History of Shaw Park Primary School

Shaw Park Primary was started in 1880 as a mission school for the children of the 1820 Settlers in the area. Apart from during the South African War and the two World Wars, the school has remained open and functional. We opened our doors to all races in 1993 and now service not only the rural learners, but many learners from Wesley, Hamburg, Kleinemonde, Port Alfred and Bathurst as well.



  1. 182126 September William Shaw preached first sermon under a tree near present Shaw Park School. William and Thomas Cockcraft donate 25 acres of land to the Methodist Community of Shaw Park.
  2. 186410 September – Shaw Park Church officially opened.
  3. 1874Shaw Park Day School granted permission to use the Chapel as a school.
  4. 1879Permission requested for a school building to be erected on the grounds of the Shaw Park Methodist Church.
  5. 1885Mr Sampson elected as the first teacher of Shaw Park School. It was decided at a meeting that the teacher was to repair the schoolhouse out of his own purse.
  6. 1890June. A clock was bought for the school.
  7. 1891July. The Shaw Park Masonic Lodge made a donation of £13.10 to the school.
  8. 1892Mr Timm elected as teacher after Mr Sampson’s death. The Committee decided that his holiday would be granted when they thought it necessary! School fees were set at 13/- (class 1), 12/- (class 2), 10/- (class 3), 9/- (Class 4).
  9. 1894A school concert was held to raise funds for the school. £5.9.6d was raised.
  10. 1900The School Committee requested the Superintendent General of Education to close the school from 1 April “owing to the depressed state of the country through drought, locust and the war and other things”. The school was closed until 1911.
  11. 1910The school was taken over by the Department of Education.
  12. 191117 July. The school was reopened and 15 pupils were enrolled.
  13. 1913A group of the schoolboys brought loads of ant heaps to the school with the aid of a cart and, on their own, built the cricket pitch.
  14. 1914-1918The schoolmaster was instructed to forbid pupils to carry firearms in the school grounds after they were found to have a revolver!
  15. 1918After the Armistice, the pupils of Shaw Park planted a row of fir trees to commemorate the end of WW1.
  16. 1920-1930Although Grade 7 was taught at the school, most pupils moved to schools in Grahamstown after Grade 6.
  17. 1938The first Primary Schools Sports Day was held for all the local farm schools. The sports days were suspended during WW2 but commenced again in 1947.
  18. 1954Shaw Park School was given a telephone number.
  19. 1957The first sermon preached by Rev Shaw was commemorated.
  20. 1960Decision taken to build a second classroom and employ a second, permanent teacher.
  21. 1961Foundation stone laid for the new grade 4 -6 classroom.
  22. 1962New classroom taken into use.
  23. 1964Burglary forced the committee to replace the wooden windows with steel windows.
  24. 1967Tennis court built.
  25. 1970Netball field levelled and marked.
  26. 1979Tennis practice wall erected.
  27. 198018 September: school centenary.
  28. 1981Gestetner/Roneo machine acquired for copying worksheets, etc.
  29. 198216 pupils enrolled. Girls went on a netball tour to East London. Elliotts allow the school to use their swimming pool for lessons.
  30. 1983Competitive interschool gala held in the Purdon family pool. Rugby introduced and the Oribi’s (rugby team) were born.
  31. 1984The Shaw Park Creativity Centre was opened for pre-primary children.
  32. 1987Principal away for two months for military service.
  33. 1989School connected to ESKOM.
  34. 1990School allocation from the Government for the year: R160. This paid for stationery and other supplies.
  35. 1991Enrolment of 29 pupils: a record!
  36. 1993Shaw Park Primary opened to all races.
  37. 1994The school held an “1820’s” camp at Penny’s Hoek. Pre-primary building is erected.
  38. 1995Enrolment increases to 54 pupils. “Lucas of the Apes” production performed at the Grahamstown Arts’ Festival.
  39. 1996First Annual Cycle Race held.
  40. 1998Outing to Oudsthoorn
  41. 2003“A midsummer night’s dream” performed by Shaw Park children.
  42. 2004RNCS (Revised National Curriculum) instituted.
  43. 2005First Duckling Derby held.
  44. 2012Annual Granny and Grandpa Day concerts started.
  45. 2013New red and black sports’ uniform introduced.
  46. 2014First Shaw Park Primary Golf Day held at the Royal Port Alfred Golf Club.
  47. 2015Hamburg included in the Wesley bus route. 


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