Petit Seminaire Higher Secondary School

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Petit Seminaire Higher Secondary School
பெத்தி செமினேர் மேனிலைப்பள்ளி
Petit logo.jpg
355, Mahatma Gandhi Road
Pondicherry, Puducherry, India 605 001
Coordinates 11°56′00.12″N 79°49′46.14″E / 11.9333667°N 79.8294833°E / 11.9333667; 79.8294833Coordinates: 11°56′00.12″N 79°49′46.14″E / 11.9333667°N 79.8294833°E / 11.9333667; 79.8294833
School type Private Higher secondary school
Motto Latin: Nil Magnum Nisi Bonum
(English: Nothing Is Great Unless It Is Good
Tamil: நல்லதே மேலானது)
Religious affiliation(s) Catholic
Patron saint(s) Saint Joseph
Founded January 1844
Opened 19 March 1846
Status Open
School board Matriculation / State Board
President Most Rev. Antony Anandarayar
Principal Rev. Fr. R. PASCAL RAJ
Gender all-male
Classes Lower and upper Kindergarten
1 Std to 12 Std
Average class size 50
Medium of language English
Language Tamil, French, Hindi
Hours in school day 8
Classrooms 90
Campuses Main Campus
Upalam Campus
Campus Urban
Houses Red House, Blue House, Yellow House and Green House
Colour(s) White and grey         
Nickname PSHSS

Petit Seminaire Higher Secondary School is a higher secondary school for boys in the union territory of Puducherry, India started in 1844.


The history of Petit Seminaire dates back to 1844 as a seminary attended by 89 students of whom 25 seminarians. In 1873 it became a public college. In 1880, Petit Seminaire stopped receiving government subsidy, and has maintained its financial independence.

The student population showed an increase from 800 in 1903 to 1100 in 1907, of whom 700 were Catholics. In 1932, the English section was upgraded into a high school, preparing boys for matriculation and was affiliated with the Madras university. In July 1978, Petit Seminare was born again, this time as Petit Seminaire Higher Secondary School, offering two courses of study at the higher secondary level.

The school's motto is "Nil Magnum Nisi Bonum" meaning "Nothing is great unless good".

When Fr. J. Paul became the principal of the school in December 1984 there were 3,500 students and when he left the strength was 6,100. He produced 100% results quite a few times both in Matriculation and higher Secondary. The school got the first few Ranks consistently in Puducherry territory.



Tamil is taught as a compulsory subject to all students up to 5th standard. Tamil, Hindi and French are offered as optional from 6th standard onwards.

Physical health education[edit]

Physical training and health education is given to all the students from Lower Kindergarten(L.K.G.) to Higher Secondary level. 'Human Resource Development' subject is taken from 4th standard to 9th standard.

Computer education[edit]

All students from the L.K.G. to 10th grade are given computer experience. Computer science is taught as a subject along with Mathematics. It has been extended to 11th and 12th standard students.

Majors/subjects offered in higher secondary course[edit]

  • Part I - Languages - English
  • Part II - Tamil, Hindi, French
  • Part III - Optional
  • Group I - Biology, Physics & Chemistry, Mathematics (3 sections)- A1, A2,A3
  • Group II - Physics & Chemistry, Mathematics, Computer Science (1 section) B
  • Group III - Commerce, Economics, Accounts & Business Mathematics. (1 section) C


Computer Lab Established in 1984, the computer science centre is a pioneer among Puducherry schools in computer education and computerisation of admission. Computer lab facilities are available in the nursery section.

Library The school is equipped with a library holding 10,000 books. The library gets periodicals including science and maths digests which are particularly useful to the higher secondary students in preparing for their entrance examinations. And a new facility is that if a class is interested to open a library in their own class they may exchange the books of the class library within their class.

Petit Health Care Health check-ups are provided to students and teachers through Petit Health Care, headed by a doctor assisted by nurses. A similar health care unit functions at the nursery school campus at Ouppalam.

Audio Visual Room A fully air conditioned audio visual room with LCD projector is at the disposal of the students and about 100 students at a time can learn any subject through CDs and models prepared by the teachers. 33 class rooms are provided with smart board facility.

Others Sports facilities include an indoor table tennis auditorium, twin basketball courts and two tennis courts at the primary school campus.


The principals of this school over the time are:

  1. Fr. Marion Bresillac Melchior Marie Joseph (1844 – 1846)
  2. Fr. Joseph-Isidore Godelle (1846 – 1850)
  3. Fr. Godet Louis Prosper Adolphe Marie. (1850 – 1855)
  4. Fr. Henry Joseph (1855 – 1883)
  5. Fr. Dury Ernest (1883 – 1887)
  6. Fr. Jegorel Jean Marie (1888 -1894)
  7. Fr. Leroy Pierre Gustave (1895 – 1900)
  8. Fr. Escande Pierre Etienne (1900 – 1933)
  9. Fr. Guillerm Francois (1933 – 1948)
  10. Fr. P. A. Swamikannu (1948 – 1960)
  11. Fr. S. Peter (1960 – 1970, 1973 – 1980)
  12. Fr. R. Ratchagar (1970 – 1971)
  13. Fr. C. N. Philip (1971 – 72)
  14. Fr. P. Jegaraj (1972 – 73)
  15. Fr. M. Peter (1981 – 84)
  16. Fr. J. Paul (1984 – 1997)
  17. Fr. A. Arulappan – (1997 – 1999)
  18. Fr. M. Dominic Rozario (1999 – 2002)
  19. Fr. S. Antonisamy (2002 – 2007)
  20. Fr. M. S. John Bosco (2007 – 2013)
  21. Fr. P. Arulnathan (2013 - 2015)
  22. Fr. R. Pascal Raj (2015 - )

Notable alumni[edit]


  • Most Rev. Dr. Michael Augustine, Archbishop Emeritus of Pondicherry and Cuddalore, who also was the vice principal of this school in 1961.
  • Most Rev. Dr. Yvon Ambrose, Bishop of Tuticorin,
  • Rev.Fr. A. J. C. Lawrence - who was the vice principal of this school in 1976 - clergy of Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore.
  • Rev.Fr. Dr. J. Paul - served as Principal from 1984 to 1997 - clergy of Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore.


  • Mr M.Ilango, Former Member of the Legislative Assembly

In popular culture[edit]

  • The protagonist of the novel Life of Pi does his schooling at Petit Seminaire, Pondicherry. Satish Kumar, Pi’s biology teacher inspires Pi to study zoology in college.

External links[edit]