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image001.jpg Our Founding Father 
In Normandy, France, Minim priest Father Nicholas Barre started a class for under-privileged girls. With two women, he later established the order of the Infant Jesus Sisters.


1852.jpg Our Pioneer Mother
Five French sisters, one of whom was Mother Mathilde Raclot, left their homeland. They set sail for Singapore in 1852. Only two out of the five sisters survived the journey in good health.

The Apotolic Vicar of Malaya felt that they were too inexperienced to set up a school in Singapore and sent them to Penang. A second group of sisters arrived in Penang in late 1852.


1854.jpg IJ Presence in Singapore
In 1854, Mother Mathilde who was then head of the Penang community was sent back to Singapore. Mother Mathilde and the IJ sisters founded the first IJ school in Singapore.

Town Convent at Victoria Street was born. Mother Mathilde and her sisters left their homeland and became immigrants, displaced from their comforts and security. Their mission was simple - to educate girls from all social classes, especially the disadvantaged.


1929-1.jpg The Founding Years
As the colonial government struggled to meet the needs of Singapore's expanding population, the IJ sisters kept up with their mission to provide an education to girls.  In response to an urgent need to reach out to the poor families in the slums around Kampong Bahru,  the sisters started classes at the Church of St. Teresa.

For four years, the school was run as a parish school. In 1933, the IJ sisters leased Hood Lodge, the house next to the church, and the parish school became a school of the Infant Jesus order, called St. Theresa's Convent.


1933.jpg St. Theresa's Convent founded in 1933
Principal: Madame St. Ignatius (1933 - 1945)
With 25 students, St. Theresa's Convent operated out of the rented Hood Lodge at 501 Kampong Bahru Road. The school offered lessons instructed in both English and Tamil. By 1938, the enrolment increased to just 60.

As there were no living quarters at Hood Lodge, the sisters who taught there travelled daily from Town Convent in horse drawn carriages on unpaved roads. Our first principal, Madame St. Ignatius was a tall and gentle lady who brought the school through its infanthood as a private school.


Move to 514 Kampong Bahru Road
Unable to make ends meet, the sisters gave up Hood Lodge and the school almost closed down. St. Theresa's Convent moved to her second home in a house owned by the Christian Brothers who ran St. Joseph's Institution. This intervention by the Bishop greatly encouraged the sisters who once again found strength to rough out the bumpy 12 km journey twice each day to school.


1945.jpg Principal : Sr Catherine Samy (1945 - 1949)
After the Japanese Occupation, the British re-opned schools. Principal Sr Catherine Samy led the school during the difficult post-war years when the school functioned from two locations.

The English Section of St. Theresa's functioned in a wooden hut which was abandoned by the Japanese and shared this hut with the Sacred Heart Boys' School. The Tamil Section functioned in another parish bungalow which stood on the site of the former De La Salle School.


The First Sight of our Present Site
Our present site of 12 acres of land at Radin Mas was purchased by Rev Mother Charles. The Chinese Catholic owner found the land useless as it held a cemetery and was inaccessible from the main road. Today, CHIJ St. Theresa's Convent stands on land owned by the IJ sisters, all due to the far sightedness of Rev Mother St. Charles.


1949.jpg Principal : Sr Caroline Labbe (1949 - 1952)
As Singapore struggled to rebuild a nation, the staff of St. Theresas' continued to provide for the educational and spiritual needs of a community traumatised by three years of war.

Under the leadership of Sr Caroline Labbe, the school started raising funds for the building of the school on Radin Mas Hill. Sr Caroline also reunited the Tamil and English sections and ran the school as one entity in the De La Salle School building while the new school building was being built.


1952.jpg Principal : Sr Catherine Hendricks (1952 - 1955)
The school did not lose focus despite the unstable social and political environment of the 1950s. It was under Sr Catherine Hendricks' leadership that St. Theresa's had its status changed from being a private school to a government-aided school.

Following this, the Tamil Section was phased out in 1953. Sr Catherine also oversaw the move of the school to its present site at Radin Mas.


1953.jpg Our Home on the Hill
CHIJ St. Theresa's Convent moved to its present site on Radin Mas Hill. The school operated 14 classes in the newly built building. It was not easy getting to school as it was a long walk from the bottom of the hill.

