St Andrew’s School has been providing educational opportunities for boys from different faiths and cultural traditions who reside in Bloemfontein, the Free State, the other provinces of South Africa and beyond the borders of the country for well over a century-and-a-half.  It caters for boys from the age of three – in the Little Saints pre-primary school, to the age of 18 years

Headmaster's Message

A Warm Welcome

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to St Andrew’s Combined School Bloemfontein. Established in 1863, we are one of the oldest traditional boys’ schools in the country and in the Free State. We are a small school with a big heart, where tradition-inspired learning means hard work, discipline, respect, honesty, teamwork, empathy and excellence.

We’re an Anglican Church school, focused on a holistic education, where academics, sport and culture are all equally encouraged and appreciated, where we strive to be the best we can be, and where we frequently exceed our own high expectations.

Our dynamic and committed staff are passionate about teaching and leaders in their fields, keeping abreast of the latest trends in education to ensure we produce learners able to take their place proudly in society and add meaningful contributions to the world at large. 

Pastoral care is at the cornerstone of what we offer at St Andrew’s. Staff nurture caring relationships of genuine concern with pupils and parents resulting in meaningful teacher-pupil-parent relationships.

At St Andrew’s we celebrate diversity, inclusivity and the principle of Ubuntu meaning “I am, because you are”, where we embrace and respect the differences that bring us all together in a healthy community inspired by opportunities to achieve excellence in all spheres of school life.

At St Andrew’s; we are brothers, we are family. The thread of legacies, traditions and values of the past are the fabric of our blazers spanning multiple generations. The baton is being passed to those now who wear the blazer proudly to leave their own legacy. At St Andrew’s every boy is given the opportunity to become the best version of themselves.

Kind Regards,
Mr. Roland Rudd

Aims of the School

To inculcate a desire amongst all our members to live a Christian life.

To develop the intelligence and to form and strengthen the character of the young people entrusted to our school.

To provide quality education and so use and maintain school facilities, that we may assist our students to fit themselves spiritually,

intellectually, socially and physically for the work of life.


In pursuance of the above aims, we encourage:

Service to God and the community.

Justice, fair play, truth and honesty, friendliness, unselfishness,

Courtesy, consideration, appreciation, humour,

Reading, playing, sportsmanship and pride in work.


St Andrew’s has a very proud academic record. Smaller classes enable the school’s teachers to give their personal attention to every boy.

Among all-boys government schools, St Andrew’s is one of only four boys’ schools in the country to achieve a 100 percent pass rate for more than five consecutive years. In fact, the school has only had one failure in 28 years. The school with the second longest streak has managed it for 12 years.

St Andrew’s follows the CAPS syllabus and offers a diverse list of subjects to Matric level. Matric subjects are chosen in Grade 9 to start in Grade 10.


Developing the whole person is very important at St Andrew’s, it is part of our ethos and philosophy that learners are prepared for the work of life outside school. 

Ample opportunities are given to all boys to participate wholeheartedly in academics, sport, and cultural activities on campus.

Cultural activities are varied, the Chapel choir is our pride and joy, the Music Academy hosts over 300 boys and girls playing various instruments, we have debating, public speaking, chess and a wonderful track record of theatre and drama productions!

Our Ethos

Developing the whole person is very important at St Andrew’s, it is part of our ethos and philosophy that learners are prepared for the work of life outside school. 

We Connect

Ample opportunites are given to all boys to participate wholeheartedly in academics, sport and cultural activities on campus.


As we are small school, participation is vital for all boys! Getting involved is where the boys make friends and create a legacy for themselves.

Our sport facilities are top class, as are our coaches who put energy and skill and passion into coaching the boys to reach their potential in whatever they choose to do!

Cricket, rugby, squash, hockey and soccer are all offered at school level with boys regularly making provincial and national teams.


At Saints we believe in community service, and it is ingrained into our fabric, learners are encouraged to get involved in community work in the city and beyond.

Regular blood drives, park clean-ups, food and clothes collections and visits to animal shelters are run by both the junior school and senior school Interact Clubs. These two clubs are very active, and the boys quickly learn the joy there is to be found in giving.

Developing the whole person is very important at St Andrew’s, it is part of our ethos and philosophy that learners are prepared for the work of life outside school.

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30 September 1937 – 2 June 2024

“His worth to the school is immeasurable, his contribution indeterminable.”

Colin Hickling was enrolled at St. Andrew’s School in 1949 following his father, Ken Hickling, who was amongst the first to enrol when the school reopened in 1916. His early schooling was in Maseru and since his arrival in 1949 he has made Bloemfontein his home, and over the past 75 years he became an acclaimed citizen and the godfather to his alma mater.


During his school career Colin embraced the opportunities on offer and excelled at cricket and rugby, representing the Free State schools’ cricket XI. His rugby coach described him as the “backbone of the 1st XV, an excellent leader of the pack and a most able captain”. In his final year he was deputy head prefect and the leadership qualities of quietly spoken exhortation and dependability were to become hallmarks of his adult life. To many he became the sturdy buttress of St. Andrew’s.


When Colin spoke of his school career he highlighted the importance of his friendship circle. These life-long friends formed the nucleus of what was to become a wide network of Old Andreans, business associates, sporting companions, policy makers, civic leaders, and friends that became the bedrock of his business life, civic responsibility, and service to St. Andrew’s.  


