HISTORY: Closed and Merged Schools in Singapore (PART 4)

WARNING: This post requires high amount of bandwidth! Wi-Fi connection advised.

Hello everyone!

After a two-year hiatus from the series of posts on decommisioned schools, I am thrilled to announce my return with part IV featuring schools that were not mentioned in the first three instalments, as well as those impending closure (yes, it’s still happening). Thank you everyone for the overwhelming support once again, especially those who have contributed to this list.

Be sure to check out PART 1, PART 2 and PART 3 if you haven’t!

This post features more schools in Eastern Singapore, most of which are Chinese schools formed by villagers or Chinese clan associations which did not survive past 1981 due to population shift and growing preference towards English-stream schools. Some schools, though already closed, were “revived” when newly-erected schools adopt their Chinese names. Those that are still in existent pulled through because they were pragmatic enough to shift to a satellite town.

* * *

West Hill School (Sembawang)

Closed in early 1985

The primary school was founded in 1957 at the now-defunct Bah Tan Road. As it was built in the 1950s, it did not have modern facilities of the newer schools, thus making it more susceptible to damage. On 4 January 1985, a freak storm which had initially caused tiles and classroom lamps to fall subsequently tore off the school roof during school hours, forcing their students to share classrooms with nearby Canberra School. Thankfully no one was hurt because of the quick thinking of the school’s senior assistant who evacuated everyone occupying the third-floor classrooms to the ground floor before it happened. When the building was rendered unsafe and beyond repair, the then-Education Ministry decided to close the school and transfer their students to neighbouring schools such as Canberra School and Jiemin School in Yishun.

west-hill-school-zaba-youn-WHS-FB

west-hill-school-NAS

circa 1962

1962

circa 1981

1981

circa 1985

P5, 1985

After the school’s closure, Naval Base Secondary School occupied the land until the construction of Sembawang MRT Station came into the picture.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Nee Soon School (Sembawang)

Closed after 1986 (exact year unknown)

Established in 1954 along Nee Soon Lane in 1954 next to an army training camp (which I suppose would be in a high security and remote zone) and about 6 km away from Nee Soon Police Station, it wasn’t at the most convenient of locations.
It was completed the year before with 16 classrooms to accommodate 600 pupils.

nee-soon-school-george-pereira-bs

In 1958, the school changed the design of the female school uniform from a two-piece white blouse and grey skirt to a one-piece dark grey dress. This decision caused a bit of an uproar among parents who felt that the thick material used in the new uniform was impractical for the tropical climate in Singapore. However, I noticed the girls in a class photograph taken in the 1960s by George Pereira were dressed in both the old and new uniforms, so perhaps in a bid to appease the unhappy parents the principal eventually allowed both to be worn to school.

circa 1985

Uniform – before (right) and after (1985)

Collecting information about this school is no mean feat as it was known as several names including Nee Soon Primary School and Nee Soon English Primary School. On top of that, it was as if the school had magically vanished because virtually nothing about it can be found on the internet. What presently occupies the land where Nee Soon School once stood is just a flattened field with no development at all. The school never had any chance of revival.

circa 1986

1986

There used to be a Facebook page for Nee Soon Primary School but it has since been taken down (probably archived) due to inactivity. The remaining alumni group has only two members with the last updated posted more than three years ago.  It would be great if ex-students could gather and revive the page again!

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Meng Teck School (Punggol)

Closed in 1985

Established in 1932, Meng Teck School is a Chinese Catholic school at No. 5 Jalan Seranggong Kechil, 9 miles, off Punggol Road. It was situated right beside St. Anne’s Church where students would go over to play after school.

meng-teck-school-黄建齊-FB

Every year, Meng Teck School would participate in a joint sports meet with three other Catholic schools in the Hougang district, namely Hai Sing Girls’ High School, Holy Innocents’ High School and a CHIJ school.

After Meng Teck School was closed, the remaining students were transferred to Holy Innocents’ Primary School and the building was converted to a church centre. The former site is now occupied by CHIJ St. Joseph’s Convent.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


Ming Sin School (Hougang)

Closed in 1984

Ming Sin School (sometimes misspelled as Min Sin School) was a primary school under the management of Bethal Presbyterian Church after it was acquired in 1950. It was a kampong Chinese school made of attap originally constructed at Bukit Arang Road before the World War II (exact year unknown) where it also served as a shelter during the Japanese occupation.

ming-sin-school-circa-1967-Hougang-4-5-6-7-milestone-FB

1967

After the war, the school moved to 53 Wolskel Road, off Upper Serangoon Road, upon recommendation of the school’s board of directors formed by the locals. Completed in 1959, the 4-storey building had 24 classrooms and a tuck shop. The school was also home to worship services from 1953 as well as Li Sun High School (now known as Presbyterian High School) from 1953 and 1965 respectively. A fairly popular school at first, enrolment began to fall as it failed to keep up with education policy changes.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Kim Keat Primary School (Balestier/Toa Payoh)

Closed in 1984

Founded in the early 1960s at Kim Keat Road, Kim Keat Primary School started as Kim Keat Integrated School and was converted into an Adult Education Board Centre which conducted day and night classes in the 1970s.

kim-keat-primary-school-John-Chia-HL-FB

Former students fondly remember popping by nearby Kim Keat Vocational Institute for free haircuts by trainees in their hairdressing course. There was also a big bamboo tree in the school compound and students would try to catch spiders crawling around the fence next to it.

kim-keat-primary-school-circa-1980-p3c-Ben-Ngow-Yong-FB

P3C (1980)

After it closed because of falling enrolment, most of the students were transferred to Moulmein Primary School which subsequently merged with Swiss Cottage Primary School in 2002. The school building stood idle for some time until it became the first SCDF Division Headquarters. Today, it houses Curtin University.

Source: [1] [2]


McNair Road School (Boon Keng)

Merged into Rangoon Road Primary School in 1968

Opened in 1925 as McNair Road English School, it was an all-boys primary school located at a temporary structure of Rangoon Road Government English School (before it was torn down) until it moved to requisitioned buildings.

circa 1950

1950

In 1948, McNair School reopened and a large number of primary school students moved over from the old Rangoon Road School. However, it was reported that McNair School was later converted into a Centralised Workshop and staff and students joined the newly merged Rangoon Road Primary School (closed in the early 1980s) at Starlight Road.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Siglap Indah Primary School (Siglap)

Closed in 1983

Located at Kee Sun Avenue, the former Siglap Malay School started off as a kampong school built on wooden foundations in 1903. In 1966, the school was upgraded to a concrete building and eleven years later, converted to an English medium school and renamed to Siglap Indah, or Beautiful Siglap, because of its earlier kampong surroundings and nearby sea.

siglap-indah-pri-sch-Stella-Tan-Kai-Ling

siglap-indah-pri-sch-NLB

P1A (circa 1983)

P1A (1983)

Non-graduating students of Siglap Indah were posted to the five schools in the area namely Damai, Jaya (closed 1998), East Coast, Ngee Ann and Min Xin (closed 2003) primary schools. The school had to shut after Mendaki Foundation was given permission by the government to use the premises as its headquarters because of its proximity to Marine Parade, Bedok and Geylang, which had large concentrations of Malays. The handover was finalised after renovations works were completed in mid 1985.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Siglap Primary School (Siglap)

Closed in 1990

About 2 km away from Siglap Indah Primary was Siglap Primary, founded 1956 at 10 La Salle Street. The school operated in double sessions (i.e. sessions I and II) and had uniformed groups that students could join as ECAs such as Scouts and Brownies. It is not known why the school was closed but after it was vacated, the building was used by the Associations for Persons with Special Needs (Katong Special School) until it was launched for public tender in 2009. Most of the students were transferred to Opera Estate Primary School.

siglap-pri-nur-basman

Now

siglap-pri-jeffrey-tay

Ex-Mediacorp actress Ivy Lee is an alumna of the school.

P6A (circa 1985): Ivy lee is fourth girl from left in the front row

P6A (1985): Ivy lee is fourth girl from left in the front row

Source: [1] [2]


Opera Estate Boys’ School
Opera Estate Girls’ School (Siglap)

Merged in 1985 to form Opera Estate Primary School

The exact year of inception of Opera Estate Girls is not known but since single-sex schools that were catered to residents within an estate were typically built around the same time during that era, it is safe to assume that it was in 1959 when Opera Estate Boys was founded. Both schools were located side-by-side along Fidelio Street – now home to Opera Estate Primary School and surrounded by private housing.

opera-estate-boys-school-Raqi-Rashid

Opera Estate Boys’ School

opera-estate-boys-school-Maksom-Som

Opera Estate Boys’ School

opera-estate-boys-school-Beruang-Sarkis

Opera Estate Boys’ School

opera-estate-girls-school-NLB

The only image of Opera Estate Girls’ students I can find…

I can’t find much about these schools except for the interesting fact that the school song of Opera Estate Boys was written by their first principal, Mr BR Sethi. In 1977, Opera Estate Girls found themselves in the spotlight when four of their primary six pupils beat Raffles Girls’ Primary School in the Primary Science Quiz organised by the then-Science Teachers Association. Both also held fun fares separately to raise funds for their own projects in 1969 and 1979. This could also suggest some form of financial struggle faced by the schools and thus leading to their merger. After the amalgamation, the girls were required to swap their green pinafore with white stripes for an entirely blue one. A new school logo created with colours representing the former schools was also adopted as a result.

opera-estate-primary-school-Sanjay-Sadhnani

Opera Estate Primary School

I think it’s amazing how the Opera Estate Primary has been retaining its original name after all these years when the word “estate” (also undoubtedly not the most modern-sounding one) had been dropped from the names of other schools that used to have the word incorporated in them (e.g. Sennett Estate School and later Sennett Primary School). What do you think?

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]


Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (Opera Estate) (Siglap)

Merged with Katong Convent in 1990 to form Katong Convent Primary School / CHIJ (Katong) Primary

CHIJ (Opera Estate), or more commonly known as Opera Estate Convent, was set up as a government-aided primary school at Jalan Khairuddin in 1959 to cope with the growing demand for places in Katong Convent which had housed both primary and secondary students before the latter relocated to Marine Parade Road. It was subsequently closed at the end of 1989 because, according to a former student, the hill it was built on was eroding. Thereafter, it was absorbed into the newly-furnished CHIJ (Katong) at Martia Road.

chij-opera-estate-Gillian-Woodruff-and-MischaP-CHIJOE-FB

chij-opera-estate-toilet-on-the-left-Gillian-Woodruff-and-MischaP

Toilet on the left

chij-opera-estate-P6A-1978-Lena-Priddey-CHIJOE-FB

P6A, class of 1978

The premises of Opera Estate Convent, pretty much still in its original state surprisingly, are known as the Red Cross Training Campsite today.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


Whampoa Secondary School (Bendemeer)

Closed in 1994

The Chinese secondary school was established in 1961 at St. Wilfred Road but was later converted to an integrated school due to falling enrolment (and declining popularity of Chinese schools) to accommodate students from the English Language stream.

 

whampoa-secondary-school-Whampoa-Memories-FB

whampoa-secondary-school-whampoasecondaryschool.sg

In 1971, it became the first government school to complete a building extension without government financial aid. Most of the funds came from public donations and proceeds from the school’s funfair held in 1969. The new wing boasted a library, history and geography rooms, a sound-proof music room, extra-curriculum activities hall, art display room, bookshop and physical exercise instructors’ room. Hardly anyone would find these amenities impressive today but these were definitely a big deal then, as well as a major pull factor.

whampoa-secondary-school-Whampoa-Community-FB

After it became integrated

whampoa-secondary-school-circa-1961-SPH-via-NAS

But then came 1980 when the school principal drew public ire for snipping several girls’ hair publicly in front of the whole school to enforce a rule against long hair. It was also reported that some girls had to have their hair cut two to three times before the principle was satisfied. What angered students and parents further was that the act of embarrassment was done a day before the examinations. Upset by the unwarranted treatment (as many had thought that the principal’s prior warnings were meant for the boys), some girls had even contemplated suicide.

As years went by, the school began to suffer from a dip in enrolment once again. It stopped accepting new applicants altogether for the academic year 1994 when the total student population in the school plunged to 280 (including those in graduating classes) – a far cry from the 1500 pupils in its heyday during the seventies. This reason, coupled by poor academic performance, eventually led to the closure of the school. Bendemeer Secondary, which I believe largely took in Whampoa Secondary students when they closed doors for good, has been occupying their former site since 1998.

The school also has a private Facebook group with over 1000 members.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]


Bartley Primary School (MacPherson)

Closed in 1986

Set up in 1951 at Jalan Bunga Rampai, Bartley Primary School was housed in a 2-storey building in a serene and conducive environment not too far away from Mount Vernon cemetery. The school’s distinctive feature was their vast number of Nepalese children (more specifically children of Gurkha policemen from the Singapore Police Force at Mount Vernon) who, by 1985, accounted for more than one-third of the school population. Former students also remember having an Indian principal (Mr Valipuram, or just Mr Vali) patrolling around the school compound with a cane in his hands. Oh, don’t we all miss those days when educators were given the rights to discipline their students? We were fearful but at least we grew up respectful of our elders.

bartley-primary-school-Lee-Soh-Cynthia-BPS-FB

 

As the school field was always flooded especially during the monsoon season, annual sports meets were mostly held at the field belonging to neighbouring Bartley Secondary School. Those who were present would fondly remember being given a coupon to redeem a piece of cake from Season Bakery and a cup of Milo or Ovaltine.

bartley-primary-school-circa-1985-Ministry-of-Information-and-the-Arts-via-NAS

Most of the students were transferred to nearby Elling (closed 1996) and Cedar primary schools after the school was closed down. The school building has also since been demolished.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Paya Lebar School (MacPherson)

Closed in 1984

The primary school was a one-storey building opened in 1952 at Lorong Bengkok, off Paya Lebar Road, with only seven classrooms. It is not to be confused with Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School which started with the same name. Established without a school field, tuck shop, electricity or modern sanitation, the school gradually expanded with better facilities when population steadily grew to 1200 by 1971.

paya-lebar-school-PJ-Tan-PLPS-FB

paya-lebar-school-PJ-Tan-PLPS-FB-3

paya-lebar-school-PJ-Tan-PLPS-FB-2

paya-lebar-school-Goh-Teck-Khoon-PLS-FB

Former students were then dispersed to MacPherson and Bartley primary schools after their school closed. The site is now taken over by adjoining MacPherson Secondary School, which is slated to merge with Broadrick Secondary in 2017 (more details below).

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Upper Aljunied Technical School (MacPherson)

Closed in 1996 (verification needed)

Located along a quiet Upper Aljunied Road, Upper Aljunied Technical School faced the Mount Vernon Camp and shared a field with Sang Nila Utama Secondary School. As a result of the close proximity to the shooting range of the camp and the Singapore Gun Club, students could often hear explosive sound of firing guns in the afternoon while they were having their ECAs. Although the founding year of the school is not known, it can be assumed that it was in the mid to late 1960s when there was a surge of demand for technical education.

School badge on bottom left (circa 1971)

School badge on bottom left (1971)

The four-storey building had male toilets at the end of every odd-numbered level and female on even. The ground floor was occupied by two Technical Drawing rooms, two Electrical Workshops, one PE stall and a bookshop while the staff room and library took the second floor. Classrooms were mainly on the third and fourth floors.

Upper Aljunied Technical School was the first in the Aljunied district to offer computer classes all the way from Secondary 1 to 5 with the opening of a micro-computer laboratory. They were also among the 18 government schools in Singapore in 1988 to have a computer lab.

The school was closed presumably due to falling enrolment and was merged into Upper Serangoon Technical School which was then renamed to Upper Serangoon Secondary School (verification needed). The building is now used as a student hostel with the tuck shop converted to a seafood restaurant.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Kembangan Primary School (Kembangan)

Closed in 1987

Originally known as Kembangan Integrated Primary School, it was the 36th school opened by the PAP government built in the heart of the kampong in 1963. The four-storey building had 24 classrooms, three special rooms, a large teachers’ common room, bookshop and a big tuck shop-cum-assembly hall and could accommodate more than 2500 pupils in both morning and afternoon sessions.

kembangan-primary-school-circa-1987-KPS_FB-2

kembangan-primary-school-circa-1987-KPS_FB

1987

Students who went to Kembangan Primary were relatively poorer than those who attended nearby Siglap Primary and St. Stephen’s Primary schools. The school was also mentioned at the parliament meeting in 1981 to be one of the five schools with the best academic progress.

kembangan-primary-school-circa-1987-KPS_FB-3

1987

In 1986, about a year before Kembangan Primary rolled down their shutters for good at 2 Lengkok Satu, a school bus carrying 13 of their pupils had its emergency exit doors flung open when it collided with a lorry. A nine-year-old girl who was hurled out of the bus died on the spot while other eight children in the vehicle sustained slight cuts and bruises. This incident, as well as the court hearing between the drivers involved, was reported extensively on the news.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


Beatty Primary School (Kallang)

Closed in 1995

Opened in 1962 as Beatty Integrated Primary School, the school was a new-type four-storeyed building with 36 classrooms meant for 3000 pupils in both morning and afternoon sessions.

beatty-primary-school-circa-1963-NAS

Opening ceremony (1963)

beatty-primary-school-circa-1963-NAS-2

Opening ceremony (1963)

Ex-students fondly remember the infamously fierce lady manning the tidbit stall at the tuck shop who would hurry students to make purchase and chase away those who spent too long deciding on what to buy. Even those who merely enquired about the prices were not spared from her curt attitude. Therefore, to avoid getting yelled at by her, fearful students would scan through the snacks from afar and be readied with all the prices in mind before approaching her stall. Every transaction would end with the lady snatching the money from the student’s hand. Well, let’s just say that she probably wouldn’t have gotten away so easily dealing with the Gen Z’ers and their overprotective parents if she does that today 😆

beatty-primary-school-circa-1977-Casey-Yong-Sue-Fai-BPS-FB

1977

Beatty Primary had a promising start with 2500 pupils but the number gradually slipped to 200 in the last few years before it closed as more families in the neighbourhood moved to newer housing estates. The remaining pupils started the new school year in Cambridge Primary School and not long after the property was vacanted, it was taken over by Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA). The building still stands in its entirety.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Nan Chiow Public School (Geylang)

Closed in 1981

Another public Chinese school that bit the dust in 1981 was Nan Chiow (南公学) at 59, Lorong 23, Geylang. Established in 1946, it is not to be confused with Nan Chiau (or Nan Chiaw as it was formerly spelled) Primary School at Woodlands Road. Nan Chiow was known for their accomplishments in ping pong as they were always emerged as champions in competitions especially those organised for the Chinese schools in the Geylang district.

nan-chiow-public-school-logo-bookSG-NLB

School song

School song

After the school was shut down, the managing committee received over S$600,000 from the sale of the school site but most of the money eventually went to charity with $50,000 of the proceeds donated to the Basketball Association of Singapore.

nan-chiow-public-school-students-bookSG-NLB

1969

In commemoration of 35th anniversary of the school in 1981, a grand (and final) reunion filled with performances and other activities was held. The event saw the attendance of more than 250 retired principals, teachers and old boys and girls.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


Hwa Nong Public School (Geylang/Paya Lebar)

Closed in 1979

Located at 87 (727-3) Jalan Alsagoff near Geylang Serai Village, Hwa Nong Chinese School (华农公学) was previously a private school once used as a warehouse by the Japanese troops during the war. Following the surrender of the Japanese, the school became public to provide children from neighbouring villages a means of education.

hwa-nong-public-school-公立华农学校 Singapore Hwa Nong Public School-FB

The school had a humble beginning with a little more than 10 students. As their popularity grew,  the number of classrooms increased from 3 to 8 to accommodate 700 student at their peak. An office, music room and storeroom were also added as a result. But due to space constraints, the school was unable to build their own field. Hence, P.E. lessons were all conducted at a borrowed space in front of a temple opposite the school. A simple basketball court was constructed there as well.

hwa-nong-public-school-circa-1979-Soo-Hwang-Lim-via-公立华农学校 Singapore Hwa Nong Public School

1979

Hwa Nong was one of the eight participating schools in Geylang for the annual joint sports meet, with the other schools being Maha Bodhi, Nanyang Tun Cheow, Thong Kheng, Lik Teck, Happy, Seng Chi and Nan Chiow schools (more information about these seven schools can be found below). The venue for the sports meet was at a vacant land at the junction of Paya Lebar and MacPherson roads (presently the back of Shell petrol station).

hwa-nong-public-school-report-book-公立华农学校 Singapore Hwa Nong Public School

Report books

The school had to close for a short period in 1964 due to the racial riot which had occurred in the same area. When it reopened, the Primary School Leaving Examination was just around the corner so to make up for lost time, hardworking teachers would conduct supplementary classes every night to get students back on track, even to the extent of dragging unmotivated students out of their homes to attend. Their efforts were not for naught – the school garnered a 78% passing rate that year.