Access was via a dirt path and 58 back breaking steps carved out of the hill slope. But education was in demand and all made the sacrifice of a difficult journey.


image035.jpg The Light on the Hill
Street lighting was not a provision during the early years. The lighted school building was the sole source of light for the kampongs in the vicinity. CHIJ St. Theresa's Convent was henceforth called the "Light on the Hill"


1955.jpg Principal: Ms Isabel Rodrigues (1955 - 1977)
Mrs Isabel Rodrigues headed the primary section which became a feeder school to Town Convent in Victoria Street. She is remembered for the care and affection given to those who came under her charge.

Mrs Rodrigues joined Sr Marie Jombunad and Mrs Margaret Joseph as three of the longest serving principals in the history of St. Theresa's.


1956.jpg Principal: Sister Marie Jombunad (1956 - 1970)
CHIJ St. Theresa's Convent became a full school in its own right with the appointment of Sr Marie Jombunad as Principal of the secndary section. The school presented its first candidates for the Senior Cambridge examinations in 1958.


1957.jpg A Nun of Royal Descent and a Principal
The history of St. Theresa's is never complete till the story of the nun of royal descent who later became principal is told. Adopted by a Thai prince, Sr Marie Jombunad left the comforts of her palace for an IJ Convent.

In 1956, she became the 6th principal of CHIJ St. Theresa's Convent and will always be remembered for being ahead of her times. Students in the late 1950s were already engaged in out-of-class learning like visits to the printing press and the airport to see the bulwarks.

Late 1950s

1950-1.jpg Times of Rapid Expansion
Under Sr Marie's leadership, the school underwent rapid expansion. To boost staff recruitment, Sr Marie turned to Senior Cambridge school leavers from Town Convent who were looking for jobs as teachers. One such blessing was Mrs Maureen Martens who later started hockey at St. Theresa's.

Another gift to the school was Mrs Mabel Tan who joined as a teacher in 1957 and served the school for the next 42 years. Yet another gift to the school was Ms Chan Pui Chen who taught in St. Theresa's for 50 years straight after graduating from Town Convent. 


1959.jpg Second Phase of Construction of the School
Construction of the hall and tuckshop started.


1961.jpg Bukit Purmei - A Road at last!
Some semblance of a road leading to the school came into being when Bukit Purmei was first constructed in 1961.


1964.jpg School Field and Science Labs - Facilities not to be taken for granted
The hill behind the school made way for the school field – the Boswell Field, which was named after Colonel Boswell from the British Army.

Colonel Boswell and his men assisted in clearing the field. As a result, the first annual Athletic Meet was held.   The school’s only science laboratory was also opened.


1965.jpg Of Loss and Opportunities
Just as separation from Malaysia gave Singapore the opportunity to test its resolve for independence, the lost of the hills provided opportunities for CHIJ St. Theresa's to hold its athletic meets and National Day parades on levelled ground.


1968.jpg More Facilities, More Opportunities for Learning
The third storey of three classrooms and the Haw Par Art room, at a cost of $85,000 was constructed.

As a result of this extension, two of the classrooms were converted into a needlework room and a library.   The school newsletter, “Echoes from the Hill” was first published.


1969-1.jpg Official Opening of Extension Block
The extension block was declared officially opened by Mr Govindasamy, MP for Telok Blangah, on 19th August 1969, in conjunction with 150th anniversary of Singapore’s founding.


1970.jpg Change of Batons
1970 saw Sr Marie recalled to her native Bangkok to head Ruam Rudee International School. That year, the school organised its first cross country race of one mile from the hill through the old Radin Mas Primary School and back again. The first school magazine was also published.  

Miss Isabel Rodrigues acted as head of the secondary section during transitional period until Mrs Margaret Joseph was appointed as principal of the secondary section.


Principal: Mrs Margaret Joseph (1970 - 1990)
The impact of Mrs Joseph's leadership is felt to this day. A prolific writer, her writings on moral and social issues continue to inspire Theresians.

Building on the foundation laid by Sr Marie, CCAs like Guiding and Hockey went on to scale great heights.


1972.jpg Graduation Day
The tradition of ‘Graduation Day’ for Secondary Four school leavers was instituted. To this day, more than four decades later, annually, our graduating Theresians are presented in their whites before their proud parents.

