The overarching drive for a holistic education with a foundation of pastoral care is the fundamental differentiator of St Peter's Prep Schools. Throughout all learning levels, the value placed on individual development is evident, and this emphasis on the well-being of the individual is underpinned by the traditional values of mutual respect, inclusivity and courtesy. Here, old-school values are embedded in the teaching for success in a modern world.
According to Father Richard Wossler of St Peter’s Prep, the chapel is the heart of the school, representing God and the Christian belief. Therefore, while the children come to the chapel to meet God, they are also taught to take God from the chapel back into the school, weaving the Christian tenets into their daily activities.
"We define our values as Responsibility, Respect, Resilience, Honour, Compassion and Collaboration but ultimately our ethos is to love God and love one another, following the great commandment that Jesus gave us," he explains. "The school's motto Servate Fidem or Serve the Faith sums it up perfectly; we LIVE our faith, and we teach the importance of nurturing a relationship with God from foundation phase."
St Peter's Prep welcomes members of all faiths to school services, encouraging children to live their lives according to Christian principles. At the same time, they are taught that what God wants from them is simply for them to be 'the best they can be' and to use their talents to help others. "Part of my responsibility is to help the children understand that they each have a personal God who is invested in their particular life journey," says Father Richard.
The Boys Prep was established 71 years ago by Stanley Dodson, whose holistic Celtic approach to religion has persisted to some degree in the school's affirmation of the Anglican church as a church for all people. The school expanded to include a separate Girls Prep in 2006 with founder girls in Grade 0 and Grade 1. The former Boys’ Boarding Houses of Founders and Waveney were re-designed to create the Girls Prep Schools building. In 2012, the realisation of a full school was celebrated and it is growing each year to incorporate the third stream of girls. 2021 has the first group of three classes of Grade 7 girls. After the successful addition of the Girls Prep, the School felt the need to offer an environment that will align children, from an early age, to the ethos of St Peter’s. This paved the way to the opening of the Pre-Prep, offering a play-based approach to Early Childhood Development starting from Grade 000.
The crossed keys of the school badge signify St Peter, the schools' namesake and Jesus' promise that St Peter would be granted the keys of heaven. St Peter also embodies humanity as a relatable, humble fisherman, a saint for everyman.
"St Peter symbolises our approach to spirituality, to the faith. It meets you where you are; no matter who you are, no matter what you have done, God is always there for you," says Father Richard. "We find our meaning and our purpose in God and we must grow and express the gifts that God has given every one of us. Each child's relationship with God sets them up with an understanding that whatever their gift may be, it is a calling. Whether they become a teacher, a plumber or a business owner, God has called them into that profession and they are exactly where they are meant to be. Our community partnership with Sefikeng Primary, the charities we support and our outreach programmes impart an intrinsic knowledge of giving and support and establishes how our children will relate to others in the world beyond school."
St Peter's Prep Schools' celebrate their uniqueness in God across all three pillars of the school - Staff, Pupils and Parents. The school’s Chaplain participates on executive committees to ensure that any decisions taken are rooted in Christian belief and aligned with the laws, principles and canons of the faith. "What would Jesus do?" says Father Richard. "That is the question that must guide our actions as we journey through life."