As more villagers move out due to the redevelopment of Geylang Serai, the number of students at Hwa Nong School dwindled, leading to its permanent closure in 1979.

(Wholly translated from here, p94)

Source: [1] [2]


Nanyang Tun Cheow School (Geylang)

Closed between 1975 and 1979

Founded in 1922 by Leong Khay Huay Kuan (龙溪会馆), Nanyang Tun Cheow School (南洋丹詔学校/Nanyang Dan Zhao School) was one of the oldest schools in Geylang. With only 30 students when the Chinese primary school first began, the enrolment steadily grew to 600 by the late 1960s. The school then shifted to a new S$92,000 building at No. 43, Lorong 17 Geylang in 1968.

nanyang-tun-cheow-school-BookSG-NLB

The last known record of the school in print was in 1975, which could suggest that it was still in existence in mid-1970s. The school was, however, closed after facing a sharp decline in student numbers. In 1979, Metropolitan Young Men’s Christian Association (MYMCA) rented the school building which was later known as Sims Centre to serve as the base for the association’s community outreach projects to the youth, elderly and children from lower income families.

The building is presently known as the Nanyang Buddhist Culture Service or the Singapore Buddhist Lodge.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Thong Kheng School (Geylang)

Closed in 1981

Established in 1946 at Kallang Road, Thong Kheng School (同敬学校) was a Chinese school set up for children who were too poor to afford elementary education and the older children who could not get into their standards. Two years after its inception, the school moved to Geylang Lorong 25-A for six years but due to the overwhelming response, Thong Kheng School had to move to the present address at Geylang Lorong 29 in 1954 in order to house 14 classes of a record number of more than 600 students in the morning and afternoon. The school would not be able to sustain the enormous cost of operating the school if not for the philanthropists who were members of the board, patrons and Thong Kheng Temple who donated generously.

thong-kheng-public-school-chinese-schools-exhibition

Thong Kheng School eventually came to a honourable closure due to depleting students count as a result of redevelopment of the Geylang area, as well as losing out to newer schools with better facilities in the vicinity.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Lik Teck School (Geylang)

Closed after 1972 (exact date unknown)

Lik Teck School (立德学校) was a single-storey Chinese school located at 230E Lorong 29 Geylang Road in the early 1930s. It was attended by Low Thia Khiang who is currently the Secretary General of the Workers’ Party.

lik-teck-school-BookSG-NLB

Little information about this school is available online. I understand from a Lianhe Wanbao news article in 1986 that a new primary school of the same name (立德小学) was erected in Woodlands Street 81. A quick search on Google, however, came up with Riverside Secondary School (立德中学, founded 1987 at Woodlands Street 81) and Riverside Primary School (立德小学, founded 2013 at Woodlands Crescent), therefore suggesting that the report is inaccurate and could be referring to the secondary school instead.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Happy School (Geylang)

Closed in 1979

Happy School (快乐学校) derived its name from Happy World (or Gay World) which was one of the three amusement parks built in Singapore before World War II. It was set up by the Happy Opera Company to provide free education to children in Geylang who missed out on school as a result of the war and poverty. Lessons officially began in 1946 at the second storey of 24 Lorong 14, Geylang. The free Chinese school started off with 10 over students but gradually swelled to 120 after a new principal came on board.

happy-school-chinese-schools-exhibition

The board of committee had to continuously pour in a lot of money (through holding more opera shows) and source for donors to ensure the school’s survival while making education free and readily available to needy students.  Due to the lack of classrooms, an afternoon session was added to cater to growing demand. The pioneer batches of Primary 6 students had to take their Primary School Leaving Examination at a community centre opposite the school due to space constraints. But as more students joined the school (no formal registration was required for new students until they had completed a semester), the board had no choice but to find another suitable location. In 1947, Happy School shifted to two old houses at 67 and 69 Lorong 14, Geylang.

The new sites were, however, in dilapidated condition. Hence, the board had to raise more money to refurbish the place. With more students enrolled in the school, Happy School could no longer cope with the rising overhead costs and so in 1949, they started to charge parents a minimal sum ranging between $2.50 and $3.50 – an amount which most families could afford. From then on, Happy Free School was renamed Happy School. Impoverished students also were given financial aid.

Students of Happy School performed well academically and non-academically such as in calligraphy, arts and sports and had brought glory to the school by bagging home multiple awards at inter-school competitions.

The school remained hugely popular until Geylang began to undergo redevelopment. The population shift from Geylang after 1965 greatly affected the enrolment rate of Happy School. Despite the fall in student population, the school managed to persevere until 1979.

(Wholly translated from here, p142-143)

Source: [1]


Seng Chi Public School (Geylang)

Closed after 1978 (exact date unknown)

Seng Chi Chinese School (成志学校 ) started in 1931 at 47, Lorong 27A, Geylang at an attap house with three classrooms and one small office. Two sessions were held every day with about 100 students divided into three classes. Each class had a mix of students of different standards (e.g. Primary 5 and 6 students attending the same class) because there weren’t enough students to form a class if the school had segregated them accordingly. Therefore, teachers then had to prepare double the amount of work and teach two groups of students separately.

seng-chi-school-map

All in all, there were 7 staff including the school principal. The school staff had to take turns to ring the school bell after each period whenever the janitor wasn’t around and the principal had to teach subjects that nobody wanted to teach (e.g. music). Due to shortage of specialised teachers, every class attended music, P.E. and art lessons together.

In 1957, the school was asked to move out by the landlord but the management refused unless they were given alternative accommodation. Although there aren’t any reports on what happened after that, I’m quite certain the school was granted to remain eventually.

The school closed in the late 70’s/early 80’s as a result of falling enrolment. The former site was then also earmarked for public housing development.

Source: [1] [2]


Pasir Panjang English School (Pasir Panjang)

Closed in 1986

Constructed in the 1930s as a primary school at Yew Siang Road, Pasir Panjang English School was, in fact, a co-education experiment proposed by the British government for both boys and girls to study in the same elementary school.

pasir-panjang-primary-school-Zashri-Zakaria-PPEPS-FB

In anticipation of the Japanese occupation in 1942, the principal of Outram Secondary School sent all of the school’s records to Pasir Panjang English School for safe keeping a year before under the orders of the Education Department. Subsequently, this school suffered a direct hit during the World War II and wiped out Outram’s records from 1906 to 1942. The school then underwent renovation works and reopened some time after 1948.

pasir-panjang-primary-school-circa-1976-use-your-hands-campaign-NAS

1976

pasir-panjang-primary-school-circa-1983-NAS

1983

It had produced a couple of notable alumni such as our former Prime Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong, former Senior Minister of State for National Development Dr Tan Eng Liang, and the founding President of Nanyang Technological Institute Dr Cham Tao Soon.

Pasir Panjang English School is now occupied by Breakthrough Mission, a drug rehabilitation centre. This halfway house was featured in an SG50 music video by StarHub. Skip to 0:26, 1:23 and 1:52 for shots of the classroom corridor in the video below:

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Hua Kiau School (Pasir Panjang)

Closed in 1981

Founded in 1931 on the first floor of a shophouse at 8km Pasir Panjang Road with only 17 pupils, the Chinese school later functioned in an attap building near the now-defunct Bakau Lane (still within Pasir Panjang) in 1940 and subsequently in a more solidly-built double-storey structure half a mile away. Completed in 1960 on two-and-a-half acres of land on Pasir Panjang Hill (5½ milestone Pasir Panjang Road) near Haw Par Villa, the final relocated address had a commanding view of the sea and the southern islands. It had 26 classrooms to accommodate 1400 pupils, an office, library, common room, stage and assembly hall to boot. It was also the first building in the area to introduce modern sanitation. All these were made possible by the generous contributions of the residents in the vicinity and through the sale of cinema show tickets.

hua-kiau-school-circa-1976-80-NAS

Despite the new state-of-the-art facilities coupled with the school’s rich history and robust activities, the enrolment rate failed to live up to expectations. From over 800 students when it first moved, the number dropped to less than 200 in seven classes in 1977 with  only a handful of students registered for Primary One that year. This was in spite of the fact that the school had already been allowed by the Education Ministry to enroll students in English-medium classes.

hua-kiau-school-circa-1986-NAS

1986

After the school’s closure, the building was renovated and occupied by the Colombo Plan Staff College (a training college for senior personnel in technician education from Colombo Plan countries) in 1983. However, the college was eventually asked to move out of Singapore within the next three years “in fairness to other countries“. Based on the today’s map, the former site is now occupied by private estates.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Sepoy Lines School I / Pearl Bank School
Sepoy Lines School II / Park Road School
(Chinatown)

Merged in 1985 to form Pearl Park Primary School (verification needed)
Merged into Pearl’s Hill School in 1995
Closed in 2001

Among the hundreds of expunged schools I had researched on to feed my curiosity about disappearing schools in Singapore, reading up about those in Chinatown area always left me utterly bewildered especially since many of them share rather similar names. I am one who is easily confused so in a way I’m glad the MOE has long ceased to name schools after the locality where they will be established.

 

From what I had gathered online (after sifting through tens and hundreds of web pages because everyone seems to be saying different things), there used to be two Sepoy Lines Malay schools. Sepoy Lines School I was renamed Pearl Bank School when it moved to Pearl’s Hill on 15 June 1954 while Sepoy Lines School II was later known as Park Road School.

pearl-bank-primary-school-Chan-Kheng-Seng-PBPS-FB

Pearl Bank Primary School

pearl-bank-primary-school-P6A-1981-Chan-Kheng-Seng-PBPS-FB

Pearl Bank Primary School (P6A, class of 1981)

park-road-school-yee-weng-hong-PRS-FB

Park Road School

As I was trying to unearth more information about the first merger, I stumbled upon even more ambiguous and confusing news articles about the Sepoy Lines school. It was reported in 1971 that the Sepoy Lines Malay School building was demolished as part of the urban renewal programme to build offices in the Park Road vicinity. Noticed that “Sepoy Lines Malay School” was used instead of Park Road School? *scratches head*

Can somebody enlighten me, please? Were there more than two Sepoy Lines schools in that area or what? O_O  Why do I see ex-students of Park Road School addressing Sepoy Line Malay School on Facebook like it’s another school? How mysterious.

pearl-park-primary-school-Juana-Chan-PPPS-FB

Pearl Park Primary School

Anyway, Sepoy Lines Malay School was then shifted to the first two floors of a multi-storey building at Chin Swee Road (the record-breaking 12-storey tall building, I suppose) that was shared with Pearl’s Hill Primary School. Somehow along the way, Sepoy Lines Malay School merged with Pearl Bank School and eventually with Pearl’s Hill? Apart from the nuggets of history on NLB, there were no other news reports to confirm any of these mergers. It’s so weird…

To read more about Pearl Hill’s School, click here for part I of the Closed and Merged Schools series.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Kong Chow School (Chinatown)

Closed in 1968

Cantonese clan association Kong Chow Wui Koon founded Kong Chow Wui Koon Free School (冈州会馆义学) in 1929 on the third storey of their then-newly-built clan premises at New Bridge Road. The school provided free education to their initial 80 students across Primary 1 to 4 levels, occupying only two classroom. All lessons were conducted in Chinese.

kong-chow-school-circa-1952-NAS

1952

During the Japanese Occupation (February 1942 to August 1945), the site was used as the Red Cross Association Headquarters to provide medical treatment, medicine, and even porridge. Classes at the school resumed after the Japanese surrendered but due to post-war recession, the school found themselves struggling to keep afloat without any steady revenue. Thus, they started charging fees between $1 and $5. From then on, the school was also known as Kong Chow School (冈州学校).

In order to cope with the influx of overaged students after Japanese Occupation, the clan association decided to expand the school grounds to the second storey of the premises to accommodate as many students as possible. Classes were divided to two sessions – morning and afternoon – as the number of students exceeded 200.

Primary 5 and 6 classes were subsequently added in 1949. By then, the school’s population was more than 400 students. Facilities such as a field were also added for students to play sports and exercise.

Between 1947 and 1959, there were 9 classes in the afternoon session with over 500 students. The school faced classroom shortage as the number of students continued to increase rapidly. Hence, the clan association had no choice but to turn the balcony on the second storey into a classroom to occupy the smallest class.

During the school’s heyday, the clan association also conducted night classes for young people in the workforce. Over 100 of them enrolled into the Chinese and English classes. At the same time, the clan association also attempted to raise funds to build a school, but it wasn’t reported if this plan was materialised.

In addition to regular classes, the school also inculcated strong values and character in their students through specially dedicated weeks that run throughout the semester such as Courtesy Week, Safety Week, Honesty Week and Labour Week. Activities that tied in with the theme of the week were also arranged. During the Courtesy Week, for instance, a most courteous representative would be elected from every class and the whole school would then vote for the most courteous student among them. Weeks which were designated for hands-on activities such as calligraphy and sports helped students develop their skills and ability to work as a team.

In the 1960s, the student population in Kong Chow School began to diminish with more parents opting to send their children to English school. After further decline, the Principal, who had also planned to retire, decided to close the school for good in 1968.

(Most parts translated from here)

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Jurong Special Secondary School (Bukit Timah)

Renamed to Toh Tuck Secondary School in 1965 (verification needed)
Closed in 1991 (verification needed)

Formerly Bukit Timah Government Chinese Middle School at 7¾ milestones Jurong Road, off Bukit Timah Road (now known as Toh Tuck Road), it was a school set up mainly for overaged students from Government, aided and private schools to continue their English secondary education. Classes officially began in 1960 with curriculum for Forms (Secondary) III, IV and V consisted of English language, English literature, History, Geography, Elementary Mathematics, Art, Needlework for girls, Biology or Health Science, language and National language. The school fees were same as other secondary school pupils (i.e. $3 a month for girls and $4 a month for boys). No much information about this school is available online. I can’t find any pictures depicting the school as well.

Several pupils of the school took offense over the use of the word “special” in describing the institution. The reason for that wasn’t stated but they probably felt singled out. I would understand the furore if the “special” word is incorporated in a regular school today as it could be mistaken for a special needs school.

It was mentioned by a former student on Toh Tuck Secondary’s Facebook Page that Jurong Special Secondary School was eventually renamed to Toh Tuck Secondary School (as opposed to Jurong Secondary School, as this name was already taken by another school in Jurong West) in 1965, coincidentally the year Jurong Special Secondary was last reported in the news (which is strange for a school that opened to so much fanfare). Although no records on this renaming exercise can be found, I have a hunch that it was true based on the similarity between the address of Toh Tuck Secondary (off 7th mile Bukit Timah Road) and Jurong Special Secondary.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Min Chu School (Farrer Road)

Closed in 1979

Established as a Chinese village school in 1946/1947 using kind donations from locals residing in Farrer and Holland villages, Min Chu Public School was one of the best in the area in the 1960s with 400 students. During its prime, the school was bustling with activities such as basketball, badminton and ping pong. It even had its own playing field. The toilets underwent a $4000 renovation but even so, the school still failed to attract new registrations.

min-chu-school-1

1963

As a result of falling enrolment due to competition from modern schools that were equipped with special rooms, sport equipment and the latest teaching aids, the school had to shut permanently after its remaining 19 students completed their primary education.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Wei Sin Public School (Jurong West/Lim Chu Kang)

Closed in 1979

Formerly known as Wu Neng School (武能学校), Wei Sin was a small village school established in 1926 at 14.1 km Jurong Road. It was forced to closed in 1942 but resumed operations in 1945 when the Japanese surrendered at the end of World War II. It was also at this point in time that it took on the name Wei Sin.

wei-sin-public-school-BookSG-NLB-2

wei-sin-public-school-BookSG-NLB

School song

The school uniform was white top and khaki pants for the boys and khahi skirts for the girls. The school had their own tuck shop, makeshift badminton court, basketball court, ping pong tables and a wooden hut called The Library.

wei-sin-public-school-SGSchoolMemories

At its peak, Wei Sin had over 600 students. But due to population shifts and the fact that Jurong was selected as the site for the development of an industrial estate, the strength of Wei Sin Public School dwindled tremendously. Upon time of closure, it had only 55 students remaining (27 in Primary 5 and 28 in Primary six). The Primary 5 students were then transferred to neighbouring modern schools the following year.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Pei Tek Public School (Jurong West)

Closed in 1981

A Chinese-medium school established in 1946 Pei Tek School (also spelled “Pei Teck”) had moved from a smaller location to 10¾ mile, Jurong Road when student population grew between 1958 and 1969. It was so popular that it had to keep adding more classrooms to cater for demand.

pei-tek-school-BookSG

School song

pei-tek-public-school-circa-1963-NAS

1963

But like other Chinese schools that could not keep up with the shifting demographics and growing preference for English-medium schools, signs of decline of Pei Tek started appearing in mid-1970s. Although there were 281 students  enrolled in 1976, there wasn’t enough incoming primary 1 students to form a class.

Source: [1]


Lee Choon Public School (Buona Vista)

Closed in 1979

Lee Choon Public School was a Chinese primary school established in the 1920s at North Buona Vista Road (off Holland Road). Like the other rural schools on this list, Lee Choon had to close due to falling enrolment triggered by a widespread preference for modern schools that were equipped with better facilities. There were only 27 students at Lee Choon at time of closure.

lee-choon-public-school-NAS

Unfortunately, not much information about this school is available.

