Catholic High School, Singapore
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|Catholic High School
Sekolah Tinggi Katolik
|9, Bishan Street 22, Singapore 579767
Special Assistance Plan (SAP)
(Care, Honesty, Service)
|Founder||Rev. Father Edward Becheras|
|Sister school||Singapore Chinese Girls' School
CHIJ Saint Nicholas Girls' School
|School code||7102 ('O' Level Programme)
9131 (Integrated Programme)
|Principal||Soh Lai Leng Magdalen|
|Supervisor||Father Henry Siew|
|Campus size||7 hectares (17 acres)|
|Affiliation||Catholic Junior College
Eunoia Junior College (for IP)
|Vision||The Catholic High student is a leader, gentleman and bilingual scholar of high integrity and robust character, who is passionate about life, learning and service to others.|
Catholic High School (simplified Chinese: 公教中学; traditional Chinese: 公敎中學) (CHS) is an all-boys Catholic school in Singapore. As a full-school, it has a primary section offering a six-year primary education and a secondary section offering both a four-year Singapore-Cambridge GCE Ordinary Level Programme and a six-year Integrated Programme. Founded in 1935 by Rev. Fr. Edward Becheras, a French missionary, the school caters for students who are fluent in both English and Chinese. The school is a Special Assistance Plan school, as well as a Gifted Education Programme centre. The school offers a variety of CCAs.
Uniformed Groups -National Cadet Corps (Air) and (Land) -National Police Cadet Corps -Scouts -St John Ambulance Brigade
Sports -Basketball -Floorball -Track and Field -Volleyball -Tennis -Table Tennis -Softball -Wushu
Performing Arts -Chinese Orchestra -Chinese Drama -English Drama -Dance -Symphony Band
- 1 History
- 2 School identity and culture
- 3 Campus
- 4 Academic information
- 5 School events
- 6 Notable alumni
- 7 External links
- 8 References
Sino-English Catholic School (1935-1942)
The Catholic High School was founded in 1935 as Sino-English Catholic School (英华公教中学) by the Reverend Father Edward Becheras, a French missionary. Although it is a Catholic school, it accepts both Catholic and non-Catholic students, and is run along the lines of a Sino-English school. The school first started as an extension of the Church of St. Peter and Paul. Becheras envisaged the school as a bilingual institution from the start, emphasising instruction in both English and Chinese, a policy that continues today. In addition, Becheras emphasised the teaching of science, uncommon at that time.
In 1936, Sino-English Catholic School moved into a purpose built school building at 222 Queen Street, beside the Church of St. Peter and Paul. Two years after the new school campus was completed, it reached its maximum capacity. Among notable features of the old school is the science room in the school, the first such feature in any Catholic school in Malaya (Singapore was part of Malaya at that time).
After the Second World War, operation of the school resumed, adopting the name Catholic High School (公教中学) . An increased enrollment saw the need for a new extension wing to be added to the high school compound, on the adjacent site of 51 Waterloo Street. The new wing featured an auditorium, staff rooms, tutorial rooms equipped with audio-visual equipment. Due to constraints in available spaces, the adjacent church grounds were used for physical education lessons.
In 1950, the Marist Brothers took over responsibility for the administration of Catholic High; a primary section was opened in 1951, with a new school building at 8 Queen Street. A boarding house for Catholic High students was also built. Under the supervision of the Marist Brothers the school thrived along with Maris Stella High School, which was founded in 1958 as a complement to the Catholic High School.
In 1954, Catholic High School expelled all seventy students who were involved in the National Service riots for their absence from class, a move that shocked the nation. Catholic High School was the only institution that carried out expulsion as follow-up actions. The incident affirmed the school's zero tolerance of students' involvement in any political activities, and the school's stance of committed learning 
Pre-university classes were offered in Catholic High School between 1952 and 1975, with a number of outstanding graduates attaining the President's Scholarship. In 1974 the administration of the school was handed back to the Catholic diocese. Before the full nationwide adoption of the junior college system in 1975, Catholic High Sa chool is the only Chinese-medium high school in Singapore that offer both the Chinese-medium senior high qualification (华校高中文凭) and the English-medium Cambridge GCE Advanced Level examinations to all of its students.
