Carolina van Heerden

The MCS Principal

Carolina van Heerden stands at the helm of MCS and under her leadership, the school has achieved above world averages in maths, science/biology and English for CIE for grades 6 and 8 for several years and boasts 213 CIE subject distinctions in all levels, no mean feat for a small, upcoming school in such a short time.

Carolina, who has been an educator for 20 years, is passionate about education. Having lived in the United Kingdom and China with her family for several years, where she home-schooled her children, she has a firm grasp of what it means to be globally competitive.

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” ~ Ralph Emerson 

A warm welcome to The Mountain Cambridge School – our school comprises three schools within the Mountain Cambridge International Schools banner – the Pre-Primary School from the age of three years, the Primary School from Grade R to Grade 7 and our High School from Grade 8 to Grade 12 and enrols children from three years of age to 18 years of age when they complete their matriculation year. Mountain Cambridge School is a co – educational facility enrolling boys and girls in all three schools. We have opened our A level College/grade 13 in 2012. Mountain Cambridge A level College offers Grade 13 which broadens and deepens the academic and intellectual perspectives of the student who is allowed to focus on three subjects of his/her choice in preparation for A-level exams. Cambridge A-levels are internationally recognized by universities worldwide.

We at Mountain Cambridge have chosen the Cambridge internationally acclaimed curriculum because we know without a measure of doubt that it is the best preparation for your child; for tertiary education, for the workplace, for individual achievement and success and most importantly for life.

As you search through our website, you may ask:” What is it that makes MCS so special?” I believe it has to do with the clear thought, vision, passion & positive energy. A school should be a place where children can explore their abilities, talents and interests in a secure and nurturing environment, but it should also be a place where children are challenged to be more than they believe possible.

The Mountain Cambridge School endeavours to be such a School and we are guided by our faith, our ongoing traditions and our ambitions for the future when we determine our approach to education. Real and valuable learning will take place when we all have the same goals and share good relationships. A happy learning environment is beneficial for all.

We are a small school and thus we know each and every learner as an individual. We nurture their uniqueness and allow them the space to explore their own future possibilities. We celebrate your child as the wonderfully single individuals that they are.

MCS provides our learners with a holistic education. Academic, sports and cultural activities are components of what makes a wonderful offering. Spiritual and personal development is also critical elements of a child’s formative years. Whether your little one is entering our school for the first time or your adolescent is beginning the High School phase, or indeed anywhere in between then – it is in discovering what we offer educationally that you will understand that our model is indeed a well established, well monitored international system that will ensure your child leaves us a happy individual having achieved their potential – be that academically, in sport, in culture and in any other area in life that they enjoy and are good at.

Our learners enter the world with confidence and courage and they are sure of whom they are. At the Mountain Cambridge School we are cognizant that we need to be creating the leaders of the future. The focus that we have on the individual emphasizes the training of individual talents and the development of wholeness of personality. We need to ensure that our young citizens, the future leaders, demonstrate the values and morals that they have been taught. Our motto, ‘Real World Ready’ speaks directly to the heart of excellent education.

MCS will always strive to equip our learners to be REAL WORLD READY, to be confident, unique citizens of the world who will be able “to sing your own special song and to dance your own special dance.

We welcome you to contact Mountain Cambridge School for a personal visit and look at the school to perceive the feel of our school, see our children hard at work and play and meet and greet our teachers and supporting staff.


Mountain Cambridge School is an independent school offering an internationally recognised quality education.  Recognised as a top quality academic school, consistently achieving above world average results in all subject areas.



We want to equip our learners to be “real world ready”.

