In the 1850s, two local Anglican men, Sim Quee and Tye Kim, established a small private school, known as Sim Quee’s School, at 29 Chin Chew Street. A sermon delivered by reverend William T Humphreys – then resident chaplain of the Anglican Church – on Pentecost Sunday in 1856 inspired a group of laymen to establish the St Andrew’s Church Mission with the goal of reaching out to the locals.
Missionary reverend Edward Sherman Venn, an ordained Anglican priest from England, was recruited in 1861 to further the work of the mission. Through Venn’s efforts, Sim Quee’s School came under the aegis of St Andrew’s Church Mission and was officially established on 8 September 1862 as the St Andrew’s Church Mission School, with Sim Quee as its first headmaster.
The school moved to larger premises at 11 Upper Hokkien Street on 10 September 1863 in order to accommodate its increasing enrolment. Cheok Loy Fatt, a catechist from Hong Kong, was appointed to head the school. Cheok persevered in running the school despite the withdrawal of financial support by the mission in 1866 and the death of its founder, Venn, in 1869. The school came to be popularly known as Sekola Loy Fatt, Malay for “Loy Fatt’s School”.
Then-colonial chaplain Canon J A Beckles succeeded in obtaining grant-in-aid status for the school on 22 May 1872, ensuring government funding for the school. Due to its increasing popularity and growth in the number of students, the school moved to new premises on Victoria Street.
The school continued to flourished, especially under the leadership of reverend William Henry Gomes, who was the school superintendent from 1872 to 1902. In 1873, the government gave the school a large four-acre (16,187 sq m) plot of land at the foot of Government Hill (now known as Fort Canning Hill) along Stamford Road. The school moved out of Victoria Street to Stamford Road when the new school building was completed in 1875. During its time at Stamford Road, the school acquired much of its well-known characteristics, especially its success in sports . Although reverend James Romanis Lee – who was head between 1912 and 1921 – was lame in one leg, he introduced football to the students and organised the first annual Athletic Sports Meet, a sports tradition that continues to this day. The school then moved to Woodsville estate where it officially opened on 29 July 1940.
In 1955, the school was divided into the junior school and the secondary school. The junior school was further split into junior I and junior II in 1956, although they shared a single headmaster from 1960 onwards. By 1978, the growing school had branched into a full junior college – the St Andrew’s Junior College – to accommodate the pre-university classes. In 1981, the school acquired the large grounds across the Kallang River. The secondary school was relocated to this new site in July 1986, and the junior school was upgraded. In January 1996, the junior school also moved from Woodsville to the new site.
The grounds were named St Andrew’s Village and officially opened on 26 August 2006. Located within the grounds are the Ascension Kindergarten, St Andrew’s Junior School, St Andrew’s Secondary School, St Andrew’s Junior College, the Anglican Diocesan Office as well as a cluster of churches. The facilities include a 1,000-seat performing arts centre, an Olympic-size swimming pool, full-fledged sports facilities as well as a 12-storey hostel.
1. Charles, B. (2012). Hearts courageous: The story of St Andrew’s School (pp. 1–2). Singapore: St Andrew’s School. Call no.: RSING 373.5957 CHA.
2. Charles, 2012, p. 2.
3. Charles, 2012, pp. 4–8; St Andrew’s Junior School. (2014). History. Retrieved November 3, 2014, from Saint Andrew’s Junior School website: http://www.saintandrewsjunior.moe.edu.sg/AboutUs_History.htm
4. Charles, 2012, p. 8; St Andrew’s Junior School, 2014, History.
5. Charles, 2012, pp. 8–10.
6. Charles, 2012, p. 27; St Andrew’s Junior School, 2014, History.
7. St Andrew’s Junior School, 2014, History.
8. St Andrew’s Junior School, 2014, History; St Andrew’s Secondary School. (2012). Our school history. Retrieved November 3, 2014, from St Andrew’s Secondary School website: http://www.standrewssec.moe.edu.sg/about-sass/our-school/our-school-history
9. St Andrew’s Junior School, 2014, History.
The information in this article is valid as at 2014 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.