The Birches was established in 1976 and registered with the then Natal Education Department. It was opened on 24th March by the Mayor of Pinetown with 35 children. It was housed on a balcony of the Paradise Valley Complex.
Difficulties beyond our control led to the decision to seek new premises. Sarnia Primary; who was then custodian to the premises vacated by the Pinetown Remedial School; offered the use of the vacant land near the cul-de-sac in Oribi Crescent in July 1992.
In October 1992, the erection of the current premises began with the assistance of the Education Department. These buildings were unwanted prefabs from Escombe primary and Queensburgh Girls.
On 10th January 1993 the first few aftercare children started at the new school with an entrance to Impala Lane. You may be interested to know – the present Blue group classroom was originally used as the principal’s office, the secretary’s office, the sick room AND the staff room – all in one!
Every development was followed by the children during the morning and over weekends as their parents took part in work parties to make the premises suitable for pre-primary education. That year 80 children were enrolled with three groups – Blue, Red and Yellow.
It was this move to 1 Oribi Crescent that paved the way to environmental studies that would one day lead to this school been awarded National and International awards for Environmental practice.
In 1994 Sarnia Primary relinquished the remainder of the premises. The Birches moved into another block going up to a fourth (Green) and fifth group (Orange). For one year the premises were shared with The Highway Christian Academy.
In 1996 the Birches took over the remainder of the property and relocated the front of the school to the existing position. New doors needed to be put into the buildings facing the other direction! At this stage there were 6 groups (as the Purple group was introduced).
In 2006 the school celebrated the 30th Anniversary with the building of the Celebration Hall. This was opened on 10th October by Mr O’Neill of Sarnia Primary School. The building was a shell made from precast concrete panels. There was no floor seal, ceiling, electricity or burglar guards!
Since 2008 the school started replacing the prefab classrooms. Following the Blue and Purple Groups; the yellow and Orange classrooms were built; the fantasy room moved into the Green classroom so that the rooms could have storerooms and a walkway between the bathroom and the orange Room established.
This new wing inspired the establishment of the ‘Waterwise Garden’, Herb Spirals and amphitheatre! A new dream was verbalized that one day ….the front prefabs will be taken down and this garden will be the front of the school!
A ‘Development Plan’ to replace all temporary buildings began.
The Birches is truly a proudly South African school; represented by all colour, culture and creed.
What makes this school stand out from the rest? Behind every child stands a family and a community. It is the right of every child to have an education but their responsibility lies in caring for the environment in which they live and learn. Significant achievements since 1976 have led to a number of past pupils choosing to drive far out of their way to enroll their children at the school.