Source: [1] [2]


Chao Yang School (Dhoby Ghaut)

Closed in 1981

Located at 341 Clemenceau Avenue, Chao Yang was a four-storey Chinese Government-aided (primary) school established in 1953 and managed by a Teochew clan association Teo Yeonh Huay Kuan (潮阳会馆) which, at that time, was just beside it. It is not to be confused with the special needs school at Ang Mo Kio which adopted the same name in gratitude of the original Chao Yang School management committee for allowing them to use the school premises for a 5-year period before it moved to Ang Mo Kio to make way for the Central Expressway.

chao-yang-school-PictureSG-NLB

chao-yang-school-eresources-NLB

In the last 1970s, Chao Yang School started admitting students of other nationalities to ensure their survival. This, however, proved to be futile as enrolment continued to dwindle due to urban renewal and modernisation. By the end of 1981, the school had just one class of 14 Primary Six pupils and 2 teachers.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


Min Chong Public School (Changi)

Closed in 1981

Two schools (Bo Wen and Pei Nan schools) were originally constructed at Mata Ikan, a village at Changi, to offer education to the villagers’ children. But not long after that, the second world war broke out so both schools had no choice but to cease operations. After the war ended, the committee of Pei Nan School decided to reopen the school for the benefit of those children whose education was disrupted because of the war. The committee rented a three-storey bungalow that was able to accommodate 150 students, and also employed 10 teachers. At the same time, the school was also renamed Min Chong School (民众学校).

min-chong-public-school-circa-1986-NAS-2

1986

min-chong-public-school-basketball-court-circa-1986-NAS

Basketball court (1986)

In order to cater to the needs of Malay villagers who were not able to integrate into the Chinese education system at Min Chong School, the committee introduced English-medium classes, and therefore making them the first Chinese school in post-war Singapore to offer English classes. Subsequently, new English-medium schools such as Bedok Boys’ and Girls’ sprang up one after another around the area and Malay villagers began to send their children to these schools instead, resulting in the declining demand for English-medium classes at Min Chong. The school eventually stopped the programme completely and reverted to its original concept of being a fully Chinese school.

min-chong-public-school-circa-1986-NAS

1986

min-chong-public-school-sports-day-Chinese-Schools-A-Lasting-Legacy-Exhibition

Sports Day

In 1948, the owner of the bungalow which housed the school wanted the property back. As a result, Min Chong School committee relocated to 823 Somapah Road. By 1972, the number of students at Min Chong had also noticeably diminished. There were speculations as to the possible causes of the dip in enrolment. Firstly, as there were only 59 registrations for Primary One in the beginning of 1971, the school, being cost-effective, decided to open only one class for 44 students. The remaining 15 students were then dispersed to neighbouring Red Swastika School and this led to numerous complaints as well as the unhappiness of many parents towards the school, making them reluctant to register their children at Min Chong in the subsequent years.

min-chong-public-school-Chua-Lee-Huang-Changi-10-mile-FB

1966

Secondly, the construction of Changi Airport could have caused affected residents to relocate. Hence, with lesser people residing in the vicinity, the number of incoming also students decreased drastically. By 1977, there was absolutely no new student intake at all and there were only 17 students remaining in the school in this final year of operation. With a heavy heart, the school committee announced the closure of the school with effect from the following year and offered the building to the Singapore Red Cross. With the help of Min Chong School committee, the premises were converted to an emergency evening clinic serving people living in the rural area of Somapah.

(Almost wholly translated from here)

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Nong Min Public School (Simei)

Closed in 1977

Set up by predominantly Hokkien and Hainanese merchants and farmers in 1946 using their own money and resources, Nong Min Public School (农民公学) was in a poorly-maintained military police warehouse left behind by the Japanese troops at Jalan Tiga Ratus (Upper Changi Road), set amidst the rubber and coconut plantations in a tranquil and peaceful village environment. The aim of the Chinese school was to provide education to 300 poor village children who had no school to attend.

nong-min-school-logo-FB

Due to the lack of classrooms, it was not unusual to combine classes. Multi-age classrooms were a commonplace (especially during the first few years of establishment) to accommodate students whose studies were interrupted by the war as well as young children from the post-war baby boom. For example, a Primary One class could have a mixture of students between the age of 7 and 18. Some lessons had to be conducted in the rubber plantations as well to relieve overcrowding in the classrooms.

nong-min-school-农民公学-FB

The school was renovated in the 1960s and not long later in 1977, the land which the school sat on was acquired by the government for redevelopment. As a result, all the villages were resettled and Nong Min School was forced to close.

The school was located in the present East Point Mall in Simei.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Kwong Wai Shiu Peck Shan Ting School (Bishan/Upper Thomson)

Closed in 1981

Originally named Kwong Wai Shiu Peck Shan Ting Free School (, the Chinese school was formed by Cantonese clan association Kwong Wai Shiu Peck Shan Ting (or Kwong Wai Siew Peck San Theng) with public donations of about $300 in 1936 to provide free education to children who did not have access to school. The school’s first principal worked pro bono and only one teacher was employed to teach a class of 40 students. Lessons officially started in September in the same year. As the student population grew to 60, another classroom was later added to the school, which was housed on the foundation’s temple premises.

Kwong-Wai-Shiu-Peck-Shan-Ting-School-newspaperSG-2

Thereafter more monetary support started pouring in for the school and hence giving more students the opportunity to study. The school also received a thousand over copies of textbooks and more than 130 school uniforms from the educated members of the public. On top of that, a garden was also set up in the school compound for learning purposes.

Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942, forcing the school to close abruptly. But it was quick to resume operations after the war ended in 1945. By then, the school was already in bad condition and was lacking the necessary teaching equipment. Even so, that did not stop parents from registering their children with the school, therefore boosting the student headcount to 170.

With student enrolment growing steadily in the next 9 years, the committee decided to build a bigger school to admit more students. A new school building was completed within a year in 1956 at Kampung San Teng (a Cantonese village that began as a small community of settlers engaged in the funeral trade) at Upper Thomson Road. Equipped with six classrooms, a principal office, staff room, school hall, canteen, book shop and storeroom, the school was considered the most modern and ideal school in the village at that point in time. It was also subsequently renamed Kwong Wai Shiu Peck Shan Ting School (广惠肇碧山亭学校).

Kwong-Wai-Shiu-Peck-Shan-Ting-School-newspaperSG-1

The school underwent a drastic makeover under the direction of the school committee. Besides having basketball, volleyball and badminton courts, new teaching aids were also bought. Financial support was sought from the education ministry to purchase new tables for the students while old tables were donated to needy students who could otherwise not be able to afford one for their home and thus had to do their homework on the floor.

Sadly, despite the favourable reception at the beginning, the school, as with most Chinese schools, were overshadowed by the growing popularity of English schools (such as the newly constructed Westlake Primary nearby, closed in 2002) and faced the prospect of closure due to flagging student enrolment. Even though the school had sought permission from the education ministry to hold English-stream classes, it failed to receive an approval.

Kwong Wai Shiu Peck Shan Ting School, once abuzz with 450 students filling the campus grounds every day in the morning and afternoon sessions, was down to 59 students – 19 Primary 4, 16 Primary 5 and 24 Primary 6 – in the morning session before it shut down. Following its closure, remaining students were transferred to newer schools in Ang Mo Kio.

The former site of Kwong Wai Shiu Peck Shan Ting School, originally earmarked for either an old folks’ home or columbarium cum funeral parlour, is present-day Bishan public housing estate.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]

 

 


Kota Raja Malay School (Bugis/Lavender)

Closed in 1982

Formerly occupied by Victoria Bridge School, Sekolah Melayu Kota Raja or Kota Raja Malay School took over the two-storey building in 1933. The school was sited opposite the present Malabar Mosque in Jalan Sultan (Lavender Street) and was an all-boys school while most Malay girls attended Kampong Gelam Malay Girls’ School located where Madrasah Aljunied is today. The school later applied to become integrated (coed) in 1979 because in the previous year, only one registered for Primary One where there were 42 vacancies.

kota-raja-malay-school-eResources-NLB-PictureSG

kota-raja-malay-school-Abdul-Halim-Kader-FB

In the past, there was no Malay library as reading habit was not cultivated yet. The Malay library at Kota Raja Malay School was the first and on Saturdays, pupils from other Malay schools would go there to read and borrow books.

kota-raja-malay-school-school-field-eResources-NLB-PictureSG-2

School field

kota-raja-malay-school-corridor-eResources-NLB-PictureSG-2

With only 32 remaining pupils in Primary Three, Five and Six and 7 staff including the principal, the school was no longer viable and had to close in 1982. The school was originally leased to the Council for the Education of Muslim Children (Mendaki) as headquarters for organising educational activities, but was later found unsuitable because the site would be affected by government redevelopment plans within the next five years. The building has since been demolished.

Abbas Abu Amin (Member of Parliament from 1980 to 1991) is an alumnus of the school.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]


Boo Teck School (Farrer Park)

Closed in 1981

Established in 1955 by Nanyang Sim Clan Association (南洋沈氏公会), Boo Teck School (武德学校) was named after an ancestor. After receiving a sizeable amount of donations, it moved from the old, run-down building to one that was newer and bigger at 63, Beatty Road in 1959 as the former location was not able to accommodate the growing student population (10 classes in that year).

boo-teck-school-booksg-nlb-4

boo-teck-school-booksg-nlb

Unfortunately, with more parents opting to send their children to English-stream schools during the early 70’s, Boo Teck gradually lost its shine and the number of students was reduced to a mere 16 in its last operating year.

boo-teck-school-booksg-nlb-2

boo-teck-school-booksg-nlb-3

In 1988, the school building made way for Wu De Building (武德大厦), a residential complex.

Source: [1] [2]


Finally, continuing this list of school casualties are these 11 secondary schools (as opposed to the 22 reported on the news as I believe half of them will retain their names, so they will technically still be in existence) which will be a thing of the past due to falling cohort sizes. The names of the merged schools have not been decided upon yet but I will update this post once I’ve gotten hold of the news. Now, brace yourselves for the massive addition..

Balestier Hill Secondary School (Novena)

To merge into Beatty Secondary School in 2017

Established as the first technical school in 1964, the former Balestier Hill Integrated Secondary Technical School was a coed school for Chinese and English languages with 26 classrooms. It was named after Joseph Balestier, the first United States Consul of Singapore. In 1982, it became a standard English medium school when the last batch of Chinese medium students graduated. In 1991, the name of the school was changed to Balestier Hill Secondary.

balestier-hill-secondary-circa-1964-NAS

1964

balestier-hill-secondary-logos-Balestier-Hill-Technical-FB

School logo – then and now

balestier-hill-secondary-1968-sec-tech-4-Dave-Lee-YM-FB

Sec Tech 4 (class of 1968)

Balestier Hill Technical had an excellent track record in the area of sports, especially canoeing (as the school shared honours in the National Schools Canoeing Championships with National Junior College in 1983) and swimming.

Rangoon and Monk’s Hill Secondary schools merged into Balestier Hill Secondary in 2001 and 2007 respectively and the amalgamated school continued to operate from the current site of Balestier Hill Secondary at 11 Novena Rise.

balestier-hill-secondary-2015-Nathan-Chia-FB

circa 2015

balestier-hill-secondary-2016-Pok-Pok-&-Away-FB

2016

balestier-hill-secondary-2016-Pok-Pok-&-Away-FB-2

2016

balestier-hill-secondary-My-School-Uniform

Balestier Hill Secondary will merge with Beatty Secondary in 2017. The merged school will be operating from the site of Beatty Secondary.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]


Henderson Secondary School (Bukit Merah)

To merge into Bukit Merah Secondary School in 2017

When Henderson Secondary School opened in 1974 at the now-defunct Friendly Hill at Preston Road (Telok Blangah), there were only 600 Secondary One students and 24 teachers.

henderson-secondary-school-old-building

Old building

henderson-secondary-school-old-building-3

Old building

henderson-secondary-school-old-building-2

Old building

henderson-secondary-school-old-building-4

Old building

In 1976, it moved to its current address at 100 Henderson Road (the junction of Henderson Road and Jalan Bukit Merah) as the school population grew to 1600 with 60 teaching staff. The four-storey school is the 115th school built by the then-government at a cost of over two million dollars. It had 24 classrooms and four special rooms, a two-storey Science-cum-Home Economics block and a canteen with the school hall above it. There was also a three-storey technical workshop block that was built separately from the main building. The school subsequently underwent upgrading works between 1994 and 1997.

henderson-secondary-school-now-h88.com.sg

Now

Henderson Secondary was one of the few schools to have air rifle shooting ranges installed by the Ministry of Education. This was done to encourage marksmanship among students (more specifically, the National Cadet Corps members).

henderson-secondary-school-now-PictureSG-NLB

A part of the school

The girls originally wore loose white blouse adorned with a simple, connoted tie, held in place with a pin-on badge. It was paired with a navy blue, box-pleated skirt. The boys, on the other hand, wore white shirts and navy blue tie with an embroidered school crest. Eight years after adopting this attire, the girls’ blouses were modified to look similar to that worn by the boys, which remained unchanged across all levels until 1990 where the boys in the upper-secondary levels would wear navy blue long pants and a white shirt with ‘Henderson’ embroidered in white on top of the pocket. The school tie was also changed to the current design and only worn during assembly and other formal occasions. Further modifications were made to the uniform in 1998 as the embroidered ‘Henderson’ was changed to blue, hence the current school uniform.

henderson-secondary-See-Kevin-Henderson-Secondary-School-FB

Former uniform

henderson-secondary-my-school-uniform

Current uniform

The first school badge was diamond-shaped with the letters “EFL” in the middle which stood for the school motto ” Education for Life”. In 1981, the badge was redesigned into a shape of a shield by an art teacher of the school. Within the shield, there is a book signifying knowledge and a flame which Hendersonians strive to keep ablaze and an upright figure which represents ‘youth’ and ‘life’. The school song, penned by a music teacher in 1974, remains unchanged even until today.

henderson-secondary-school-logos

School logo – then and now

Henderson Secondary will merge with Bukit Merah Secondary School in 2017. The merged school will be operating from the site of Bukit Merah Secondary.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


MacPherson Secondary School (MacPherson)

To merge into Broadrick Secondary School in 2017

MacPherson Secondary School was started in 1967 as an integrated government school where three-quarters of the student population was studying in the Chinese stream and the rest in English stream. Named after Colonel MacPherson (1st Colonel of the Straits Settlement which Singapore was a part of from 1826 to 1946). The first intake was made up of Secondary One students from the MacPherson estate (one of the earliest housing estates) and Secondary Two  and Three students from Upper Serangoon Technical, Upper Aljunied Technical and Sang Nila Utama schools.

macpherson-secondary-school-1960s-FB

1960s

macpherson-secondary-school-Adrian-Tan-Macpherson-Secondary-Alumni-Association-FB

In 1981, the Technical Department formerly functioning independently under the name of Paya Lebar School was integrated into the school. Three years later, the school became a full English Language medium school with the graduation of the last cohort of Secondary 4  candidates from the Chinese stream.

The idea of having a new uniform was conceived in 1999. In 2001, students donned the new uniform to usher in the new millennium. In the same year, work at the new school site at 121 Circuit Road (beside the old campus) also started. It was to be ready for occupancy by 2003.

macpherson-secondary-school-2014-google-maps

Current campus

macpherson-secondary-school-uniforms-MacPherson-Secondary-Alumni-Association-FB

MacPherson Secondary was joined by pupils from Woodsville Secondary School, which ceased operations in 2003, at their new school building. The newly merged school adopted the new vision “Dare to Dream, Innovate and Lead”. The different blocks of the school were named after philosophers (e.g. Aristotle), writers (e.g. Shakespeare), inventors (e.g. Newton) and pioneers of Singapore (e.g. Govindasamy) in the hope that MacPhersonians will be as successful as them in various fields.

macpherson-secondary-school-2013-website

2013

macpherson-secondary-2015-Macpherson-Secondary-Alumni-Association-FB

2015

Notabi alumni of the school include local actor Desmond Shen Jin Xing and actress Xiang Yun.

MacPherson Secondary will merge with Broadrick Secondary School in 2017. The merged school will be operating from the site of Broadrick Secondary.

Source: [1] [2]


North View Secondary School (Yishun)

To merge into Northland Secondary School in 2017

With all the news surrounding the death of Benjamin Lim recently, I believe the name North View Secondary School is already etched in everyone’s mind. Instead of basking in negativity, let’s all remember this soon-to-be-gone school for their achievements, shall we?

north-view-secondary-school-logo-FB

North View Secondary School was formed in 1988 at Yishun Avenue 11 (school address now considered as 530 Yishun Ring Road) with an enrolment of 483 pupils, 35 teaching staff and 12 non-teaching staff. The S$7.2 million school building, however, was not ready for occupancy until June that year. Hence, classes had to be held at two locations – the Secondary One pupils were housed in Yishun Secondary School while the Secondary Two to Five pupils were in the former Upper Thomson Secondary School building.

north-view-secondary-school-2015-google-maps

north-view-secondary-school-hardware-zone

north-view-secondary-school-CNA

Among the facilities in the school were special rooms for music, arts and crafts and audio-visual aids, an indoor rifle range and outdoor courts for basketball, sepak takraw and volleyball. From early 1998 to June 1999, two new extension blocks were constructed – an admin and a classroom block. The admin-block houses the office, staff room, library, conference room, computer laboratories and three media resource rooms.

north-view-secondary-school-Larry-Toh-North-View-Secondary-School-FB

north-view-secondary-school-uniform

North View Secondary will merge with Northland Secondary School in 2017 after operating for only 28 years. The merged school will be taking over the site of Northland Secondary.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Pioneer Secondary School (Jurong West)

To merge into Boon Lay Secondary School in 2017

Pioneer Secondary School was set up in January 1994 with 12 Secondary One classes. While waiting for the school building to be ready at 21 Jurong West Street 81, it was temporarily housed at Hong Kah Secondary School under the management of a single principal.

pioneer-secondary-school-logo-Pioneer-Secondary-School-Alumni-FB

pioneer-secondary-school-Shafiqa-Amira-Pioneer-Secondary-School-FB

pioneer-secondary-school-netball-Pioneer-Secondary-School-Alumni-FB

It had to open an extra Secondary Two class when it moved into its new building because of overwhelming response from residents nearby. This additional class brought to a total of 14 Secondary Two classes and 10 Secondary One classes in 1995. The school was spread over three hectares of land and surrounded by Housing Board flats. Its facilities included 36 classrooms, two computer laboratories and one theatrette. The S$17,000 195-cm-tall aluminium sculpture at the entrance of the school was donated by Kwan Yong Construction Pte Ltd (the builder of the school). Named Unity, it shows two profiles united as one, depicting the idea of co-operation between the school and the community.

pioneer-secondary-school-2016-SCAPE-FB

2016

The school was one of the five in Singapore in 2006 to adopt a cashless payment scheme that allowed students to buy canteen food with a Nets card. Designated Nets terminals around the school enabled students to transfer their weekly or monthly allowance from their parents’ bank accounts into what is being called “My Card” to reduce their frequency of cash transactions. To prevent misuse, a system that allowed to control the amount of money the students received was installed.

