix race requires a minimum of 6 people. This can be a perfect day out during birthdays and also employee bonding sessions.
A visit to Randburg cannot end without a visit to The Market Place, withing Brightwater Commons. It is a modern building with 220 stalls with a wide variety of upmarket products. There are also restaurants where you can get great meals for your family, that also offers views of the impressive musical fountains. The market place is open from Tuesday through Sunday, also on public holidays, but closed on Mondays. Do not miss this perfect shopping experience in Randburg.
This is a wildlife conservation in Guateng’ province in South Africa which is home to the Transvaal lions. It is situated near the Lanseria airport and Fourways, not far from Johannesburg and Pretoria cities. The park has carnivores like the rare white transvaal lions, stripped hyenas, brown hyenas, spotted hyenas, cheetahs and jackals. There are also wide varieties of antelopes in a different section that roam freely in their own section. Visitors to the park can interact with some animals like the giraffe in the feeding area that promises to be fun, but be sure to take precautions stipulated by the authorities to prevent any animal attack or aggression. There are also curio shops, picnic areas, barbecue areas and children play areas for enjoyment of the family of group travels.
This is a perfect mall for the ultimate shopping and entertainment experience that you can ever get. It has a mix tenancy and there is something for everyone. It is located in the heart of Randburg hence easily accessible. Its perfect water front, paved walkways and manicured lawns offer a perfect and beautiful environment for relaxation. The NuMetro cinema and Boogaloos skate park is a win for the children seeking to have fun. There are coffee shops and eateries that offer great drinks and meals for the family and those seeking a perfect hangout joint. African dancers and the live bands add to the perfect mix of entertainment that a family can enjoy to the fullest. There is entertainment that complements the summer and winter seasons.
Randburg has Northgate Ice Arena which is a perfect spot for ice-skating. There are professional instructors at hand for those training and just to ensure you are safe in the ice-rink. Your snacks needs are sorted by the availability of cool drinks, chocolates, chips and pies. The restaurant and fast food joints offer more meal options for your choice. After getting tired of skating, you can relax with a movie at the theater. It is open for 7 days from 1000hrs-1700hrs and 1930hrs-2230hrs on Friday and Saturday nights. Tuesday evenings has a special offer; half price. Do not say you did not have enough to try out skating. Happy enjoyment in Randburg!