Is it possible to make a truly excellent education available at a fee affordable to those from low income communities? How does a school with an authentically Christian ethos position itself in modern society in terms of personal mentoring and cutting-edge educational initiatives? In what ways can the inspiration so desperately needed in the South African education landscape be provided? These questions led to Calling Education being established.
Dr Philip Geldenhuys, Co-founder and former CEO of Community Keepers, saw the need for a high school in Stellenbosch that can address these issues. After regular prayer with friends about the possibilities, Philip approached Werner Cloete (who was teaching Physical Science at Paul Roos Gymnasium) and Willem Meyer (Founder of Campitor Agribusiness Investments) to help conceptualise this new school.
Werner subsequently resigned from his teaching position to head up this exciting project. On 1 December 2015, a first meeting for interested parties was held at the Digtebij Estate outside Stellenbosch where the broad plans for the school were laid out.
In April 2016, John Yip and Thumakele Gosa were added to the board of directors. Werner still taught in a part-time capacity while continuing the research and development process. Articles were studied, schools were visited, interviews were conducted, conferences were attended and the emerging model was refined through countless conversations. This process laid an outstanding foundation for the concepts that now feature as part of the Calling Education model.
On 29 September 2016, the official launch of Calling Education was held at the Doornbosch Hall in Stellenbosch. 2017 was to be the year of final preparation for this unique school. On 19 April 2017, the first information session for prospective parents was held at Rhenish Primary School, followed by further information sessions at AF Louw Primary School, Idasvallei Primary School and the Legacy Centre in Kayamandi.
On 17 January 2018, Calling Academy opened its doors for 60 Grade 8 boys from 13 different primary schools. The fact that the school was at capacity from the beginning indicates that the school serves the right need with the right model.