Pioneer Secondary will merge with Boon Lay Secondary School in 2017 after a mere 23 years in operation. The merged school will be located on the site of Boon Lay Secondary.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Siglap Secondary School (Pasir Ris)

To merge into Coral Secondary School in 2017

Opened in 1955, Siglap Secondary School was located at a two-storey building with 20 classrooms at Cheviot Hill, Siglap, now occupied by the Global Indian International School. The school was also widely recognised for their achievements in sports (more specifically for their outstanding performance in athletics, swimming, football, cricket and badminton), so much so that it had always been the venue for sports activities in the past. In 1973, they managed to raise funds for the building of their own bitumen track through a mammoth walkathon.

siglap-secondary-school-logo-wikipedia

siglap-secondary-school-Ting-Chung-Hua-Siglap-Secondary-School-Alumni-FB-2

Former building

siglap-secondary-school-science-lab-Ting-Chung-Hua-Siglap-Secondary-School-Alumni-FB-3

Science lab at the former building

siglap-secondary-school-Danny-Koh-Siglap-Secondary-School-Alumni-FB

Former building

siglap-secondary-school-Anjang-Aki-Siglap-Secondary-School-Alumni-FB

Former uniform

In 1998, Siglap Secondary shifted to its current campus at 10 Pasir Ris Drive 10. The relocation saw the steady growth in the school enrolment in the new estate from a mere 870 when it was still at Cheviot Hill. The number at its peak was so big that there were insufficient space in the school and some smaller classes had to be conducted in the canteen.

siglap-secondary-school-the-new-paper

Current building

siglap-secondary-school-Ting-Chung-Hua-Siglap-Secondary-School-Alumni-FB

Current building

Upholding its reputation as an art powerhouse in the 1970s and 80s, the new Siglap Secondary was also the art centre for the east zone where students from almost 50 secondary schools including top schools like Dunman High and Anglican High could go to learn pottery, computer animation, sculpture and other art forms. It had also set up a multi-media lab, complete with 23 Macintosh computers that allowed students to experiment with three-dimensional designs.

Unfortunately, its enrolment in recent years shrank from a peak of 1,400 in 2003 to about 830 in 2013, leading to the closure of some of its uniformed groups such as Scouts and Red Cross (as they require a critical mass to carry on). Since 2013, the school has only been taking in about 200 Secondary One students each year, half the intake of more than a decade ago.

siglap-secondary-school-My-School-Uniform

Current uniform

Notable alumni of the school include Singapore Idol champion Hady Mirza and Chee Swee Lee, Singapore’s first Asian Games gold medallist in the 400m race in 1974.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


Si Ling Secondary School (Marsiling)

To merge into Marsiling Secondary School in 2017

Established in 1980, Si Ling Secondary was the first secondary school in Woodlands to offer both English and Chinese as media of instruction. At one stage, it was renowned for its performance in Hockey. Beige blouse and brown bottom used to be the school attire. Now, students don light blue-and-teal uniform.

si-ling-secondary-school-logo

si-ling-secondary-school-Richard-Ong-Si-Ling-Secondary-School-FB

Former uniform

si-ling-secondary-school-sec2D-2000-Rossi-Spark-Si-Ling-Secondary-School-FB

Current uniform

Once notorious for students who carried flick-knives, it was reported in 2006 that Si Ling Secondary was the only school in Singapore without a Secondary 1 Express stream class since 1999. Clearly, the school’s notoriety for gangsterism had put off some of its potential students, causing it to be the least preferred secondary school in the country. Even most of its own students, in fact, had not listed Si Ling as one of their six choices but were posted there due to poor PSLE results. Based on reports I read, its dark reputation seemed to date back to the early 1990s when students rejected by other schools, including those with discipline problems, were all taken in by the then-principal who, being a compassionate educator he was, firmly believed in giving delinquents a second chance. On top of that, students with the lowest PSLE scores, as low as double digits were accepted into the school.

As much as I would like to applaud the nobility of the principal, a school is, after all, an institution heavily dependent on good image and a reasonable student population to function. With such a lousy reputation for being a school for hooligans (and not forgetting how most of us are so face-conscious), who would want to study there? I know I won’t..

Determined to turn the school around, the principal who took over the helm of the school between 2000 and 2009 offered $500 scholarships to the top 10 students who made the cut for the Express stream, sent teachers to neighbouring primary schools to promote the school, held cheerleading  performances and got students to give speeches to primary school students. These new initiatives, however, failed to evoke the desired response and the school remained largely comprised of Normal-stream students even today. There are Express classes for each level from Secondary Two onward mostly filled by students originally in the Normal (Academic) stream and had performed well.

 

In 2014, Si Ling Secondary was awarded the Lee Hsien Loong Award for Innovations in the Normal Course in recognition of the school’s effort in “providing a holistic education for their students in a caring and nurturing way”. Although the public does seem to have a better impression of the school now (even the website looks so atas), I guess it is still not enough to attract students to the school (I passed by the school just last year and man, it really needs a facelift).

si-ling-secondary-school-Bing-Cheng-Si-Ling-Secondary-School-FB

si-ling-secondary-school-Izah-Faezah-Si-Ling-Secondary-School-FB

 

Si Ling Secondary will merge with Marsiling Secondary School in 2017 and will operate out of the latter’s site. The merged school will be officially named Marsiling Secondary School while adopting Si Ling’s Chinese name. It will take in around 320 Si Ling students in Secondary Three, Four and Five.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Bedok North Secondary School (Aljunied)

To merge into Damai Secondary School in 2018

Started in 1981, Bedok North Secondary was housed in the premises of Temasek Secondary School as its own campus at Bedok North Avenue 3 would only be ready in the following year. The school, built at the cost of $6.2 million, had facilities including a library, an audio visual aid room, a two-storey workshop and technical workshops. It was also the only secondary school in the then-Eunos constituency.

bedok-north-secondary-school-logo

bedok-north-secondary-school-official-opening-1983-NAS

Officially opening in 1983

bedok-north-secondary-school-scouts-1981-1986-NAS

circa 1981-1986

Responding to the school’s obesity rate of 18% (4% more than national average) in 1994, about $5000 was spent on renovations and equipment such as cycling machines, treadmills and step-up machines to turn a room in the school into a mini-gymnasium in hope to attract more obese students to exercise.

bedok-north-secondary-school-students-in-library-1981-1986-NAS

circa 1981-1986

With only 29 classrooms and limited vacant rooms for extra activities at the old building, classes had to be conducted in two sessions and everyone still had to rush for space. As a result, the school moved to more spacious premises at its current site at Jalan Damai in 2000, also to meet growing demands for a secondary school in the Bedok Reservoir area. The new building allowed for the school to go single-session and hold more after-school activities. An underground rifle range that doubled as a bunker, a music and dance studio, and four high-tech computer labs were amongst the many facilities that students could enjoy at the new building.

bedok-north-secondary-school-2016-Trybe

In the mid-1980s, Bedok North Secondary emerged as zone champions and national runner-ups in foottball championships numerous times. It is also recognised for their outstanding performance in Sepak Takra for which they had also clinched the championship title in 2006 and 2015.

bedok-north-secondary-school-2014-URA-FB

Bedok North Secondary will merge with Damai Secondary School in 2018 and will operate out of the latter’s site as it offers a better teaching and learning environment. Once upgrading work is completed at Damai Secondary by 2018, it would also be equipped with new facilities such as an Indoor Sports Hall and synthetic field.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]


Bishan Park Secondary School (Bishan)

To merge into Peirce Secondary School in 2018

Built at a cost of $17.3 million, Bishan Park Secondary was founded in 1993 at 2 Sin Min Walk. It had a career resource centre equipped with 12 computers, two huge television sets and a library of CD-ROMs on polytechnic education, job-interviewing skills and assessment tests that match personalities to jobs. This centre was shared with 40 other secondary school nearby.

bishan-park-secondary-school-logo

Students from Peirce Secondary School attended lessons at Bishan Park Secondary School for a year (1994-1995) while waiting for their new school to be completed near Sin Min Walk.

bishan-park-secondary-school-Hazizul-Hakim-FB

bishan-park-secondary-school-website

In a bid to help autistic children from Pathlight School integrate into society, the special education school partnered with Bishan Park and Chong Boon Secondary schools by letting their autistic secondary school students join their mainstream peers for selected subjects taught by mainstream teachers while a Pathlight teacher tags along to these classes to give extra help.

bishan-park-secondary-school-My-School-Uniform

Bishan Park Secondary will merge with Peirce Secondary School in 2018 and will operate out of the latter’s site.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Chong Boon Secondary School (Ang Mo Kio)

To merge into Yio Chu Kang Secondary School in 2018

Chong Boon Secondary School started functioning in 1994 at the former site of Anderson Secondary School at Ang Mo Kio Street 41. It was a morning session school with 13 classes of 483 Secondary One students and 23 staff members. The following year, its enrolment increased to 772 students and the staff strength increased to 35.

chong-boon-secondary-school-logo

The school became a double session school with 29 classes and 1022 students in 1996. To cope with the growing school population, new facilities such as computer laboratories were added to the premise. The old Chong Boon Secondary School was subsequently tore down in 2001 and the school moved to its new premise at 2 Ang Mo Kio Street 44 in 2002.

The school is home to a number of niche CCAs including A Capella Club and Cheerobics which clinched a gold medal in 2005. Chong Boon Secondary was the first school to be awarded the Niche Award in Environmental Education in 2009 for their exemplary green efforts. In 2010, the school also took in the Youth Olympic Games Torch Relay.

chong-boon-secondary-school-singaporemagazine.sif.org.sg

In June 2002, Chong Boon Secondary used fingerprint identification to monitor habitually late students. The 60 students who were identified as always coming in late, which in the case of the school, is after 7.15am, had to record their time of arrival when they came to school in the morning.

Chong Boon Secondary will merge with Yio Chu Kang Secondary School in 2018 and the merged school will be located at the latter’s site.

Source: [1] [2]


Greenview Secondary School (Pasir Ris)

To merge into Loyang Secondary School in 2018

Completed at the cost of about $14 million at 15 Pasir Ris Street 21, Greenview Secondary started in 1994 with 17 Secondary One classes and 681 students. It had 36 classrooms, more laboratories, and computer, commerce, language, CCA rooms than other schools and had a career guidance and a counselling room. The building also featured an amphitheater in the atrium to provide a place for student-staff interaction.

greenview-secondary-school-logo

greenview-secondary-school-h88.com.sg

greenview-secondary-school

greenview-secondary-school-Kevin-Wee-Greenview-Secondary-School-Alumni-Association

In a bid to equip students with the knowledge of connecting computers to the web of networks across the globe during the internet boom, Greenview Secondary set up a “networking academy” using course material from the American-based network manufacturer Cisco Systems in 1999. It was the the second educational institution in Singapore to teach networking after Temasek Polytechnic. 26 Secondary Two students with a minimum grade of B3 in Mathematics as well as eight other students from four nearby schools – East View, St Hilda’s, Springfield and Dunman Secondary schools – were selected for this two-year course. The students spent two hours every Saturday afternoon in Greenview Secondary’s capacious Rainforest Computer Lab where 43 computers arranged in clusters were surrounded by murals of trees and animals of rainforests.

greenview-secondary-school-my-school-uniform

Greenview Secondary will merge with Loyang Secondary School in 2018 and the merged school will be located at the latter’s site.

Source: [1] [2] [3]

* * *

*phew* It’s really not easy compiling information on tens of schools in a small space like this, but I’m glad I’ve managed to do it! You might have noticed some beautifully-taken pictures from “My School Uniform“. If you don’t already know, My School Uniform is the first-ever photography project that documents all the secondary school uniforms in Singapore. If you’d like to find out more about the book (which is already out in major bookstores), you can read my review here.

Once again, thanks for the read and hope you enjoyed this instalment of my Closed and Merged Schools series!

Have a story to share about your decommissioned school? Let me know in the comments below so that I can include them in my next write-up! To report errors, please leave a comment below as well. If you have pictures that are not featured in this post (preferably of the school building, uniform, or anything that best represents the school), please share them with me via e-mail at askme@fionaseah.com.
Much appreciated!

Main source:
National Archives of Singapore
NewspaperSG (National Library Board)
Factiva (for news articles after 1990)
Chinese Schools Exhibition
My School Uniform
Facebook Pages of Schools

(In case some of these links become inaccessible, you may retrieve them through Archives.org)

Read also:
HISTORY: Closed and Merged Schools in Singapore (PART 1)
HISTORY: Closed and Merged Schools in Singapore (PART 2)
HISTORY: Closed and Merged Schools in Singapore (PART 3)

Advertisements

HISTORY: Closed and Merged Schools in Singapore (PART 3)

WARNING: This post requires high amount of bandwidth! Wi-Fi connection advised.

Hello everyone!

First of all, wow. I can’t thank all of you enough for your overwhelming support to my first two HISTORY posts. I truly appreciate every word of encouragement from the bottom of my heart, not forgetting all the valuable contribution I have received the past few weeks. They have been really helpful in the completion of this post and I hope the final product will be equally enlightening to you. With this instalment, I would have covered most of the remaining defunct schools. Of course, you can always drop me a message if you do not see your school here (but is it really gone? Could it have taken on a new name?)

Also, my sincere apologies for taking such a long time to get this post up! I understand the anxiety of not seeing your schools in the post so I was trying my best to complete this post during my recess week but poor time management on top of having to revise for my mid-terms destined to make this plan fail.

Your school is definitely NOT forgotten! Because they will be in this post 🙂

Check out PART 1, PART 2 and PART 4 if you haven’t!

Here is the continued list of closed and merged schools in Singapore:

* * *

Peixin Primary School (Yishun)

Merged into Yishun Primary School in 2009

Established in 1985 in one of the then-Housing Board new towns, its name “Peixin” in Chinese means “to nurture the young”. Lessons were conducted at Yishun Primary before its building was ready for occupation.

Youth Science Festival 1999

The new merged school now functions at the former Peixin Primary premise at Yishun Ring Road which underwent PRIME from October 2006 to December 2008, just a month shy of the merger.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Anthony Road Girls’ School (Newton)

Closed in 1983

An English school so popular that parents often had to take their children to other schools, it was built most likely in 1950 opposite what we now know as Newton Hawker Centre. Students wore green pinafore and white blouse and there were only female teachers in that school (since it was an all-girls school). Most girls from Cairnhill Primary were transferred to Anthony Road Girls’ when the former closed. The school compound was also used by St. Margaret’s Primary School (Singapore’s oldest girls’ school) when its building was undergoing a revamp from end 1983 to 1986.

Anthony Road Girls’ School’s play field in 1953

Anthony Road Girls’ School closed somewhere between September to November 1983 – not even completing a year – and it was highly possible that school was absorbed by St Margaret’s Primary. According to Kimmy Lim, an ex-student of St. Margaret’s, she recalled shifting to the Anthony Road site temporarily in 1984 when she was in Primary 2. In that year, she noticed the number of classes in her cohort expanded from 3 to 5, and so did classes in other grades as well. Her kindergarten mates who studied in Anthony Road Girls’ School had now become her primary schoolmates.

After St Margaret’s vacated the area, Chao Yang Special School for the educationally subnormal (now APSN) took over the site in 1986.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


Whitley Primary School (Novena)
Nam Ann School (Toa Payoh)

Merged in 1976 to form MacRitchie Primary School

Located at the now infamous Whitley Detention Centre (where Mas Selamat escaped from), Whitley Primary was established in the early 1950s and was also known as Whitley Road Primary School. Nam Ann, on the other hand, was probably established way before 1949 (as a fund raising activity was done for the school in that year). It was located at Ah Hood Road. Both schools were closed in 1975.

No further information can be found and both do not have a Facebook group. If you’re an ex-student of either school, please feel free to provide more details!

The history of the merged school (MacRitchie Primary) can be found in the second instalment.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Braddell Rise School (Thomson)

Closed in 1986/1987 (verification needed)

Beside Mount Alvenia Hospital stood Braddell Rise School established in the early 1950s (most likely in 1951). During the existence of the school, there would be a pineapple drinks seller stationed outside the school gate. This friendly seller sold pineapple drinks at 5 cents each and would allow students to extra helping of the water without additional charges.

braddellrisesch_almostcomplete1950_NAS

The building of Braddell Rise School in 1950.. Almost complete!

braddellrisesch_sgfilmhunter

Exact year of closure is unknown but it could be 1986 or 1987 according to a 1987 tender notice.

braddellrisesch_PE-1956_NAS

PE session in 1956

braddellrisesch_ladyblack-wife-of-sg-governor1956_NAS

With Lady Black, wife of Singapore’s governor in 1956

Since its closure, the school premises have been utilised for the provision of nursing services. They were renovated for temporary occupation of the Tampines Home a few years later. The current Assissi Hospice was built on what was formerly Braddell Rise’s sports field. In 2013, it was reported that the remaining blocks of the school would be torn down to give way to the construction of a new six-storey Assissi Hospice.

Read more about Braddell Rise School here.

Source: [1] [2]


Lee Kuo Chuan School (Thomson)
Rayman School (Whampoa/Novena)
Thomson Primary School (Toa Payoh)

Merged in 1985 to form Lee Kuo Chuan Primary School
Absorbed Balestier Hill Primary School* in 1989
Closed in 1997

Named after Dato Lee Kong Chian’s father, Lee Kuo Chuan School was founded in 1950 on a three-acres land donated by the late Dato Lee. Often mistaken as an aided Chinese-medium school, it was actually a government English co-ed primary school well-known for its extracurricular activities such as swimming, volleyball and basketball. Also not forgetting the tooth-brushing programme for its students which was observed by foreign visitors from as far as the USA.

leekuochuanpri_low-kah-fai

Lee Kuo Chuan Primary School

leekuochuanpri_class6aaof1987_celine-loh-LH

Class P6A of 1987

leekuochuanpri_library_low-kah-fai

Lee Kuo Chuan Primary School’s library

The school was also one of the settings for SBC’s (now known as Mediacorp) TV drama 雾锁南洋 II (The Awakening II) in 1984. The production crew apparently came during one of the morning assemblies and students on the assembly ground were instructed to clap for a scene and they had to do so several times until the director was satisfied! Haha. The premises were later leased out to Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home, which continues to use the premises at 1 Thomson Lane today.

leekuochuanpri_bookshop_low-kah-fai

Lee Kuo Chuan Primary’s book shop

leekuochuansch_p2Aof1958_chong-meng

Class P2A of 1958

leekuochuanpri_theawakeningII_ben-looi

The scene from The Awakening II

Rayman School was established in 1954 in Rayman Estate. Following its closure in 1984, the school was converted into a centre for disabled people (VAPC). Rayman Estate today is known as Whampoa Estate. (no pictures for this school, sorry!)

