10 Best High Schools in Durban

The South African city of Durban may be well known for being the third most populated city in the country and for its tourist attractions. However, one of the things that should arguably be added to the fray is the plethora of good high schools it boasts of.

Many parents desire to enroll their wards in reputable schools. Residents of Durban and its neighboring cities have nothing to worry about as there are many reputable schools in the area. To make choosing one easier for parents and guardians, we have compiled a list of the 10 best high schools in Durban.

Top Performing High Schools In Durban

Durban is home to schools like Al Falaah College, St Mary Diocesan, and other schools that are not just the best in the city but in South Africa. The top 10 best schools in Durban have a record of high pass rates for their matriculating students and a well equipped with modern facilities.

1. St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls

  • Year Founded: 1906
  • Founder: Nuns of the Order of St John the Divine
  • Location: Kloof KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Type: Boarding and Day
  • Gender: Female
  • Curriculum: IEB Curriculum
  • Age Range: N/A

High Schools Durban

St Mary Diocesan School For Girls has been in existence for more than 115 years. The school has managed to stay relevant through constant innovation. Over the years, they have been consistent in updating their teaching style, keeping up with modern education standards.

The school accepts students from grades 0 to 12 and currently has more than a thousand students, all of which are girls. The school takes part in the IEB test and prides itself on having a record 100% pass rate for more than 40 years. The school’s boarding facility is only available to grades 8 to 12 students.

St Mary’s Diocesan is particular about the type of teachers their students learn from, which drives them to recruit those passionate about instilling knowledge and moral values in the girls. Teachers in the school are committed to building students with high emotional intelligence.

It is noteworthy to add that St Mary is religiously affiliated with Christianity. As such, the school encourages students to build a healthy Christain life by taking part in at least one or more of the following activities:

  • Holy Communion twice a term
  • Kids Praises for Junior Primary
  • God Girls’ Bible Study Group every Tuesday
  • Bible Fun Club every Monday in Primary School
  • Chapel and assembly services for all grades throughout the week
  • Christian Fellowship (CF) every Thursday
  • Grades 10 and 11 Exploring Faith course
  • Boarders’ Weekly Fellowship
  • Weekly RE lessons in Primary School

2. Al Falaah College

  • Year Founded: 1984
  • Founder: N/A
  • Location: 99 Lotus Road Springfield Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, 4091, South Africa
  • Type: Day
  • Gender: Mixed
  • Curriculum: CAPS and Islamic Curriculum
  • Age Range: N/A

High Schools Durban

Al Falaah College is the first Islamic-based independent school in South Africa. The school was established in 1984 with the name Ahmedia School. However, in 1991, the name was changed to Lockhat Islamia College, but today, the school goes by the name Al Falaah College.

This school accepts students from grades 0 to 12. It uses the CAPS curriculum that requires the school to offer subjects like Physical Sciences, Business Studies, English Home Language, Afrikaans First Additional Language, Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy, Geography, Life Orientation, Accounting, Engineering, Graphics & Design.

It is important for parents who wish to for their words to attend Al Falaah school to note that the school is religiously affiliated to Islam and also uses an Islamic curriculum. As such, the school offers the following Islamic subjects: Islamic Studies (Theory), Islamic Studies (Oral), Arabic, and Hifz (memorization of the Quran optional).

Al Falaah takes pride in being one of the best schools in Durban and South Africa, with 3.1 distinctions per learner and a 100% bachelor’s degree pass rate. Since the school’s inception, they have recorded a 100% matric pass.

The school is also renowned for engaging its students in sporting activities like indoor soccer, soccer, cricket, tennis, volleyball, archery, netball, and athletics. Here are some of the notable achievements that Al Falaah school prides in:

  • 100% accreditation by UMALUSI (National Monitoring Body for Independent Schools)
  • Award for Outstanding humanitarian efforts by many non-governmental organizations
  • 100% exemption matric pass rate
  • Award of best School at the Global Peace and Unity festival 2013
  • Top 18 independent schools in South Africa in 2005 by Sunday Times 2005
  • Hafiz graduates
  • Award for exceptional progress in Science and Mathematics by the Department of science and technology

3. Eden College Durban

  • Year Founded: 2007
  • Founder: N/A
  • Location: Durban KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Type: Private co-ed school
  • Gender: Mixed
  • Curriculum: NSC
  • Age Range: N/A

High Schools Durban

Eden College Durban was established in 2007; however, the school has been in existence since 1974. Eden College has two branches in South Africa; the first and head branch is located at Lyndhurst, Randburg, Johannesburg, while the other is located in Durban. Its Durban branch has less than 500 students.

