150 years

Collegiate Principals' Cocktail Evening: 1 February 2024

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Collegiate Girls’ High School, today a flourishing educational establishment and one of the foremost schools in the Eastern Cape, had a humble start in the early 1870s when a committee of progressive English Port Elizabeth men and women recognised a need for girls’ education in the city. By December 1873, Miss Virginia Lavinia Isitt, the newly appointed principal, and her assistant, Miss Edwardes, were en route to South Africa by ship. In February 1874, Miss Isitt began teaching with 38 pupils at the premises at 15 Western Road.

In 2024, Collegiate will celebrate the milestone of 150 years of pursuing excellence through holistic education. We invite you to join us in the nostalgia of this historic event as we link the traditions of the past with the transformations of tomorrow. We are very excited to be planning our jubilee celebrations and have an incredible line-up of events happening throughout the year, as well as over the Founders' Day weekend in May 2024.

Here is a preview of what to expect, among others:

  • 150 books for 150 years
  • A wellbeing conference
  • Numerous community outreach projects
  • Hostel high tea and tour
  • Founders' Day Assembly
  • Old Girls’ matches
  • Founders' Day Derby
  • STEAM Week
  • Literary Festival
  • Fitness Centre

The website will be updated with further details as the jubilee celebrations roll out.

150 books for 150 years 

    Collegiate is excited about our reading initiative aimed at encouraging reading in various ways. The idea was initially conceptualised as a challenge to encourage Collegiate learners to reach the individual target of reading 150 books in 2024.

    Collegiate appreciates the value of reading as a means of enjoyment and intellectual stimulation.

    Reading is a fundamental way to discover ideas about ourselves and our world. We also view reading as a democratic experience. Thus, for this initiative, we encourage every learner in the school, whether she is a bookworm or not, to join this initiative by reading 150 books – or 100, 50, or even one or two.

    Every Collegiate learner has received bookmarks. Once learners have read four books, they are encouraged to write the titles and authors on the bookmark and pass it on to a fellow learner interested in book recommendations. Titles and authors of the books that have been read throughout the year are recorded by clicking on a link in Microsoft Teams. This helps us keep a record of the number of books that have been read by individuals and the school as a whole.

    We are also extending this reading initiative to the wider community through book drives and visits to other schools.

    With your encouragement and support, we can take Collegiate to new heights, as a school committed to reading and learning in the truest sense of the word. We believe that this is a fitting way to celebrate Collegiate’s 150th birthday.

    150 books for 150 years outreach programme: St Augustine Primary School library renovation

      Collegiate aims to give back to the community in a meaningful and authentic way by building relationships with learners at St Augustine Primary School through promoting a love of reading and renovating their school library.

      This outreach programme uplifts the community by recognising the value of giving to others through creating enriching, reciprocal relationships and restoring an important space in any school, the library.

      We are grateful for the book donations we have already received from the Collegiate community and would like to further appeal for contacts or ideas to obtain sponsorship to paint the St Augustine library and install new carpeting.

      Please email jessamyk@cghs.co.za if you are able to assist.

      Collegiate sincerely appreciates any effort made to realise this dream, as we work together to impact our world positively.

      We would like to reach as many Old Girls, former teachers and members of the Collegiate community as possible. 

      Please help us find Collegiate alumnae by forwarding this link to Old Girls with whom you are still in contact: collegiatehigh.devman.co.za

      Should you wish to be part of this event, please do get in touch with Mrs Heather Dutton by emailing heatherd@cghs.co.za.