About Us
How we Started

In 2007 St James School was set up by a group of people from the School of Philosophy in South Africa who shared Mandela’s vision. They wanted to create a primary school with a difference: one which would educate children from less privileged backgrounds in Durban. Their aim was to nourish the whole child in body, mind and spirit, by giving them solid foundations in academic subjects and moral values. The idea was that by sharing these values with their friends and associates in the future, they would help to shape a safer, more self-sufficient and more united South Africa. Since its inception, St James has provided a primary education to children whose parents value these principles.

ST James Durban Today

Our school can accommodate 150 pupils in Grades R-7.  They come from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds and religions, providing a rich and diverse culture which we embrace and which we believe nurtures tolerance and understanding. Our school community is committed, hard-working and holds dear the welfare and progress of the school.

In 2013 we were accepted as a member of ISASA (Independent Schools Association of South Africa) and our recent school leavers have been welcomed by some of the leading secondary schools in Kwazulu Natal province.

The educational provision at St James is both traditional and innovative: traditional in the systematic sequenced teaching of basic subjects such as Reading & Literature, Writing, Mathematics, History, Geography, Science and Technology; innovative in its teaching of Sanskrit and Thinking Through Philosophy. Our broad range of subjects also includes: Music, Art, Speech & Drama, Life Orientation, isiZulu as our First Additional Language, Economic & Management Sciences and Arts & Culture.

There are both internal and external examinations every year. The external examinations are Quintathlon and Conquesta, which have held a 100% pass rate over the years. external examinations include The Eskom Science Expo and The Speech & Drama Association Eisteddfod , in which the pupils of St James have always performed extremely well.

In 2018 St James joined Eco-Schools and was awarded Bronze Membership at the end of 2018, at the end of 2019 we were awarded a Silver Membership and in 2020 we hope to achieve Gold membership.  We strive to create an awareness in all of our students and have introduced various projects into the daily running of the school in the hopes of protecting our planet.  St James has a recycling centre, where all waste is properly recycled.  We also encourage our children to create eco-bricks with waste that cannot be recycled.  We have also started a compost heap and are in the process of fundraising for 2 JOJO tanks which will collect rainwater from the roof and in turn we will use that water for cleaning, watering the plants as well as to flush the toilets.  This will significantly decrease our water usage.



At the end of 2018 we also replaced all the globes throughout the school with special energy saving globes which has reduced our electricity consumption at the school.  Once again trying to reduce our carbon footprint so that we can make a positive contribution towards saving our planet.


Since joining St James School for Girls and Boys in January 2015 as Headmistress, I am constantly aware of how blessed I am to be a part of such a unique and truly special school.

The St James belief of educating the whole child, mind, body and soul, is clearly evident on meeting the children. By being exposed to a holistic education which cares for and nurtures not only the academic but also the emotional and social development of each and every child, we are preparing our children for a life based on the principles of hard work, respect, truth, generosity, service and tolerance.

This can only bode well for the future of South Africa. We are blessed with a staff of dedicated professionals who are totally committed towards the vision and aims of St James.

Our specialist teachers are passionate about their subjects and are keen to instill that love and appreciation in the pupils. I look forward to many years of forging ahead together with the pupils, parents and staff as St James grows from strength and strength. – Lisa Welthagen (Headmistress)

an Independent School with a Difference

We aim to make our unique education accessible to a wider range of children. All parents must pay the majority of their child’s education, but the shortfall is covered by grants and fundraising, both in South Africa and around the world, as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, the USA, UK and Europe. Thanks to this support, our school is flourishing and is rapidly becoming a ‘centre of excellence’ for primary education in Kwazulu Natal province.


Ronnie Todd, Ex-Chairman of ISASA (Independent Schools Association of South Africa)