The school accepts students into Pre-Primary, Preparatory, Middle School, and College High School. Since the school was established in 2007, its students have continued to record a 100% pass rate. Since the inception of Eden College Durban, the school has always participated in NSC examinations.

In 2010, the matriculating set recorded an average of 91.9% aggregate on average, and each learner had at least 4 As. Eden College offers 20 matriculation subjects which include:

  • Drama Studies
  • Music Studies
  • English
  • Afrikaans
  • Accounting
  • Business Studies
  • Mathematics Paper 3
  • Life Sciences: Biology
  • French
  • Hebrew
  • Physical Sciences: Chemistry and Physics
  • Life Orientation
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics Literacy
  • Mathematics Paper 3
  • History
  • Geography
  • Life Orientation
  • Information Technology (Computer Science)
  • IsiZulu language
  • Visual Arts (Art)
  • Dance studies

Rather than referring to student leaders as prefects, they are referred to as Stewards, and unlike other schools, Eden College uses a multiform. However, the school’s colors are blue and white.

4. St Henry Marist Brothers’ College

  • Year Founded: 1929
  • Founder: Marist Brothers
  • Location: Glenwood, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Type: Day
  • Gender: Mixed
  • Curriculum: National Curriculum
  • Age Range: N/A

High Schools Durban

St Henry Marist Brothers’ College stands out as one of the best schools in Durban for the academic prowess of its students, the school’s facilities, and uniqueness.

This school was founded in 1929 by the Marist Brothers and was initially a day school for boys, but today, the school accepts both boys and girls. This school is religiously affiliated with the Catholic mission and emphasizes the Christian religion. St Henry Marist Brothers’ College also emphasizes discipline and family spirit.

Like other top schools in South Africa and Durban, St Henry also records a 100% pass rate. The school uses the national curriculum but takes part in the IEB examination. Grades 10 to 12 are required to offer 7 subjects and can make their choices from the 14 available subjects.

However, students from grades 8 to 9 offer the following subjects:

  • Arts and Culture: Art/Drama/Music
  • Mathematics
  • Life Orientation
  • Physical Sciences
  • Economic and Management Sciences (EMS)
  • Technology (with Engineering Graphics and Design – EGD)
  • History
  • Geography
  • Computer Studies
  • Religious Education

The school has a psychologist who provides mental support to students and staff to help them function at their peak. St Henry is fully equipped with a state-of-the-art learning resources center that encourages learning.

Some of the school’s facilities include a library, computer room, audio-visual room, classrooms with smartboards, laboratories, gymnasium, tennis court, and playground. The school encourages students to desire leadership and academic success by honoring outstanding students with: half colors, full colors, color blazers, and honors blazers.

So when you see their students wearing slightly different uniforms, you can quickly tell they are outstanding. It is noteworthy to add that St Henry Marist Brothers’ College is an active member of the Durban Youth Council.

5. Durban High School

  • Year Founded: 1866
  • Founder: State
  • Location: 255 St. Thomas Road, Musgrave Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Type: Day and Boarding
  • Gender: Male
  • Curriculum: National Curriculum
  • Age Range: 14 to 19 years old

High Schools Durban

Durban High School is an all-boys public school established in 1866 after the Zulu War. It is the oldest existing school in the province and one of the oldest in South Africa. This school prides itself on being one of the top schools in Durban and South Africa. Matriculating students of the school take part in National Senior Certificate (NSC) and Cambridge A-Levels and have stellar results to show for it.

Recently, boys from Durban High School have always had some of the best results in the province. The school usually provides students who make it to the top 10 ratings. To enable teachers and students to connect better, each class has less than 30 students. Grades 8 and 9 have 28 students per class, while the number of students in Grades 10 and 12 depends on the students’ subject choice.

This school has facilities like a science laboratory, contemporary library, state-of-the-art audio visual, and IT centers. According to information on the school’s website, they are working on an update to improve the classroom’s condition and provide specialized facilities like music venues, dramatic art, and laboratories.

Durban High School also pays much attention to sports, and its students are very competitive. Some of their sports activities include cross country, athletics, badminton, football, basketball, hockey, golf, indoor hockey, softball, rugby, tennis, squash, swimming, sport climbing, and water polo.

While competing with other schools, Durban High has brought home titles in canoeing, surfing, and basketball. Some notable alumni of the school include Senator Denis Gem Shepstone, Alec Erwin (former president of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), Prof. David W. Brokensha, and Prof Thomas John I’Anson Bromwich.