Attainment of SAP status
The Catholic High School was classified under the Special Assistance Plan in 1979. This enables it to offer students in the top 10% of the cohort both English and Chinese as their first languages. In the same year, pre-primary classes were started to prepare students for primary school Chinese study. In March 1987, discovery of structural cracks at the Queen Street premises of the primary section caused the campus to be declared unsafe. Despite clarified later as a misjudgment, the incident prompted a decision by the Ministry of Education to relocate Catholic High School, for safety concerns in wake of the Hotel New World collapse. The high school section was relocated to the premises of Guangyang Secondary School in Bishan. Pre-primary and lower-primary classes were held at Gentle Road and upper-primary classes were held at Norfolk Road. Both the primary and secondary sections of the school moved to its current, permanent campus at Bishan Street 22 in 1992. In 2008, Catholic High School was awarded the School Distinction Award under the MOE Master Plan of Awards, in recognition of its value-added holistic development of its students through exemplary processes and practices.
Launch of Joint Integrated Programme
On 1 September 2010 the Ministry of Education announced that Catholic High School would become an Integrated Programme school in 2013. It partners CHIJ Saint Nicholas Girls' School and Singapore Chinese Girls' School in the programme, and students from the school will proceed to Eunoia Junior College from 2017.
School identity and culture
Catholic High School is one of only a handful of Singapore secondary schools to have uniforms complemented with short trousers for all levels. The rule was well supported by the students, stating its convenience and comfort in the local climate.
The house system is used during school sporting events. The four houses — Edward, Noel, Philippe and Joseph — are named after former principals and supervisors of the school.
|House and Color||Remarks|
|Edward||Named after Rev. Fr. Edward Becheras, founder and first supervisor of CHS.|
|Noel||Named after Rt. Rev. Noel Goh, third, fifth and seventh supervisor of CHS.|
|Joseph||Named after Rev. Joseph Chang, principal of CHS, (1960-1974).|
|Philippe||Named after Rev. Philippe Wu, principal of CHS, (1950-1956).|
Houses are allocated to teachers and students. Students are elected into leadership positions in each house, such as captain, secretary, treasurer and level coordinator. Sports events such as the annual cross-country and sports night help earn points for the houses. At the end of the year, points are totalled up and the house with the highest points wins the Challenge Shield.
The seven-hectare Catholic High campus consists of two blocks, primary and secondary. A common area is shared between these two blocks, where the secondary plaza and two school halls are located. The two air-conditioned, multi-purpose halls serve as venues for assembly, large-scale talks, performing arts events, and indoor sporting activities. In addition, another smaller auditorium is used for performing arts events. Secondary 4 students have their classrooms on level 5 which are also air-conditioned.
The school campus also houses a 400m running track and a multipurpose open field. There are a discus cage, javelin-throwing ground, two tennis courts and a basketball court. The Catholic High Sports and Recreational Centre, also known as the Indoor Sports Hall, was completed in December 2008. It houses two basketball courts, volleyball courts and badminton courts, in addition to spectator stands. There are two gyms on the secondary campus. Catholic High is one of few schools with a in-campus sports class, where students go through a rigorous sports and academic course. Sports Class students may choose to take Physical Education as an 'O' Level subject, in addition to the standard 'O' Level curriculum. A new high elements rope course was completed in 2010.
Catholic High School has offered the Music Elective Programme since 2011. This four-year programme allows students who have an interest in music to study music at a higher level, leading to a GCE O-level Higher Music certificate.
