In August 2002, AISJ opened the Pretoria campus with modest ambitions and a total enrollment of 14 students in Kindergarten to Grade Two. At that time, the school was housed in a single building and everybody could ride to the Johannesburg main campus on one bus. Given that Pretoria, the Jacaranda City, is the diplomatic capital of South Africa and has the second highest number of high commissions and embassies in the world, it is not surprising that the school has grown at least 10-15% a year and continues to develop and attract a diverse array of students.
In 2010, AISJ purchased a new site for the school with the facilities and space to expand both classrooms and programs. The school was extremely fortunate to find the perfect new school site. The school is situated on five acres and the grounds are spacious and magnificently landscaped with trees and gardens. They invite the kind of school-without-walls learning opportunity for which the South African climate is perfect. The buildings have the same charm and welcoming feel that members of the community prized in the original campus.
Today, the Pretoria campus has both an elementary school and a middle school in a Pre- Kindergarten to Grade 8 setting with a possible capacity in the future of just over 300 students. AISJ is committed to developing a vibrant middle school program in Pretoria that integrates the middle school concept at the Johannesburg Campus while at the same time taking advantage of the opportunities of a middle school in a K-8 setting. While the school has grown up in many ways, the intimate, family feel of a neighborhood school has remained its hallmark. Our goal from the start has been to be the school that parents remember with a happy sigh and that school students will remember years later and tell their own children, “I hope your new school will be like the school I went to when I was in South Africa.” As we have grown we have always sought to retain the key aspects of our program and school culture that have been responsible for our success in the first place.
AISJ has committed to developing the Pretoria Campus’ academic and activities programs so that they support AISJ’s vision. In academics, sports, and the arts we seek to inspire the imaginations of all students and provide them with the skills and understandings necessary. This emphasis puts individual attention and motivation for learning at the heart of all we do.