Yellowwoods School was started in Fort Beaufort in January 1996 and Mr. Robin Retzlaff was the first Principal. It was testimony of what a community can achieve when it takes matters into its own hands. The idea of establishing the school came from members of the local Presbyterian Church. They included the minister, Rev. Eddie Germiquet, Fort Hare academics and some farmers. Soon other townsfolk and parents also became involved and a meeting in 1994 discussed the feasibility of starting an independent, English – medium school - based on Christian values and quality education principles.
Much credit for the success of the venture must go to Mr. Brian Carlson, who was then the principal of St. Andrew’s Preparatory School in Grahamstown. He responded immediately to the parents’ plea for help, and addressed the 1994 meeting on what quality education is all about.
Many months of planning, negotiations and hard work followed before the school became a reality. A local fundraising drive was launched, with nearly R250 000 over three years being pledged by individuals.
In September 1996 it was decided to move to the Yellowwoods Hotel between Adelaide and Fort Beaufort. The origins of these premises date back to 1841 when a retired sea captain and poet, Mr. Hazelton built a coach inn for the ox, horse and donkey wagons transporting goods between towns. The Long family bought the property in 1890. They managed a trading store selling beautiful imported fabrics and high quality goods- while still running the country hotel. The premises was bought by the Fort Beaufort Preparatory School Trust and Yellowwoods School was born.
Mr John Harris became principal after Mr Robin Retzlaff and he was followed by Ms Pat van Zijl, who retired in December 2005. Mrs Trish Grobler was our School Principal from January 2006 up to December 2010 with Mrs Nicole Painter taking over the reins till 2015.
Today, Yellowwoods Preparatory School has a thriving Pre-primary with a bustling Junior and Senior Phase from Grade 1-7, with Mr Ignus Potgieter as School Administrator and Mrs Trish Grobler as Head of Academics.
The school enjoys excellent facilities on 10ha country property.