Back In Time

'I am going to open my own school and make in interesting, make it fun!' - David Black

When asked why he had started his own school in 1948, David Black (founder of Cowan House) answered, ‘I am going to open my own school and make it interesting, make it fun.  I am going to make them (the pupils) want to learn so you can’t stop them.  I want them to get so excited about learning that they don’t want to stop.  I know that once they know something, it leads to wanting something else.  They must learn to express themselves and find out things for themselves.  They must know that living is the most exciting thing around.’

David BlackFounder

DOWN MEMORY LANE

1948 - Present

Cowan House was founded, as a private venture, in 1948, by David and Joy Black. Situated in Mountain Rise, Pietermaritzburg, it was started as a boys’ prep school. David Black was granted permission to name the school after the residence he had stayed in while studying at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. So too was the emblem of Cowan House Residence adopted – the Rampant Lion. An initial enrolment of just 7 boys quickly grew to 12 by the end of the first year. In 1949 there were 36 boys to start the year at Cowan House and by the end of 1950 enrolment had increased to nearly 50. Early on, a boarding facility was opened to accommodate the pupils in what was always to remain an intimate and homely atmosphere.

​When the Mountain Rise area was rezoned as part of the Group Areas Act of 1963, the school purchased a 10-hectare property in Hilton, where its original, state of the art, wooden buildings and swimming pool were built. The school relocated to Hilton in 1965. By the mid-1990’s the number of pupils was around 180, from Grade R to Grade 8.

​In January of 1997, an electrical fire reduced the entire Boarding Establishment to ashes. A passionately supportive Cowan House community ensured that, by the end of that year, the Boarding Establishment was rebuilt – this time out of bricks and mortar. School continued as normally as possible, with boarders being accommodated in mobile homes on T-Field near the Theatre. The re-opening of the Boarding House coincided with a decision to discontinue Grade 8 at Cowan House. 

1999 was an enlightened year as girls were enroled for the first time at the school. Once again a fresh, new era was born at Cowan House. Further demand from the local community meant that the school opened doors to a Grade RRR class in 2013. The number of pupils have increased steadily over the years and, with two classes per grade.  Pupils are mostly from Hilton and the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and boarders from various areas in South Africa, neighboring countries and further afield.

down memory lane

1948 to Present

Cowan House was founded, as a private venture, in 1948, by David and Joy Black. Situated in Mountain Rise, Pietermaritzburg, it was started as a boys prep school. David Black was granted permission to name the school after the residence he had stayed in while studying at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. So too was the emblem of Cowan House Residence adopted – the Rampant Lion. An initial enrolment of just 7 boys quickly grew to 12 by the end of the first year. In 1949 there were 36 boys to start the year at Cowan House and by the end of 1950 enrolment had increased to nearly 50. Early on, a boarding facility was opened to accommodate the pupils in what was always to remain an intimate and homely atmosphere.

Cowan House 1960s

​When the Mountain Rise area was rezoned as part of the Group Areas Act of 1963, the school purchased a 10-hectare property in Hilton, where its original, state of the art, wooden buildings and swimming pool were built. The school relocated to Hilton in 1965. By the mid-1990’s the number of pupils was around 180, servicing Grades R to 8.

Cowan House Fire

​In January of 1997, an electrical fire reduced the entire Boarding Establishment to ashes. A passionately supportive Cowan House community ensured that, by the end of that year, the Boarding Establishment was rebuilt – this time out of bricks and mortar. School continued as normally as possible, with boarders being accommodated in mobile homes on T-Field near the Theatre. The re-opening of the Boarding House coincided with a decision to discontinue Grade 8 at Cowan House, as high schools would no longer guarantee places to Grade 9 boys.

Cowan House 2018

1999 was an enlightened year as girls were enrolled for the first time at the school. Once again a fresh, new era was born at Cowan House. Further demand from the local community meant that the school opened doors to a Grade RRR class in 2013. The number of pupils have increased steadily over the years and, with two classes per grade, the school has close to 400 pupils, mostly from Hilton and the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Approximately 10% of Cowan House pupils are boarders from various areas in South Africa, neighboring countries and further afield.

Since inception, the ethos of Cowan House has been based on Christian principles and our dedicated team of professionals ensure that Cowan House children are nurtured, cared for and stimulated in a variety of disciplines. Outstanding academics, measured by international benchmarking assessments, are complemented by a full spectrum of sporting disciplines as well as cultural, musical, social responsibility and environmental opportunities.

​Our 10-hectare campus is a magnificent space for children to live and to grow. To be curious and to explore. To play and to be happy. We believe in protecting childhood.  We look forward to providing opportunity for many more children to explore our Wetland, to practice in our Indoor Centre, to compete on our fields and to learn in our classrooms.

OUR BEAUTIFUL SCHOOL

We would love for you to visit us.

Let us know what day and time would best suit you.
Cowan House

11 Dennis Shepstone Drive, Hilton, 3245, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

033 343 3261

info@cowanhouse.co.za