" The School has a rich  history and ongoing commitment to the development of cultural pursuits, including the dramatic arts, chess, photography, music appreciation, civic society, the pipe band, debating and fine and graphic art."


    Our learners participate in the Alberton and Kempton Park Eisteddfods during August every year. We participate in the Afrikaans Home Language section in the following categories.

    • Voorbereide Redenaars in 'n groep (Prepared Public Speaking Group)
    • Voorbereide Poësie Voordrag (Poetry recitation)

    Learners also participate in the Afrikaans Public Speaking Competition, an annual inter house event. Over the years, this has proved to be a very enjoyable evening where the boys impress the audience with their well-researched and entertaining speeches. The adjudicators are always very impressed with the confidence of the junior speakers and the quality of the speech writing & techniques of the senior boys.


    “ Chess is intellectual gymnastics. ”

    Wilhelm Steinitz – Father of Modern Chess Theory and 1st World Chess Champion (1886 - 1893)


    The chess club at King Edward VII School has had a vibrant history and has been growing in size in recent years with over 40 active members. Annually we compete in the Johannesburg Central Chess League – A&B Sections as well as the Johannesburg East Schools Chess Team League.

    The big derby days against Jeppe and Maritzburg would also be incomplete without a game of chess doing the rounds! The inter-house competition is also a fan favourite towards the end of the season.



    On 10 September 1946, Mr Fotheringham, Mayor of Johannesburg and member of the Governing Body, announced to the school Governing Body that he was prepared to present the school cadet corps with the equipment necessary to form a pipe band.

    Under the tutelage of former Black Watch Pipe Major, George Ackroyd, the King Edward VII School Pipe Band made its first public appearance at a sports day on the 25th of March 1950, with Drum Major P.J. Scott leading the Band to rapturous applause.

    Mr J. S. Fotheringham is regarded as the founder of the King Edward VII School Pipe Band.

    There was a patch in the 1950’s where there was talk of disbanding the Band. The then School Pipe Major John Farmer took it upon himself to ensure that this never happened.

    Throughout its illustrious history the King Edward VII School Pipe Band has produced some of South Africa’s most successful pipers and drummers. Most notably, Pipe Major Chris Mulinder who returned to the Band in 1975 to tutor the Pipe Corps and is to this day still an integral part of any piper’s career at KES.

    Former Pipe Major Craig Sked, a member of Scottish Power Pipe Band, won the prestigious Oban Silver Medal in Scotland and former Leading Drummer Callaghn Soligram and Peter Davidson played and tutored for the World Championship winning pipe band Benoni Mac-Talla in 2009. Most recently, former pipe Major Kgabe Molepo competed at the World Championships in 2017, with the Auckland and Districts Pipe Band from New Zealand.

    Highlights of the Band’s school calendar are the trip to the small town of Kaapsehoop to remember fallen soldiers from the World War 1 battle of Delville Wood and the Armistice Parade in November which is often the first parade for newcomers to the Band. This is always an impressive affair featuring the haunting lament played by the Pipe Major.

    Today, the Pipe Band still endures through the hard work and dedication of many tutors who have given up their time to ensure that not only does the School have a pipe band but also that the band does exceptionally well in competitions. The band’s tutors are drawn from pipe bands with just as an illustrious history as the King Edward VII School Pipe Band. These include the South African Irish Pipes and Drums, Transvaal Scottish, Richmond Avenue and Benoni Mac-Talla.

    In 2021, the King Edward VII School Pipe Band celebrated its 75th birthday.


    The KES Choral Society offers its boys a chance to develop and improve their vocal talents. Through the choir, they learn ways to use their vocal range, test their abilities and work together as a cohesive unit with their fellow singers. Boys are offered a chance to perform at School assemblies, School building openings such as the opening of the Victor Daitz Mathematics Centre and cultural events such as the musical Expressions evening.

    Opportunities to perform at the national Eisteddfod and achieve in their own capacity are aided and supported by the School. A reputable and well-recognised record has put the boys in the foreground and allowed them to sing the National Anthem in live broadcasts of public events. With the help of a music teacher and choir conductor, boys are guaranteed success in their choral endeavours.


    The World Knowledge Olympiad is an interesting online competition which quizzes students about general world knowledge such as politics, sports, culture and music. The aim of the Olympiad is to test the general knowledge of learners from Grades 8– 12 and encourage them to access appropriate media sources to expand their knowledge and understanding of the world around them.

    In so doing learners develop 21st century skills such as curiosity, self-driven learning, personal initiative and global awareness, which creates more-aware students who are able to participate in conversation and discuss a wide range of issues and topics. King Edward VII School has been a part of this competition for many years and in 2019 a Grade 8 student, Adam Langson, was ranked first in the country in the junior division.

    Any student with a keen interest in world affairs, sport, culture, geography, history and economics is encouraged to enter this competition whether it may be for the purposes of competing or just having some fun.


    The Model United Nations (MUN) is an academic simulation of the United Nations. Participants are assigned topics within a particular body or agency, like a Security Council session on the situation in South Sudan, and a country to represent.

    The boys then participate in teams of two-three members per competition as 'delegates' of their assigned country, researching the topic from their country's perspective, writing policy briefings and then engaging in the debate and negotiation process with other countries’ delegates.

    While keeping in line with their country’s stance, the ultimate goal for each session of MUN is for delegates to work together to create a resolution to the issue being discussed. This competition is particularly stimulating for boys with a keen interest in diplomacy and foreign policy. It enables them to remain informed and engaged in affairs in South Africa and around the world by participating in various high level panel discussions with learners from different schools.

  • Music Society

    The King Edward VII School Music Society is made up of musicians of various instruments, genres and levels. Each term the Music Society hosts an "Expressions” evening, where learners perform and have the opportunity for collaborations. These evenings are themed and invite a variety of performers across different disciplines as well as musical. Our School's band regularly performs in interschool competitions, making it to the finals, and has had outstanding achievements in regional and national Eisteddfods.

  • Marimba Ensemble

    The Marimba Ensemble is a more recent development of the Cultural Department at King Edward VII School. Acquiring our first set of marimbas in 2019, the learners very quickly showed their talents in their performance at the International Steelpan and Marimba Festival, the largest marimba festival in the world.

    Excelling in all their performances, they can be seen and heard at School events and externally throughout each term.

    Fact: The King Edward VII School Marimba Ensemble placed second in their category at the 2019 International Steelpan and Marimba Festival, the largest marimba festival in the world.


44 St Patrick Road Houghton 2198 Johannesburg   |   26°10’22’ S 28°3’47’E   |   +27 (0)11 551 5800   |