Vision, Mission, Ethos & Values

Holistic development and education

Vision, Mission, Ethos & Values

WHPS Vision

To create a special place of learning for the entire WHPS family built on a strong sense of tradition and a unique ethos, with a focus on developing our boys into future leaders by offering a holistic education marked by personal excellence.

WHPS Mission

Waterkloof House Preparatory School realises the holistic development of its boys using a broad-base to promote high moral values, independent thinking, self-discipline and a positive self-image, enabling each boy to realise his full potential in academic, sporting and cultural fields within a Christian environment.

Through their enthusiastic and caring attitude, parents, staff, Old Boys and the wider WHPS family, combine to uphold and further promote the School’s established traditions and the achievement of its vision.

WHPS Ethos

Waterkloof House Preparatory School was founded in 1923 by the Ruddell Brothers. Their vision was for a School of extraordinary ethos to offer prep school aged boys a holistic education based on Christian values.This vision has not changed in the years since then.

WHPS’ goal is to develop the potential of each of its pupils. In order to achieve this, it is WHPS? policy to expose its pupils to the various disciplines offered by the School: scholarship, sportsmanship and culture.

The School views each of these disciplines as inherently important and as complementary components of a balanced, holistic education.We do not take the view that academic work is the only success criteria in the School. Although there is an emphasis on academic discipline and achievement, the importance of a balanced life style encompassing physical activity and well being, as well as cultural involvement is impressed upon the boys and to this end they are expected to participate in the full school programme.

WHPS prides itself on developing the individuality of each of its children and is fortunate in having small numbers, which allows this concentration of attention.

WHPS strives to instil an ethos of high self-esteem, self-respect and gentlemanly behaviour in all its pupils. These qualities are vital to allow every child to be the best that he can be and it is these qualities, as well as the all round education that they receive, that makes WHPS boys so attractive to the High Schools of South Africa.

The WHPS ethos is legendary. Ethos is defined as the characteristic spirit of a community, people or system. Every member of the School’s community contributes their own special gifts to make the School unique.

Individual teachers, boys, parents and support staff become touched by the atmosphere pervading our independent School for boys and the longevity of service of some of the staff is explained by their devotion to this Pretoria institution.

The Mission statement states its objective to be to promote high moral values, independent thinking, self-discipline and a positive self-image. With a staff that aims to embody these values and through their enthusiastic and caring attitude, the characteristic spirit is expressed through their life in the School.

The teaching at the School is imbued with these values, which are passed on, almost subliminally, to the pupils.

Finally the system embraced by WHPS, almost from inception, reflects the ethos of the School. The various curricula, academic, cultural and sporting, are all aimed at helping the boys be the best they can be.

To be a WHPSian does not just mean that you have been enrolled at a private school for boys and spent a certain number of years here. It is an intangible quality of gentlemanly behaviour, care for others and the environment and a sense of self-esteem, which prepares the boys for the challenges the future holds for them. Each individual who makes up the sum of Waterkloof House Preparatory School gives of his best and in so doing achieves his own personal best.

WHPS Values

Appreciation – Courage – Integrity – Passion – Respect – Responsibility

The six core values at WHPS can best be summarised by four words. Four words that have come to define who we are as WHPSians – Work Hard Play Straight

The Gr 7 Leavers of 2016 raised funds to gift the school with a display of the core values and our motto of Work Hard Play Straight. This gift enjoys pride of place in the Waterkloof House Theatre, where everybody will be reminded of how we should live our lives each day.

From Old Boys and past parents, to any and every active member of the WHPS’ community, let us uphold these wonderful values, defend them fiercely and let us always Work Hard and Play Straight.

Appreciation, the first of our six values. We often verbalise our appreciation through two words – two simple words, yet they are so powerful.
These are some of the things that we appreciate: Our beautiful country, our wonderful school, words of encouragement, the love and support of family, friends and teachers and the opportunity to give to others.
Every day is a gift – and we must appreciate it. Appreciation is a powerful value that must shine in our lives each day.

is not about being the biggest and strongest but about being the one who can face every situation in life with bravery.
Courage is strength in the face of pain or grief; the ability to do something that frightens one; going on when you don’t have strength; being yourself; doing the right thing; standing up to you friends when they have done something wrong; being afraid but carrying on anyway; rejecting injustice; embracing everything that is good.
The boys at WHPS need courage: Courage on the first day of school, Courage when you are a new boy, Courage to face the onset of High School and Courage to work hard and play straight each day.

is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. It is the value which guides our moral principles like a lighthouse. It is about doing what is right even when it is difficult … it is about doing the right thing even when nobody is looking.
Honesty, honour, good character, truthfulness and trustworthiness are all words that we associate with the value of integrity.
Our motto, Work Hard Play Straight, encapsulates the essence of integrity. Playing straight means allowing every aspect of your life to be governed by honesty, resulting in a life of significance and a life of integrity.

Passion –
Don’t stop the Magic that is WHPS. Live life to the full. Love what you do … and if you don’t, then find something that you do love and do it! Give of your best – that is all anyone can ask of you.  Be the WHPS fire!
Embrace everything enthusiastically!  Whether you are on the sports field or in the classroom, in the orchestra or the rock band, whether you are reading a new novel or painting a masterpiece, or simply being a good friend – Just do it! Live with Passion and the WHPS Fire.

Respect is how you feel about someone. Having respect for someone means you think good things about who a person is or how they act. You can have respect for others, and you can have respect for yourself. Respect is how you treat someone. Showing respect to someone means you act in a way that shows you care about their feelings and well-being.
The song What a Wonderful World, first released 49 years ago, has never dated. It has a hopeful optimistic tone and helps us to feel positive about the future. It is immersed in values – I have heard this song many times but I realise now that it has so much to do with respect:
Respect of each other – I see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do
They’re really saying   ‘I Love you’.
Respect of our environment – I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom
For me and you. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

Responsibility, our sixth value, may be last but it’s certainly not least. Responsibility expects us to:
Take charge of our lives;
Look after ourselves, our health, our possessions and one another;
Find solutions rather than look for excuses;
Realise that our happiness and success is in our hands;
Take the time to look out for others.


School Boys Brooklyn

“Visualise this thing you want. See it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin.”

Robert Collier