Thomson Primary, known as Toa Payoh Integrated Primary before 1970, started some time between 1954-55 to serve the growing population of Toa Payoh. It was situated along Thomson Road opposite to the former Police Academy and was recognised for its Choir and Softball. Then it was closed due to dwindling enrolment and the deteriorating state of the building (leaking roof etc.). The school is now occupied by SJI International School.

thomsonpri_pri1of1977_iskandaria-masduki-harvey

Thomson Primary School, class P1 of 1977

thomsonpri_sportsday70s_suzy-tan-egan_loy-chee-wan

Thomson Primary School, sports day in the 70s

Four years after the first merger, the school absorbed Balestier Hill Primary in 1989. This Balestier Hill Primary is NOT to be confused with the similarly-named school formed by the merger of Swiss Cottage and Moulmein Primary in 2002. The original Balestier Hill Primary was in fact an amalgamated school of Balestier Hill East (later Balester Hill Primary) and West schools which opened and merged in 1965 and 1986 respectively. In other words, there are two different Balestier Hill Primary schools.

Over 2000 students from its parent schools moved to the new four-storey building built along Ah Hood Road. Lee Kuo Chuan Primary was the 23rd school to be built in Toa Payoh and over the years, it had been popular with foreign students from Indonesia, Taiwan and Malaysia.

The premises today are leased to East Asia Institute of Management.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]


Stamford Girls’ School
Waterloo School (Bugis)

Merged in 1984 to form Stamford Primary School

Stamford Girls’ was founded in 1951 at Waterloo Street. From 1955 to 1984, it began to function side by side with Waterloo Primary (year of establishment unknown, but it was definitely in the early 50s). The school underwent several name changes, from the original Stamford Girls’ School to Stamford Girls’ Afternoon School (when Raffles Girls’ Afternoon, its affiliated school, moved to the Stamford Girls’ building) and ultimately in 1955, changed to Waterloo Girls’ School.

stamfordgirlssch_1982_NLB

Stamford Girls’ School in 1982

stamfordgirls-waterloopri-NLB

Before the merger, Stamford Girls’ and Waterloo Primary shared a school field, and very often students from both sides would quarrel over the use of the field.

waterloopri_foodandfunfair-1972-NAS

Waterloo Primary’s Food and Fun Fair in 1972

Two years after the merger, the new co-ed school moved to her present location at Victoria Lane. The amalgamated school used Waterloo Primary’s school crest but was named after Stamford Girls’. Fair and square. The previous Stamford Girls’ building is now known as Stamford Arts Centre.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


Selegie Primary School

Merged into Stamford Primary School in 1987

Selegie Primary was known to be the first high-rise school in Singapore. The 1o-storey high building was once the tallest school in Southeast Asia until 12-storey Pearl’s Hill School (covered in PART 1) took over the title in 1971. The building still stands along Selegie Road today but as student hostels and a private institution (was once occupied by NAFA). Formerly known as Selegie Integrated School (integrated = co-ed), it was officially opened in 1963 by Dr Toh Chin Chye. It had two canteens on separate floors and two large cargo-sized lifts to cater to the large number of students. One lift could transport an entire class of 40 students at once to their classroom every morning AND that’s not all. They even had a liftman (Mr Ahmad) oh my God? That’s really one-of-a-kind. Primary schoolers today don’t even have the luxury of taking elevators to their classrooms!

Note: A different account (thanks Hong Wee!) says that the lift could only transport half the class each time, while the rest had to use the stairs. Still a very remarkable feature to have in my opinion.

selegiepri_1962_NAS

Yup, 10 levels. This was in 1962.

selegiepri_1963_NAS

1963

One well-known alumnus of Selegie School is drag queen Kumar 🙂 Ex-students of Selegie Primary can reconnect through the school’s Facebook page here.

selegiepri_2000s_NAS

Today: the colourful building was once Selegie Primary!

selegiepri_Hong-Contented

Anyway, I saw the Stamford Primary personally during my stay at nearby Hotel Clover last month and on the surface, the blue building definitely looked like it needed to be refurbished (last major upgrading was in 2003, more than 1o years ago). It is also situated in a very unusual location if you ask me and I really wonder where most of its student population come from. Here’s hoping that the school will last for many years to come!

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Telok Ayer Primary School (Raffles Place)
Peck Seah Primary School (Tanjong Pagar)

Merged into Yeung Ching School (now Yangzheng Primary School) in 1985

Established in 1963 as Telok Ayer Integrated School, the four-storey building was the 34th school built by the PAP government. As the city became more developed, Telok Ayer Primary began to suffer from serious noise pollution in the bustling Cecil Street. It finally closed in 1984 due to dwindling enrolment and the building was converted to Telok Ayer Performing Arts Centre (closed in 2013) which saw the demolishment of the school hall.

telokayerpri_brushingteethexercise-1969_NAS

Telok Ayer Primary’s teeth brushing exercise in 1969

Peck Seah Primary was a co-ed seven-storey school formed in 1967 which used English and Tamil as the media of instruction. It was named after Peck Seah Street, which was named in honour of Seah Peck Seah, son of Seah Eu Chin (founder of Ngee Ann Kongsi) and brother of Seah Liang Seah (go Seah clan!! Haha). In 1984, the school was supposedly, as mentioned on a newspaper article, closed to make way for “Maxwell MRT station” but as everyone knows, it did not exist before the Thomson-East Coast Line was proposed in 2008 so I highly believe that it meant Tanjong Pagar MRT station instead. True enough, it was not torn down until several developers claimed the site in 2013 for a mixed development project comprising of commercial and residential buildings.

peckseahpri2_carolyn-lim

Peck Seah Primay School

peckseahpri_carolyn-lim

Peck Seah Primay School

peckseahpri3_carolyn-lim

Peck Seah Primay School

peckseahpri_michael-phong

Students of Peck Seah Primay School

Mr Png Eng Huat (Minister of Parliament of Hougang Constituency) from the Workers’ Party is an ex-student of Peck Seah Primary.

Yangzheng Primary is presently at Serangoon Avenue 3.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


Serangoon Garden Technical School (Serangoon)

Merged into Serangoon Garden Secondary School in 2003

Established in 1964 as Serangoon Garden Integrated Secondary Technical School, it was the third technical school to be established in Singapore and was officially opened by then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. It started off with 26 classes and an enrolment of 1002 students from Chinese and English streams. As the stress was then on Technical education, the school had to cater for students whose aptitude was for Technical subjects. With the introduction of Centralised Scheme in 1973, students from other schools such as Sin Min High School, Mount Vernon Secondary, Parry Secondary, Hwi Yoh Secondary, St Joseph’s Convent, Hai Sing Girls’ High and Yio Chu Kang Secondary went to Serangoon Garden Technical for Technical subjects.

serangoongardentech_xing-chuteng

serangoongardentech_dave-limcs

The school merged with Serangoon Garden Secondary due to falling enrolment and this made the 38-year-old institution the last school to lose its technical name. Today, the building is The Lifestyle Hub @ Burghley and partially a Foreign Workers quarters.

Local actor Chen Tianwen completed his “O” levels at Serangoon Garden Technical. Fish & Co Ricky Chew was also educated there.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Aroozoo School (Hougang)

Merged into Charlton School in 1991

More than 50 years ago in 1963, there used to be an Aroozoo Integrated School (what it was known as) located off Upper Serangoon Road at Aroozoo Avenue.

aroozoosch_class6Aof1971_jack-tan

Class P6A of 1971

Aroozoo Primary’s principal Mr A.V. Miles was part of a popular three-man group in the late 1950s and early 1960s called The Bambinos, long before he became an educator. He was a singer back then but the change of his profession didn’t stop him from singing. Ex-students had fond memories of Mr Miles playing the piano to the tune of “My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean” during morning assembly. They would then sing along with him.

The premises are now taken over by DPS International School.

Source: [1] [2]


Kwong Avenue School (MacPherson)

Merged with Sennett Estate Primary in 1979 (verification needed) to form Sennett Primary School

Kwong Avenue School started in 1953/1954 at 10 Kwong Avenue Road. It was a school well-known for its achievement in sports, especially soccer.

kwongavenuesch_fb

Mr Ang Hin Kee, a Member of Parliament from the PAP (Ang Mo Kio GRC) and veteran actress Aileen Tan were ex-students.

Other than the above, no other information can be found.

Students donned blue uniform and this attire was later adopted by Sennett Primary school when the former merged with neighbour school Sennette Estate Primary.

The site today sits SIT International Hostel.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Cedar Boys’ Primary School
Cedar Girls’ Primary School (Woodleigh)

Merged in 1985 to form Cedar Primary School

Both Cedar Boys’ and Girls’ were incepted in 1957 at Cedar Avenue. Like many other single-sex schools bearing similar names in that era, they stood next to each other (later named blocks A and B), separated by a small house where students dreaded going. Yes, I’m talking about the dentist.

cedarpri_oldbuilding_alvin-sitoh

Old Cedar Primary School building

There was also a blue house where all sports equipment were kept. Also not forgetting the Banyan tree in front of the building where students used to play “Police Catch Thief”.

cedarboyspri_pr6A-of1981_vincent-yap

Cedar Boys’ Primary, class P6A of 1981

Morning assemblies at Cedar Girls’ Primary were never complete with a mass exercise led by gymnastics teacher Ms Fernandez. Its gymnastics team also brought glory to the school by winning many gold medals. The legacy continued even after the school became co-ed.

cedargirlspri_p2Aof1965_adelinelim-sgmemory

Cedar Girls’ Primary, class P2A of 1965

cedargirlspri_angklung-class_doreen-choo

Cedar Girls’ Primary, Angklung class

Both schools held their annual sports meet at Cedar Girls’ Secondary. If I’m not wrong, they utilised the well-known 400m running track behind Cedar Girls’ Secondary, which unfortunately will make way for the new Bidadari estate in 2018.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Rangoon Road Secondary School (Farrer Park)

Merged into Balestier Hill Secondary School in 2001

Established in 1967 and officially opened in 1968, the school offered courses in Art, Science, Technical and Commercial subjects to students from English and Chinese streams. In 1985 however, the Chinese stream was phased out and since then, the school had become an English school. When the school started in 1967, it only had two uniform groups, the Scout Troop and St. John’s Ambulance Brigade. These were followed by the formation of the National Cadet Corps, National Police Cadet Corps and Girl Guides in 1968. in 1972, the school had its own school band.

rangoonroadsec_christine-matilda-tan

rangoonroadsec_2000-1_NLB

rangoonroadsec_2000_NLB

rangoonroadsec_loh-swee-meng

rangoonroadsec_schbuildingin1969_NAS

School building in 1969

The late Mr A. K. Sigamoney was Rangoon Road Secondary’s first school principal who later went on to be the headmaster of Raffles Institution. Ex-students remember him for his strong passion for astronomy.

Rangoon Road Secondary was later known as just Rangoon Secondary.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Joo Avenue School (Farrer Park)

Closed in 1984

Joo Avenue School at Rangoon Lane was the 39th school to be established by the PAP Government. Originally named Joo Avenue Integrated Primary School, its first batch of students wearing white and brown uniform were enrolled in 1964. Next to the school was Rangoon Road Secondary School which I’ve already covered above. Both schools shared the same field in those days. There used to be a caretaker who lived near to the school gate within the school compound and people who were unaware would be puzzled to see him during the weekends.

jooavenuesch_2013_ka-sing-choo

Building still existed in 2013. Not sure about now.

jooavenuesch_dentalclinic_sean-lim

This was the dental clinic in the school.

In 1965, a 11-year-old Joo Avenue School student made a bomb hoax call to his own school. The school was evacuated by the principal because of that. The boy was eventually fined $100 and placed on 18 months’ probation by the Juvenile Court for making false statement.

jooavenuesch_1968_david-tan-aik-bing

1968

jooavenuesch_p6n1of1984_spencer-yuen

Class P6N1 of 1984. N stands for “Normal” (6 years of primary education instead of 8)

jooavenuesch_spencer-yuen

After Joo Avenue School closed, students were transferred to Balestier Primary which is also featured in this post (see below).

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Playfair School (Tai Seng)

Closed after 1980 (exact year unknown)

Playfair Primary was a single-storey school established in the early 1950’s with double sessions, completed with a school field.

playfairpri_hira-gurung

In 1970, ex-teacher Simon Mervyn Pereira was convicted of molesting 15 schoolgirls of Playfair School where he was teaching between April 1968 and October 1969. He was sentenced to one year in prison. Seven months after the verdict, the school principal Mrs Mary Whissell was asked by the Public Service Commission to retire “in the public interest”. Since then, Mrs Whissell fell into a deep depression and finally jumped to her death from a block of flats at Kallang some months later in the same year.

playfairpri_FB

The school was closed due to dwindling student enrolment.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Willow Avenue Secondary School (Potong Pasir)

Closed in 1991

Founded in 1965, it was named after a road (like every other schools then) which was in turn named after a tree.

willowavesec_fb

Students had to run through a cemetery (now a park) behind the school during P.E. lessons. On top of that, the school’s NPCC was very accomplished, having won the NPCC parade competition several times, the “Best Unit” and “Best Boys’ Marksmanship” awards.

willowavesec_khoo-hoon-teng

willowavesec_kee-mont

Closed due to declining student enrolment, the site was subsequently taken over by Cedar Girls’ Secondary School which needed space for expansion, but did not wish to relocate.

willowavesec_stewart-ong

The end of Willow Ave Secondary.

Veteran actress Aileen Tan attended Willow Ave Secondary and was in NPCC. Perhaps that’s why she fits the role of Head Investigation Officer in C.L.I.F. so well? 😉

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


Tun Seri Lanang School (Mountbatten)

Closed in 1987

Named after the Bendahara (Prime Minister) to the Sultan of Johor at a time when the Johor sultanate was under attacked by the Portuguese and the Acehnese, Tun Seri Lanang School was a Malay-stream school providing secondary education. It was officially opened in 1963 (hence most likely established in 1962)

tunserilanangsch_koranreadingcontestwinner_1964

Koran reading contest winner in 1964

The school’s Facebook group is locked thus I am unable to retrieve any additional pictures. Any contribution would be greatly appreciated!

Since the closure of the school, the sprawling cluster of buildings have been occupied by several art studios over the years: LASALLE College of the Arts from 1992 to 2007, School of the Arts (Sota) from 2007 to 2009 and finally Goodman Arts Centre which is still there today.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Broadrick Primary School (Dakota)

Closed in 1987

Established in 1967, the school started out without a uniform nor a tuckshop. It became a full-day school in 1981 but chosen to drop out of the programme in 1984 due to shortage of teachers.

broadrickprimary_p6of1987_ping-ooi

Class P6 of 1987

Beneath many layers of paint on the walls along the school staircase from levels 1 to 4 hid paintings drawn by a talented office assistant in the mid 1970s. They lasted for 1-2 years until a new principal came on board. He probably didn’t appreciate the paintings and decided to coat them with a new layer of paint, and more layers as the years went by. Now that the secret is out, would this hidden treasure be uncovered one day? I’m interested to find out what the paintings are too!

EtonHouse International School now occupies the former site of Broadrick Primary.

Local actress Nora Samosir (more active in the Singapore theatre scene) attended Broadrick Primary from Primary 3 onwards.

Source: [1] [2]


Balestier Boys’ School
Balestier Mixed School (Boon Keng)

Merged in 1984 to form Balestier Primary School
Closed in 1991

I am unable to find when exactly both schools started functioning but it could be as early as the 1940s after Singapore Polo Club left the grounds at Balestier Road in 1941 which later housed the three Balestier schools. Before the merger, Balestier Mixed was smacked in between Balestier Boys’ and Girls’. Both Balestier Boys’ and Girls’ schools were low buildings (single-storey) whereas the Mixed one had three levels.

balestierboyspri_david-kong

Balestier Boys’ Primary

From 1975 to 1980, Balestier Boys’ won many accolades in the school sporting arena, including football, hockey and athletics.

The late Mr N. Govindasamy (MP for Telok Blangah) was a teacher at Balestier Boys’ School from 1950 to 1962.

Balestier Primary was often confused with the old Balestier Hill Primary (and vice versa), even up ’til now.

balestiermixedpri_1959_NAS

Balestier Mixed Primary in 1959

balestiermixedpri_1959-1_NAS

Balestier Mixed Primary in 1959

Demand began to slip towards the late 80’s and it stopped accepting Primary 1 registration in 1991. Classes in other levels were continued while the Education Ministry studied the situation. Unfortunately the demand failed to pick up in the following year and hence the school had to close.

balestierpri_susan-teo

Balestier Primary.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


Balestier Girls’ School (Boon Keng)

Merged with then-Griffiths School in 1983 to form Moulmein Primary School

Balestier Girls’ was a single-storey school formed in the 1940’s which shared the same field as Balestier Boys’ and Mixed schools. The school history is somewhat similar to her brother schools mentioned above. Balestier Girls’ students wore white uniform but they had no problem keeping them dirt-free at all. Here’s why:

Many years before the Education Ministry started deploying trained principals to schools, there was a serious shortage of principals and many girls’ schools had to borrow nuns from convent schools to be their headmistress. In Balestier Girls’ case, they had the help of a nun (and her assistant) from St. Anthony’s Convent who instilled the importance of personal hygiene and discipline in the students, thus turning these students into refined girls.

A politician who studied at Balestier Girls’ School is Ms Denise Phua (MP for Moulmein-Kallang GRC).

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Jalan Daud School (Eunos)

Closed in 1983

Established in 1956, Mr Ting Tiew Ling was the first principal of the all-boys school. The school then was surrounded with kampong houses, fruit trees, coconut trees and a rubber plantation.  A bilingual policy came into existence in 1960 and the school started offering Malay and Chinese as second languages, though Malay pupils seemed to make up most of its population.

jalandaudsch_ikang-fauzy

jalandaudsch_yusup-mohd-yasin

All boys in 1970

In 1974, Jalan Daud School admitted its first batch of girl pupils into its primary one classes.

jalandaudsch_2_diana-mustafa

Teaching and learning during the period 1974 to 1980 were the most difficult as teachers and students had to endure the deafening noise created by the piling machines first for the construction of the sewerage system, then the Housing and Development Board flats and then later the flyover of the Pan Island Expressway. The school was eventually demolished to make way for Eunos Primary School. Thereafter, students were moved from Jaya Primary (closed, mentioned in part 2) in 1983 and then back to Eunos Primary in 1984 which still occupies the former site of Jalan Eunos and Jalan Daud Primary Schools today.

jalandaudsch_diana-mustafa

Dr Kirpal Singh (poet, literary and cultural critic, and an Associate Professor with the Singapore Management University) and Zainul Abidin (former Member of Parliament representing Aljunied GRC until 2011 and former Senior Minister of State) attended Jalan Daud School. Back in those days, schools really didn’t matter!

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Jalan Eunos School (Eunos)

Closed in 1980

Just opposite Jalan Daud School was Jalan Eunos School which established in 1954. It was first housed in Siglap Secondary School as their three-storey building was not ready. It started with 12 classes of primary one pupils and 12 untrained teachers who were less than 20 years of age. Students were mostly Malays and Chinese and with some Indians.

jalaneunos_sadiah-khamis

The initial stage of HDB apparent in the background

jalaneunossch_field-between-jds-jes_sadiah-khamis

The field between Jalan Daud and Jalan Eunos Schools

Jalan Eunos School is not related to nor upgraded from the current Eunos Primary School even though the latter occupies the former site of Jalan Eunos and Jalan Daud schools today.

jalaneunossch_staff-last-day_norhayah-bonawi

Staff group picture taken on the final school day before its closure

jalaneunossch_p6-am-of1977_saidah-abdullah

Class P6(am) of 1977

jalaneunossch_muhd-hozir-bonawi

The school had their last reunion with their very first (and also the school’s longest-serving) principal, the late Mrs Beryl Constance O’Hara, in 2011. Mrs O’Hara who is also the grandmother of Mr Christopher De Souza (MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) had passed away in 2012. The reunion garnered extensive media coverage across the country. If you have some time to spare, do take a look at this heartwarming video that depicted ex-students seeing Mrs O’Hara for the first time in 30 over years.

