About Holy Rosary

Make the world a better place.

Our school provides a caring environment for young girls to grow into women that are able to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.

Executive Head of Our Schools

Dr. Deon Oerson  

“Our school is a place where we nurture each student’s God-given talents and encourage them to use these talents to make a difference in the world. We aim to raise children who are intellectually fearless and advocates for humanity.”

Our Story

Holy Rosary started off as a single-building school on the Hurly farm outside Johannesburg in 1940. 

Led by Bishop Shanahan, the courageous Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary gave up their lives in Ireland to come to South Africa for a greater purpose. They came to South Africa to help others. They loved people beyond themselves. They worked in the fields and built the school.

They achieved a massive lasting legacy – a school that nurtures the girls of today into the women of tomorrow.

80+ years later, we stay true to these values:

  • Empowering women
  • Service to Community

What legacy will you leave one day?

Where are we going?

Our Vision

We dedicate ourselves to the honour and glory of God and the vision of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary and their Founder, Bishop Shanahan.


We value the uniqueness and potential of each individual and strive unceasingly for an excellent values-based, relevant education within the context of a changing and diverse South Africa and global society.


Our Mission

Holy Rosary School is an Independent Catholic School that caters for pupils from Grade R to Matric. Together with our Co-Ed Pre-School, we value excellence in education and nurture each pupil’s God-given talents. At Holy Rosary School we prepare our pupils for service to God, our school, and the wider community to transform it for the better.

Our Lodestars

Just as ships used lodestars to navigate at night, so too do our values guide our behaviour in the right direction.

  • Honest
  • Authentic
  • Co-operative
  • Disciplined
  • Responsible
  • Respectful
  • Considerate
  • Compassionate

Transformation, Diversity and Belonging

People from diverse backgrounds and cultures attend our school. It’s important that we all feel like we belong.

Transformation is a journey where we continuously get better at celebrating everyone. As one of the girls said in a discussion group about their teachers “they treat you like an equal, regardless of your background.”

(Source: Grade 9 – 11 discussion group, 4 Aug. 2022)

What Do Our Girls Say?

“In 2021 I was a new girl in HRS. It is always scary to be in a new place with new people. But I felt very welcomed and comfortable. It is very helpful to have someone to talk to like your tutor.”
“To our two mommies at school, I’d like to say thank you. Your doors were always open and you never failed to be an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on. You are both beautiful, inside and out, and I hope we’ve made you proud. Your fingerprints of love will forever be in our hearts.”

Parents' Association

The Parents’ Association activities connect everyone in our community. Some of these initiatives include: the Dads and Daughters Braai, the annual Carnival and the Moms and Daughters Moonlight Picnic.

These initiatives are fun and well supported by our girls, their families and the greater community.

The HRS PA committee includes parents who are passionate about families connecting, creating fun experiences and service to our school.

Programmes We Support

Johannesburg Mini /Junior Council

In Primary School, two Grade 6 girls represent our school at the Johannesburg Mini Council.

In High School, two Grade 11 girls are elected as Holy Rosary’s representatives on the Junior Council. 

Both Mini and Junior Council give the youth in Johannesburg a ‘voice’ and work to create sustainable change in our environment.

The Phumelela Programme

‘Phumelela’ – which means ‘succeed’ in Zulu – is a programme that we offer to children and young adults that live in the informal settlement of Dikatole in Germiston.  

On Saturdays, we use our school to provide extra lessons that help them succeed with their studies. We also teach life skills through a variety of workshops that include public speaking, self-defence, music, art and sport.

Phumelela continues to grow each year.

Outreach Work in Limpopo

In 2000, the Holy Rosary Sisters started a new primary school in Limpopo, with whom have formed a close partnership. The warm welcome we receive each year makes us feel at home in the local community.

Each year, we run a service outreach project in Malamulele and a portion of the money our Debutantes raise goes towards this.

Our girls return from this tour with the knowledge that they have made a difference in the lives of other young people.

Debutantes' Programme

In addition to the associated fun and personal growth, our debutantes raise money for charities.

The girls work together to host events, such as Market Day and a Fashion Show. They also do community service projects. A Debutantes’ Ball – held at the beginning of September – closes a year of fun and challenging work.

Girls learn entrepreneurship skills and a love for serving others.

Head + Heart = A Good Education

Member Associations

What do people say about our school?

“The teachers have been amazing! They have put less pressure on us and even though the workload is more, they have offered us help and support when we have needed it. They welcomed us into Grade 8 with open arms and have done nothing else than care for us and love us.”
“My experience at HRS has been absolutely amazing. The teachers are kind and loving and they will always help you. The girls at HRS are like my sisters. They are always there for me.”

No-one gets left behind

Forums for girls to communicate and connect:


Our teachers are exceptional. They go out of their way to help students and treat them as individuals.


A tutor is a teacher who each girl can contact with any concern or problem, whether small or big. She becomes their school mom from grade 8 - 12 and sees them through their high school grades.

Community Circles

Each girl is placed in a House, which has regular get-togethers. Girls are able to connect with girls in other age groups. They mentor and learn from each other.

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