About Us

Our Family

Russell High is a small, state owned, girls’ high school situated close to the Pietermaritzburg CBD. It has a rich history spanning over 100 years! The magnificent school building, established in 1897, has been declared a National Monument and is “home” to just over 500 girls of all races and cultures. It is a school with an open heart and creative spirit.

At Russell we recognize the importance of providing a warm, friendly and supportive learning environment in which a young girl can grow into a confident  young lady, equipped to face the ever changing world. It is our belief that each girl is unique and needs to believe in her own self worth in order to realise her full potential.  This special atmosphere of love and respect has created the unique “Russell Family” which the girls fondly remember long after leaving school.

Mentors are on hand to ensure new girls settle happily into life at Russell  by offering support and guidance. In addition Senior Leaders are selected to ensure that the “Russell Family” values are upheld and that a happy, caring learning environment is maintained. In addition, Russell has introduced a long term leadership programme based on the 7 habits of highly effective people and girls are provided with ample opportunities to use these skills.

RHS Staff

Besides achieving an outstanding Matric pass rate for over 23 years, Russell girls have demonstrated their creative flair in both the visual and dramatic arts. Many Russell girls have gone on to carve highly successful and rewarding careers for themselves.

Our dedicated, qualified and highly experienced teachers ensure that our girls are not only educated but learn the importance of honesty, love and respect for oneself and others as well as tolerance and responsibility. By embodying these values, the girls from Russell High become great citizens able to survive and thrive in the real world.

Ms Jean Rose


Mrs Arthie Rampershad

Deputy Principal

Mrs Jenny Garnett

Head of Department – Grade 11

Miss Donna Shelver

Head of Department – Grade 10

Mrs Margie Levin

Head of Department – Grade 9

Subjects Offered

With just over 500 girls, classes of approximately 30 learners, and an experienced and dedicated team of educators, Russell High is able to offer an exceptional learning environment. Science has recently been reintroduced at the school and German second additional language is offered as an extra subject. Our popular Visual and Dramatic Arts departments continually obtain great results. Russell has achieved an outstanding Matric pass rate for over 23 years and many of our girls have gone on to further their studies and carve very successful careers for themselves.

The following subjects are offered in various combinations:

  • English and Zulu Home Language
  • Zulu First Additional Language
  • Afrikaans First Additional Language
  • Life Sciences
  • Physical Science
  • Mathematics and Mathematical Literacy
  • Computer Applications Technology
  • Visual Arts
  • Dramatic Arts
  • Accounting
  • Business Studies
  • Geography
  • Hospitality Studies

Opportunities To Interact

Russell girls are renowned for their warmth and friendliness. The school has a culture of caring for and respecting others and offers numerous opportunities for the girls to get involved in fundraising, assisting others and confidence building through leadership courses and public speaking.

The following opportunities exist for those girls wishing to interact with or serve others:

  • Rotary Interact
  • Student Christian Association
  • Audio Visual Society
  • Grade 11 Fundraising
  • Quiz Team
  • Public Speaking
  • Library
  • Safety and Security Committee
  • Russell Mentors
  • Representative Council for Learners
  • Leadership Courses
  • Service Club

Opportunities To Be Creative

Russell is a school with an open heart and creative spirit and it is in the areas of art, drama and singing that the Russell girls have excelled and have brought great distinction to the school. Creative opportunities abound and educators from both the Visual and Dramatic Arts Departments identify and nurture talent. These departments have seen excellent results in the Matric examinations.

Besides school productions our Dramatic Arts girls have participated in Millenium Funk and other local productions. The enthusiasm and dedication of the talented drama teachers has made this a popular subject choice.


The Visual Arts Department has seen many successes under the guidance of our highly creative art teacher. Russell’s talented design team were the 2010 KZN winners of the Woolworth’s “Battle of the Schools” team design competition and were placed third Nationally. In April of 2010 five works of art were selected for the Tatham KwaZulu- Natal School’s Art Exhibition . In the same year our art girls designed and created exquisite ball gowns from various recyclable materials. This creative initiative generated much publicity for the school and photographs of the girls appeared in numerous publications, on the front page of the Witness and saw the girls appearing in a 5 page fashion spread in a glossy magazine. Furthermore they were invited to appear as guests in the Extravaganza for the Festival of the Lights at the Golden Horse Casino where they received great applause.

The “Mamma Earth” Fashion Show themed around recycling featured  Russell girls modelling the ball gowns designed by their fellow learners. The show included wonderful presentations by our talented drama girls and school choir. The following opportunities exist for those who are musical, artistically inclined or have a love of the dramatics:

  • Sculpture Club
  • Art Projects
  • Dramatic Productions
  • Millenium Funk Dance
  • School Choir
  • Gospel Choir

Opportunities To Get Fit And Have Fun

Russell offers a variety of sporting activities to cater for all interests and levels of fitness. The aim is for the girls to not only get fit and interact with one another, but  learn the value of teamwork and friendship. Sporting activities available include:

  • Hockey
  • Netball
  • Basketball
  • Softball
  • Bowls
  • Soccer
  • Inter-house programmes
  • Fun Run
  • Dancing

Opportunities To Join A Club

Because we value the uniqueness of each girl, we realize the need to provide clubs that cater for differing interests. The following clubs have been formed to assist the girls in furthering their passion:

  • Poetry Club
  • Environmental Club
  • Science Club and Recycling Initiative
  • Leave A Legacy Club