  • Participating students will strive to leave Mountain Cambridge School as confident, effective, well-mannered, articulate, educated and enthusiastic citizens of the world who will contribute positively to society.
  • Mountain Cambridge School will provide a range of programmes and facilities for intellectual, physical, moral and social development of our students, assisting them in becoming balanced young adults.
  • Mountain Cambridge School will foster a safe, pleasant, intimate yet dynamic learning environment where every student will feel at home. It will be a school which the educators,
    students and parents will be proud to be part of and to be associated with. We strongly believe in a successful partnership between the school and the home.
  • Mountain Cambridge School will give all our students an equal opportunity to realize their potential through individual goal setting that is obtainable and realistic. We will ensure that all students are challenged and supported.
  • The Cambridge curriculum provides a wide range of academic and vocational subjects to account for differing abilities, making Cambridge suitable for all students.
  • The Cambridge curriculum will enable our students to gain an internationally recognized qualification and to produce independent thinkers who are also autonomous learners.
  • Our dedicated and passionate educators will ensure that the highest standard of education is

Using the student centered approach Mountain Cambridge School will attempt to ensure that:

  • Objectives are covered in less time with greater retention
  • Thought processes are represented similarly throughout the curricula
  • The MCS will promote integrated thinking and interdisciplinary learning
  • The MCS teachers can easily gauge student knowledge prior to a specific lesson
  • The MCS student performance can be tracked accurately over time
  • The MCS students gain effective tools to use across their academic and working careers
  • The MCS will equip our students with lifelong thinking tools
  • The MCS will equip our students with effective study methods

Our school motto is based upon 6 core values: hard work, honesty, respect, discipline, trust and enthusiasm. These values serve as a compass pointing out what it means to be true to oneself. Honouring these values will guide our students in fulfilling their goals.We give a lot of thought to the ideals of honesty, loyalty and friendship and ensure that we speak of them often and that they are evidenced in what we do on a daily basis. The nurturing environment engenders a spirit of generosity. Reaching out to others less fortunate than ourselves is always a pleasure and is done with enthusiasm and love.

The Mountain Cambridge School strives to foster a safe, pleasant intimate yet dynamic learning environment where every student will feel at home: It will be a school where the educators, students and parents will be proud to be part of and to be associated with.

We want to equip our learners to be ‘Real World Ready’, to be confident, articulate, educated and enthusiastic citizens of the world who will contribute positively to society. We encourage our students “to sing their own special song, dance their own special dance”.

These values serve as a compass pointing out what it means to be true to oneself. Honoring these values will guide our students in fulfilling their goals.



The Mountain Cambridge School’s motto- Paratus – means: be ready, be prepared, be Real World Ready.

The motto combined with the shield, is a constant reminder to our school community that knowledge, education and moral strength provide the key to the journey of life, to be real world ready. We will equip our learners with knowledge and learning to enable them to take guardianship and our education will be the gateway to the real world and life.

Crests have been in use for many centuries by both families and institutions. They are design to express, in pictorial form, ideas that would otherwise take a great deal of explanation. Once the crest is understood, merely seeing it brings to mind all the elements and their meanings. We want our school community to see our crest and have a visual reminder of what we are doing here at The Mountain Cambridge School.



Our school crest is a traditional heraldic crest that is divided into four quadrants, each with a key symbol.

Our students will state proudly that they went after their dreams, sought out and nourished robust, life-giving relationships and fulfilled their purpose in their own unique way. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said: “Too many people die with the music still in them.” We encourage our students “to sing their own special song, dance their own special dance.” Above all, Mountain Cambridge School is a happy place; a place where “every child matters”.


We will strive at MCS to ensure a happy child through:

  • High Standards & Stated Expectations

  • Passionate, Nurturing & Inclusive School

  • Cambridge Curriculum: Internationally Recognised Qualification & Benchmarking

  • Small Learning Communities

  • “Whole-Brain”/Creative Teaching Strategy

  • Analytical & Creative Thinking : Edward De Bono Lateral Thinking

  • Positive Behaviour Support

  • Bully-Free Zone

  • Disciplined but relaxed environment which is conducive to learning.