These networking traits were evident at school and in his 1957 matriculation year his headmaster recognized his service and reputation when he awarded him the Masey Service Prize and remarked that Colin “had distinguished himself in loyalty and devotion to St. Andrew’s, and had been a very real service by his helpfulness and splendid example”.


A short career in banking led him, in 1963, to the Bloemfontein Board of Executors and Trust Company where, in 1976, he became the managing director. His manager at the Bloem Board became his father-in-law when he married Gusta Henning who was the pivot of a happy family and a welcoming home. He worked hard at raising the profile of the business and his network included membership of the Bloemfontein Club and the Round Table organization. 


Colin was never simply a member of an organization. His leadership involved motivating others to enhance the status and effectiveness of the organization. He served as chairman of the Bloemfontein Club, Round Table 25, and area chairman of the Free State Round Table. Colin’s natural warmth, spontaneous friendliness, gentle humour – often self-deprecating – and humility have been the foundation of his effectiveness as a business and civic leader.


For decades he was an elected, independent member of the Bloemfontein City Council and served the interests of the city with distinction. Such was his reputation for integrity and unselfish civic  leadership that his political opponents broke with sectarianism by electing him as mayor in 1985. The local press hailed this appointment by claiming that “Mr. Hickling deserves the position of mayor, and the position deserves him.” Following his term of office, in a public vote, he was honoured with the ‘Bloemfonteiner of the Year’ award.


At the national level he was appointed to serve on the boards of the South African Broadcasting Corporation and Sentech. In the Free State he was tasked with leading the Highland Development Corporation as well as serving on the council of the University of the Free State. 


Following the acquisition of the Bloem Board by a national bank he and his wife Barbara created their own financial services company and serve as directors of The Public Trustees and Trust Company. In celebration of his 56 years in the financial services and fiduciary industry he received the Chairman’s Award from the Fiduciary Institute of SA.


Colin is an icon of the Family of St. Andrew’s School. In a period exceeding 50 years, he has nurtured, encouraged, and inspired countless people to improve and enhance the school. He was at the helm of the Old Andrean Association for decades during which time it became a vibrant organization connecting countless Old Boys to their alma mater. He derived great joy when his sons, Glenn, and Murray, completed their entire school careers at St. Andrew’s. In 1970 he was appointed to the board of governors, and in 1985 became the first lay chairman of the board. The school has benefitted from his wise counsel, meticulous administrative ability, and skilful husbanding of the school’s financial resources. 


Over the years successive headmasters were enriched by Colin’s support, encouragement, and wisdom. There have been, as one would expect in any institution, the occasional crisis, doubt about the future, economic uncertainty, and scandal. Colin was the bulwark, the careful listener, the calming voice, and the bearer of reasoned responses. He was intimately involved in the negotiations with the provincial administration which led to the 1975 sale of the school to the Free State education department. This historic agreement positively changed the trajectory of the school and secured its future as a jewel in the educational crown of Bloemfontein.


In recent years Colin was burdened with ill-health, which he found inconvenient, yet endured stoically. He embraced his friends, drew inspiration from their camaraderie, and encouragement. This wide friendship circle has enriched his life while the friendly banter at many informal gatherings was music to his soul. Barbara has been his rock during challenging times and has cared for him with devotion.  As his business and civic activities receded so the rhythm of St. Andrew’s continued to inspire him, and he derived much satisfaction when called upon to share his vast intuitional knowledge. 




This tribute reflects a life of significance in which Colin enriched the lives of countless people. It highlights a remarkable person, not just in terms of how he fulfilled his responsibilities as a civic  minded citizen and Old Andrean, but also how he related to the Family of St. Andrew’s School      the headmasters, the bishops and chaplains, the teachers and personnel, the parents, the Old Boys, and more particularly the boys. His passion for the school was equal to the pride he had in being an Old Andrean. He gave effect to the notion of the brotherhood of St. Andrew’s, and on being the recipient of the Fiat Lux Award in 1990 it was said that “his worth to the school is immeasurable, his contribution indeterminable.”  


Colin is survived by his wife Barbara, and his two sons from his marriage to Gusta, who died in 1980.  Glenn, married to Surika, and their children Ewan and Cara. Murray, married to Jeanine and their daughter Isabella.    


Roger D Crawford
Old Andrean


Issued by St Andrew’s School

Established in December 1921

The St Andrew’s Old Boys’ Association

The St Andrew’s Old Boys’ Association (OBA) is a true story of success, serving the community of Old Andreans, which remains a tight-knit group.

One of the advantages of St Andrew’s is the small size of its classes. This means that only small numbers of boys leave the school each year. Despite this, the Association’s numbers have grown steadily, the organisation has been strengthened, and its influence is widely celebrated.

There can be few, if any, better ways of measuring the tone, the soul, character and values of a school than appraising its former pupils and their interest in the school. There is little doubt, then, that Saint Andrew’s is among the best supported schools in South Africa by its Old Boys.

They are scattered throughout South Africa, Africa, Great Britain, North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Far East and Australasia. The South African diaspora of the late 20th century has seen the movement of many Old Andreans to other parts of the world.  Their influence has been felt in countless aspects of South African and overseas life, from the church to the professions, mining, farming and the armed services. These Old Andreans, by and large, are indeed proud of the fact that they were privileged to receive their education at St Andrew’s and have formed their own branches in various parts of the world.

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Admissions open during April for all three schools, the date will be confirmed once released by the department. For our admissions procedure and application forms, please visit our admissions page.