Source: [1] [2]


Telok Kurau Secondary School (Eunos)

Merged into Broadrick Secondary School in 2011

Established in 1965, Telok Kurau Secondary was a school that excelled in sports and extra-curricular activities, but not quite in the academic field in the 1970s. Gradually, the school showed improvements in its academic standards and had achieved value-added academic results for the GCE “O” level exams from 2004 to 2006.

telokkurausec_1974_NAS

1974

telokkurausec_youtube

In recent years, it had regarded itself as a “boutique” or “niche” school which did not condone the idea of corporal punishment (i.e. no caning). However, in exchange for that, students had to have their behaviour in public scrutinised by grassroot leaders with a special “warrant card”. Students who misbehaved (e.g. smoking and behaving rowdily at void decks) would have their particulars taken down and then counselled by the school, and could even face suspension depending on the seriousness of their actions. These policies were developed by the school’s last principal, Mr Harphal Singh.

telokkurausec_1986_NAS

1986

telokkurausec_nadia-o'brien

telokkurausec_2009_googlemaps

2009

It was one of the few schools in Singapore which allowed boys to wear long trousers even in lower secondary levels (because pupils are treated as ladies and gentlemen), It also rewarded parents if their children excelled academically in school.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


Chai Chee Secondary School (Bedok)

Merged into Bedok Town Secondary School in 2011
To merge with Ping Yi Secondary School in 2016

Founded in 1969 as Sennett Road Secondary School, it was officially named Chai Chee Secondary in 1971 after the school was drawn into the Kampong Chai Chee parliamentary constituency.

chaicheesec_FB

However constituency boundaries changed again a year later and having found itself in the Siglap constituency for the next decade at Upper East Coast Road, Chai Chee Secondary debated with the Minister of State (Culture) to have its name changed again. And this time, to East Coast Secondary School. Other reasons cited for the change was the literal meaning of “Chai Chee” – “vegetable market (菜市)” in Chinese – which was thought to be an uncomplimentary name for the school. This proposal was however turned down because “the ministry was against changing school names too often” and “a change of name would mean that students would have to change their school badges and exercise books”. I feel that the most important reason though, was that “”Chai Chee” was not an inappropriate name for a school” and changing it would degrade the residents of Chai Chee.

chaicheesec_FB2

When news about its merger with Bedok Town Secondary broke, an online “war” between both schools broke out with students from both schools bashing each other on their blogs. This kind of brouhaha is very common when it comes to school mergers.

chaicheesec_sec4-1of1992marilyn-tan

Class Sec4-1 of 1992

The Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan Pre-school is now at the site of former Chai Chee Secondary.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


Telok Paku School (Changi)

Closed in 1976

The very first batch of students joined the school in 1951. It was near Changi Road, next to Changi Military Airport. The school mainly comprised of a few long row of buildings with classroom and a 3 or 4-storey building where their AV & Hall were. It had a field surrounded by cashew nut trees and students would also grow vegetables as part of their Science lessons which were also taken care by people living in the nearby servants’ quarters.

telokpakusch_shukor-bro-bo-zahari

Telok Paku was demolished to make way for Changi Airport, or part of its runway to be precise.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Duchess School (Bukit Timah)

Closed in 1984

Built in 1950, the old single-storey primary school along Duchess Avenue was originally named Duchess Road School. In 1963, a new four-storey block was added.

duchesspri_schoolfield1954_NAS

Duchess School’s field in 1954

Students would play Police and Thief along the corridors. It was also rumoured that the toilet next to the Music room was haunted.

duchesspri_p6aof1979_roslinda-abdul-samat

Class P6A of 1979

It had since given way for a condominium development. When the school closed, students were transferred to Farrer Primary School.

duchesspri_1977_misrudin-anwar

1977

Dr Maliki Osman (MP for East Coast GRC) was educated at Duchess Primary.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Farrer Primary School (Bukit Timah)
Permaisura Primary School (Queenstown)

Merged into New Town Primary School in 1992

I bet many of you didn’t know this but yes, Farrer Primary, although not located in Queenstown, is indeed part of New Town Primary. This is not mentioned in the latter’s history. Farrer Primary was founded in 1966 at Duke’s Road, offering education in English, Chinese and Malay. It later became an English-medium school with Chinese, Malay and Tamil taught as Second languages. In 1993, the former Farrer Primary premises at Lutheran Road was acquired for use by Nanyang Primary School for its Primary 1 and 2 levels but they had moved out in 1999. Now the site is being used as a hostel for international school students.

farrerpri_lena-ong

Farrer Primary School

farrerpri_1988_NAS

1988, when Farrer Primary was made one of the polling stations

farrerpri_pri4-1of1988_winnifer-lhn

Farrer Primary School, class P4-1 of 1988

Permaisura Primary was officially opened in 1965, around the same time as the old New Town Primary School. Both schools were beside each other. in 1984, Serena Zheng Mei Ailing, a primary four student at Permaisura Primary won a world art competition organised by the Ministry of Education in Chile. She won two flight tickets to Chile, including food and lodging for her six-day stay there. Wow, that’s an insanely awesome prize that’s worth a lot of money even today!

permaisurapri_regina-jawad-baig

permaisurapri_1982_hercules-lim

1982

permaisurapri_tarandeep-kaur-rimal

Unfortunately, the school closed down due to dwindling enrolment and its site was occupied by the new New Town Primary until its relocation in 2008. Four years later, the buildings formerly used by Permaisura and New Town Primary at Commonwealth Drive were converted to MOE Heritage Centre.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


Ama Keng School (Lim Chu Kang)
Nam San School (Choa Chu Kang)

Merged in 1990 to form South View Primary School

Ama Keng School was established in 1951 as part of the colonial’s Ten Year Plan. The name “Ama Keng” derives from the Hokkien/Teochew meaning of “grandmother” (ama) and “temple” (keng). Located off the main road of Lim Chu Kang, the school catered mainly to children whose family resided in the village. Most of the pupils came from Chinese-speaking homes.

amakengsch_eileen-ang

Ama Keng School

amakengsch_thomas-dear-dear

Ama Keng School

The school first started with only 53 students having their classes in three simple single-storey buildings of 14 classrooms. There was also a double-storey block that served as the teachers’ quarters for teachers who stayed far from the school (their families were allowed to stay with them). With the resettlement of families from other parts of the island, an extension wing – a four-storey block – was built and officially opened in 1971 to cope with the increasing demand. It eventually closed with the resettlement of the Lim Chu Kang residents in the late eighties. The buildings are now used as a… you guessed it: dormitory for foreign workers.

amakengsch_thomas-dear-dear2

Ama Keng School

amakengsch_1954-playing-field_NAS

Ama Keng School’s playing field in 1954

The building of Nam San School first started during the Japanese Occupation and during its construction, the Japanese actually mistook the clearing as an army camp and bombed the area, killing the donor of the land for the school and several other village members. The school was eventually founded in 1946 with students housed in three separate locations: temple, wayang stage and warehouse. It started with 157 students, and villagers, most of whom ran chicken and vegetable farms, contributed $13000 to fund its operations. By March 1947, a building with five classrooms for Nam San was erected. In 1978, a new building for Nam San School was officially opened.

namsansch_1986_NAS2

namsansch_1986_NAS

Nam San School in 1986

namsansch_southviewpri

Nam San School

namsansch_1989_NAS3

Nam San School in 1989

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


Toh Tuck Secondary School (Bukit Batok/Bukit Timah)

Closed in 1991

Established in 1965, Toh Tuck Secondary at Toh Tuck Road was built at a cost of $1.1 million to provide academic and technical studies with facilities comparable to those in established secondary schools.

tohtucksec_FB2

tohtucksec_FB

The school was host to Singapore Science Centre’s first Science Fortnight (now known as Shell Singapore Youth Science Festival or SSYSF) to promote Science education. Dr Tony Tan (then-Senior Minister of State for Education) gave a speech at the opening ceremony.

tohtucksec_genevieve-loraine-anderson

In 1987, Toh Tuck Secondary also bagged home the top prize for the first debate (“Beauty competitions are insulting and degrading to women”) organised for pre-university centres.

tohtucksec_sec4-4of1990_stephy-tan

Sec4-4 of 1990

There were quite a number of death cases related to Toh Tuck Secondary. In 1967, what meant to be a fun picnic outing turned tragic for a 17-year-old schoolboy. Ramanathan Kulendran, a senior student from Toh Tuck Secondary drowned in a sea off Pulau Ubin while he was out with about 300 members of the Indian Movie News Readers’ Club. In 1973, Chua Poh Choon, a Secondary Four schoolgirl from Toh Tuck was found raped and murdered in a vacant lot at Clementi Park. She was believed to be attacked while returning from school on a Friday evening.

After the school was closed, the building became a holding site for many schools that underwent PRIME. These schools include Raffles Girls Primary School and Millenia Institute and the now-defunct Jurong Institute.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]


Toh Tuck Primary School (Bukit Batok/Bukit Timah)

Closed in 1987

Situated in a a quaint and serenade environment filled with greenery and peace was Toh Tuck Primary, founded in 1967.

tohtuckpri_today_jennifer-yap

Toh Tuck Primary today

tohtuckpri_meow-meow

Months before the rape and murder case of the Toh Tuck Secondary schoolgirl mentioned above, another girl from Toh Tuck Primary also suffered from the same fate. The nine-year-old girl was believe to be pounced on while taking a shortcut home through a block of unoccupied terrace bungalows.

tohtuckpri_1984_yap-ST-gabriel

1984

tohtuckpri_jann-ak

The school was closed to due lack of demand and most students were transferred to the nearby Bukit Batok Primary School. Toh Tuck Primary is now a holding site for Primary 1 and 2 students of Nanyang Primary. Previously, it was occupied by Canadian International School.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Birkhall Road School (Queenstown)

Merged into Queenstown Primary School in 1984

Founded in 1956, the school was located in the middle of the stretch of Margaret Drive. Its name also had many variations and what it’s called depends on how old you were when you attended the school. If you have come across “Birkhall School”, “Birkhall Primary School” and “Birkhall Road School”, they ultimately refer to the same place. Of course, there would be a minority (the not-so-eloquent in English) who would call it “Bo Ho” School instead. Some would also tend to mispell “Birkhall” as “Birdhall”. There is no report about the origin of the school name although there were arguments that “Birkhall” could be named after a British official.

birkhallpri_60s_desmond-wong

Birkhall School in the 60s

A single block with the canteen, staff room, music room on the ground floor and classrooms on the 2nd and 3rd floor, it also shared a field with Strathmore and Queenstown Primary schools where fights always broke out when territories were crossed.

birkhallpri_1962_NAS

1962

Having won many inter-school competitions, its brass band was probably the most iconic of the school.

birkhallpri_1964_rosewiththorn.bs

1964

birkhallpri_kevin-ong

Chef Benny Se Teo (founder of Eighteen Chefs) was educated at Birkhall School.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


Mei Chin Primary School
Tanglin Primary School (Queenstown)

Merged into Queenstown Primary School in 2002

Mei Chin Primary started functioning at Mei Chin Road in 1976 with about 1,400 pupils in 35 classes and with 76 teachers. It was one of the few primary schools, and the first in the Queesntown area, to initiate a comprehensive IT programme for its pupils. However in 1999, the pupil enrolment dropped to 588 pupils in 7 classes and with 29 teachers due to population shift and aging population.

meichinpri_joysnow-yong

Mei Chin Primary School

meichinpri_PL-Lui

Mei Chin Primary School

A notable alumna of Mei Chin Primary is Marine Parade GRC MP Tin Pei Ling.

meichinpri_sugi-L'Xia

Mei Chin Primary School

Tanglin Primary on the other hand was established in 1964 as Tanglin Integrated Primary School with a different school crest in the shape of the letter ‘T’. The name and logo were changed in the late 70’s. The four-storey building was the 43rd school built by the PAP Government with 24 classrooms that could accommodate 2000 students in its morning and afternoon sessions, 3 special rooms, a teacher’s common room and an office. Instructions were given in Malay and English.

tanglinpri_jane-lim

Tanglin Integrated Primary School

tanglinpri_1964_NAS

Tanglin Primary School in 1964

tanglinpri_milk-drinking1986_NAS

Every student in Singapore was given free milk packets because of underweight issues! This picture shows students from Tanglin Primary drinking their milk.

Both schools were closed due to falling student intake. The former Mei Chin Primary is now occupied by Global Indian International School, and New Town Primary has taken over the premises of Tanglin Primary.

If you are one of the students from Tanglin Primary’s pioneer batch (1964-1967), do consider joining this group. Your peers are eager to be in touch with you 🙂

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Mei Chin Secondary School (Queenstown)

Closed in 1999

Established in 1975, the school was praised for its clean and well-maintained compound. Other than that, the canteen also earned praises for its culinary excellence. I’m referring in particular to the sliced chicken mushroom noodle/horfun sold at a corner stall which was so popular that students had to order in advance. There also used to be an old driving range where students would hide and escape from classes.

meichinsec_1977_NAS

1977

meichinsec_1986_samuel-leonard-wong

1986

Its remaining students were transferred to Queensway Secondary School after it closed. The Global Indian International School took over former Mei Chin Secondary site in 2004 after it was left vacant for awhile (yup, it is currently using both Mei Chin Primary and Secondary).

meichinsec_1986_FB

1986

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Strathmore School (Queenstown)
Friendly Hill School (Telok Blangah)

Merged into Keng Seng Primary School in 1979 

One of the three schools along Margaret Drive was Strathmore School . The four-storey school was then relocated to Kay Siang Road in 1969/1970. In 1969, students of Strathmore School built their own fountain outside their classrooms in 1969 to mark Singapore’s 150th anniversary. The site at Margaret Drive is now Queenstown Primary School.

strathmorepri_zoo_yayah-ismail

Strathmore Primary students at the zoo!

strathmorepri_yayah-ismail

Students who went through the merger would have two report books.

Friendly Hill School is one school that’s not widely known and therefore information about it is very limited. The school was located at Preston Road/Depot Road. In 1977. 30 pupils were hit by food poisoning after consuming food from the school canteen  The school was later closed due to falling enrolment.

The closure of Keng Seng Primary is documented in part 1.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


Hua Yi Primary School (Queenstown)

Closed/Merged with Queenstown Primary School in 1991

Established in 1965 as Hua Yi Integrated School at Margaret Drive, it was most well-known for its band.

huayipri_samantha-tan2

The band was also formed in 1965 as a Bugle and Fife band. In 1970, it was converted to a brass band. Woodwind instruments were introduced in 1975. The band performed regularly at community functions and school concerts, as well as over the air and on television. It had been among the top three bands in the annual band competition for 12 consecutive years from 1967 to 1978. The band also won the Best Drum Major Award from 1973 to 1978. The band switched to playing concert music from 1979. It was awarded silver plaques in the 1980 and 1984 In-door Primary School Band Presentations. The band had been on Good-will Tours to West Malaysia and Brunei. (History lifted from Facebook)

huayipri_samantha-tan

huayipri_Jin-Zh

To further prove how significant the school band was, it was even featured on the old Singapore’s fifty-dollar note:

huayipri_50dollarnote_md-noor

Hua Yi Primary was not demolished until 2009 and prior to that, it was an examination centre owned by MOE. The area is now however, a piece of flatten land.

Source: [1]


Seng Poh School (Tiong Bahru)

Closed in 1987

The Chinese-medium school was established as “Seng Poh Government Chinese Primary School” in 1956 and named after Mr. Tan Seng Poh (1830-1879). The three-storey school was located at Seng Poh Road (Zion Road) but was initially housed in two temporary buildings when it first started.

It was the first of the Government-controlled Chinese Primary Schools to be established and had, in its first year, expected to enroll some 680 pupils. This school proved popular with the Chinese community living in and around Tiong Bahru. It continued as a Chinese-medium school with both primary and secondary classes till 1981 when it was converted into an English-medium school. Like most schools in the vicinity, the Seng Poh Road School faced falling enrolment and was finally closed in 1987. The school building has since been demolished.

Source: [1] [2]


Kim Seng West School
Kim Seng East School (Tiong Bahru)

Merged to form Kim Seng Primary School in 1982

The year of establishment for both schools is not known, but it could be as early as in the 1950s. Located next to each other, the uniform for Kim Seng West was a white and green while Kim Seng East was white and blue. Due to their close proximity to Great World Amusement Park (just directly opposite along Kim Seng Road, now Great World City), most students would flock there after school.

kimsengeastpri_peter-ng3

Kim Seng East School

Several schools in the Kim Seng Road area transformed to emergency relief centres for victims of the Bukit Ho Swee fire in 1961 with Kim Seng West School serving as the headquarters.

kimsengeastpri_su-zana

Kim Seng East School

kimsengeastpri_peter-ng2

Kim Seng East School

kimsengeastpri_peter-ng

Kim Seng East School

The campuses of Kim Seng West and East Schools and Kim Seng Technical Secondary School later became the Ministry of Manpower Employment Inspectorate building. However it has already been torn down and the land is now awaiting construction plans for the Great World station of the Thomson MRT line (but the station won’t be on the site itself).

kimsengsch_yusofishak1961_NAS

One of the Kim Seng Primary Schools.. not sure what because NAS didn’t state.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Kim Seng Primary School
River Valley English School
River Valley Government Chinese School (Tiong Bahru)

Merged in 1985 to form River Valley Primary School

Kim Seng Primary School was an amalgamation of Kim Seng East and West Schools (read above) formed in 1982.

River Valley English School (RVES) was founded in 1959 along River Valley Road. What stood out about the school was the noodle stall which had been operating in the canteen since early 1960s. According to ex-students, the vendor allowed weekly or monthly orders where parents would pay for a week’s or month’s worth of noodles for their children. Thereafter, each child would be given a number that would be written in chalk on the tuckshop table just before recess. The student would then find his/her bowl of noodles brimmed with hot tasty soup awaiting his/her arrival on the table during the break. There was another vendor in the Chinese school that devised the same system reported on the newspapers so it could probably be referring to the same stall. This was implemented to save children the trouble of queuing up for food and to give them more time at the playground.

rivervalleyengsch_chionh-choon-lee2

River Valley English School

The stall relocated to the new River Valley Primary after the merger and ran for the next 2-3 decades. In those days, a bowl of noodles only costed 20 cents (it was 50 cents during my time. I believe it’s double the amount now). 20 cents for such VIP treatment! Where can you find such good deal now?

rivervalleyengsch_1975_NAS

River Valley English School in 1975

rivervalleyengsch_1972-1_NAS

River Valley English School in 1972.. RVES students absolutely running hehe.

rivervalleyengsch_1972_NAS

River Valley English School in 1972

rivervalleyengsch_chionh-choon-lee

Uniform for River Valley English School (exhibited in River Valley Primary School). The blue has faded a bit.

