St Michael’s School for Girls is the oldest girls’ school North of the Orange River. It was founded by Bishop Allan Becher Webb in 1874. In the same year the first Mother Superior, Sister Emma, and five volunteers arrived in Bloemfontein to become the Community of St Michael and All Angels. Amongst the founding Sisters, was Sister Henrietta Stockdale, who became a famous member of the nursing fraternity in South Africa. She is buried in the grounds of the St Cyprian’s Cathedral in Kimberley where there is also a statue of her. A bronze sculpture of her can be found in the Cathedral of St Michael and St Andrew in Bloemfontein.
The school was originally situated on the Western boundary of Bloemfontein on the site where the Sand du Plessis theatre now stands in Markgraaff Street. On December 11th, 1970 St Michael’s School closed for the last time there before they moved over to the present site in Klerck Ave, Brandwag. The foundation stone was laid by Bishop Frederick Amoore. Many precious relics were transferred to the new school of which some can be seen in the school archive, the chapel and in and around the school complex.
In 1975, Rev Mother Mary Ruth and the remaining Sisters retired from their administrative, academic and hostel duties in the school. Currently, governance is vested in the school parent community represented by an elected Board of Governors as School Governing Body.
St Michael’s School for Girls is a school with a Christian foundation and under its own constitution and in response the expectations of its educators, learners and parents, creates an environment for learning spiritual values that are not merely information about religion in general, but specifically Christian. It has an Anglican tradition of 148 years with an Anglican Chaplain and a Chapel where worship services are conducted regularly. The Bishop of the Diocese of the Free State is also the School Visitor and serves on the Board of Governors.