Worcester Gymnasium was founded in 1992 after the amalgamation of Worcester High School and Worcester East High School. Both these schools have a long history.
According to historians, licenses were granted to farmers to graze their cattle in the Breede River Valley before 1700. By 1709, there were farms between the Breede River and the Romans River. The first plots of land for town settlement in the Worcester magisterial district were sold by public auction in February 1820. After the first ten years there were several private schools in the town and surrounding area.
WORCESTER HIGH SCHOOL
By 1872, the Country District Free School already had 132 learners on its register. The Undenominational Boys' Public School, which preceded the Boys' High School, started in July 1873 with 78 boys. This boys' school, as well as the Girls' High School, which started in January 1876 with 16 girls, later became two of the better known schools in the Cape Province. Through the years their learners have made their mark in all spheres of society.
Following world-wide trends the need for co-education increased and after negotiations, the two schools amalgamated. In January 1972 Worcester High School was founded on the site of the Boys' High School. The Old Hall and the north-eastern wing of the Boys' School were kept for use by the new school. The buildings of the Girls' High School currently house the Hugo Naudé Art School and the School Clinic. Another product of the amalgamation was Montana High School, situated to the north of the town.
WORCESTER EAST HIGH SCHOOL
A branch of the Cape Technical College was started in Worcester in 1941. The school building (currently part of the campus of the Worcester Community College) and one hostel were opened in 1942. On 1 January 1965 the name of the college was changed to Worcester Commercial High School because the training of apprentices had been assigned to the Drostdy Technical High School.
On 1 April 1968 the school was taken over by the then Cape Education Department. Standerd six learners (grade 8) were first allowed into the school in January 1974. Until that time, the school had only been accessible to learners from standard 8. New developments and a wider subject choice allowed the school to gain full academic status and in 1988 the name changed to Worcester East High School.
After negotiations, these two schools amalgamated. Worcester Gymnasium opened its doors in January 1992 in the buildings of the old Worcester High School with Mr W. Theron, last principal of Worcester East, as principal of the new school.
Although Worcester Gymnasium is proud of its heritage as the product of four schools, i.e. Boys' High, Girls' High, Worcester High and Worcester East, it has already developed a strong identity of its own. The school is steadily growing and every year it produces learners who excel academically, culturally and in sport. With Mr C Schoeman as principal, a competent staff and an enthusiastic parent community, we are proudly making our mark in South Africa and the world.