Meet our Principal


Dr Melanie Drake was appointed as Headmistress of Clarendon Primary School in August 2017. She is a second generation old girl, and a passionate educationalist with experience in teaching and education research.


Dr Drake completed her Bachelor of Music degree (Honours) with PGCE subjects from the University of Cape Town. Her first teaching post was a Grade 5 class teacher position at St Mary’s School, Waverly, Johannesburg (Independent school). She returned to her hometown of East London in 2003 to undertake a Certificate in Business Management and a Certificate in Organisational Leadership from Rhodes University. She was appointed as a Music teacher at Clarendon Primary School at this time. In 2006 she registered for a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and Management (ELM) through Rhodes University and graduated with Distinction at the end of 2007. These accolades resulted in the award of an International Commonwealth Scholarship to undertake her PhD (Education) at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her research expertise lie in values and character education. In New Zealand, she lectured and taught at tertiary and school level.

In 2012, Dr Drake returned to South Africa with her Kiwi husband, Dr Tobi Vaudrey who holds a PhD in Computer Science. After a 5 year period lecturing at the University of Fort Hare as a Senior lecturer, Dr Drake was appointed as Principal at CPS. Dr Drake has 3 young children; 2 daughters and a son.

Message from our Principal

Welcome to Clarendon Primary School. I cannot begin to express how excited I am to be part of this phenomenal school team. I am an avid all-girls schooling supporter, being a product of the Clarendon family myself.  Global research continually highlights how girls perform best in all-girl educational environments, particularly in the STEAM areas (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Architecture and (Applied) Mathematics). With the ever-increasing socio-cultural, political and economic pressure on our society today, I believe that more and more parents are choosing an all-girls school environment for their daughters. As a mother to two young daughters, there is certainly no other educational environment I would choose for my girls.

Clarendon Primary School is all about raising empowered, deeply empathetic young women who will spear-head issues in our future societies. We are front-runners in educational technology, and our values-driven focus invests in girls’ emotional and psychological well-being. Clarendon is a sisterhood, a powerful connection to each other and the world. We are at the cutting-edge of educational development, with a vested interest in working hand-in-hand with our parents. We look forward to an exciting educational adventure with you.