Two decades of making Woodbridge great

Woodbridge Primary School principal Moira Rix is retiring.

Woodbridge Primary School principal, Moira Rix, is retiring at the end of the year, after 16 years at the helm.

Ms Rix joined the school, formerly known as Zonnekus Primary, as a Grade 5 teacher in 1994.

She took over as principal at the beginning of 2001, at a time when pupil numbers at the predominantly Afrikaans school were in sharp decline.

As fewer Afrikaans-speaking pupils registered, the school became an English-medium institution and changed its name to Woodbridge Primary School.

However, pupil numbers were still very low and the school faced a possible merger.

“The school was not in a good place when I came here,” said Ms Rix.

“I grew up in Milnerton and the school was Afrikaans then, and known for its sporting accolades. When I came, Afrikaans numbers were dwindling and a whole wing wasn’t being used.

“In 2002, there was talk of combining Tygerhof and Woodbridge primary schools because of the dwindling numbers.

“But I had a five-year plan to grow the school, and I took on a second Grade R class which helped.

“We grew from 305 pupils then to having 740 now,” said Ms Rix.

Today, Woodbridge Primary has regained the acclaim it once enjoyed, and Ms Rix is leaving knowing she has given the school her best.

“Sixteen years is a long time, and we’re thriving and we have good quality of education and good pass rates.

“For the first time this year, we’re quite heavily enrolled for 2018 already.

“I think I’ve done my bit here; I can move off quite happily.”

In her time at the school, Ms Rix established a computer centre, and the music and art classes – which had been lost when the school’s future looked uncertain – have returned.

“The last music post we had had been in 1995, but we just restarted the music department this year, and we’ve had an arts teacher back for three years.

“Now second and third generations of children are being enrolled in the school.

“I will miss all the children the most. I have a special spot for the Grade 5 class because I taught them before I became principal.

“I am quite heartsore to leave,” said Ms Rix.

She plans to travel and indulge her passion for writing poetry during her retirement.