Two Table View schools to merge

Aerial shot of Table View Primary School.

Two of Table View’s oldest schools will become one school next year.

Table View Primary and Lilliput Pre-Primary schools will be amalgamating to create a smoother admission process for children leaving the preschool to go to the primary school

Table View Primary School (TVPS) was established in 1971 and Lilliput Pre-Primary School was founded in 1974.

TVPS principal Golie Gouws said most of the school’s Grade 1 applicants came from Lilliput, so it made sense to join the schools.

“This is a conversation that has been on the table for quite some time now. We as the two schools, both school governing bodies and parents have been talking about this for years now,” he said.

From 2019, Lilliput will be known as Table View Primary School: Lilliput Campus, and Mr Gouws will be school principal of both campuses.

TVPS department head Belinda Moss will move over to the Lilliput campus and head that side.

On January 19 1971, a house in Table View was used by 11 Grade 1 pupils and their teacher, Esbe Krynauw, as a classroom. That same year, construction on the school started, and the following year, it opened with five teachers and 114 pupils.

The first principal, Herman Strydom, was appointed in 1973 and held the position until 1996.

Today the school boasts nearly 1 600 pupils. And the house where it all started is the present-day tuck shop.

As a public school, TVPS falls under the Western Cape Education Department. According to Mr Gouws, there’s a high demand for public schools in the area with a lot of private institutions.

“Because of this high demand, we get about 400 applications for Grade 1 each year. Joining with Lilliput will make the progression and adjustment for the pupils much easier.

“We want to be clear, that we are not saying that children from other pre-schools cannot apply to TVPS,” said Mr Gouws.

Lilliput was founded in a prefabricated classroom, built next to Leibrandt van Niekerk Hall in 1975, with Amanda Dreyer and her first class of 23 children.

Ms Dreyer served the school for 18 years. She was followed by Joyce Truter, who was at the helm for 24 years before retiring at the end of 2016.

The school now has more than 200 children and 30 staff.

Ms Moss said the amalgamation was a continuation of the relationship the schools had had over the years.

“We plan to be more focused on engaging more with each other as both schools and both school governing bodies,” she said.

The governing bodies will also be amalgamated and there will be one admission policy.

Ms Moss said pupils at the Lilliput campus would now not need to re-apply for Grade 1.

Bianca Akerman works in TVPS’s marketing department and is a former pupil of both schools.

“I went to Lilliput and then TVPS, and to me, it felt like a natural progression. I always believed that they were one school anyway, and I feel like all who are for this decision feel the same way,” she said.

Mr Gouws added: “Yes, there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding this move, but we are confident that this will be the beginning of something great.”