14 secondary schools in Singapore merge in 2017

By Stephanie Yeo   — January 01, 2017
  • 1. Beatty Secondary School
    1 / 7 1. Beatty Secondary School

    This is a merger of Balestier Hill Secondary School (pictured) and Beatty Secondary School.

    Mr Ling Khoon Chow, principal of Beatty Secondary, which will have about 1,400 students from Beatty Secondary and Balestier Hill Secondary, said both schools’ strengths will be weaved into activities.

    For instance, students will have an applied learning programme that combines Beatty’s focus on design thinking – which covers problem-solving skills and creativity – and Balestier Hill’s emphasis on environmental education.

    Mr Ling said: “It’s an exciting challenge for me to be given the opportunity to merge two schools.”

    The plan, he added, is to start a “full re-envisioning exercise with staff next year when everyone is together”. Both schools’ heritage – including photographs and artefacts – has also been captured in a revamped gallery at Beatty Secondary.

    Beatty was founded in 1953 and named after Sir David Beatty, a British admiral who pushed for the construction of a naval base in Singapore to meet the Japanese threat. Balestier Hill was founded in 1964 and named after Joseph Balestier, the first counsel to Singapore from the United States.

    Said Mr Ling: “It’s important to retain both schools’ heritage so that students have a sense of their former school around.”

    The schools have also held programmes to encourage students to interact.

    Related: 61 Singapore schools will get new principals in 2017

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  • 2. Boon Lay Secondary School
    2 / 7 2. Boon Lay Secondary School

    This is a merger of Boon Lay Secondary School (pictured) and Pioneer Secondary School.

    Related: Choosing a secondary school: the new appeal rule you must know about 

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  • 3. Broadrick Secondary School
    3 / 7 3. Broadrick Secondary School

    This is a merger of Broadrick Secondary School (pictured) and MacPherson Secondary School.

    Related: Share your PSLE score! How this Facebook post went viral, sparking a movement  

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  • 4. Bukit Merah Secondary School
    4 / 7 4. Bukit Merah Secondary School

    This is a merger of Bukit Merah Secondary School and Henderson Secondary School (pictured).

    Related: Why Crest Secondary School is a good option for Normal (Technical) students

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  • 5. Marsiling Secondary School
    5 / 7 5. Marsiling Secondary School

    This is a merger of Marsiling Secondary School (pictured) and Si Ling Secondary School

    Students can look forward to having lessons in a water-driven vertical farm that will grow vegetable crops.

    The $26,000 farm, set up together with local innovator Sky Greens, will be used for lessons in science and national education – for instance, to teach students about land-scarce Singapore’s efforts in ensuring food supply resilience.

    Principal Goh Aik Choon said the school, which will have about 1,200 students from Marsiling Secondary and Si Ling Secondary, wanted to show them vertical farming in real life. The idea is also in line with its niche programme on environmental education, which Marsiling Secondary is known for.

    The school won a President’s Award for the Environment in 2012 in recognition of its efforts in managing its own environmental impact, including the use of light sensors, solar panels, waterless urinals and a rainwater harvesting system.

    It will also adopt Si Ling’s emphasis on sports and outdoor education, which includes adventure camps and expeditions.

    Said Mr Goh: “We are treating this merger as a chance to merge both schools’ strengths and capabilities. It’s evolving into a new identity, no longer purely Marsiling or Si Ling.”

    In preparation for a new retail operations subject, the school has also converted a classroom into a minimart space for students to learn practical skills.Thirty-six Secondary 3 students will be taking the subject, which imparts hands-on knowledge in areas such as merchandise display and customer service.

    “This is a new chapter for the school,” he said, adding that its vision, mission and school uniform are still being finalised.

    For now, the teachers and students have already got to know each other through team-building sessions that began in November.

    Some students from the same co-curricular activities (CCA) in both schools also had joint training that started as early as June 2016 to prepare for major competitions early in 2017. 

    “There’s no better way than mixing the students across both schools and different levels through their CCAs like dance, soccer, band,” said Mr Goh.

    Related: 7 new subjects offered in secondary schools from 2017

     

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  • 6. Meridian Secondary School
    6 / 7 6. Meridian Secondary School

    This is a merger of Coral Secondary School and Siglap Secondary School (pictured). 

    Students in Sec 2 to 5 at Meridian Secondary School will not be going for their usual classes during the first four days of school in 2017.

    Through level camps and other programmes such as learning their new school song, they will have more opportunities to interact and get to know their new schoolmates at the site of the former Coral Secondary in Pasir Ris Street 51.

    Mrs Hilda Thong, Meridian Secondary’s principal, said that work on creating a shared identity for the school started in May.

    Teachers from both schools put their heads together to come up with designs for a new school crest and uniform, which were finalised after gathering feedback and ideas from students, staff and parents.

    Student leaders from both schools have also been collaborating on publicity for the new school, as well as planning orientation for next year’s Sec 1 batch.

    The new school crest – the letter M formed by two triangles – “represents the unity of Coral and Siglap Secondary School”, said Mrs Thong.

    There is an emphasis on the arts in the new school, which will offer an applied learning programme in visual communication, as well as design thinking and performing arts programmes. A heritage space has also been set aside so that the two schools’ histories will be documented, and work on the project will be completed next year.

    Former Coral Secondary student Casandra Lee, who will be in Sec 4 next year, said most of her peers were “quite shocked” when they first found out about the merger.

    She said: “We weren’t certain about what was going to happen and kept asking questions that we didn’t have an answer to.”

    But getting to know student leaders from Siglap Secondary through their joint activities and seeing the new school identity take shape have assuaged her initial concerns.

    “We now already have a bond because of the activities, and most people are looking forward to the new school year.”

     

     

     

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  • 7. Northland Secondary School
    7 / 7 7. Northland Secondary School

    This is a merger of North View Secondary School (pictured) and Northland Secondary School.

    Madam Tan Siew Woon, principal of Northland Secondary, said it organised a camp for 115 student leaders from both schools in June 2016.

    “Students from North View will be moving out of their campus, and there will be a lot of changes with two large groups of students coming together. It was very important that we focused on building relationships through communication,” she said.

    She added that student leaders were given an opportunity to bond and raise concerns that they had about the merger, such as arrangements for their CCAs.

    About 1,000 Secondary 1 students will join Northland Secondary, which has retained most CCAs from both schools.

    Some of the 18 CCAs on offer next year, such as basketball and floorball, have been integrated from both schools, while activities like badminton and art club that were unique to North View Secondary have also been included.

    Related: Lower PSLE cut off points for top secondary schools in 2017

    A version of this article first appeared in The Straits Times.

    (File photos: ST) 

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