A world of opportunity

The discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand led to an influx of many people to the area, including a large German community. After numerous failed attempts to create a ‘German School’, Pastor Hermann Kuschke started teaching a student called Ernst Ritter at the beginning of 1890. Within a year this number had grown to over 20.

As the years went by, the German community grew to over 4 000 and by 1897 they had raised enough money to build a new school in Hillbrow on land that was donated by Paul Kruger, the former president of the South African Republic.

The DSJ survived numerous political and economic difficulties but by the mid-1960s learner numbers rose to such a level that the facilities in Hillbrow were no longer adequate. In 1969, the school made the move from Hillbrow to its current location in Parktown.

Kids sitting in a classroom putting sprinkles on cookies.

With approximately 1 050 learners representing more than 35 nationalities, the DSJ takes pride in its extensive educational tradition, which is aimed at preparing learners for the demands of an ever-changing professional world. The school strengthens learners in their development towards becoming self-assured and independent individuals, while also encouraging critical thinking, which promotes their methodological and social competencies. As per requirements from the German Government, who financially support the school, German is a compulsory subject for all age groups.

The DSJ is the oldest co-educational school in Johannesburg and in 2015 celebrated its 125-year anniversary. In 2016, the DSJ was named the ‘Best German School outside Germany’ by a panel of judges from the Deutsche Schulpreis Award and 2018, it was again awarded the status of an ‘Excellent German School Abroad’, both serving as indicators that our learners leave school as dynamic and innovative young adults.

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