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6. Kearsney College

  • Year Founded: 1921
  • Founder: Sir Liege Hulett
  • Location: Botha’s Hill, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Type: Boarding
  • Gender: Male
  • Curriculum: IEB Curriculum
  • Age Range: 14 to 18 years old

High Schools Durban

Kearsney College aims at becoming a world-class all-boys school that provides holistic education and empowers boys to reach their full potential. The school is achieving this by providing fully-equipped classroom facilities, laboratories, and a library.

This school emphasizes the importance of students cultivating core values that make them better individuals in society, like honesty, humility, fairness, team spirit, empathy, integrity, respect, and servant leadership, to mention a few.

Kearsney College accepts students from grades 8 to 12 and has four boarding houses and three senior houses – Finningley (blue), Gillingham (red), Pembroke (green), Sheffield (yellow)) and one junior house (Haley).

Matriculating students of Kearsney College have been recorded to have a 100% pass rate and a 100% bachelor’s degree pass rate. Senior college students (i.e., grades 10 to 12) offer the following subjects:

  • Engineering Graphics and Design
  • Geography
  • History
  • Information Technology
  • English
  • Afrikaans or isiZulu
  • Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy
  • Life Orientation
  • Accounting
  • Business Studies
  • Dramatic Art
  • Life Sciences: Biology
  • Music
  • Science
  • Mandarin and Visual Arts

Aside from being grounded in academics, students in Kearsney College also engage in the club and cultural activities like academic extension clubs (history club, 12 clubs), personal enrichment club and activities (Art Appreciation, Chess, Dale Carnegie Course SCA), creative clubs (video editing and photography club), fun clubs (Board games clubs), and physical clubs (mountain bike club, surfing club, and survival club).

Boys in Kearsney College are also trained in public speaking by members of the inner circle speakers’ club and the Speakers’ Circle. The school also encourages its students to become athletic by offering the following sports: tennis, swimming, squash, soccer, athletics, football, canoeing, hockey, golf, cross country, indoor hockey, cricket, hockey, rugby, rowing, and rugby seven.

In 2012, Kearsney College won the award of World Champions for Folklore at the World Choir Games. It is essential to mention that Kearsney College is religiously affiliated with the Methodist Church. Some of the notable alumni the school has produced include Jonathan Pons (ophthalmologist), HRH Prince Shlobosenkosi Zulu of the Zulu royal family, Alan Dell (BBC radio broadcast), and A.B. Theunissen (CEO of VW South Africa and Total Oil South Africa).

7. Glenwood High School

  • Year Founded: 1910
  • Founder: State
  • Location: 1 ZK Matthews Road, Glenwood Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Type: Day
  • Gender: Male
  • Curriculum: National Curriculum
  • Age Range: 14 to 18 years old

High Schools Durban

Glenwood High School was established in 1910, and students from this school took part in World War I and II. Today, Glenwood  High aims to raise boys that are intellectually, morally, and mentally ready to face the world. This school is achieving its mission by providing standard facilities to make learning easier and more engaging for students. Some of these facilities include:

  • Standard Classrooms: Classrooms are conducive enough to encourage fast and easy learning.
  • Victor Daitz Science Centre: This laboratory was established in 2011. The school prides itself in this laboratory for containing state-of-the-art technical facilities and equipment and an individual center ecosystem.
  • Engineering Graphics and Design Studio: The school’s engineering graphics and design studio contain a plethora of advanced facilities and equipment for engineering graphics and design. Some of these facilities include 30 desktop computers (that are capable of running inventor and Autocad), a CAD lab, and a 3D printer.
  • Media Center: Glenwood’s media center contains technological devices that help children cultivate better reading habits.

To take advantage of all of these facilities, Glenwood High School ensures to employ highly trained educators. The school’s governing body works together to develop long-term and short-term strategic plans.

Glenwood High School trains boys in the following sports: swimming, target shooting, water polo, squash, softball, golf, sailing, rugby, hockey, eSports, cricket, chess, basketball, surfing, soccer, and cross country.

The investment of Glenwood High School in sports is evident in the number of the school’s alumni who is currently renowned as professional sportsmen, some of which include: John Allan (professional Rugby player), Kevin Curren (international tennis player), and Steven Jack (international cricketer), to mention but a few.

8. Maris Stella School

  • Year Founded: 1899
  • Founder: Holy Family Sisters
  • Location: Berea Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Type: Day
  • Gender: Girls
  • Curriculum: National and International
  • Age Range: 3+ to 18 years old

High Schools Durban

Maris Stella School is a Roman Catholic girls-only school on a mission to educate girls and instill faith-based values and skills based on romantic ethos. This school aims to raise girls that would be positive contributors to society.

