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Our credo is Scientia Artesque meaning Knowledge and Technique.

Our Coat of Arms is not only symbolic of our environment, but also representative of the instruments of learning. At the top, the helmet and right arm raised, bearing the golden burning torch, symbolize our commitment to service and hope for the future. The shield contains five elements. In the centre, an open book symbolizes knowledge, whilst at the top and bottom there appear pounding blocks, as used in the gold mines, representing our association with the mining technology of the Witwatersrand. At the left, an upright hammer is used to symbolize technology, whilst the quill on the right represents the art of writing and communication


Vision: Providing quality, innovative education in a safe and supportive environment to equip our learners with technical, enterpreneurial and life skills for a successful future.    

Mission: Creating an enviroment conducive to teaching and learning that will be beneficial to all stakeholders.

To provide quality education and teaching of the highest possible standard.

Discarding any form of discrimination by developing a spirit of tolerance towards all.

Develope leadership to enhance responsible citizenship.

Creating developement opportunities for all staff members.

Develope independent, creative individuals, able to hold their own.  


What we know as John Orr Technical High School today was inaugurated on 19 March 1960, although it had existed as an institution of learning for some forty years before that date. Its predecessor was the Witwatersrand Technical College Trade School.

One of those Directors had been Professor John Orr, later to be regarded as the father of technical education in South Africa. Since 1960 John Orr has existed as a conventional high school, though with a technical field of study.

It has developed a focus towards specific areas of technical study and also towards the teaching of subjects related to hotel management and catering.

John Orr was the first school in South Africa to possess a fully equipped Hotel School, where pupils learn market-related practical skills. At the same time, the school has developed significantly from its simple origins and is now a respected institution with a much-envied academic record. John Orr learners have a wide choice of courses, aimed at University entrance, Technikon diplomas or direct entry into skilled employment.

The school’s modern technical centres and extensive sporting complexes have provided an environment where each is encouraged to develop his or her personal capacity to its full potential.



On the Rand and Highveld fields
where gold is mined a school arose;
It’s a school with proud tradition
and the grandest history;
High School John Orr
our dear beloved
and ever-trusted
rock of hope!

Here we’ll build our glorious future
in the service of our land.

We shall honour and shall serve Thee
in all work and in all play
we will strive for better knowledge
and respect our fellowmen.
Strength and wisdom,
Love and compassion,
Faithfulness and honesty
will be our prevailing motto
every day and ever more.

To the music of “Song of Joy” - Ludwig von Beethoven)
(Lyrics by J Broodryk and A White)