January 1932: Establishment of A New School
The first principal Mrs. Downe and her staff of three stood at attention as the Union Jack was raised to the strains of 'God Save the Queen'. Behind them stood the first sixty pupils of the school facing a new school building built from bricks and sturdy teakwood.
Bukit Panjang English School (as it was then known) was one of the very few primary schools in the northern part of Singapore. Mrs. Downe and her staff had to go round Bukit Panjang Village and district to persuade parents to send their children to school. After much effort and with the assistance of Mr. Goh Tong Liang, a prominent resident; they managed to enrol the first sixty pupils.
A week after, Mrs. Downe and a teacher were transferred out because of the small enrollment. Another teacher, Miss Alvis was appointed the new Headmistress. She teamed up with another Chinese lady teacher to teach all the pupils. Word soon spread about Bukit Panjang English School.
1941- 1945: The Japanese Occupation
From a humble beginning of two classes, the school grew from from strength to strength. There were classes from standard one to standard six in 1941.
The Japanese Army occupied Singapore on 16th February 1942. It is believed that the Imperial Army occupied the school building during the war.
On 12th September 1945, the war ended when the Japanese surrendered to the British but the school did not re-open until January 1948.
January 1948: Swelling Student Intake
The principal, Mr. C.A. Peterson took office and left on transfer in 1951. He was succeeded by Mr. Wee Loh Siew. By then, the enrolment had steadily increased to 350.
July 1952: A New Beginning
To cope with the increasing demand for places, The Bukit Panjang Government Afternoon School was opened in July 1952, with an initial enrollment of 112. During this period, the school published an annual magazine under the editorship of Miss Boswell. These magazines provide an invaluable record of the school in the fifties.
Her legacy lives on with our annual newsletter and commemorative anniversary magazines till now.