Family (parent/guardian) Information

Welcome to South Africa!

So you and your family have just arrived. Welcome! Here is some useful advice from us at the International English School.

We see many high school and primary school children coming to South Africa and going straight into school. The dilemma is that parents want their child to start school immediately, but is this always the best option for your child?


  • Cold fact: In order to make friends this is a good idea
  • Cold fact: Children who are not fluent in English often fail their first and sometimes their second year at school
  • Cold fact: Teachers do not have time to help students who need extra English support
  • Cold fact: Some of the best schools will not even accept your child until their English is good enough
  • Cold fact: Some schools will accept your child because they want the money
  • Cold fact: If your child has to repeat a year it can be very demotivating as their friends will leave them behind
  • Cold fact: Many schools will ask the child to start at a lower grade so that the first year doesn’t matter

Our recommendation if the learner is of high school age

We recommend that you allow your child to learn English first. Once they can communicate well enough, enroll them into a school. They can still have private English lessons with us in the afternoons and over weekends. We can offer high school subject support and continued learning in English. They can also attend our school during the school holidays.

Our recommendation if the learner is of primary school age

We recommend that you enroll your child into a reputable school and supplement their regular teaching with private English lessons with us in the afternoon. Young children learn quickly through play and there is much less pressure to speak perfect English at primary school level.

Schools in the Helderberg:

Private Schools Description Address Telephone Web site
Somerset College primary and high school

boarding facilities

Bredell Road, Somerset West 021 842 0050
Helderberg High School Seventh-day Adventist

open to all

boarding facilities

Annandale Road, Helderberg College, Somerset West 021 855 4949
Somerset West private school small classes

primary and high school

Andries Pretorius St, Somerset West 021 852 8451
International School of Cape Town in Helderberg UK school system

primary and high school

Hazelden Drive, Heritage Park, Somerset West 021 851 6290/1
Somerset House primary school

boarding facilities

Somerset House, Drama Street, Somerset West 021 851 7164/5


Government Schools Description Address Telephone Web site
Hottentots Holland High School co-ed high school Eiland Rd, Somerset West 021 852 1405
Parel Vallei High School co-ed high school 95 Parel Vallei Road, Somerset West 021 852 1228
Rhenish Girls High School girls’ high school Koch Street, Stellenbosch 021 887 6807
Paul Roos Gymnasium boys’ high school Paul Roos Gymnasium, Suidwal, Stellenbosch 021 887 0017
De Hoop primary school primary school Old Stellenbosch Rd, Somerset West 021 852 3576
Beaumont Primary School primary school Van Der Merwe Rd, Land En Zeezicht, Somerset West 021 851 7124
Rhenish primary school primary school Doornbosch St, Stellenbosch 021 883 3152


Children Day Care Description Address Telephone
Baby day care baby care Oceanview Rd, Somerset West 021 851 4057
Little Rascals Day Care Center pre-primary Irene Ave, Somerset West 021 851 5656
Christian Academy of Excellence pre-primary Somerset West 021 851 8337


Universities/Colleges Web site
University of Cape Town
Cape Penisula University Of Technology
Stellenbosch University
University of Western Cape
Northlink College
College of Cape Town
Boland College
Boston College

A note about the South African education system:

Children start school at about six years of age in South Africa. There are only two levels of school education: Primary School for year 1 to year 7, and High School for year 8 to year 12. Younger children go to Kindergartens or Pre-Primary. After completing High School, you can join a tertiary education institution (a university or vocational college) for further training.