Welcome Message from the Head


Welcome to the Diocesan School for Girls in Makhanda (Grahamstown).

Old schools are fascinating institutions because they are steeped in tradition and rich in heritage, but they are also remarkable because they could only have survived for so long thanks to their ability to move with the times. ‘It is not the strongest who will survive but those who can best manage change’, said Charles Darwin. This balance has always been a strength of the DSG and is the reason why the school remains a progressive centre of excellence at the ripe age of 146 years.

At DSG, we are acutely aware of our responsibility to develop caring thought leaders who will become the decision makers in a world facing a rate of change that Mr Darwin could never have foreseen. We are passionate about empowering girls with the competencies and character to meet the challenges, responsibilities, obstacles and opportunities they may encounter as 21st century women, but also to pursue their dreams and contribute as citizens of their local and global communities. We prioritise staying abreast of the latest research on what innovative education should look like, but we also draw on the practical wisdom gained from a century and a half of institutional experience.

We realise that, despite the demands of modern society on them, our girls are not adults yet. They need a safe and inclusive environment where they can fearlessly follow their curiosity and learn through discovery, critical thinking and even risking failure. We therefore encourage girls to explore the full range of opportunities on offer in academics, sports, the arts, culture, the outdoors, service, community engagement, travel and leadership.

In all our endeavours we remain anchored in our Anglican Christian ethos and guided by what is best for the child, be it spiritually, mentally, emotionally, socially or physically. Our classrooms, stages, sports fields, boarding houses, Chapel and The Monastery outdoor centre are among the vibrant spaces where qualified staff work tirelessly to bring out the best in every individual. Here the girls learn about the value of hard work, perseverance, collaboration, sustainability, social justice and delayed gratification.

There is something magical about the lifestyle on the DSG campus, probably thanks to the historic architecture, leafy gardens and peaceful small-town landscape surrounding it. Fulltime boarding enables DSG girls to be astonishingly productive and fully immersed in school life. They learn to appreciate the rich diversity of their peers, which builds resilience and strengthens values of respect, humility, compassion and friendship. Such a busy school life can take its toll and girls are therefore monitored and supported by a Wellness Team that includes the resident pastoral staff in every house, Chaplain, san sisters, psychologists and physiotherapist.

We are proud to be custodians of our unique heritage while extending the legacy of the DSG through inclusive, future-minded education, in keeping with our motto, ‘En Avant!’.

You are warmly invited to come and visit us to experience our campus atmosphere, see our facilities, and meet the girls and staff at DSG.

Looking forward to welcoming you!

Jannie de Villiers
Head of School