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Our History

Established in July 1959, Blairgowrie Primary School in Gavin Avenue, is ideally situated in the pleasant residential area in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. The Scottish background of both suburb and school are represented in the three school houses: Atholl, Murray and Dundee. Click here to read the history of our tartan



Mr Grey Rattray, an immigrant from Blairgowrie Scotland, owned the farm, which was later to become the suburb Craighall. In 1940 his daughter, Mrs Doris Grey McChesney applied to establish a township on a portion of Craighall, the farm Klipfontein No. 4 1941.This township was proclaimed and named Blairgowrie.



Blair Castle in Blairgowrie, Scotland, was the ancestral home of the Atholls of Murray. Permission was obtained from this family to incorporate their tartan with the uniform. This permission was granted to Mrs Francis and her Ladies Committee in 1960.



In July 1959, the School opened with 259 pupils with

Mr T. S. Skinstad as acting principal. In January 1960,

Mr J. Lane took over the reins. The first official principal was Mr J. Geddes and the official opening by the Director of Education took place in March 1961. By 1963 the school had grown to 700 pupils.



By 1965 the enrolment figure was 1000 pupils and 29 staff members. As the school had only been built for 750 pupils there were problems and it necessitated the

founding of I R Griffith Primary in 1969.


In 1967 Mr Geddes was seconded to Sandringham High and Mrs J.Telfer acted as principal until the appointment of Mr W. A. Harrison in 1968.

During the principalship of Mr Harrison the swimming pool, Pine Park soccer fields and tennis courts were built. The first swimming team produced the school’s first Springbok swimmer, Irene Spoor and later Susan Duncan.

Because of Mr Harrison’s interest in music, this flourished at the school and in 1971 Blairgowrie Primary was selected to be one of the first TED music centres to be established.


When Mr Harrison was appointed principal of Redhill School in 1975, Mr J. P. Forster was acting principal until the appointment of Mr I. McCloskey in 1976. His sudden death in November of that year left Mrs J. A. Wright to see the school through until January 1977, when Mr J. Moss, who had been appointed deputy principal for that year, took office. In January 1978, Mr A.v Z Jordaan was appointed principal. He retired in March 1992.


Mrs U Ottermann was acting principal for the remainder of 1992.


Mr Selwyn Marx was appointed principal from 1993 to 2003.


Mrs Anne Harman has been the principal since 2006. The current enrolment stands at about 680 pupils. The Music Centre has an enrolment of about 90 pupils.

Mrs Harman retires in 2014


Mrs Pat Oosthuizen appointed as principal in 2015. The current enrolment stands at 816 pupils. The Music Centre has an enrolment of 86 pupils. Employed ten Interns studying teaching. Blaircare enrolment stands at 200





“A shield, vert, sinister chief a Springbok salient argent. Per bend dexter, upon field gules, a thistle, all proper, argent bordure. Motto: “BE TRUE”.

“ A shield, left side  (looking from the wearer)  green, a silver/white Springbok leaping, divided from left to right. Right side red, a thistle in its natural position. Silver/White border.

The colours and the symbols are appropriate to Blairgowrie School. The red, green and silver/white are taken from the Tartan of the Clan  “Atholls of Murray” who hail from Blairgowrie in Scotland. For Blairgowrie, Johannesburg, the colours are symbolic in that the Red represents the Sun and the colour of the soil. The Green represents the green foliage and the silver/white represents the white waters of the Witwatersrand. The Springbok represents South Africa, and in its leaping position, symbolises “ youth going forward. ” The Thistle, being the floral emblem of Scotland refers to the Scottish origin of the name Blairgowrie.It is a hardy plant, protecting itself from destruction by the multitude of its prickles, likewise the number of its seeds, depicts the advantage of education, without which the children cannot succeed and survive.


The motto  “BE TRUE” is the prefix for a number of proverbs, and was chosen as a guide to a rule of conduct. For instance: Be true to your school. Be true, meaning be straight and honourable, “but above all else, to thine own self Be True.”

The badge is the one sign which identifies you with Blairgowrie School.

