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“An Old School with a New Vision”

In 1905 Rev Mother Ambrose Farren founded Parktown Convent for Girls in the countryside outside of Johannesburg. Its learners included both boarders and day scholars.  As the city of Johannesburg expanded, it eventually followed the school into the area, known as Parktown.

In 1985 after eighty years of commitment and service to the school, the Holy Family Sisters, handed over the task of strengthening the Christian values and education of “young ladies” to Catholic and other interested lay professionals, and the parent community.

In 1991, Parktown Convent School became Holy Family College, a co-educational school for girls and boys from Grade 0 to Matric.  While the Christian values and academic traditions of Parktown Convent have been continued, the school continues to transform itself in order to reflect a progressive vision of Catholic education in South Africa.


In 2005 Holy Family College celebrated its Centenary Year –

“One Hundred Years of Education in the Service of God”.


The school crest originates from the order of the Holy Family Sisters, and is used, in various adapted forms, by all their school and communities.

The Latin motto Quid Retribuam means “What shall I give back?” a constant reminder of our emphasis on service to our school, community and country.

 The shamrock in the centre of the shield was adopted after an Irishman, Captain Kelly, suggested to the Mother General of the time that it would be an apt symbol of the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary and Joseph. We draw on the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph for the inspiration for our own lives – lives centred on good relationships, service, faith, hard work, humility and simplicity.

Vision & Mission

Vision of Holy Family College

To prepare every child for life by unlocking their potential

The Mission of Holy Family College

We will become men and women of God, men and women for others.
We will develop active and creative minds, a sense of understanding
and compassion for others, and the courage to act on our beliefs.
We will strive for total development of each person in our community:
spiritual, moral, intellectual, social, emotional and physical.

Our School Song

Although the melody has been modernised, we have kept the original, rather old-fashioned words of the Parktown Convent school song to symbolise our links with the past traditions of the school.

What shall I render, my God, to thee?
Countless the gifts bestowed on me
Of life and friendship and loving care,
And all that makes the world so fair.
Quid Retribuam x 4

What shall I render, my school, to thee?
Bulwark of truth and liberty,
Upholding virtue and love of right,
Above all knowledge or wealth or might
Quid Retribuam x 4

What shall I render, my soul, to Thee?
Thine is a peerless dignity,
Of God’s own kingdom thou art an heir,
In God’s own life thou hast a share.
Quid Retribuam x 4

Love I shall render steadfast and true,
Striving always my duty to do
Noble and faithful, worthy to be
Of God, my school, my own destiny
Quid Retribuam x 4

School Prayer

O God,
We thank you for the gift of
The Holy Family
of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Help us too,
Through the Holy Spirit
To imitate daily their example –
To act in Love,
To speak in Truth,
To work in Service
And to live in Faith
Bless every member of our
school community.
This we ask in Your Name.


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