San Silvestre School

San Silvestre School

Infobox Secondary school
name = San Silvestre School
native_name = Colegio San Silvestre

motto = "I am, I can, I ought, I will"
established = 1932
city = Lima
country = Peru
campus = Urban
type = Private single sex
affiliation = ADCA (Asociación de Colegios Privados de Asociaciones Culturales), LAHC (Latin American Heads Conference), GSA (Girls' Schools Association)

affiliations = | headmaster = Rina Bayly
grades = Early Years,
Primary 1-6,
Secondary Forms I-VI
address = Av. Santa Cruz 1251, Miraflores
free_label_1 = Primary language
free_1 = English
website = []

San Silvestre School is a British-Peruvian private school located in Lima, Peru. The program is girls only, non-residential and extends from early childhood (age 3) through Form VI (age 18). It is divided into Early Years (ages 3-7) Primary (age 7-11, 2nd to 5th grade)) and Secondary (age 12-18, 6th grade and Forms I to VI) sections. Infant and Nursery school classes are held across the street from the main school in the district of Miraflores. San Silvestre is considered one of the most prestigious schools in the country with many publicly recognized ex-pupils such as singer-songwriter Julie Freundt, world surfing champion Sofia Mulanovich and former Peruvian congresswoman Anel Townsend.

Total enrolment is about 1400 (about 100 girls in each year or promotion from Reception to Form VI and the rest in Early Years and Form VI). Although a variety of different nationalities can be found amongst the students, most are Peruvian. Graduation is after Form V, when most students have spent all 12 years in the school. Since form VI is optional they enjoy much more freedom.

The school year is divided into 4, 9 week long bimesters, with a mark each and a 5th one in Senior School which comes from yearly internal examinations given at the end of the 3rd bimester. Separate marks are awarded for effort and achievement. Weekly, school assemblies are held. School hours are from 8am to 3:40pm with 3 breaks. Many also stay for extracurricular activities (it is compulsory to chose at least one in the lower years of senior school) which may be sports or artistic. There are also Girl Guide meetings.

Security is rather tight and no student (except Form VI) may leave the school without the company of an adult or a special authorization given by their parents. Most girls are driven to school by their parents or by a hired service. Girls cannot leave the school during school hours. For lunch pupils can subscribe to catered school menus while soft drinks, food and sweets can be bought on campus though a large proportion of girls take lunchboxes from their house.

San Silvestre teachers come from around the world, most foreign ones come from parts of the United Kingdom. This gives students experience with native speakers and improves foreign language skills. High teacher-student ratios and small class sizes mean students have the possibility to choose some subjects to suit their personal interests or future careers and favour personalized teaching and strong involvement.

The school motto is "I am , I can, I ought, I will"


Early Years classes are taught entirely in English while the rest of the school follows a bilingual Spanish-English programme to achieve fluency in both languages. French is compulsory from 4th grade until Form II. In Forms III and IV there are optional French, Italian and Mandarin Chinese classes.


The school offers 2 types of international examinations: the University of Cambridge IGCSE programme (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) examinations and the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme examinations where students usually obtain the highest scores of the country. The IGCSE programme is followed in Forms III and IV. English, Spanish, mathematics and combined science are compulsory and the rest are chosen by the student. The IB 2 year programme can be followed by students in Form V and Form VI. Both international examinations are taken in November while there are mock exams in July of the year the examination will be taken.


San Silvestre has a compulsory school uniform which consists of a kilt, white blouse, green knee high socks, green cardigan and burgundy shoes. In Winter a white turtleneck, green corduroy trousers, a green waistcoat and a warm jacket may be worn, while in Summer a green skort and sandals (which must have something holding the ankle) may be worn. Girls in form V also wear their prom jacket. The school has clear expectations regarding the use of uniform.

The physical education uniform consists of mostly white running shoes, green tracksuit or green shorts, white sweatshirt, white or House motif prom t-shirt and white socks. There's a green swimsuit with school logo embroidery for swimming lessons and a green and white leotard for gymnastics.

Form VI does not have to wear the school uniform although they are asked to chose a dress code which they ought to follow throughout the year.

chool House System

San Silvestre follows the British house system, students are given a school house at the beginning of second grade and belong to it for the rest of their lives. House membership is inherited from one generation to the next and all members of one family belong to the same House. Interhouse competitions are held and every bimester there are House afternoons: an afternoon of sports, academic and artistic competitions in which all girls participate, as contestants or cheering for their peers. Even ex-pupils participate in Interhouse competitions such as the newspaper collection competition etc.

The houses are named after important previous headmistresses. They are Hope (House colour: blue), Evans (House colour: yellow), Kufal (House colour: green) and Conroy (House colour: Red).


