A dramatic growth in Kempton Park necessitated a new English primary school. On 7 January 1974, the doors of Norkem Park Primary School were opened to learners. They were housed in prefabricated buildings at Kempton Park Primary School.
Keith Ablett, with a staff of nine teachers, assumed duty (and was to be at the helm of the School for 17 years).
Two hundred and sixty learners enrolled, ranging from Grade 1 to Standard 2 – the senior class at that stage. For the first three months, there was no official uniform! Growth in learner enrolment was phenomenal. By the end of its second year, the School had an enrolment of 593 pupils and was relocated to another ‘interim’ building on 7 January 1976. (This site is now Laerskool Kruinsig in Fiskaal Street, Glen Marais.) The School was subsequently awarded P1 status. Facilities were menial – on one occasion a bus transporting learners got stuck in the mud and staff had to transport learners to the school building. There was no electricity and staff interviews had to be conducted by candlelight until power was provided. Delays in the planning and construction occurred due to budget constraints. They were downgraded from a project school to a traditional school, resulting in much disappointment. Nevertheless, on 11 August 1977, amidst much excitement, staff and learners reported to the new official school building situated in James Wright Avenue, Norkem Park.
This residential area was very much in the development stage, and the school building was a prominent feature. The 360° view from the third floor was quite spectacular! Of course, this has since changed with urban development in the area.
On 4 November, after much preparation, the School was officially opened by Professor J Jooste. Through fund-raising, enthusiasm, and generosity of parents and dedication of staff, equipment was acquired and facilities established – the School flourished! Tenth School Day enrolment of 1978 recorded 876 learners.
The Eighties witnessed a variety of fund-raising activities in order to build netball and tennis courts, as well as soccer fields. Of course, the Media Centre was also a priority. Due to the conscientious efforts of everyone concerned, the School had a well-established foundation. Learner numbers stabilised around the 850 enrolment figure. Teachers and learners alike worked hard to achieve academic, cultural and sporting excellence. The netball and soccer teams were forces to be reckoned with! Traditions had been established.
The Nineties heralded winds of change. In 1991, the Parent-Body voted overwhelmingly in favour of Model C status for the school (92% poll – 90% voted in favour). Keith Ablett, the first headmaster, resigned his service at the end of 1991, to be succeeded by John Clark, formerly of Farramere Primary School.
A shortage of finances is nothing new to educational institutions, contrary to popular opinion! The School approached big businesses for sponsorship. After much negotiation, the School was sponsored by a pharmaceutical company to establish a pre-school. This centre was officially opened in 1993 and continues to function effectively by providing a foundation for our very junior learners.
The School has weathered the many influences recently implicated by constitutional change. Thankfully, due to a dedicated Governing Body and staff, along with careful management, the School continues to flourish. Our current staff consists of approximately 45 teachers and over 1200 pupils.
In 2009 we introduced a new school blazer.