San Silvestre actually started in 1932, when Miss Nellie Kufal taught a small group of British children in Miraflores. Her teaching skills quickly gained recognition and the number of students grew until the group was officially recognized by the Ministry of Education in Peru in 1938.
That same year the school was accepted by the Cambridge University Examinations Syndicate and in 1939 the school was proud to announce that three of its students had earned the first Cambridge University Certificates in Peru. Miss Kufal died in 1944 and the school continued under the direction of a group of dedicated teachers.
The new Headmistress who arrived from England in 1946, Miss Evans, radically reorganized the school, recognizing the benefits of an all girls’ school and laying the foundation for the institution it is today. Two years later, the system of Houses was introduced. The four Houses established were named Kufal, Hope, Commonwealth and Cambridge and a Head Girl, House Captains and Prefects were appointed, giving those girls the opportunity to exercise leadership and take on responsibilities. At the same time, they were taught the value of working in a team. The first School Magazine appeared in 1950, under the direction of a group of girls appointed as Magazine Editors.
When Miss Evans retired in 1968, Cambridge House became Evans House in honour of an excellent person and a great Headmistress. Although the school has had several headmistresses since Miss Evans, the permanent link between the San Silvestre spirit and the Peruvian system was the “Directora”, Sofia de Conroy (Topy), who dedicated her life to San Silvestre for many years. In acknowledgement of her hard work and dedication, the name of Commonwealth House was changed to Conroy House.
Although the school has grown dynamically since its beginnings, its goal remains unchanged: to provide an integral education based on the best aspects of the British and Peruvian educational systems, giving the girls a sound bilingual formation. This is made possible thanks to the strong traditions that date back more than 70 years.
In 1990, the then Deputy Head, Mrs Rina Bayly, was appointed Headmistress. Graduate and post-graduate of London University, Mrs Bayly came to San Silvestre School in 1978 as Head of English, then Head of Secondary, Deputy Head and then Headmistress, a post she held with wisdom, dedication and love for 27 years. In recognition of services to education, reflecting the prestige of San Silvestre School in providing an excellent education, Mrs Bayly was named Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (M.B.E) by Her Majesty the Queen.
The present Headmistress is Ruth Percival, Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Masters in Education. After teaching for over ten years in Wales, she worked in schools in Chile, in Spain as Director of Learning and Innovation of the eight SEK schools based in Europe. She was Headmistress of Fleming College in Trujillo and then Head of College for three years at St George’s College, Quilmes in Buenos Aires. In 2016 she was appointed Headmistress of San Silvestre School.
In 1995 the school was accepted by the prestigious Girls’ Schools’ Association of Great Britain and has gained a reputation as a school that best prepares girls to meet the demands of the XXI century.