San Silvestre started in 1932 when Miss Nellie Kufal began teaching a small group of British children. Originally called Cambridge House due to teaching the contents for Cambridge University examinations, the name was changed to "Colegio San Silvestre" in 1938 when the, then co-educational, school was recognized by the Peruvian Ministry of Education. At the time Peruvian laws prohibited the use of foreign words in school names.

After the death of Miss Kufal in 1944 the school continued under the direction of a group of teachers until the new Headmistress, Miss Margaret Evans, arrived from England. She reorganized it to be more like a British school, converted it to all girls, established the house system, annual school magazine, appointed school officials etc. Besides the English Headmistress the school had a "Directora" (Spanish for Headmistress) Dr. Sofia B. de Conroy, in charge of everything related to the Peruvian educational programme as part of the school's goal of teaching the best of both educational systems. An ex-pupil, she dedicated her entire life to the school and was known fondly as Miss Topy.

The School was accepted by the Cambridge University Examinations Syndicate in 1938 and announced the first three recipients of Cambridge University Certificates in Peru that year. It offers the IB (International Baccalaureate) diploma programme since 1992 and 1995 the school was accepted by the UK's Girls’ Schools Association (GSA). In addition, the school also belongs to several local associations such as ADCA.

Ex - Pupils

The best proof of success of the British educational system, of which San Silvestre is a striking example, is the personal and professional success of ex-pupils. The level of outstanding education provided by San Silvestre is reflected by the many numbers of graduates who have succeeded in a variety of careers and disciplines. San Silvestre alumnae are our best letter of presentation and guarantee of quality education that the school and staff proudly offer to all our students.

Dubreuil, Yvonne

She was Director of Human Resources for Warner Lambert for 20 years and is currently General Manager of the firm Relocation Peru, Director of Security International Moving ( Ex-Sandoval International Moving) and leader of the Human Resources Committee of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT).Class of 1973 - Head Girl and Jennifer Spenlove award winner.

"I believe that San Silvestre taught us to be independent, to fight for our dreams, to make us feel capable of achieving everything we set out to do. I am sure that the school motto "I am, I can, I ought, I will" symbolizes and reflects everything San Silvestre is and inculcated. I feel very proud that my mother, my daughter an I are all ex*-pupils of the school"

Eléspuru, Susana

Ex President of Procter & Gamble (Perú, Ecuador, Bolivia), currently General Manager of Eléspuru Consultores. (Business Strategies and Management). Class of 1972

"San Silvestre made an important contribution to my professional life, both in academic terms and in character formation and values. It not only gave me an excellent basic knowledge, but also a baggage of vital "instruments" to continue my development, analytic, reasoning, communication, cultural, among others. The school motto is deeply ingrained in me - I am, I can, I ought, I will - encouraging necessary perseverance and commitment to face the challenges of today's competitive world. The sound values I learnt have guided me along the right track in the business world allowing me to lead large corporations, causing a highly satisfactory impression. I had no doubts in choosing San Silvestre for my daughter!"

Freundt, Julie

Singer (Last success: Golden disk awarded by IEMPSA in December 2005 for her CD "Para encontrarte")Class of 1981

"My school years were among the best in my life, not only because they gave me a first class education and formation, but because they gave me values that have remained with me throughout my career. I feel that the enthusiasm with which I am received today with promotions that never shared a desk with me, is due to the fact that we studied in the same school. This makes us accomplices and creates a special connection so that they can sing and vibrate with me"

Mey Schmidt, Sonia

Member of the Knowledge Management and Communication team and staff photographer of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization, a United Nations public health specialized agency; former television producer and manager of ZGS Communications, both in Washington, DC, USA; artist and photograher. She also collaborates with the Gesundheit! Institute lead by Patch Adams, Whitman Walker Clinc's Art for Life, Red por Belen, among others.Class of 1975- Commonwealth House Captain

"San Silvestre's motto: I can, I am, I ought, I will, contains determination, confidence, perseverance and commitment; combined with compassion, love, caring, and communications... a good recipe to raise a wonderful human being. I am proud to be part of the San Silvestre family."

Mulanovich, Sofía

World Surfing Champion ISA 2004, World Champion ASP 2004, Runner up in the World Championship ASP 2005.Class of 2000

"The school always helped me a lot. All my teachers constantly supported me and taught me to have confidence in myself"

tudent Profile

The typical San Silvestre schoolgirl is creative, friendly with her peers and well organized with a strong school spirit that lasts even after she finishes school. San Silvestre students are encouraged to be committed to community service and are actively involved in almost 70 community projects.

External links

* [ San Silvestre School website]

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