Although Maris Stella upholds the Roman Catholic ethos, the school admits students from all denominations. However, parents should note that their wards will be taught about the Roman Catholic faith and doctrines as the school emphasizes their girls’ personal and spiritual growth.

The management of Maris Stella encourages parents to enroll their wards at the school because they believe an all-girls school helps girls build leadership skills, and self-confidence promotes teamwork and helps a girl find her voice. They also below that a girl’s school like Maris Stella helps girls grow in a world free of stereotypes about girls, which can help them become more confident and excel.

The school prides itself on its top-notch ability to monitor the girls without giving them the feeling of being monitored. They do this by developing good student-teacher relationships. Based on the statistics on the school’s website, 95% of girls in girls-only schools feel supported by their teachers, whereas only 84% of girls in mixed schools feel the same.

It is noteworthy to add that although Maris Stella creates a safe environment for girls to excel, they also pride themselves in the fact that they prepare girls for the mixed world outside the walls of the school. Some notable alumni of the school include Diana Napier (actress), Bree O’Mara (TV producer, air hostess, novelist, and ballet and dancers).

9. Clifton School

  • Year Founded: 1924
  • Founder: Harry Stubbs
  • Location: 102 Lambert Rd. Morningside Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Type: Day
  • Gender: Male
  • Curriculum: IEB Curriculum
  • Age Range: 3 to 18 years old

High Schools Durban

Clifton School is an all-boys school that was established by Harry Stubbs (first headmaster of the school) in 1924 in his house. Today, the school has become one of the best in Durban. The school’s mission is to help boys reach their maximum potential, thrive in a competitive environment, and develop moral values like compassion and humility.

And also to raise proudly South African boys who will thrive internationally. Clifton school accepts boys from grades R to 12. Boys from grades R to 3 are trained to develop socially, emotionally, and intellectually. They take subjects like life skills, mathematics, English, home language, music, information technology, arts, drama, and ball skills.

The school is well equipped with facilities that help to build the cognitive function of these little ones. Middle school boys in Clifton School offer the following subjects: Media Science, Design Technology, Information Technology, English, Afrikaans, isiZulu, Mathematics, Geography, History, Natural Sciences Art, Drama, Music, Entrepreneurship, Media Science, Design Technology, Information Technology, Art, Drama, Music.

Boys in grades 9 and 12 take part in Independent Examination Board Examinations, and the school is very confident in the ability of its boys to come out with stellar results. Boys in grades 8 to 12 at Clifton School are encouraged to take well-calculated and intellectual risks and build interpersonal skills.

Students in Clifton School are encouraged to participate in sports activities. Some of the sports the school offers include basketball, golf, chess, tennis, squash, water polo, swimming, rugby, touch rugby, soccer, cross country, and indoor hockey, to mention but a few.

10. Durban Girls’ College

  • Year Founded: 1877
  • Founder: Six Durban Commissioners and Protestant Clergy under the leadership of J. F. Churchill
  • Location: Berea Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Type: Boarding
  • Gender: Girls
  • Curriculum: IEB Curriculum
  • Age Range: 3 to 18 years old

High Schools Durban

Durban Girls’ College (DGC) is an all-girls independent IEB school that accepts students from Grades 0 to 12. The school provides weekly boarding to students from grades 7 to 12.

DGC aims to help students cultivate a passion for lifelong learning, using a holistic approach to education, and to ensure that while the girls are growing academically, they are also developing moral values like courage, compassion, and good character.

DGC is divided into junior primary, senior primary, and high school. Girls in junior primary school are taught to develop curiosity about learning. The school can do this by taking advantage of modern learning programs and thinking tools.

High school girls in Durban Girls’ College are provided with the opportunity to excel academically, culturally, and in sports. They are also encouraged to build the spirit of sisterhood. DGC prepares its girls for life outside the four walls of a classroom and encourages them to dare to be bold.

Some notable DGC alumni include Lara Logan (FOX News journalist), Kirsten Goss (jewelry designer), Tarina Patel (model, film producer, actress), and Renée Schuurman (tennis player).

Other Notable Schools In Durban

Here is a list of some good schools in Durban that did not make it to our list of top 10:

  • Brentonwood College
  • Thomas More College
  • Crawford College Durban
  • St James Durban
  • Grosvenor Girls’ High School
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Romeo Ndlovu
Romeo's secret talent is taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary content. At work, he is thinking about how best to provide the most unique, original content that provides utmost satisfaction to the user. Away from work, he is a football addict who loves to catch up on his favorite pastimes

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