The Ideal Place to Grow Children

Our History

The threat of attack from the sea in 1942 prompted the move of a number of Clifton Durban boys to “the country”.

It was at this time that Colonel Edward McKenzie Greene offered his farm as a safe haven for 75 boys. The farm, Spring Grove, was situated in the foothills of the Drakensberg on a 60ha estate and was to become the home of Clifton Nottingham Road.

At this point in time, Clifton was full boarding and boys only. In 1986 the decision was taken to admit girls to the school, which marked the beginning of our co-educational environment today.

“It was 1942 and the threat of war was very real to Durban. Being 9 years of age when we were all off to Nottingham Road by train, we were completely oblivious to the situation with war and it was only in later life that you discovered the reasons for this move further inland. We were very fortunate to go to Spring Grove Farm of Colonel Greene’s in Nottingham Road.”

– Esmonde Dowse, Clifton Old Boy 1942

“We came across this big old stone house at the end of the drive way and that was where we were going to have our school”

– Frank van Vloten, Clifton Old Boy 1942

“We didn’t have classrooms so class would be in the open air, you know, Standard One would be under that tree and Standard Two would be over there. I mean, it was very intimate teaching. It was great.”

– Kim Elgie, Clifton Old Boy 1942

“The move from Durban to Nottingham Road was fortuitous for the school. We have ended up in a fantastic area of farmlands in the KZN Midlands, at the foot of the Drakensberg. It really is the ideal place for children, the school and teachers to be.”

– Mr Pete Quinn, SP HOD

“A great deal of the old was brought into play together with the new and it seemed to me that that little bit of paradise, that educational paradise, was being taken advantage of in its best possible opportunities and offerings.”

– Dr R. Dudley Forde, Past Pupil and Board Member

“’Beware: free range children’; it encapsulates all that Clifton is about. It is about children being children, about children being safe, and I think if one looks at the original reason why the children left Durban, it was about being safe.”

– Mr Viktor Kurz, Past Parent and Eighth Headmaster

In 2017, Clifton Nottingham Road celebrated its 75th birthday!

Clifton traditions have evolved around the outdoors and our unique rural setting. Ask any Cliftonian, past or present, and they’re guaranteed to all have special memories of these traditions. 

The Grace

In the 1940s, few people owned cars. Most children arrived at the school gates in an ox-cart which had met them at Nottingham Road Train Station. The local boys would come by horse. When the children reached the school, “The Grace” would be sung as a form of prayer giving thanks to God for a safe journey. We continue this tradition today when we return from sports games or trips with a new addition of a “Three Cheers” for the driver.

The Grace

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ

And the love of God our Father

And the fellowship, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us

For evermore and evermore and evermore

AMEN

School Song

It is traditional that the School Song is sung at all Monday assemblies and the Annual Prize Giving.

For the beauty of the earth

For the beauty of the skies

For the love which from our birth

Over and around us lies

Christ our Lord to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise

For the joy of ear and eye

For the heart and rains delight

For the mystic harmony

Linking sense to sound and sight

Christ our Lord to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise

For the joy of human love

Brother, sister, parent, child

Friends on earth and friends above

For all gentle thoughts and mild

Christ our Lord to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

The Grace

In the 1940s, few people owned cars. Most children arrived at the school gates in an ox-cart which had met them at Nottingham Road Train Station. The local boys would come by horse. When the children reached the school, “The Grace” would be sung as a form of prayer giving thanks to God for a safe journey. We continue this tradition today when we return from sports games or trips with a new addition of a “Three Cheers” for the driver.

The Grace

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ

And the love of God our Father

And the fellowship, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us

For evermore and evermore and evermore

AMEN

School Song

It is traditional that the School Song is sung at all Monday assemblies and the Annual Prize Giving.

For the beauty of the earth

For the beauty of the skies

For the love which from our birth

Over and around us lies

Christ our Lord to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise

For the joy of ear and eye

For the heart and rains delight

For the mystic harmony

Linking sense to sound and sight

Christ our Lord to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise

For the joy of human love

Brother, sister, parent, child

Friends on earth and friends above

For all gentle thoughts and mild

Christ our Lord to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.