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welcome to riebeek college

At Riebeek College, school life is exciting!

Tucked away in the Eastern Cape town of Uitenhage is the much acclaimed educational gem: Riebeek College Girls’ High School. Here, steeped in tradition, the busy bees of Riebeek, for the bee is our emblem, create a hive of activity. Girls ranging in ages from the enthusiastic grade 4s to our elegant  matrics find themselves involved and committed.


Riebeek is equal to the best. A fee-paying school, with a boarding facility for weekly boarders, and a day-boarding package, Riebeek provides parents with a safe, supervised environment for their treasured daughters.


Racial and religious tolerance, compassion and charity are entrenched. The carefully designed Pocket Code of Conduct is underwritten by principles which are rooted in morality and spiritual fruitfulness. Riebeek nurtures and cares.


Riebeek is famed for its award-winning choir. Competing in the advanced category, they win golds at national choir competitions. In 2014, a group of our girls featured with Johnny Clegg on Top Billing, having won a national song and dance competition. In 2015, Riebeek featured in the top 25 schools in South Africa in the Fairlady survey.  Professor Jansen in the national press praised the school in June 2015, and followed this up later by identifying Riebeek as a top SA school in terms of combining character building and academic excellence.


Many of the staff are Old Girls, proving the faith they have in the unique education offered by our Alma Mater.

The school continues to offer future generations what is truly best about the past while adapting to changing times. The Riebeek ladies walk in integrity with an attitude of gratitude while displaying a passion for  tolerance, mental and physical energy and knowledge.

Our buzzing calendar exudes passion for play, compassion for charity, craze for cultural activities and a love of learning. Founded in 1877, this progressive school provides holistic education in a happy, safe and stimulating environment to ensure that every learner is equipped to face the challenges of a changing world. The school has convenient, caring boarding and aftercare facilities. As the first public school in South Africa to vote to open its doors to all races, the school appreciates the diversity of the Riebeek family. Matriculants are perfectly prepared to enter tertiary institutions with the skills and work ethic to succeed. 

As an all-girls school with Grade 4 to 12 occupying the same building, we have the opportunity to mould, over a school career, ladies who can contribute positively to society: “To seek the good in others and always do our best”, as our school song indicates. 

riebeek leading schools feb 2017

Riebeek Marvels at her Superheroes

Riebeek College Girls’ High School celebrates its 140th birthday this year with a power punch of achievements to marvel at.
Principal, Mrs Kieran Stear, and deputy, Mrs Cheryl Snyman, are worthy guardians of the school. They know too well Superman’s dictum that with great power comes great responsibility.
It is said that heroes are ordinary people who make them themselves extraordinary, and Riebeek Old Girls prove it. Recently, Hlomela Bucwa (Class of 2010) was sworn in as the youngest South African parliamentarian and Noni Mafani Mbete (Class of 2008) was crowned Mrs Africa World. Zikhona Bali (Class of 2007) lights up our television screens starring in productions such as IS'THUNZI. Linley Myburg Fourie (Class of 2006) is the author of the recently published The Smile Smile Book.
The Class of 2016 obtained a 100% pass, a fantastic 90% Bachelor Pass rate and 107 subject distinctions from a class of 78 girls. Natheera Sirkhotte and Martez Meyer attained 5 distinctions each. Martez Meyer, deputy head girl, said, “The best tip that I can offer for success is to believe in yourself - you are destined for greatness.”
On the sportsfields, in the classrooms and in societies; Riebeek empowers her girls to find superpowers and make an impact.


latest headlines at riebeek:

Cupcake day

BY Heather Wilkinson

The First Aid committee, under the guidance of Mrs Shelver, was proud to host their first ever cake sale in the form of the much anticipated Cupcake Day on the 24th February 2017.
We are extremely grateful for the overwhelming support from all the girls and their parents which took the form of cupcake donations and for the help of both the club and committee members with ensuring the cake sale commenced smoothly. We are also grateful to Mrs Gerber for marketing Cupcake Day on the Facebook page and Jessica Schoeman for designing the beautiful poster.
The senior school greeted Cupcake Day with a hungry excitement and thankfully there was a plentiful display of cupcake donations to satisfy the girls’ sweet tooth. The cupcakes overflowed from the six large tables needed to hold the delicious treats and the cupcakes needed to be sold at both breaks in order to clear out the abundant stock.
The First Aid committee intend to use the funds raised to replenish and replace much of the stock and equipment in order to prepare for the upcoming hockey season.

