A prep school with a vibrant tradition of philosophy and meditation.

Accessible to all. We're one human family.

Proudly Cambridge International.

St James Preparatory School

“Thus it remains to the school to see that true knowledge and proper discipline are imparted to the youngsters, with which they would become living examples of a good life in society and would also attract others towards this.” 

Śrī Śāntānanda Sarasvatī in conversation with Leon MacLaren - Founder of the St James Schools


St James is an independent school with a distinctive spiritual ethos of inclusion and unity.  Our highest purpose is the constant search for Truth and it’s our love for wisdom that helps us see everything and everyone as interdependent.  We welcome children of all faiths and those of none.

Our commitment to the school motto of Truth ~ Love ~ Service, shapes our characters and values, which in turn, shapes how we perform on the playground, sports field, stage, and yes, even in tests and exams.

Every child is acknowledged as pure, perfect and complete, as they share the same divine nature which is full of vitality, happiness and knowledge.  From the tender age of four, the children learn to cultivate an inner stillness, which prepares them steadily for meditation from the age of twelve.

As part of a worldwide education community with international recognition, students and parents can be confident that Cambridge qualifications will be understood at home in South Africa, and abroad. St James’ track record in the Cambridge Primary Checkpoint exams in the three core subjects, i.e. Maths, Science and English, is nothing short of stellar, with 100% achievements being regularly attained.

Insightful Questions about Education

How can I learn to nurture inner stillness?

How can I learn to work with open-minded enquiry?

How can I learn to be of service to others?

How can I learn to live peacefully with everyone?

How can I learn to keep my body healthy?

How can I learn to compete healthily?

How can I learn to be a better friend?

Term Dates for 2021

Term 1

Term Start : Wed 13 Jan

Half Term : Thu 25 Feb - Tue 2 Mar

Term Close : Wed 14 Apr

Term 2

Term Start : Wed 5 May

Half Term : Fri 11 Jun - Mon 21 Jun

Term Close : Fri 6 Aug

Term 3

Term Start : Tue 7 Sep

Half Term : Wed 3 Nov - Mon 8 Nov

Term Close : Fri 3 Dec

What parents say about St James...

We want what we consider to be "best" for our children, but in seeking to bring this about, we can easily forget that the most important issue is their right to be their own person and lead their life in accord with their unique spirit.

Nilesh Jasmath

I could never find a school as brilliant as St James. Real quality education!

Suda Pillay

My children chose this school as it feeds their soul!

Sharmila Jasmath

Such a privilege for my child to be part of this great legacy in our country.

Mthuthuzeli Gumede

A positive space which nurtures a child's mind, body and spirit.

Shirona Naidoo

Definitely a school that nourishes the whole child.

Sarika Roopram

St James certainly offers a full programme for the entire family. The Philosophy classes and homework we received has transformed how we do things in our home. The PAUSE has become an integral part of everything we do as a family.

Sharmila Jasmath


St James Preparatory School is a member of ISASA and is thrilled to have been featured in the Winter 2019 and Spring 2019 editions of their prestigious publication, Independent Education.  These articles are available here and here.



St James Preparatory School follows the Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) which prepares school students for life, helping them develop an informed curiosity and a lasting passion for learning. CAIE is part of the University of Cambridge.  Cambridge’s international qualifications are recognised by the world’s best universities and employers, giving students a wide range of options in their education and career.


The Education Renaissance Trust (ERT) is an independent educational charity, registered with the Charity Commission in the UK. The ERT helps and encourages schools and teachers who put spiritual values at the heart of education. It believes that a renaissance in education is needed for the wellbeing of humanity, and that there are already many schools and teachers who inspire children with good and true principles for living. The Trust was founded in 1997 to support a group of schools around the world which share this view of education. The group is called the ‘St James family of schools,’ after the first school, St James School in London, which was founded in 1975. The Trust now works closely with many other schools internationally, and hundreds of teachers who share their values.  St James Preparatory, Johannesburg, is privileged to be included in that group of schools.


The School of Practical Philosophy, Gauteng, is a centre for spiritual and practical knowledge and enquiry. The School aims to help individuals lead a fuller, richer and more useful life and to evolve the spiritual aspect of their being in accordance with natural laws. 

St James’s unique ethos is inspired by the underlying philosophy of the School of Practical Philosophy.


St James Preparatory School is currently accommodated in what was the first St Mary’s school in Johannesburg, established in the early 1900s.  Now a grand and elegant heritage site in pristine condition, the building is owned by the School of Practical Philosophy.



School Fees 2021