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History and Heritage

CHIJ ST NICHOLAS GIRLS’ SCHOOL 

School History

In the 1930s, the Chinese population in Singapore was increasing rapidly. The Infant Jesus sisters decided to establish a Chinese-medium primary school to provide education for Chinese girls.  On 16 January 1933, Victoria Girls’ School started in the building that used to be Hotel van Wijk.  There were forty pupils and a Chinese teacher.  Sister Solong was its first Principal.  The school was later renamed St Nicholas Girls’ School.

Between 1938 and 1939, the school opened its first secondary class and a teacher-training section to ensure a pool of qualified teachers.  In 1940, Sister Francoise Lee, a local Chinese, became the Principal. She expanded the secondary section to include classes up to Simplified Normal IV, making St Nicholas a full school providing primary and secondary education.

During the Japanese occupation, St Nicholas continued as a school but had to change its name to one chosen by the Japanese. While Mandarin continued to be taught, English was forbidden and Japanese was introduced in its place.

Immediately after WWII, the school was back in session by November 1945. In 1946, there was an enrolment of 700 girls. The outdated Hotel van Wijk building could no longer accommodate the burgeoning school population. In 1949, St Nicholas moved to the Town Convent premises at Victoria Street where it enjoyed the facilities and spacious compound.

In 1972, Mrs. Hwang-Lee Poh See became the first lay Principal. By then, enrolment had doubled and there was an urgent need to build a bigger school.  In 1979, the school included a pre-primary section. In the same year, St Nicholas became one of the nine Special Assistance Plan (SAP) Schools in Singapore in recognition of its rich Chinese culture and strong school outcomes.

By 1980, the school building in Victoria Street could no longer house the entire school. After five years of relocating to different venues to house the school population, St Nicholas finally moved to its permanent premises at Ang Mo Kio Street 13 in 1985. In 1992, St Nicholas was renamed ‘CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School’.

In 1995, the school was accorded autonomous status by MOE in recognition of its value-added academic performances.  From end-2009 to 2012, the school underwent PRIME to build a future-ready school. The school celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2013 with the re-opening of the school by Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong.  In the same year, the school also introduced the Joint Integrated Programme with Catholic High School, Singapore Chinese Girls’ School and Eunoia Junior College. The school celebrated its 85th anniversary in 2018.

Principals:

    • Sister Solong (1933 to 1935)
    • Sister Felix (1936 to 1937)
    • Sister Marie Mercedes (1938 to 1939)
    • Sister Francois Lee (1940 to 1971)
    • Mrs Hwang-Lee Poh See (1972 to 2000)
    • Ms Helen Choo (2001 to 2006)
    • Ms Chan Wan Siong (2007 to 2011)
    • Mrs Tan Wai Lan (2012 to 2016)
    • Mrs Fiona Tan (2017 to date)

Milestones

  

Year

Key Event

1933

To meet the needs of the growing Chinese population, the Infant Jesus sisters started Victoria Girls’ School to be a Chinese-medium school for girls on 16 Jan 1933. It was later renamed as St Nicholas Girls’ School.

1938

Start of the first Secondary class. The teacher training section was also set up.

1940

Appointment of first local Chinese Principal, Sister Francoise Lee.

1941

First batch of trained teachers graduated; St Nicholas Girls’ School became a full school.

1972

First lay principal, Mrs Hwang-Lee Poh See, was appointed.

1979

School was selected as a Special Assistance Plan (SAP) school. A Pre-primary section was also set up.

1985

School moved from Victoria Street to its permanent premises at Ang Mo Kio Street 13.

1992

St Nicholas Girls’ School was renamed as ‘CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School’.

1995

Granted autonomous status by MOE in recognition of its value-added performances.

2013

Started Joint Integrated Programme with Catholic High School, Singapore Chinese Girls’ School and Eunoia Junior College.

2018

The school celebrated its 85th anniversary




IJ 160th Celebrations








This page was last updated on: Thursday, 04/06/2020