Its Chinese counterpart, River Valley Government Chinese School, was located beside it, separated by a dental hut once again. Year of establishment is not know for this school but it could be around the same time as RVES, or maybe a year earlier. The River Valley schools also served as emergency relief centres after the 1961 Bukit Ho Swee fire.

rivervalleychinesesch_FB2

River Valley Government Chinese School

rivervalleychinesesch_FB

River Valley Government Chinese School

RVES’ school song (what’s left of it) is adapted in the new River Valley Primary’s school song. Actually I wouldn’t say it’s adapted because it’s ultimately the same thing. Only the school name mentioned in the song was changed. Also, on River Valley Primary’s school crest are three interlocked rings and each of these rings represent its parent schools. It’s probably the first crest I’ve come across so far that reflects the school history.

RVES, together with Kim Seng and River Valley Government Chinese schools, has already been torn down and its site is now designated to be the Great World MRT station.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Havelock Primary School (Tiong Bahru)

Closed in 1984

Once known as Havelock Road School, it was a small mixed single-storey school established in 1952. It was located at 105 Ganges Avenue where Boys Brigade HQ and Training Centre presently is. Most of its students came from Hokkien-speaking homes.

havelockpri_1959_NAS

1959

The school performed well academically with 100% passes in the 1981 PSLE.

havelockpri_1983_joseph-chng

1983

Havelock Primary was closed due to declining enrolment and 520 students from the school subsequently joined Delta Primary (see below).

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


Delta East Primary School
Delta West Primary School (Tiong Bahru)

Merged in 1985 to become Delta Primary School
Closed in 1990

Delta East (founded in 1955, was known as just Delta Primary School before Delta West sprang up) and Delta West (founded in 1961) were separated by a low fence and a monsoon drain. The barrier represented a boundary, and also a gateway to Delta East grounds where they had delicious home-made red bean ice cream that wouldn’t drip and dirty your uniform. However, the alert prefects who guarded the entrance of Delta East made intrusion difficult. It was also very easy to spot students from Delta West due to the difference in uniform because in contrast to the chocolate brown and white uniform East students wore, they were in blue in white.

deltawestpri_1971_NAS

Delta West Primary in 1971

The close proximity of both schools meant that they would frequently engage in friendly races to outdo each other in sporting and academic performances. There would always be sports competitions between both schools.

After the merger, Delta Primary took over two school compounds and two canteens. However the red bean ice cream was no-more by then. There used to be an F&N factory somewhere behind both schools too!

Source: [1] [2]


Delta Circus Primary School (Tiong Bahru)

Closed in 1991

The four-storey H-shape building was built in 1967 (beside Tiong Bahru Secondary School) and officially opened in 1970. It was named after the traffic circus at the junction of Havelock Road, Alexandra Road and Delta Road where the school was located but probably due to the lengthiness of the name, students chose to call it “Dog Cat Pig School” instead (using the school’s initials). Opposite the school was a food centre at Tiong Bahru Park where students would buy drinks after playing.

deltacircuspri_p.k.-ong3

Entrance

deltacircuspri_p.k.-ong

deltacircuspri_p.k.-ong2

deltacircuspri_p.k.-ong4

deltacircuspri_1974_NAS

1974

In its 24 years of existence, there were quite a number of well-known figures who visited the school. They include Queen Elizabeth, Danny Kaye (actor, singer, dancer, comedian and first ambassador-at-large of UNICEF) and our dear Mr Lee Kuan Yew for the Use-Your-Hands campaign.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Kim Seng Technical Secondary School (Tiong Bahru)

Merged into Delta Secondary School in 1993
Merged into Bukit Merah Secondary School in 2004

Established in 1965, the school started with only Secondary 1 classes – 24 classes in the English stream and 16 in the Chinese stream.

kimsengtechsec_1966_NAS

1966 official opening of Kim Seng Technical School

Kim Seng Technical had several blocks. The main four-storey block comprises 16 classrooms, a lecture room cum AVA room, a language room, a library, a reading room, a computer room, a typewriting room, an art-and-craft room, a bookshop, a multi-purpose room, a staff room, a general office and the principal’s room. The other units in the school premises are a two-storey block comprising the hall-cum-canteen, a single-storey science block with four laboratories and a single-storey block housing the judo room and music room.

kimsengtechsec_yearbook

kimsengtechsec_NLB

As the school started without a field (it eventually had one), they had to make use of River Valley Chinese Middle School’s (now known as River Valley High School before it relocated to Jurong West) field for their PE lessons and sport practices for a number of years.

kimsengtechsec_1971_NAS

1971

After the school was closed down, it became Temasek Poly’s third campus (for its engineering courses) until 1995. Then, it was taken over by Ministry of Manpower (Foreign Manpower Management Division). The building has already been torn down.

Source: [1] [2]


Tuan Mong High School (River Valley)

Closed in 1994

Tuan Mong School (端蒙学校) was set up in 1906 as a primary school by public-spirited Teochew clan leaders. It was at 52 Hill Street until 1918 when it was relocated to Tank Road, which is on the fringe of the Central Business District. It was also very near to shopping malls like Plaza Singapura and Daimaru (Liang Court) where students would always roam after school (they were not supposed to do that, as repeatedly reminded by their principal!).

tuanmongsch_52hillstreet_navalants.bs

Old Tuan Mong School at 52 Hill Street

As with schools built by the various clan associations in Singapore, Tuan Mong served the education needs of Teochew children and was staffed by Teochew teachers using the dialect as the medium of instruction in its early days. It later used Mandarin and also English.

In 1953, the Ngee Ann Kongsi took over the management of the school. Two years later, it became known as Tuan Mong High School (端蒙中学) when secondary levels were included.

tuanmonghighsch_1999_heshang-jeep-and-sianghwee

Spot Tuan Mong High School’s signage on bottom left corner

In 1960, the old building gave way to a brand new structure at the same site. It made newspaper headlines for its many “firsts”.

The new building. built at a cost of about $1 million, was a combination of eastern and western architecture styles. It incorporated modern features with a striking ancient Chinese-styled tiled roof.

It was also installed with the latest communication and broadcast facilities. The school was the first in then Malaya to have a complete built-in two-way public address system with an inter-communication unit attached. This enabled two-way communication between the headmaster and the students.

Tuan Mong also had a “master clock system” which controlled the 48 classrooms, canteens and halls. At set intervals, the central system automatically set off chimes in the various classes to signal the end of a class, recess or the end of a school day.

The school, which took in about 1,900 students in 1960, occupied the three upper floors of the four-storey Teochew Building. The lower floor housed the offices of the Ngee Ann Kongsi and the Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan.

tuanmonghighsch_valerie-koh

In 1980, the Education Ministry posted four English-stream secondary one classes to the school. However, the school closed due to falling enrolment as more schools were built away from the city area and nearer to housing estates where the bulk of Singapore’s population lived.

The building still stands today as the Teochew Building. Some of its classrooms are currently used by Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre.

(History quoted from TMHS’ Facebook page with some revision)

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Trafalgar School (Tanjong Pagar)

Closed in early 1980s

Trafalgar Primary was a co-ed school established by the British (before 1950, I suppose, or early 1950s) beside the sea at South Quay, a Malay kampung area. It had a very nice environment with coconut tree plantations in the vicinity. The rocky sea fronted the single-storey school and students would go there to catch crabs after lessons.

trafalgarpri_sg-quitters.bs

Lessons were taught in English and even though the school was formed by the British, most of the teachers there were Asians.

On a side note, there used to be a Trafalgar Street at Tanjong Pagar district but it has already been struck off from the map.

Trafalgar School was demolished for the expansion of the Tanjong Pagar container terminal and the sea is now a reclaimed land.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


St. Teresa’s High School (Bukit Merah)

Closed in 1998

This co-ed school (yup, not a girls’ school like St. Theresa’s Convent) was established in 1935 by Reverend Father Stephen Lee (of The Church of St Teresa) as St. Teresa’s Sino English Primary School in a rented bungalow at 514, Kampong Bahru Road to provide Chinese vernacular education for Chinese (usually the Hokkien and Teochew speaking) children within the neighbourhood. A new school building (Block B) was later built next to the Church of St. Teresa at 480, Kampong Bahru Road and was officially opened by Apostolate Delegate Archbishop Leo Kierkles 28 October 1938. Lessons were disrupted during the Japanese Occupation and the building was served as a refugee centre. After the war, it became a school-cum-orphanage with the founding of St Teresa’s Orphanage. During this period, the church also founded the De La Salle School (previously an all-boys school, now at Choa Chu Kang) and Sacred Hearts Boys’ School (now defunct) within its premises.

stteresashigh_1970-1_NAS

1970

stteresashigh_1970_NAS

1970

In 1965, it branched out into secondary education and at the same time, renamed the school St. Teresa’s Sino English School. A new wing (later Block A) was built and completed in 1971 as a result. Students took technical classes at St. Thomas Secondary School and the school also took in St. Teresa’s High students when it closed.

stteresashigh_class1Aof1987_Lor-Lance

Class Sec1A of 1987

stteresashigh_volleyball_Sharon-Goh

Volley ball team

stteresashigh_class2cof1972_Lam-Jen-Mun

Class Sec2C of 1972

Ex-students recalled playing block catching at Bukit Purmei and Chinatown Point. When questioned by the irritated residents in that area, the girls claimed to be from CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent while the boys from Gan Eng Seng School (naughty, naughty). In another incident, one St Teresa’s High schoolgirl, still in her uniform, was found drenched in blood at one of the HDB blocks nearby. She was apparently stabbed at the shoulder area by her then-boyfriend, who was later imprisoned for 7 years because of that.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


St. Thomas Secondary School (Telok Blangah)

Closed in 2000

Founded in 1955, the government-aided secondary school was originally located at Mar Thoma Road (Whampoa). It relocated to Telok Blangah in 1983 when the government acquired its former site to build the Central Expressway (CTE).

stthomassec_FB

The new school at Telok Blangah Street 31 was officially opened by the Rt Rev Joseph Mar Irenaeus, the Diocesan Bishop of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church in Singapore. It had four blocks – a four-storey classroom block, a science block which included an audio-visual aid room, a three-storey workshop block and a two-storey assembly hall and canteen block. A rifle range was also added as part of the school’s facilities. Just by this alone you could already visualise how huge the school was.

In 2000 (which was the school’s final operating year), two students of St. Thomas Secondary ganged up with three teenage friends and broke into the school where they stole stationery, canned drinks and $2 in cash (huh?).

Notable alumni of St. Thomas include MP for Aljunied GRC Pritam Singh (from the Workers’ Party) and 2006 Project Superstar contestant-turned-Mediacorp actor Jeremy Chan Ming Yao.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


Pasir Panjang Secondary School (Pasir Panjang)

Closed in 1995

Founded in 1955, Pasir Panjang Secondary first shared the same building with Crescent Girls School – or Alexandra Estate Secondary School when it was still a mixed school – until the latter’s own building was ready. A year later, boys from Alexandra Estate Secondary transferred to Pasir Panjang Secondary which became an all-boys school until 1962. Thereafter, it remained co-ed until it closed down.

pasirpanjangsec_FB

P/S: “The Duyong” is the name given for the school’s annual magazine. “Duyong” means “mermaid” in Malay.

pasirpanjangsec_FB2

pasirpanjangsec_FB3

The school performed well in debates, sports (e.g. soccer, basketball, cricket) and the arts. The school had organised several art exhibitions to display exhibits done by its pupils since 1950s. In 1959, Teo Eng Seng (now artist and Cultural Medallion recipient), a Secondary Five student who was also the president of the school’s art society, became the first schoolboy to hold a “one man (art) exhibition” while still at school. In the same year, 18-year-old Tan Cheng Yeow won the first prize in the “symbol design competition” organised by Singapore Health Education Council for all secondary schools. What outstanding achievement!

Hence it’s no wonder that the school was able to produce talented artistic individuals like Ong Kim Seng,

Pasir Panjang Secondary was also the first school to use computer to teach Hanyu Pinyin.

pasirpanjangsec_1995_geocities.ws-ppss123

1995

Despite its glorious moments, the school couldn’t escape the effect of declining birth rate and population shift. It was earmarked in 1988 to close due if demand still continued to wane in the following years. In 1987, it only had 575 students which was below the average of 1200 students in other schools. It didn’t manage to keep up with the numbers and hence had to close. The rest of its students continued their studies at Hua Yi Secondary School.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]


Batu Berlayar School (Pasir Panjang)

Closed in early 1980s

Established in the 1950s (according to the dates of relevant news articles), Betu Berlayar was a primary school named after a large historic rock that is shaped like a sail. It was largely populated by Tamil students.

Details about this school are unfortunately limited. Provision of additional information from ex-students is highly appreciated 🙂

Source: [1] [2]


Jin Shan Primary School (Clementi)

Closed in 1997

Founded in 1982 and officially opened in 1986 at Sunset Grove, it had a 36-classroom block with special rooms for audio-visual aids, television, extra-curricular activities and second-language laboratories. It also had a multi-purporse hall, library and science laboratories. It shifted to Clementi New Town in 1984.

jinshanpri_shanthi-selvarajan

Jin Shan was one of the few schools to start an after-school care scheme to promote the welfare of pupils from low-income families who were unsupervised after school. The school canteen seemed to have awesome food as well with.. stall 1 (Malay) selling unique-tasting chicken wings and drumlets in a blue basket, stall 2 (Chinese) selling bite-sized snacks such as fried wanton and nuggets, stall 3 (drinks) selling pink champagne drink which was a hit among the students, stall 4 selling noodles and stall 5 selling curry and sardine puffs (epok-epok!). Wow, typing that just made my stomach growl.

jinshanpri_hazel-laymun

Nan Hua Primary School is now located at former Jin Shan Primary at Jalan Lempeng.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]

* * *

Another record breaker with 9600 words! Strange, because it feels a lot shorter than the previous two posts.

Thanks for reading once again! I hope you enjoyed this entry nonetheless! I will still continue to churn out more HISTORY posts if necessary 🙂 I aim to keep these entries as accurate as possible so please let me know if you spot any errors in the comments below, or if you have pictures to provide for schools that don’t have any above. Also, lots of thanks to those who have contributed additional information and pictures for my previous posts. I really appreciate the gesture and will find time this week to include them in the write-up.

Have a story to share about your decommissioned school? Let me know in the comments below! I may include that in my next write-up (in progress) 🙂 And as you can see, some schools mentioned above don’t come with pictures. That’s because I can’t find them online so if you have some pictures of your school, feel free to share them!

Main source:
National Archives of Singapore
NewspaperSG (National Library Board)
Singapore Memory Portal
Facebook Pages of Schools
(In case some of these links become inaccessible, you may retrieve them through Archives.org)

Read also:
HISTORY: Closed and Merged Schools in Singapore (PART 1)
HISTORY: Closed and Merged Schools in Singapore (PART 2)
HISTORY: Closed and Merged Schools in Singapore (PART 4)

HISTORY: Closed and Merged Schools in Singapore (PART 2)

WARNING: This post requires high amount of bandwidth! Wi-Fi connection advised.

Hello again, everyone!

This post has come earlier than planned because of the recent news about the merger of 8 secondary schools. It’s pretty sad as some of these schools were once a merging party not long ago, and now they have to face it again. Since there are many more schools that I did not cover previously, I thought I should do a follow-up post to try and include as many defunct schools as possible including the 8 latest victims.

In my previous entry, I mentioned some causes that could have led to the closure of most schools (e.g. population shift, ageing facilities etc.) but I failed to mention one crucial point. Remember the post World-War II baby boom during the late 1940s to 1950s? The sudden increase in population called for more schools to be built then (which makes sense, considering that most of these closed schools were built in the late 1950s-60s when most of the children were ready to be schooled) and some even had insufficient vacancies. Then came the 1970s-1980 when the Stop at Two programme was introduced to control the population growth in Singapore. The programme pushed for small nuclear families and penalised couples for having more than three children (no priority given in school registration to third and subsequent kids of parents who had not been sterilised before the age of 40). As the existing children got older, the number of schooling kids in the estate reduced (since no one dared to procreate anymore). Thus, the enrolment in most neighbourhood (or “estate”) schools started declining which subsequently forced them to close.

Therefore it was very common for students to keep changing schools as a result of school closures in the past, so don’t be taken aback by people who have attended numerous schools back then. They simply had no choice!

Check out PART 1, PART 3 and PART 4 if you haven’t!

Anyway, back to my topic on defunct schools. Here is the continued list in no particular order again (I try my best to rearrange them according to districts):

* * *

Monk’s Hill Secondary School (Newton)

Merged into Balestier Hill Secondary School in 2007

The school’s history began in 1958 on a plot of land that was once the site of a Chinese monastery, hence the name ‘Monk’s Hill’. It became an integrated school in 1961, offering both English- and Malay-medium education to its intake of pupils but both mediums were merge in 1976. From then on, it has established itself as an English-medium school. It became a single-session school when it shifted to its new premises at 12 Winstedt Road in 1993.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

monkshillsec_nama-kita-zana

Sec4-3 of 1991

Sec4-3 of 1991

In 1960, Monk’s Hill presented its first batch of candidates for the national School Certificate Examination. In 1964, the school song was composed and it held its first Speech and Prize-Presentation Day in 1967.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Newton Boys’ School (Newton)

Merged into Monk’s Hill Primary School in 1978

Newton Boys’ was established in 1956, right next to Monk’s Hill Primary School. It was one of the schools in Cairnhill-Newton area that was hit by declining enrolment. Due to its inability to sustain economically, it ceased operations 21 years after its opening. While students could still utilise Newton Boys’ premises, they were to be under the charge of Monk’s Hill Primary School.

1968

1968

2013

2013

1970

1970

1961

1961

1968

1968

No further information can be found. I did come across “Winstedt School” (also in the vicinity but closed in 1973) while trying to gather more information about Newton Boys’ but I am not certain if these two schools were in any way related.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Monk’s Hill Primary School (Newton)

Closed after 1986 (exact year unknown)

Like Newton Boys’, Monk’s Hill Primary started out as an all-boys school. Monk’s Hill Primary and Newton Boys’ were relatively near to each other and students from both schools would come together to play the “Police and Thief” game. Otherwise, they (the boys in particular) would be “fighting” over girls from neighbouring Anthony Road Girls’ School.

The school’s year of establishment is not known, but it could have been around since 1950.

monkshillpri_khamis-mhps

monkshillpri_roslinda-mohd

monkshillpri_shar-san

Monk’s Hill Primary merged with Newton Boys’ School in 1978 and operated out of the latter’s campus. One block of its building was converted into a language centre for secondary and junior college students taking French, German and Japanese under a special Education Ministry scheme. Prior to that, it was used by the Vocational and Industrial Training Board.