CHS-SNGS-SCGS Joint Integrated Programme
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School jointly offers the Integrated Programme (IP) in collaboration with Catholic High School, Singapore Chinese Girls' School and Eunoia Junior College from 2013. Under the programme, students may skip the Singapore-Cambridge GCE Ordinary Level examination in the respective schools, and complete year 5 & 6 of pre-university education in Eunoia Junior College leading to the Singapore-Cambridge GCE Advanced Level examination.
As a dual-track school, 4-year Secondary Special/Express course is offered alongside the Integrated Programme.
Catholic High Music Awards
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The Catholic High Music Awards (CHMA or CH Music Awards) is an annual school talent search competition which gives students a platform to showcase their musical abilities. This competition is organised by the Catholic High School's iMedia Club(ION), a main Co-Curricular Activity (CCA), in collaboration with the school's music department. It is currently one of the large-scale school concerts in Singapore.
The contest was originally a small-scale event held during one of the weekly school assemblies. It has evolved over the years into its current form under the guidance of Wang Jiunn, the then-concert producer. In its six-year run, CHMA has been held in the Catholic High school hall every year.
Students compete in various categories: Solo Vocalists, Group Vocals, Rock Bands, Instrumental Bands, Duets and Creative Expressions. After several rounds of auditions, judges select the best students to be the finalists, who perform on the finale night concert. External bands are often invited to perform during the finale night concert. Several finalists have gained attention and had enjoyed moderate success in other talent competitions, such as Tan Zhi Yi in One Million Star and Paul Twohill in Singapore Idol.
The CHA has funded many local/overseas enrichment programmes for students as well as staff development programmes for teachers. The CHA offers the OBA Founders' Scholarships for outstanding Catholic High students. Members of the CHA also volunteer as guest speakers at assembly talks, mentors for CHA scholars, and advisors for special projects such as the OBA-CH Innovative Problem-Solving Competition using IT and the IT Challenge Programme, etc.
- Lee Hsien Loong: Prime Minister of Singapore
- Lim Swee Say: Minister, Prime Minister's Office of Singapore
- Gan Kim Yong: Minister of Manpower, Singapore
- Chan Soo Sen: former Minister of State; Human Resource Director of Keppel Corporation
- Baey Yam Keng: Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC, Managing Director of Hill and Knowlton
- Chen Show Mao: Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC.
- Chao Hick Tin: Judge of Appeal, Supreme Court of Singapore
- Major General (MG) Hoo Cher Mou: Chief of Air Force, Republic of Singapore Air Force
- Brigadier General (BG) Lim Tuang Liang: Chief of Staff (Air Staff), Republic of Singapore Air Force
- Lee Hsien Yang: former Chairman of Fraser and Neave; former Chairman of Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS)
Media and entertainment
- Edmund Chen: actor, Mediacorp
- Elvin Ng: actor, Mediacorp
- Dr Liang Wern Fook: singer and composer; Assistant Professor (Adjunct) at Nanyang Technological University 
- Tay Ping Hui: actor, Mediacorp
- Kuo Pao Kun: Singapore's pioneer playwright, theatre director, and arts activist
- Lee Yen Hui Kendrick: national badminton player
- Gabriel Quak Jun Yi: national football player
- Timothee Yap Jin Wei: national sprinter
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- hermesauto (29 December 2015). "New JC named Eunoia; to take in CHIJ St Nicholas, Catholic High, SCGS IP students in 2017". The Straits Times. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
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- Chew, David (26 April 2007). "Singapore Art Museum to lease former Catholic High building", Today (Singapore).
- "Gan Kim Yong". Parliament of Singapore. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
- "Baey Yam Keng". Government of Singapore. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
- "Chen Show Mao". Government of Singapore. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
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- "ClassACT - Paying tribute to inspiring teachers". NTU Alumni e-zine. April 2007.
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- Kuo, Pao Kun. Images at the Margins: A Collection of Kuo Pao Kun's Plays. Singapore: Times Books International, 2000.