A Place Called Prep
A story of beginnings and endings
A story of hope and hardship
A story spanning more than a century
A story of a place called “Prep”
a history preserved.
St Andrew’s Preparatory first opened its doors in 1885. Since then, the school has prided itself in building up an ethos of caring, fairness, honesty and loyalty. Prep values freedom of expression, whilst respecting the rights, beliefs, customs and feelings of others. It values compassion and does not condone emotional or physical bullying. Prep is a place filled with fun and laughter where sound discipline is balanced with love and regard for the individual.
We aspire to grow children who love, care, respect and discover; True Blue Preppies, whose actions speak for themselves.
Prep’s Value Statement
To live Christian lives according to the values of integrity, humility and compassion in service to our children, families, community and country.
Prep prides itself as a nurturing family school where children are educated in a caring, Christian environment within the Anglican tradition. Preppies are encouraged to develop their full potential as we seek to send them forward with a sense of purpose, convinced of their own value and individual talents and abilities.
We are committed to providing a holistic educational programme based on:
- The concern for individuality and independent thought
- The development of a positive self-image and respect for others
- The dedication of a growth-orientated, caring community of teaching staff
- The application of current education principles to satisfy the needs of boys and girls with a wide range of abilities in an inclusive atmosphere
- Communication with the entire school community
- The spirit of love, fairness, honesty and loyalty.
Our success is measured in terms of confident, happy boys and girls who leave Prep equipped to continue to face the challenge of the contemporary world with courage and sensitivity.
Armed with three-legged pots, various ingredients, wood and matches, the boarders set out on the first Sunday of the First Term to hike to a chosen spot to make their fudge. In groups, they make their fires and mix their ingredients. The judges are our Student Housemasters.
Once the competition is done, the boys swim in a dam or explore the veld around them.
The Prep Parade honours the many Old Preppies who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the various wars. It links us traditionally to the St Andrew’s College Cadet Corp, the Retreat Ceremony and Remembrance Day. Preppies are taught to respect and appreciate the benefits they share and to realise that they came at a high price.
The boys are called to `Come on Parade’ by one of the Grade 7s. They assemble in lines on the Hasie Court. The boys dress their ranks, stand easy and take time to reflect on those of our school who gave their lives in pursuit of freedom. The boys then file into Final Assembly and Parade is over.
In early days, the Preppies congregated in the large room below Lions Dormitory, first for prayers and roll-call, then for instructions at the end of the morning. It was dubbed “Big Classroom”. With the growth in numbers since then, the boys gather each morning for Big Classroom on the bricked area in the quad known as the Hasie Court.
The origins of the game are unknown, but this game has been played since Prep’s early years. The lines of the court were originally swept in the dust of Squeakers’ pitch, later to be enshrined in brick on the “Hasie Court”. The rules change with the passing of the terms, occasionally even the passing of the weeks, but the shoes are still lined up at break time to establish fair order of play.
Old Prep Supper
An annual event where Prep invites all the St Andrew’s College and DSG Matric pupils who were at Prep to return for a special dinner to bid them God Speed as they end their school careers.
After a three course meal and speeches, the gathering moves upstairs into Griffin House dormitory for Monkey Dorm Races (see below). Old Prep Supper is an evening filled with camaraderie between young and old that always elicits much friendly competition and nostalgia.
Monkey Dorm Races
The building of Tigers Dormitory in 1905 created a natural indoor race track for inventive and active boys to exploit. All subsequent dormitories were built in the same design and the races first developed in Tigers continue to this day. Boys race five legs: crawl backwards on all fours; crawl forwards on all fours; do the monkey-walk; walk and run in a relay race that forms an inter-house competition. Monkey Dorm races are a particularly popular part of Old Prep Supper, where the Old Preppie Matric pupils from DSG and St Andrew’s College compete against current Preppies and House Masters in a tightly contested and often boisterous event. The races comprise the five legs described above. The Old Prep Supper races see the Old Preppies (from College and DSG), the Old Preppie Grade 11 Waiters, Grade 7 A and B teams, a Junior (Grade 4-6) team and a Cubs team from Fairlawn (Grades 1-3) and a Student Housemasters’ team competing for honours on the evening.
This special occasion is the official Grade 7 Leavers’ Dinner. All our Grade 7s, together with their parents, are invited to a nostalgically beautiful evening in celebration of the Prep family and the wonderful times they have enjoyed here.
Before the speeches begin, the boys receive their Old Prep tie, which they put on during a tie donning ceremony.
Table Farm Trek
The Table Farm Trek takes place early into Term 3. All Grade 4-7 Preppies are bussed out to nearby Table Farm for a camp out on the Friday evening. The following Saturday morning, the boys walk or run the 13km route back to school.
Our Pre-Primary and Junior Prep families join us on Saturday, either being bussed to Table Farm for the 13km walk/run, or beginning a little later at Fairlawn, for a 5km round route. All are welcome to participate in the walk on the Saturday. The Friday campout evening is reserved solely for pupils and staff.
Leaving a Legacy: Carving the Names
The second Headmaster of Prep, Griff Mullins, otherwise know to the boys as `Bollai’, fixed a deal board in the play room and invited boys to carve their names on it in 1905. Before long, the carving of the names became an important tradition. For some years, only the Senior 8 were allowed to carve their names, but now every Preppie who graduates from Grade 7 leaves his mark on boards specially erected in “The Triangle.” These boards stand as a proud part of the School’s heritage and boys are able to trace their descendants back three, four or even five generations.
I’LL SING YOU ONE-OH!
… so begins the Prep song, and so begins the Prep story. I’ll Sing You One-Oh! traces the carefully researched history of a small day school born out of necessity, then nurtured to become the Mullins family’s boarding school. Entrusted into the care of its old boys, Prep expanded, matured and ultimately returned to the care of its founder, St Andrew’s College. The story of Prep, written by Lorraine Mullins – grandson of the first Headmaster, son of the second Headmaster, Old Preppie, Teacher, Housemaster, Second Master, Chairman of the Board, Member of the Board of Governors and school archivist – is a poignant and uplifting story of a dream that became a reality and record of an independent school that is woven into the fabric of Grahamstown, the Eastern Cape and South Africa.
This limited signed edition can be purchased email@example.com