History and Traditions

The school has occupied its premises in Queenswood since 1976, with extensive renovations being carried out in 1999.

The history of the educational tradition dates back to the 17 th century, when Mary Ward founded the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM) in St Omer, Flanders. The rule of this institute was followed by Mother Theresa Ball, who began her educational work in Ireland in the early 19th century, although she named her first “house“ after the Shrine of Loreto in Italy.

In 1878, a company of sisters of the IBVM opened a Loreto Convent School in Skinner Street, Pretoria, which was the first school in the Transvaal to offer secondary education. A second Loreto school was opened 45 years later in Hillcrest and this became the first “open school“ in South Africa when a girl of colour was enrolled in 1971. 

To accommodate the development of the University of Pretoria, the Hillcrest school relocated in 1976. Loreto Sisters took over Queenshill Convent which had been run by the Precious Blood Sisters as a primary school, built a high school block and called themselves Loreto Convent Queenswood. It catered for learners from Grade 1 to Grade 12. In 1983, a new pre-primary building was constructed and learners were enrolled from the age of 3 years. By 1993, circumstances made it necessary for the Sisters to move from the “convent on the hill “ to the house in Luttig Street. The high school was closed and the school became co-educational. It was, again, renamed Loreto School Queenswood.

The Catholic Schools’ Trust together with the Loreto Sisters remain the owners of the school and are represented on the Board of Governors. They continue to guide the operations of the school.