  • Interactive Playground

  • Reading Programme

  • SENCO Programme

  • Mentorship Programme

  • Leadership Programmes

  • Partnerships with our Parents as our Stakeholders

  • On-Going Professional Development

  • Sport and Culture Development

  • Community Service


A small school for 3 preschool pupils was founded by Mrs. Liz Jarvis in her garden in Schoemansville in 1994. During 1995 Mrs. Lesley Pugh joined and started a Foundation Phase class. As the cottage had become too small the school moved to larger premises in James Street in Schoemansville. By year end the school was again expanding and the pre-primary class had an assistant teacher.

At the beginning of 1996 the school opened again on a larger piece of ground in Melodie and became known as “The Cottage School.” Mrs. Louise Marshall joined the staff to start the Grade 4 and Grade 6 class with 10 pupils. These were fun days. The Pre-Primary was housed in the lounge/dining room, the Foundation Phase was in the barn where the mice had their babies and carried them around during lessons and the Grade 4s and 6s were in the double garage. We had wonderful mums with VW combis who transported us on an almost weekly basis on educational outings i.e. dairy farm, beef farm, air force museum and transport museum, etc.

By the next year the Foundation Phase had to be split into a Grade 1 and 2 and Grade 3 and 4 classes and this time a container made do for the Grade 3 and 4 classes. A lengthy process ensued as the directors were determined we would become affiliated to ISASA.



Mr. and Mrs. Woods joined the parent body and were interested in investing to buy land and build a school. Our present land was acquired in 1999 and the original school buildings were available from February 2001. Our move was put off twice and finally moving took place with no tarred drive and a weekend of incessant rain. At the end of Sunday Mrs. Pugh, dressed in her black raincoat, hat and gumboots, was pushing the staff cars through the mud to get them home. Dr Jane Hofmeyer, the Director of ISASA, opened the school on the 28 September 2001.

Mrs. Jarvis left the school at the end of 2001 as her husband was taking up a position in Vienna. New classrooms were again built as the school expanded and the amphitheater was added while the church buildings were used for Admin, Grade 7 and computer classes.

Mrs. Pugh continued running the school until 2004 when she decided to retire to the coast. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor bought out Mrs. Pugh’s share of the school. 2005 saw the advent of Mr. Kevin Holman, as the principal. By year end Mr. Holman decided to live closer to home and in 2006 Mrs. Louise Marshall took over the running of the school with Mrs. Erica Göhre and Mrs. Sandra Kuisis. Separate classes were introduced for each grade. The Pre-Primary was bulging at the seams and the directors made the decision to build the PP classroom and the old PP became the administration offices.



The need for a High School had been continually discussed and was a sore point with many of the parents as they had no continuation of education for their children. During 2009 Mr and Mrs. Woods decided they wanted to sell their investment and return to Australia. Mrs Taylor approached Mrs. Carolina van Heerden who became the new investor and a High School was born. The High School opened their doors on the 13th of January 2010 with 23 students.

Mrs. van Heerden began her stint, as principal/co- owner in 2010 with a name change to Mountain Cambridge School. Our school made the bold change to implement the Cambridge Curriculum from Grade 1 – 12 with the vision of opening an A – level college in 2012. The school became affiliated with Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) that enables us to give our learners the opportunity to get an internationally recognized qualification. Specialized subject teachers were also introduced from Grade 4 – 12. The school has grown from 180 to 285 learners and a staff compliment of 12 to 32.

New High School buildings were needed for the start of 2010 and again for 2011. These new buildings included four additional classrooms, science and biology laboratories, a high school computer centre, high school bathrooms, an art classroom, a music classroom and a canteen area for our learners. Mrs. Patti Borman from CIE officially opened our High School on the 30th of September 2011 and we officially celebrated 10 years of the school being at the Beethoven campus.

In 2012 we completed our long-awaited swimming pool and saw the opening of our library. We also opened our A level college at the beginning of 2012. The directors are currently in the process of acquiring more land to expand our sporting facilities. The school continues to grow from strength to strength with the vision of becoming a top independent school offering an internationally recognized quality education.