 February 24, 2017
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stay awake summer salsa

BY Heather Wilkinson

The annual junior school Stay Awake was held on 23rd February 2017 with the exciting theme of Summer Salsa. The event was accompanied by an almost palpable, electrifying atmosphere which continued throughout the evening as the girls enjoyed their 11 hour festival of fun. 
The evening began with arts and crafts and a surprise visit from Mrs Woods. The girls could hardly contain their excitement at the appearance of their previous principal. The performance of the various groups rehearsed dances then followed. The groups had practiced their dances for three weeks prior to performing on the stage for their appreciative peers. The dancing spirit continued after the performances as the girls energetically joined in with sing-alongs and dances, led by the Grade 7s. At mid-night everyone indulged in their various snacks which provided them with just enough energy to complete the treasure hunt around the school. During the treasure hunt they searched for various hidden riddles and attempted to answer them in time. Once they returned from the tiring expedition they delighted in dressing up their Grade 7 leaders in Hawaiian clothing. The Grade 7s then modelled their new outfits for the cheering crowds. Icing, jelly tots and Marie biscuits were everywhere as the girls enjoyed their next activity; making their shipwreck cookies. They delighted in the delicious sweet taste and allowed their creativity to flow as they created many different shipwreck designs. As the sun began to rise, everyone partook in an early morning stroll around the school while enjoying the sunrise and scenery before cleaning up and packing away their items, ready to go home.
The sleepy-eyed girls finally sauntered out of the hall towards their waiting parents. They left the Summer Salsa Stay Awake feeling very tired, but with many happy and unforgettable memories.

 February 24, 2017
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Standing up for women versus media distortions of body image

BY Malakhiwe Hoffman

#womennotobjects - I stand up for women, mothers, daughters, friends - Manipulated images, airbrushing beauty tricks and the media's most profound lie: The Riebeek Media Club on 14th February discussed the media's most grotesque lies of all time, Photoshopping and airbrushing images. The workshop was based on discovering all the truths about what magazines do to create the 'perfect' female body images. Women of all ages today, live under the impression that being thin and having the perfect features is what life is about, and there is no other source they got this idea from except for the media. They are deceived by false images where models and celebrities have all the perfect features and are portrayed as all perfect and godlike. The girls dug a little deeper, under the surface of false images and found that all the flawless skin, white teeth, long thick hair and so forth, was all dramatically manipulated, and distorted every women's perception of beauty. The girls were also showed clips of women from all over the world, who change themselves though agonizing surgery, trying to fit in the calibre the media has created. The girls were able to relate to this matter by stating how they have to make sure of how they look before they post any photos on social media and how the prevent taking photos because of their insecurities.
The workshop was very inspirational and educational and surely changed a lot in the our lives. Jessica Schoeman concluded with empowering words to the ladies: "When you look in the mirror, whatever you see is the opposite of what you are doing. So all the negative things you see when you look in the mirror is actually the positive aspect in your body." Therefore, ladies, don't conform to what you see because all of it is just skin deep.
For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. Audrey Hepburn

A BBC article reported:
Teenagers can have thousands of "friends" online and that can leave them exposed. You put forward your best self, and that can be a bit dangerous, because you naturally compare yourself to others. Among teenagers, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a number of other messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, are their main means of communicating with each other and the world.
In 2013, two-thirds of teenagers had signed up to the Facebook app, where images are posted and shared millions of times a day.
Social media networks are the primary way young people communicate and their main channel to the outside world
Never have they known so much about their friends' lives and the way they look.In 2012, MPs recommended that all schoolchildren should take part in compulsory body image and self-esteem lessons.An inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image heard evidence that girls as young as five were worrying about their size and their appearance.Adults were not immune from these negative attitudes either, with about 60% of the public feeling ashamed of the way they looked.The MPs' report said pressure to look good had pushed up cosmetic surgery rates by nearly 20% since 2008. Visited schools had talks for 12- and 13-year-olds about how easily images in the media can be altered, enhanced and improved to create something far from realistic.
They understand because they go through the same process when they post images on social media sites. "I ask them to shut their eyes and put their hand up if they have ever enhanced an image on Facebook," Ms Nokes says. The more time spent on Facebook, the more likely people are to self-objectify. They usually all put up their hands. she says. One girl said every image she uploaded had been altered. Most cameras in smart phones have built-in filters and a range of effects that can be used to enhance even the most embarrassing selfies. Social media has a huge effect on young people's body confidence, she explains, because it cannot be ignored. "They can make decisions not to look at magazines and TV, but social media networks are the primary way they communicate and their main channel to the outside world," she says. "But they are seeing the world through a filter, and that's not healthy." Make teenagers feel better about themselves by making them wary of an appearance-based world.It's really important we try to instil confidence that they can be who they are. The aim is to educate young people, to make them more cynical about the images they see and admire, and to work with retailers and businesses to encourage them to be more responsible in their advertising. Dr Phillippa Diedrichs, senior research fellow at the University of West of England's Centre for Appearance Research, says research backs up the link between social media and body image concerns. "The more time spent on Facebook, the more likely people are to self-objectify themselves," she says. She explains there is a tendency to seek out negative social interactions in these forums, and to ask people to comment on how you look, which can lead to body image anxieties.
People using social media sites also tend to cultivate a persona, and even friends and a peer group.In her view, the answer to body anxiety is to showcase a more diverse range of bodies in the media because there is not just one way to be healthy or one ideal look. http://www.bbc.com/news/health-29569473
Do visit the dove self esteem website for more information on body image among teenage girls.

 February 14, 2017
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