Merrifield History

Over 25 Years of Excellence in Education

Humble Beginnings

In 1997, 52 pupils started their school career at a brand-new school, Merrifield Preparatory School.

Opened under the guidance of Dave Bawden, from this humble beginning the school has grown to include grades from 000 to matric, and there are currently over 700 pupils enrolled.

In 2006, Merrifield introduced the new school song which was composed by Dr Waldo Malan. The school’s motto “Astra Petentes”, which means “Reach for the Stars”, is aimed at guiding pupils to realise their full potential in all aspects of their lives.

Notable Events


Merrifiled Preparatory School opens its doors with just 52 pupils


Dave Bawden, 1st Head of Merrifield


Nahoon Mile


Dr Guy Hartley appointed Executive Head


Opening of the Tony Law Science Centre


Merrifield Mile moves to Wriggleswade Dam


Building of the new Science Labs and English Classes




Construction on the Northern Sports Campus

The Present Day

With an increase in size of the school has come more opportunities for learning and playing. Over the years, additions such as more classrooms, a pool complex, science laboratories, a second computer laboratory and resource centre has been built, as well as a school hall, additional sports fields, tuckshop facilities and a drama theatre has been built.

In 2019, the Northern Campus Sports Precinct, including an Astro Turf and school clubhouse, was completed. In 2021, construction began on developing further sports facilities on the school’s Northern Sports Campus. A preparatory computer laboratory was completed and a new music and cultural centre was also built.

Merrifield prides itself on not only producing future-proof, aware and resilient students, but also on growing and nurturing each individual while at a formative stage of their development.

We want our students to reach for the stars. We want them to not only find their place in the world, but to change it for the better.

Teamwork and unity within the student body is balanced against individual excellence and achievement within the Sport, Cultural and Academic programmes offered.

The school follows an Independent Examinations Board (IEB) curriculum and prides itself on being a learning centre of exceptional quality. Our fantastic record of performance in national and international benchmark tests and Olympiads are testament to how the academic curriculum at Merrifield equips students with critical thinking skills. This prepares them for life after matric, whether that be at university, within the community or in the business world.

It is not only academic excellence that is held in high esteem at Merrifield. It is the collective vision of staff, students, parents and the Board that here at Merrifield students are taught to look outwards and to confidently take their place as agenda-setters and change-makers in a world that is constantly evolving, that they may have the courage and confidence to challenge status quos that may have once been taken for granted.

There is a delicate balance to be struck between nurturing each individual student and encouraging leadership and independence. At Merrifield, staff and parents work together to achieve this in the raising and encouraging of our students, each of whom matter, and all of whom are cared for and urged to reach their own potentials.

This goes beyond simply teaching academic concepts, although we do that well, with 100% of our Matric students over the years gaining not only IEB matric passes but also university passes as well.

In the well-equipped laboratories, technologically advanced and ergonomically designed classrooms, pupils from pre-school to Matric are given the opportunity to flex their intellect, to question the world in which they live, and to exercise their curiosity and imagination alongside a traditional academic curriculum designed to both extend and enrich.

We do this through teaching our students about the environment and how they can protect it and preserve it for future generations through our active Eco Clubs across the grades. We do this through our various Outreach programs, where our students reach out to the sick, the needy and the frail, and in doing so look outside of their own privileged circumstances and learn how they can help others.

We do this through sports coaching and tours in various disciplines, where each student can discover their unique talents, enjoy the bonds of teamwork and camaraderie, or pursue individual sporting codes where they can either reap the rewards of hard work and dedication in victory, or learn to fail, and possibly learn even more in failure.