Pretoria High School for Girls (PHSG), also known as Girls High, is a public school in Arcadia that was established to bring girls of different races, nationalities, and religions together. Formed when Pretoria College and Eendracht School merged in 1910, it is the sister school of Pretoria Boys High and one of the top schools in Gauteng. The school, declared a National Monument in 1997, offers both day and boarding schools for girls, from pre-school all the way to Matric.
Founded by Lord Milner in 1902 as part of an effort to anglicize the Transvaal under British occupation, Pretoria High School for Girls opened with 106 young girls from the Staats Model School. The very first headmistress, Edith Aitken, brought the school motto “Prosit Spes Labori” (We Work in Hope). She also introduced the Iris (Greek for rainbow) as the school emblem as a sign of the school’s inclusivity and diversity. Today, PHSG has close to 1500 girls and 100 staff.
PHSG was one of the first white schools to embrace the New South Africa. The first black pupils were admitted in 1991 after overwhelming support in favour of opening the school to girls of other races. During both World Wars, all luxuries and entertainments were replaced by contributions to the war effort. The girls knitted items for Ouma Smuts South African Gifts and Comforts and, to this day, each student and staff member knits a jersey annually to give to the needy.
Pretoria High School for Girls offers General Education and Training (GET) for Grades 8 to 9, and a Further Education and Training (FET) for Grades 10 to 12 with a focus on future career choices. In addition to traditional subjects like home economics, biology, and mathematics, students can also learn important life skills like knitting, woodwork, and car mechanics.
The 2014 matriculants achieved a 100% pass rate.
SPORTS & CULTURE
Pretoria School for Girls has the only girls’ water polo and springboard diving teams in Pretoria. Since November 2013, the Sports Department has implemented a Talent Identification Programme for Grade 8s to encourage students who are good at a certain sport.
PHSG has an excellent water-based hockey AstroTurf. Fitted with floodlights, it’s suitable for international practice level and competitive play at school and club level. The warm up area has a watering system.
- Springboard Diving
- Water Polo
- Midmar Mile swim
- National Girls’ Schools’ Aquatics Festival
- Eunice Derby Day (Cross-Country, Chess, Hockey, Netball, Squash, and Tennis)
- Basketball Tournament
- Volleyball ISSA Mafikeng Festival
- National Girls’ Schools’ Festival
Clubs and societies
- Amnesty International
- Art Club
- First Aid
- Peer Counselling
- Sound and Lighting
- Wood Wind Ensemble
- Representative Council of Learners (RCL)
- Music department
- 2 boarding houses: North Lodge and School House
- Swimming pool
- Art room
- Domestic Science Centre
- Several laboratories
- Margaret Theiler Pavilion
- Media Centre
- Computer Centre