In 1957, Hua Yi Secondary School moved to Monk’s Hill Primary’s building (probably shared) and only stayed there for a year before shifting again to its very own building at Margaret Drive.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Cairnhill Primary School (Newton)

Closed in 1980

Started as an all-girls school in 1958 (verification needed) at the present site of Raffles Girls’ Secondary School today, it shifted to Cairnhill Road a year later and possibly at the same time became co-ed. (History quoted from Hamida Pagi)

Following a steady decline in its enrolment, the Ministry of Education then decided to phase out the school by the end of 1980. Its students were given alternative places in nearby schools such as Monk’s Hill Primary and Anthony Road Girls’ School which were also plagued by poor enrolment. Both said schools are no longer existent today.

cairnhillpri_1960_NAS

1960

cairnhillpri_mano-mahendran

After Cairnhill was demolished, Anglo Chinese School (Junior) took over its site for about two decades before finally shifting to its present location at Windstedt Road. The site at Cairnhill Road is now occupied by Ministry of Education Language Centre (Newton). The facade of Cairnhill Primary can still be seen today.

Local actor Adrian Pang, comedian Kumar and singer Rahima Rahim attended Cairnhill Primary School. Wow, if Rangoon Road Primary (mentioned in PART 1) was a school that groomed a generation of politicians, then Cairnhill Primary definitely was one that groomed a troupe of performers!!

Source: [1] [2]


Elling North School
Elling South School (Bartley)

Merged in 1985 to form Elling Primary School (verification needed)
Closed in 1996

Elling North School started functioning as a boys’ school in 1958 until 1960. It was renamed to Elling North Primary School in 1979 when it became a fully English-medium school. The school buildings were later converted into JAMIYAH Children’s Home (Darul Ma’wa) in 1993.

ellingnorthsch_NLB

Elling North School

ellingpri_91to96batch_kabita-gurung

Elling Primary School – Batch 1991-1996

ellingsouthsch_1981_derek-goh

Elling South School – Class of 1981

ellingsouthsch_p5bof1981_effendy-othman

Elling South School – Class P5B of 1981

No further information can be found for Elling South and the amalgamated school except for the fact that Singapore’s first female commercial pilot Teo Ah Hong was from Elling South School.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Maju Secondary School (Dakota)

Merged into Broadrick Secondary School in 1996

The school was established in 1968. According to a Malay teacher there, female Maju students (or “Majuans”, as they called themselves) were allowed to wear uniform in either baju kurung or blouse. Some of the Chinese students followed suit and wore baju kurung. Not sure how true that is because all the class photos I found on Maju Sec’s Facebook page had no female students in baju kurung.

majusec_class4-5of1985_dinhaya-b-king

Class Sec4-5 of 1985

majusec_courtyard_NAS

Courtyard

majusec_1995_sweetie-sue

1995

Correct me if I’m wrong (I can’t find any supporting references), but the school gives me an impression that it was a Malay-populated school. So could it be one of the few Malay-medium schools in the early days of Singapore’s independence?

Maju Secondary was also one of the few French centres set up in 1978 to allow students to take up French as their second or third language. The centre was closed in 1983.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


Mount Vernon Secondary School (Potong Pasir/MacPherson)

Closed in 1990/1991 (verification needed)

The school was opened in 1969 but was never known to produce excellent academic results until one of its deaf pupils appeared on the news for topping the two Secondary 5 classes for GCE “O” level in 1986. Having received extra coaching from a resource teacher who could do signs and lip reading, Mount Vernon was one of the few normal schools then that accepted handicapped (or in this case, mute-deaf) students. They had as many as 50 students with such disabilities in 1986.

The school was also the first and only one then to represent Singapore in a United Nations’ peace project.

To join Mount Vernon Secondary’s Alumni Facebook page (closed group), click here.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Sang Nila Utama Secondary School (Aljunied)

Closed in 1988

The school was the first Malay-medium secondary school established in Singapore and the third secondary school built after Singapore achieved self-government in 1959. Named after Sang Nila Utama, the Prince of Palembang who was believed to be the founder of Singapura, it was officially opened in 1961. The opening of the secondary school was seen as the most significant milestone in the development of Malay education in Singapore since the establishment of the first Malay primary school at Telok Blangah in 1856.

1969

1969

sangnilautamasec_1978_NAS

1978

sangnilautamasec_FB

Following the Ministry of Education’s decision to phase out all non-English-medium pre-university centres by 1981, Sang Nila Utama Secondary School stopped accepting pre-university students at the beginning of 1979. The existing pre-university Malay stream classes were transferred to Bartley Secondary School. The school intake of Malay-stream secondary classes also suffered a decline over the years. By 1984, only two classes remained, with an enrolment of 37 students. The school building served as temporary accommodation for the nearby Cedar Girls’ Secondary School when the latter’s school building was undergoing renovation. The building currently houses the Gurkha Contingent.

(History lifted from NLB)

Source: [1]


Kallang Primary School (Mountbatten)

Closed/Merged into Guillemard West Primary School in 1987 (verification needed)

Founded in the 1960s, the school was formerly known as Kallang Integrated Primary School – a merged school between Kallang Government Chinese Primary School and Kallang English School.

Receipt for school fees payment

Receipt for school fees payment. All schools had it.

kallangpri_daniel-wong

kallangpri_eugene-lian

It had a very remarkable principal (Mrs Molly Chan, transferred to Swiss Cottage Primary in 1983) who pioneered the Care, Save and Share programme “to save many innocent children from going astray”. You can read snippets of her interview here. Principals like her who tries to build rapport with staff and students are hard to come by these days..

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Beng Wan Primary School (Kallang)

Merged into Bendemeer Primary School in 2004

The school (秉文小学) started functioning in 1977 with pupils from Griffiths Primary, Beatty Primary, Balestier Boys’ School, Balestier Girls’ School, Balestier Primary and Kwong Avenue schools. At the same year, Bendemeer Secondary functioned at Beng Wan’s building for three months before it shifted to its new building. Beng Wan Primary was also where the first Hindi classes (organised by the Pro-Tem Hindi Committee to look into the study of Hindi in Singapore) were conducted.

bengwanpri_aerialview1978_NAS

Aerial view in 1978

bengwanpri_dentist1970s_NAS

The most-feared person in schools.. (except for me. I loved visiting the dentist. Always wished that my milk teeth would be shaky so that I could visit the school dentist LOL I’m hella weird)

bengwanpri_morningassembly1970s_NAS

Morning assembly in the 1970s

The main Beng Wan Primary Facebook page is locked so I am unable to retrieve information from there. To join, click here.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Jaya Primary School (Bedok)

Closed in 1998

Opened in 1984 when a growing emphasis was placed upon the use of English, Jaya Primary was as an English-medium school which offered Chinese, Malay and Tamil languages just like any other schools today. However even before the school was officially opened, there were feedback about the inconvenience of the school for it was located near light industries and away from the major portion of the residential area. There were also no direct bus service to the school. Could all these be the reasons for its closure?

jayapri_flickr-gleyfox

jayapri_yogeswaran-ranjen

Anyway, it’s quite common for primary schools in the past to have a mini “zoo” within the school compound. For Jaya, they had 2 geese named Ganda and Gandi which were, according to some ex-students, killed by some thieves who broke into the school.

Sadly, the school had a really short history. Its remaining students were received by East Coast Primary School when it closed.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


Bedok North Primary School (Bedok)

Merged into East Coast Primary School in 2001

One of the many primary schools in Bedok (quite evident from this post and the last), this school was established in 1980 and was the first of the new generation schools to be built in Bedok North HDB estate. It however received poor enrolment even when registration first started, probably due to the excessive number of new schools (way too many if you ask me) built in the same area at the same time and stiff competition from other popular schools. Like Jaya Primary, it was pretty short-lived and was also absorbed by East Coast Primary upon its closure.

bedoknorthpri_FB3

bedoknorthpri_FB

bedoknorthpri_FB2

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Bedok Town Primary School (Bedok)

Merged into Telok Kurau Primary School in 2001

The small school started in 1982. 19 years later, it got merged with Telok Kuraru Primary. The land that used to sit Bedok Town Primary is now an open field. Right beside that plot of land is Bedok Town Secondary, also closing by the end of 2015.

Source: [1] [2]


Bedok South Primary School
Bedok View Primary School (Bedok)

Merged in 2002 to form Bedok Green Primary School

Officially opened in 1981 (but started accepting students in 1980), Bedok South was the second (newer?) primary school built in Bedok. The school was recognised for its exemplary performance in sports – soccer in particular – as it won in an inter-school soccer match against schools from all over Singapore in the 1980s. One of their players was Nordin Khalil, who got selected to play in the national soccer team.

bedoksouthpri_straitstimes1797

bedoksouthpri_d'zahidi-ismail

Bedok South Primary School

Bedok View was opened in 1977 and was joined by students from Pin Ghee High School at Chai Chee, and Bedok Primary when both schools closed in 1976 and 1996 respectively. It shifted from the junction of New Upper Changi Road and Bedok South Avenue 3 (now Katong School run by Association for Persons with Special Needs since 2007) to Bedok South Avenue 2.

bedokviewpri_NLB

Bedok View Primary School

Local actress Priscelia Chan attended Bedok View Primary.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

Fun fact: Including schools that were closed previously, there are more than 20 schools bearing the name “Bedok”. They include Bedok North Primary, Bedok North Secondary, Bedok Primary, Bedok South Primary, Bedok South Secondary, Bedok Town Primary, Bedok Town Secondary, Bedok View Primary, Bedok View Secondary, Bedok West Primary, Bedok Girls’ School and Bedok Boys’ School. All of these schools experienced receiving letters and calls addressed to other schools at least once. Well, you can’t really blame the postman. Being someone who rarely travels to the east, I am genuinely confused either. [Source]


Min Xin Primary School (Bedok)

Merged into Yu Neng Primary School in 2003

Located next to Yu Neng Primary (which made merging so convenient), Min Xin was started in early 1960’s by a group of Chinese businessmen to promote Chinese education in Singapore. It was originally at Jalan Bumbun Utara (also in Bedok) and called Bin Sin Chinese School. In 1982, the school was taken over by the Government and the medium language was converted to English. It was also renamed to Min Xin Primary and relocated to Bedok North Street 3.

minxinpri_hasrat-faddil

Then

minxinpri_Mohamed-Ridhwan2_thrutheyears87.bs

Now (it should be gone by now)

minxinpri_xin-yi-cindy

The school exterior

minxinpri_muhammad-junaidi

Min Xin Primary, I believe, is one of those schools that people can hardly remember today. This is not surprising considering that when you try Googling its name, “Xinmin Primary” shows up in the results instead. No, they are not affiliated to each other.

Today its premises are occupied by the Rumah Kebajikan Muhammadiyah (RKM) or Muhammadiyah Welfare Home for the youth and children.

(History quoted from ex-student Mohamed Ridhwan)

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Ping Yi Primary School (Bedok)

Merged into Fengshan Primary School in 2001

Did you know that prior to the construction of Ping Yi Primary (unable to find when), that land was dedicated to a cemetery? I know, everyone says something similar about their schools and there’s indeed no concrete evidence to this hearsay, but there are quite a number of spooky stories about Ping Yi Primary floating around on the net. So whether you believe it or not, it’s up to you. 😀

pingyipri_map_mark-wong

Old map that shows the location of Ping Yi Primary

pingyipri_muzz-tazly

pingyipri_muzz-tazly2

pingyipri_muzz-tazly3

pingyipri_shawn-lee

The merged school is now functioning at the new school built at Bedok North Rd (former Ping Yi Primary Site). Part of the Ping Yi’s building has also been demolished and converted into Fengshan’s school field.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Telok Kurau Malay Girls’ School
Telok Kurau West School (Bedok)

Merged in 1983 to form Telok Kurau West Primary School
Merged with Telok Kurau East School in 1985 to form Telok Kurau Primary School
Merged with Bedok Town Primary School in 2001 to form Telok Kurau Primary School

As you can see, the Telok Kurau Primary we have today is actually an amalgamation of several schools – Telok Kurau Malay Girls (formed 1960), Telok Kurau West (formed 1692), Telok Kurau English School (formed 1926, later renamed to Telok Kurau East School in 1962) and lastly, Bedok Town Primary schools (read history above).  Our Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew was an ex-student of Telok Kurau English School – a fact that the school today boasts about. A lot.

telokkuraueast_FB

Telok Kurau East School

telokkuraueast_FB2

Telok Kurau East School

Telok Kurau Malay Girls’, as the name suggests, is a Malay medium primary school. On the other hand, Telok Kurau West and English schools had their lessons conducted mainly in English and they only admitted boys until the former changed its name and both schools merged.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Woodsville Primary School (Geylang)

Merged into MacPherson Primary School in 2002

The school was officially opened in 1979 at the junction of Jalan Kolam Ayer and Aljunied Road (near to housing estates but it was very congested) and was the second school to be opened that year.

In 1987, the school adopted an unusual programme to instill a sense of responsibility among its students, and foster goodwill among the teachers. This programme included a free-wheeling book system where students could pick up books and keep them for as long as they wanted without having to step into the library and going through any formal lending procedures. On top of that, (now here’s the interesting part) teachers were encouraged to “adopt” students from broken families by giving them pocket money, buying them books or supplying them uniforms. According to the principal, the scheme worked but whoa, if it were to be devised today, I’m pretty sure it would backfire. Haha.

woodsvillepri_steve-chong

woodsvillepri_mohd-sharani

During the same period, the school also had a discipline master (Mr Clifford Oliveiro) who was also an accomplished musician. Every week when teachers were having contact time, the students had to read their storybooks until the meeting ended. To save the entire school from boredom, Mr Oliveiro would go on stage with his guitar and strum to a variety of songs (e.g. El Condor Pasa, Those Were The Days) that got the whole school singing. The school’s winning of their first SYF Gold Award was probably attributed to the frequent singing “practices” the students had.

(While writing this portion of text, I had the sudden urge to listen to songs by Simon and Garfunkel (I’m an oldie junkie, remember?). If you’re feeling the same, you can listen to them on Spotify hehe)

What an incredibly cool school!!

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Woodsville Secondary School (Geylang)

Merged into MacPherson Secondary School in 2004

A quick search on the school’s name online would reveal that the school (formed in 1977) was pretty adroit at sports. It had a swimmer (Sandy Ang) who created Singapore track history when he became the first schoolboy to smash the 22-second barrier in the 200-metre relay in 1984.  Even famous local blogger Bong Qiuqiu, also an old girl from Woodsville, was part of the school’s netball team. There are also reports of the school participating in various sports competition such as basketball, badminton and gymnastics.

woodsvillesec_sec4-6of1983_ng-li-choo

Sec 4-6 of 1983

Official Facebook page here.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Tanjong Rhu Boys’ School
Tanjong Rhu Girls’ School
Tanjong Rhu Primary School (Kallang)

Merged in 1984 to form Tanjong Rhu Primary School
Closed in 1989

Tanjong Rhu Boys’ was built in 1950 beside Tanjong Rhu Girls’, also formed in the same year. Boys would occasionally intrude into the girls’ side of the field, much to the displeasure of the staff from Tanjong Rhu Girls’.

tanjongrhuboys_yeo-hongeng

Tanjong Rhu Boys’ School

tanjongrhugirls_chia-fong-long

Tanjong Rhu Girls’ School

tanjongrhugirls_teo-hong-eng

Tanjong Rhu Girls’ School

tanjongrhugirlsboys_canteen_yeo-hong-eng

Canteen shared by Tanjong Rhu Boys’ and Girls’

Tanjong Rhu Primary already existed before both single-sex schools merged. It was a Chinese-based school until its enrolment started falling and eventually drove the school to become integrated (by having both Chinese and English based curriculum). After the merger, the amalgamated school occupied the grounds of Tanjong Rhu Boys’ and Girls’ while the original Tanjong Rhu Primary building was leased out. The school had been demolished to make way for Dunman High School.

I won’t comment much on the history of these three schools as there are other sites that have done so. These authors had first-hand experience and me paraphrasing what they wrote would seem like I’m discrediting them and disrespecting the schools. So please, click here and here for more information 🙂 These schools also have an (combined) active Facebook group.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Norfolk Primary School (Farrer Park)

Closed in 1984

Norfolk Primary and Cambridge Primary sat side by side thus it was only economical to share the same field (which was also where the rivalry between both schools began). Norfolk’s year of establishment is not known.

norfolkpri_mohdkhirwan-bin-mohdkhamin

Flooding was a commonplace in the olden days of Singapore. Norfolk and Cambridge (below) were badly affected on several occasions.

When Norfolk shut its doors in 1984, students were conveniently transferred to Cambridge Primary.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Cambridge Primary School (Farrer Park)

Closed in 1998

Cambridge Primary (est. 1963) and Norfolk Primary have similar history. There used to be a tidbit stall just opposite both schools and students usually flocked there to buy shaved ice. A room on the second level of Cambridge Primary was dedicated to caning students (that’s what one person said.. haha) while the most feared dental room was on the ground floor.  According to most people who studied there, there used to be a well-liked Eurasian principal called Mr Dragon who unfortunately passed away in the 1980s.

Cambridge was also one of the few schools in Singapore to have their school song entirely in Malay.

cambridgepri_mainentrance_mariannie-haniffa

Today, Cambridge Primary serves as dormitory. This is the main entrance.

cambridgepri_naz-hossain

Where flag raising ceremony used to be held at

cambridgepri_sch-back-gate-mariannie-haniffa

The back gate

cambridgepri_schfieldwithnorfolkpri_mariannie-haniffa

The school field shared with Norfolk Primary.

In 1993, the school came first in an Art Olympiad. Beating 33 schools and 99 other pupils, the triumph brought much glory to the school. The event was even reported on a Chinese newspaper!

cambridgepri_artolympiad_alvin-lee

Art Olympiad

The rest of its students joined May Primary School which is now known as Farrer Park Primary School. The site of Cambridge is now a foreign student dormitory.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Owen School (Farrer Park)

Closed in 1988

The school started in 1955. People who are aware of the 2 missing “McDonald’s” boys in 1986 would most probably know about this school as well, because those two boys studied there and disappeared before just their class commenced. Not a very glamorous thing to be remembered and known for, especially when the school was already on the brink of closure.

owenpri_rahib_faquir-mohd

owenpri_tuckshop_ai-ling-lim

Owen Primary’s tuckshop

owenpri_FB2

owenpri_FB

owenpri_FB3

Owen School didn’t have a multi-purpose hall, so students had to sit on the grass field during assembly. When it poured, the playful ones would take the opportunity to catch earthworms and red ants on the field.

owenpri_kim-tan

The school was at the junction of Owen Road and Oxford Road. The ill-fated Hotel New World (collapsed in 1986) was just nearby along Owen Road.

Apart from the 2 missing Primary 6 boys, there were of course other famous alumni as well, the most well-known being Singapore Democratic Alliance Party’s Desmond Lim (you may remember him as the one who spoke at the SDA’s online rally last January).

Cambridge Primary absorbed the students of Owen Primary when the latter closed. The building of Owen School remained on the ground for decades until it was finally torn down in July this year. At one point it was converted into “Cambridge International Hostel”.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Dorset Primary School (Newton/Farrer Park)

Closed after 1980 (exact year unknown)

The last in the Farrer Park cluster of primary schools I’m going to talk about. While researching on this school, I found myself getting limit