The Group Areas Act of 1950 regulated the lives of people in South Africa on the basis of race. The Act determined where different races were to live, trade, etc. As a means of enforcing this law “non-whites were forcibly removed from South End, Fairview, Salisbury Park, North End, etc. On 1 May 1965, the Minister of Coloured Affairs, P.W.Botha, announced that South End had to be cleare to make way for urban renewal. All residents had to move to areas allocated to the different population groups. Coloureds were to move to the Northern Areas of the Metropole(Helenvale, Gelvandale, Gelvan Park, Salt Lake, Arcadia and West End)

When the death knell sounded on South End, it ushered in the beginning of the suburb, Arcadia. People had to rebuild their lives caused by the devastation of apartheid laws. Infrastructure was lacking, gravel roads had to be negotiated. Not one person was unaffected, in fact, if one law could be singled out as the one which caused the most anguish, suffering and deprivation- then it was the Group Areas Act, resulting in the forced removal of communities.
The closure of South End High School meant the beginning of Arcadia Secondary School in 1975. The school started with a small staff and few learners. We are proud to say that we have on two occasions been acknowledged for achieving above 80% matric passes among schools in the Northern Areas. We have grown to a staff complement of 35 members and a total of 1100 learners. Small beginnings should not be derided, because the school has grown into an institution with a proud heritage.
The motto of our school “Meliora Peta”, can be translated as: Strive for Better” encapsulates the ideals and essence of the school. We continually endeavor to improve our academic results, performance on the sports field, as well as on the cultural front. The school is proud of its history of 38 years and is pleased to say that our alumni is well represented in the corporate world, justice department, finance, education, police, medical, entrepreneurial,  manufacturing, etc. We are proud that our past pupils are contributing to society in meaningful ways: by acting as voices in the community in building a civic ethic, providing security and working to combat crime.
We, at Arcadia Secondary School, with the assistance of those who care for this school will continue to pursue the betterment of the learners, and ultimately the whole community.