About Willowridge
"Lead the Pack"

2024 Motto

Message from the Principal


Embracing the theme of 'Lead the Pack' in 2024, our mission at Willowridge High School is to empower our learners with the skills, values, and mindset to become leaders in every aspect of their lives. Teamwork and integrity are the cornerstones of our approach as we prepare them for the future.


As educators, our role goes beyond mere instruction; it's about nurturing individuals who will shape the world. Our learners are the heart of our community, and we are committed to equipping them with the tools they need to thrive.


With a strong emphasis on teamwork, we foster an environment where collaboration is key. It's through working together that we build not only academic success but also a sense of belonging and support. Our learners learn to appreciate diverse perspectives and leverage the collective strength of our community.


Integrity is at the core of everything we do. We instill in our learners the importance of honesty, respect, and ethical behavior. These values serve as their compass, guiding them as they navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.


Looking forward, we are excited about what the future holds for our learners. They are the future leaders, innovators, and change-makers who will carry the torch of 'Leading the Pack' into the world. With unwavering dedication, we have no doubt that they will make Willowridge High School proud and leave a lasting legacy of excellence.


"Our Core Purpose

Developing the academic, social, sporting, cultural and spiritual talents of our pupils, empowering them to enter responsible adulthood with confidence."


It Is what our desired future looks like.

To be the most vibrant and successful multicultural, co-educational, English speaking High School In Tshwane.


  • Integrity
  • Fairness
  • Equality for all
  • Devotion to duty

• Advocating parental involvement In the upbringing of their children by supporting school activities, meetings and governance.

• Continual professional development of all members of staff: academic; administrative; financial and support.

• Employment of competent teachers and the deployment in both academic and extramural activities.

• Continual advocacy of caring for the environment must be promoted through policy and feasible implementation.

• Advocacy of excellence amongst all school pupils.

• Promotion of disciplined behavior based upon personal loci of control.

• Stressing the regimen of academic rigor by insistence upon homework; compulsory extra lessons for under performers; motivation and parental involvement.


With a spirit of devotion in our heart and mind and soul

We will honor our name and emblem as we strive to meet our goal.

Willowridge, well serve our Country and to men both great and small

We’ll extend our hand of friendship, practice tolerance to all.


 Truth and honesty and friendship, increase as we all grow

And all our talents we will further, as through life we go.


Willowridge, we’ll try our utmost academically and at sport,

In the true pursuit of knowledge may enlightenment be sought.

we’ll be brave and we’ll stand taller, and strive with one accord

To be humble and obedient, and faithful to the Lord.


Truth and honesty and friendship, increase as we all grow

and all our talents we will further, as through life we go.

The school motto "Strive with Integrity" and the school song cemented into words the ethos of our new school and the symbolic nature of our coat of arms. The words of our school song came from the pupils, while Mrs Grobler, the grandmother of the Smith family, composed the final melody.

Deeply rooted in a firm foundation

Willowridge High is a young school with young ideas and many talented young people

who have excelled in an environment which has nurtured enthusiasm, friendship and

a pioneering spirit.


We have built this ethos on the lives of four prominent South Africans who were

associated with Pretoria East and the early development of the Transvaal.

Our four school houses are named after them and our house badges are extracts from

their original family crests.


The first of these, in historical sequence, Harry Struben, is remembered as a pioneer on

the gold fields. In 1860, he started a transport business between the old ZAR capital

and Natal. With the profits from this business, he bought a farm, The Willows, at that time far to the east of Pretoria.


As early as the start of 1985 a Vigilance Committee was elected at a meeting of prospective parents. Having been named the watchdogs, they monitored the progress of the new school, while the buildings started taking shape on the site that once had been a farm. It was due to their efforts that the school cottage and the trees, which give our schools its restful country atmosphere, were saved from the bulldozer.


The Committee’s activities were, however, also directed at creating an ethos for their new school and establishing a fundamental philosophy. Our school opened its doors on Wednesday 7 January 1987 to welcome the first 187 pupils in Forms One and Two. During the first term the name Willowridge High School became official and a badge needed to be designed.

The willow trees represent growth from the firm foundations of the ridge and symbolise

the parent and teacher, while the Tudor rose identifies our English heritage and

symbolises the child at its blossoming stage of development.


The centre of the rose depicts the child’s potential being developed, while the five

barbed seeds represent the five facets of the child’s development, namely the spiritual,

the academic, the cultural, the physical and social development.


The triad formed by the two willow trees and the Tudor Rose further depicts the protective, nurturing role of the home and school in the education of the child.

Our Coat of Arms was approved by the Bureau of Heraldry in 1988 and depicts the name of the school and its inherent philosophy. The shape is that of a spade symbolising the pioneering spirit with which the school was started. The two willow trees standing on the ridge, nurturing and protecting the Tudor Rose as it blossoms represent the name of the school.

Coat of Arms

Our History

Eddie Penzhorn 1987 - 1990

Our first Headmaster Eddie Penzhorn who came to Willowridge High from The Glen High, had to face more than is expected. He first had to create a school before he could run it. Out of a wilderness of needs he found textbooks, equipment, desks, chairs, sports-fields, staff and pupils and molded them into the modern school we are proud of today.

Jack Birkenbach 1991 - 2004

In 1991 our second Headmaster Jack Birkenbach was appointed. After a year in office he confidently reflected upon the host of individual achievements, pupils at Willowridge High had attained in such a short time. Modestly we acknowledge that national and provincial honours are necessarily second to our fine academic results: Apart from the number of pupils who have passed with four or more distinctions in Matric, our Headmaster was proudest of our 100% matric pass-rate.

Andre du Plessis 2005 - 2016

In 2005 our third Headmaster Mr Andre du Plessis was appointed. We look to his new leadership, drive and vision to lead us to a new future. We have the talent to achieve the goals set out in our Vision Statement. May the dedication of all members of staff, ensure that the legacy of our pioneering past and to new discovery and development.

Rowan Phillips 2017 - 2021

2017 we welcomed Mr Phillips with great enthusiasm as our 4th Headmaster.


Mr Phillips joined the Willowridge family in 1987 as an English teacher, then was promoted to Head of Department English and then Deputy Principal. He was one of our proud founder teachers, that developed the school to the prestige position it holds today. His passion, insight and concern for teachers/parents and scholars alike will definitely go down in history.

Postal address

P.O Box 72262, Lynwoodridge, 0040

Physical address

518 Verkenner Avenue, Die Wilgers, 0143


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