Do not disgrace it . . . It will never disgrace you.



July 1959:    School opened with 259 pupils. Mr Skinstad acting principal

Jan 1960:     Mr Lane acting principal

March 1961: official opening Mr Geddes first principal. He has since passed away, but his daughter, Sue le Cordeur, still teaches ballet at the school.

1963:  700 pupils.

1964: Library extended resulting in a year’s closure

1965:  1 000 prefabs built as school was meant for 750 pupils only.

29 teachers 40 per class.

Badminton club, repertory players (parents), table tennis. Houses Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune

1967: Mr Geddes leaves.

Mrs Telfer takes over as acting principal.

Rian Malan head boy (journalist, author of My Traitor’s heart)

1968:  Mr Harrison appointed as principal.

Pool, soccer and tennis courts built.

Springbok swimmers: Irene Spoor and Susan Duncan.

Lee Barnard head boy

1969:  Aladdin pantomime

1970:  Oliver musical

1971:  Music school established 156 pupils.

Still going strong although privatised since 1998.

1972:  Immigrant post created.

Ingrid Ballack was a pupil of the school and today still at the school as a grade 2 teacher and head of department!

1973:  Peter Davies of Supersport Mnet a pupil

1974:  Highland dancing centre established with 50 members.

Also the National champions that year.

Rolf Harris visits the school (entertainer, artist from Australia)

1975:   Mr Harrison leaves.

Mr Forster acting principal.

Northern Sotho taught.

Mrs Una Ottermann starts her teaching career and is still here! She will be retiring in March 2000.

1976:  Mr McCloskey principal.

Suddenly dies later that same year.

Mrs Wright takes over.

1977:  Mr Moss acting principal.

1978:  Mr Jordaan appointed as principal.

Stayed on until 1992 when he retired.

Today he owns a bus company and takes our children on day trips and on longer trips.

He still has a granddaughter at the school and from time to time pops up at a sports day.

1981:  Best school choir in the province. Made an LP.

Bought the first school Kombi.

1985:  Media centre extended.

1986:  Participated in a gym display at the SA Games.

1990:  Computer network established.

Pupil numbers have declined to 350.

1992:  Mr Jordaan leaves.

Mrs Ottermann takes over for the rest of the year.

Possibility that the school could close due to the low enrolment.

1993:  Mr Selwyn Marx principal.

Computer focus for the school.

1996:  Hall upgraded.

Pupil numbers increase to nearly 600.

1998:  Pool renovated.

We win the primary schools best website competition.

Greenside High wins the high school division with a past pupil of BPS as its designer!

1999:  Media centre revamped.

40th celebration.

Second generation pupils at school.

Many parents were also past pupils of Blairgowrie.

2003: Mr Marx resigns.

2004:  Mrs Harman acting principal.

BPS 45 years old.

2005:  Building of new aftercare facilities.

Building of the admin block, pool steps, new technology room, art room and staff room. Mrs Harman appointed principal

2007:  Pool upgraded, eco garden and braai area created

  •             Discovery Vitality got involved with the school.

2008:   Soccer legend Lucas Radebe visited our school.

2009:   50 th celebration. Grade R new building opened.

2010:   Delivery of our first bus. World Cup Soccer Fever.

2011:   Tornado hits school and destroys age old trees.

Music Centre in existence for 40 years.

2012:   Teachers received iPads.

2013:    Mrs Harman turned 60.

2014:    School is 55 years old.

  •               Lapa built for staff and school functions .
  •               Mrs Harman retired.
  •               Purchased two Toyota Quantum 14 seater buses.

2015:   Mrs Pat Oosthuizen appointed as the new principal.

  •              Mrs Chesca Malcolm appointed as Head of guidance.
  •              Mrs Charmaine Vartharajaloo appointed as deputy principal.
  •              Ms Memory van der Merwe appointed as deputy principal.
  •              Pilot tablets and I pads programme.
  •              812 pupils.

2016: 851 Pupils

Ms Jaya Govender appointed as Head of department foundation phase.