Gardens Commercial High School is a fine mixture of the old and the new. The five original houses which still form parts of the school buildings were built in 1882 and were used as U.C.T. residences during the 1920’s. Since then they have housed a private hotel, the offices of the Provincial Administration (1939 – 1944) and the offices of the Department of Inland Revenue and the Rent Control Board (1944 – 1967).
In 1967 the demolition of Avenue Terrace – as the buildings were then known – was planned. In its stead a new school would be built to house the pupils from the Day School of Commerce (est. 1961) which, until then, had been a department of the Cape Technical College. These plans, however, were shelved and the original buildings were adapted for use as a school.
In 1968 the school came under the jurisdiction of the Cape Education Department and a year later it was renamed Gardens Commercial High School. The Avenue Terrace buildings survived intact, a second time, when demolition plans were again mooted.
When Louis Karol Architects were commissioned in 1976 to build the new school, their decision to incorporate Avenue Terrace finally guaranteed the survival of these buildings. The intriguing blend of old and new in this design earned the architects an Award of Merit from the Institute of South African Architects.
In 1984 – two years before the school’s silver anniversary – the Twistniet Sports Complex was opened in Upper Orange Street. It offers facilities for hockey, tennis, basketball, netball and athletics.
We are proud of our fine school and its historic links with the city of Cape Town. In 1993 the old School buildings, the wall and the ground were declared a National Monument. The original deeds of transfer of the ground, are part of the Uitvlugt, date to 1732.
When the school was taken over by the Department of Education, Arts and Science in 1967, prior to being handed over to the Provincial Education Department, the director of the Cape Technical College, Mr McClelland, kindly consented to the College colours and badge being used until the new design was introduced.
At a staff meeting it was unanimously decided to retain the uniform and colours, but to introduce a new badge. It was also decided that the new badge should retain some link with the College Badge. The original design was retained with the addition of an acorn and an oak leaf to symbolise the Gardens. This design proved impractical as the acorn and leaf were not clearly discernible.
The former school caretaker, Mr Ebersohn, presented a design for consideration which immediately found favour with the staff. With very slight modifications the badge was accepted as the new school badge.
The badge retains a link with the College and features the sea and Table Mountain with the symbol of Commerce, caduceus, predominating. The motto, FLOREAT, (MAY I FLOURISH) is appropriate for the learner, the school and commerce.
Amidst the splendour of the Gardens
Hidden by the trees;
Stands a school which knows no peer,
A school of memories;
Of days of sunshine, laughter and fun;
On every weekday morn;
Just fitting us for coming years,
When schooldays are o’er
Floreat, floreat, hear the pupils cry,
Floreat, floreat, Gardens Commercial High.
We’re proud of our fine uniform of
Those who’ve gone before;
Their memories and hopes and fears
Are with us evermore;
As a school we are united,
United we must stand;
One school, one nation, one hope,
One love for our dear land.
Floreat, floreat, hear the pupils cry,
Floreat, floreat, Gardens Commercial High
In 2006 Gardens become a WCED FOCUS SCHOOLS
VUL’ITHUBA – OPEN THE WAY – SKEP GELEENTHEDE
AN EXCITING NEW OPPORTUNITY FOR LEARNERS IN THE WESTERN CAPE
In an innovative, forward-thinking project, the Western Cape Education Department has nominated twenty-seven secondary schools, to be converted into focus schools. Gardens Commercial High School is one of them, with a focus on Business, Commerce & Management.
Increase access to and quality in subjects previously not available to all learners
Increase the participation and success rate of learners, especially previously disadvantaged learners, in the Further Education and Training (FET) band
Empower people by equipping them with scarce skills needed in the marketplace
What are focus schools? These schools are expected to:
Have the highest concentration of quality human resources and equipment in a particular field
Nurture and offer comprehensive training to learners with exceptional talent, aptitude or interest
Be schools of excellence
Serve as lead institutions in their fields
Benefit the learners, the education system and ultimately the economy
As part of this initiative, learners have access to:
a fully equipped Resource Centre
two computer labs
the internet and wifi
a computer and data projector in each classroom
Gardens Commercial is a coeducational inner city school with learners aged 12 – 18 years.