Educating the Individual
Brandcliff House is a private high school in Fairland, Johannesburg.
Founded in 1997, we are an established independent high school with a proud reputation for caring about individual students and nurturing them into well-rounded, confident young adults. We practise an open door policy that enables students to discuss any issues with the teachers after classes and with the principal. We offer affordable quality education that enables students to pursue their dreams.
How we started
In the words of Nicky Pictor, founder of the school:
“I have been a teacher for many years and am also the mother of four sons, so my understanding and experience with children and teenagers is considerable. Added to this is the fact that I really like and enjoy young people.
After the death of my eldest son aged 16, I naturally went through a very difficult, traumatic time. It was during this period that one of his good friends came to me and said, ‘You know Ma’am, the terrible thing is that Brandon only ever had school, which sucks, and then he died.’
This statement really upset me at that time but later it got me thinking. Why was school so terrible for some pupils? I realised that the ‘work’ aspect could be improved and helped along by having smaller classes, a smaller school in total and more individual attention.
The other aspect was that young people need to be listened to, spoken to and guided on a much more personal level. They need to know that they are important and unique even though they may not be the smartest, best looking or most popular student. Each one has a God-given talent.
It is impossible to give pupils this kind of attention if the school itself is too large. Staff do not have the time to get to know the students or to deal with this type of individuality. A year or two later I was challenged by the head of a nearby high school. ‘If you think you can do better with teenagers why don’t you run your own school?!’ he said. So I did and here we are many years down the line.
I have a wonderful and supportive staff who understand and feel like I do. They are part of the success of this school.There have been times when it’s been really very tough, but I can honestly say that I have kept the vision in mind and always tried to make decisions with the ethos uppermost.
I know that many, many pupils have found this school a haven and have been so much happier here. To many it’s been a saving grace. Whilst we cannot win over every person, each success story that we have had has made it all worthwhile. I feel certain that if my son is watching, he would be proud. I am humbled that this is so.”
Brandcliff House is accredited by Umalusi, Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training.