Rondebosch Boys’ Preparatory School was originally known as Rondebosch High School for Junior Boys. It came into being in the latter part of the 19th century following the initiative of the Dutch Reformed Church representative of the district, the Reverend Bernard Marchand.
The first Headmaster, Robert Ramage (aged 38) took up this position on 1 February 1897. The school had just eight pupils from Standards 2 – 7. Faced with a flush of applications from local residents, two further developments occurred: a junior department was opened and a one acre plot of ground, “The Firs”, at the corner of Campground and Rouwkoop Roads was purchased for £1,900!
New school buildings were erected and teaching commenced there in September 1898. Two years later Mr Ramage bought a local property, which had been named Canigou Estate after an imposing monastery located high in the Pyrenees. This became a much needed school hostel.
The school flourished and, by 1927, had an enrolment of 568 boys. The Preparatory School’s first Headmaster, Mr William “Papa” Law (1930-1943) was a Yorkshireman who was previously Head of the large Tembuland Teachers’ College where Nelson Mandela once studied.
He was followed by Mr Roche Enslin (1943-1966) who had very definite ideas on education and who guided the school through its change of site in 1948. The next incumbent was Mr Ray Holmes (1967-1972), a quiet, sincere man who remained at the helm until his appointment to the inspectorate. He was succeeded by former staff member Mr Don Laidlaw (1972-1987), an ex-RAF pilot, whose innovations included a science room, a computer centre and a “magnet” class for extending the brighter senior pupils.
Mr Bruce Lane (1987-1997), the fifth Headmaster, proved to be a dynamic educator and administrator. He oversaw the major renovations which were completed in 1994. He served the school with distinction, especially during its hectic centenary year in 1997.
Mr Tony Ryan, former Deputy of Rondebosch Boys’ High (and Pretoria Boys’ High) was the Headmaster from 1997-2018. Mr Ryan was a man of vision and integrity. He was responsible for establishing Little Bosch Grade R and fifteen other building projects, which put RBPS firmly in the limelight as a much sought-after learning institution. Mr Ryan was a man of great determination who established firm connections with the Rondebosch community and neighbouring schools.
Mr Ian Ryan, former Principal of Sweet Valley Primary School for 11 and a half years, was appointed as the seventh Headmaster from January 2019.