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South African School

Waterfall College

Waterfall College is an independent, co-educational high school based in Hillcrest in Kwazulu-Natal. We provide excellent tuition by keeping our classes small, and by working with highly experienced teachers who raise the bar year after year, ensuring continuous improvement of the school, in line with the IEB curriculum and ISASA. Established in 2004, Waterfall College has an exciting future as we build on a foundation of strong management principles combined with Christian ethos. The campus overlooks the breathtaking Valley of 1000 Hills, which is also a community of great need. Waterfall College is growing its outreach activities to complement its well-established outdoor activities, thus adding value to our community and teaching the students a balance of emotional, spiritual, mental and physical skills. We look forward to welcoming you to our school!

The school with the personal touch - our story

The story of the rise of Waterfall College in Hillcrest, KZN, is quite unique. It follows the story of a local educator, Mrs Jeanette van der Merwe, who took on a challenge 10 years ago and placed her trust in God to help her achieve a noble vision for a new high school to fill a niche in the Highway community: independent, high quality, Christian, co-ed, focused on personal touch, with small classes and experienced teachers.


Based in Hillcrest and neighbouring the expanding Cotswold Downs Estate, Waterfall College is a co-educational independent high school (Grade 8-12) established in 2004. The official school motto is: ‘ Per ardua ad perfectum’ - "Through hard work excellence is achieved". This is especially true when combined with Waterfall College’s trademark small classes and well-presented student body. Hence, the school has become known as ‘The School with the Personal Touch’, appointing teachers experienced in their field, and developing each student to the best of his or her ability in academics, sports and culture


Principal Jeanette van der Merwe, whose teaching experience in Mathematics and Physical Sciences exceeds 20 years, claims she is privileged to work with such a dynamic management team and such dedicated teachers who continue to sustain and strengthen the foundation and subsequent growth of Waterfall College in academics, sport, culture and particularly in the promotion of basic Christian values and ethics which are so lacking in today’s society.


Almost 10 years ago, Mrs van der Merwe (fondly known as Mrs Van by her staff) was approached to be the principal of Waterfall College.  With so much work to be done in the tiny emerging private school founded in a churchyard in Waterfall, she felt the need for prayer support. This was warmly provided by the people of the mission to which she was affiliated at the time, called ‘The Lord’s Abode’, presently based outside Walkerville in Gauteng and run by Dr Terrence van Zyl. Over the pioneering years of the school, she has continued to call on the mission for prayers during times of challenge, and believes this is core to her leadership.


Mrs van der Merwe feels that without the prayer and support of ‘The Lord’s abode’, Waterfall College would not have been transformed into the school it is today since she took over the reins in 2004.  She refers to Waterfall College as ‘God’s school’ and chooses to change the focus from:

•    ‘me’ to ‘others’

•    ‘accumulate’ to ‘give away’

•    ‘take/receive’ to ‘serve’

•    ‘top/best’ to ‘my personal best’


in order to be constantly fulfilled and satisfied.


From humble beginnings in 2004 with only 46 students and no facilities for sport and culture, the journey began as Mrs van der Merwe initiated her strategy to recruit top quality teachers with optimum experience.  Ex-principals, deputy principals and retired subject heads of large departments of prestigious schools joined her in the drive to build a school that provides an education and teaching environment that is conducive to excellence. 


Achievements in academics, sports and culture

Waterfall College’s achievements correlate to the ethos of the school, which is founded on Christian principles and encourages students to do their best and to develop into responsible young adults prepared to contribute meaningfully to the world.


Waterfall College honours the students’ performance both inside and outside the school - in school sports such as Advanced Fitness, Karate, Soccer, Rugby and Drum Majorettes as well as a variety of specialist activities such as Track Racing, Equestrian, Dancing and Watersports. Unlike many other schools, Waterfall College recognises the achievement of students engaged in external competitive sports. Colours are awarded annually in these areas. At the recent 3rd Annual Sports Awards Evening, the impressive results of the Advanced Fitness Tests were revealed, a ‘first’ for Waterfall College. In addition, the Waterfall College Drum Majorettes squad are currently placed 2nd in KZN.


A brand new sports field has now been completed and two sports houses established (Decker and Delport after key educationalists in the Highway area), instilling a new excitement in the staff and students who are participating in history being made at Waterfall College. For the first time, inter-house events and inter-schools events are being hosted at the school on the spectacular site high on the hill overlooking the Valley of 1000 Hills. A netball field has now been added too. Next in line are the cricket facilities.


Academically, the school offers an increasing range of subjects across the Sciences, Mathematics, Languages, Arts and Commerce. The establishment of a world class Consumer Studies facility is a recent addition to the campus.  Academic awards prove that Waterfall College is building further excellence in its core competence, helping young adults to achieve the IEB matric. A recent achievement is by Grade 12 student Dylan Kriel, who secured 2 Distinctions in the National Benchmarking Tests written by scholars across South Africa for Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy.


Waterfall College offers Academic Scholarships to Grade 8 learners. Please contact the school for more information, or check the school website. Closing date is April of each year.


Detailed School Statistics

Suburb: Hillcrest

  Lowest Grade: Grade 8   Boarding: No
City/Town: Durban

  Highest Grade: Grade 12   Lowest Boarding Price P/A: N/A
Province: KwaZulu-Natal   Lowest Tuition P/A: R42900.00   Highest Boarding Price P/A: N/A
School Type: Co-Ed   Highest Tuition P/A: R48000.00   Curriculum: IEB South African
Religious: Christian Ethos   Administration Fee: 250.00   Teacher/Pupil Ratio: 1:15
Number of Pupils: 125   Founding Year: 2004   School Phase: High School

Visit school website

High School Principal:

Mrs Jeanette van der Merwe

Contact: Mrs Ethne Rogiers

Tel: 031 766 2700 or 031 766 7055

Fax: 0865622786

Email School

GPS Co-ordinates:



Physical Address:

333 Blessing Ninela Road

(old Fischer Road)