1976 - 1983

1976-1.jpg A Full School turns 50!
Ms Isabel Rodrigues left to head CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel and both primary and secondary sections were merged to become a full school under the leadership of Mrs Margaret Joseph. Plans for the physical upgrading of CHIJ St. Theresa's Convent also began.

Mrs Joseph started many school programmes like parent education, moral science and public speaking to educate parents and students on her ethical beliefs. The school newsletter 'Echoes from the Hills' echoed her distinctive moral positions on subjects like self-esteem, relationships, social responsibility and the sanctity of life.

To mark the school's 50th anniversary in 1983, Mrs Joseph rallied her staff to publish a book that discussed the value systems that undergirded marriages in the various cultural groups in Singapore.


St. Theresa's to focus on Secondary Education
As Singapore underwent rapid change and renewal to provide quality living for its citizens, St. Theresa's was re-positioned to become a dedicated secondary school. In 1986, the phasing out of the Primary Section was set in motion when the school admitted its last intake of Primary One classes. This move was in line with the school's vision to provide quality education to those it served.


1989.jpg Single Session
St. Theresa’s Convent became a single-session secondary school in 1989, with the its last three cohorts of primary classes.


1990.jpg Principal: Sr Maria Lau (1990 - 1994) With the sudden passing of Mrs Joseph on 3 February 1990, Sister Maria Lau was appointed principal on 26 February 1990. Building works had already begun following a ground breaking ceremony on 13 February 1990.

Sr Maria is remembered for her tenacity to ensure that the school is equipped to meet the needs of a new era. 1990 saw the official opening of Greenlodge, a sisters' residence and Computer Laboratory by Ms Annabel Pennefather, Chairperson of the Board of Management of CHIJ Schools.


1991.jpg Education For Life, Uniquely Theresian
In 1991, the last cohort of Primary 6 pupils graduated.   Phase 1 of School Development project was completed on 31 October 1991. Through the physical upgrading, Sr Maria did not forget that the school is more than just brick and mortar. A staunch believer that all children can learn, Sr Maria pioneered the Education For Life (EFL)programme.

In 2013, more than two decades later, EFL is recognised as a key and distinctive programme of the school that aims to equip Theresians with portable skills through and for real world problem solving. 


1992.jpg A New Era
The school started to function in the new administrative block. Phase 2 of building works commenced in December 1992. The school building and ground underwent transformation in order to best prepare students for a rapidly changing national environment that had to keep in step with global changes.


1993.jpg Hockey Our Pride
The school celebrated its 60th Anniversary. The Theresian Alumni was formed. From the vision of Mrs Maureen Martens, St. Theresa's became well-known for producing hockey players of quality.

When the Singapore Women's Hockey Team won the SEA Games gold medal in 1993, 11 of the 16-member team were Theresians.


1994.jpg A Rose in Full Bloom
With the completion of the 4-storey classroom block, the Auditorium and Technical Workshop, St. Theresa's was given a major facelift that earned the school the description of 'A Rose in Full Bloom'.

The school started to function in the new four-storey classroom block. A quiet room called 'The Cenacle' was added to remind Theresians that what houses the human spirit is more than just brick and mortar. In four short years, Sr Maria's work of building "a house where love can dwell" was complete.

1994 - 1996

1994-96.jpg Principal: Mrs Mano Hirubalan (1994 - 1998)
Sister Maria was appointed Principal of Catholic Junior College on 28 November 1994. Mrs Mano Hirubalan assumed principalship of the school. The new school building was declared officially open by His Grace, Msgr Gregory Yong, Archbishop of Singapore on 25 March 1995. The third Computer Lab was officially opened by Deputy Director of Secondary Schools, Ms Seah Jiak Choo on 31 August 1996.


1997.jpg Meeting the Demands of a New Era
Focused on preparing our students to meet the needs of the changing national and global economic environments, facilities have been upgraded and programmes designed. The Performing Arts Centre was opened by Dr S Vasoo, MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC in February 1997.   The Theresian Learning Centre was declared open and the school’s website was also launched by Ms Annabel Pennefather, Chairman of the IJ Board of Management on 1 October 1997.

1998 - 1999

1998-99.jpg Principal: Mrs Evelyn Ong (1997 - 2001)
End 1997 saw Mrs Evelyn Ong succeed Mrs Hirubalan who was posted to MOE HQ. To meet the needs of a more sophisticated generation, Mrs Ong established the Parent Support Group.

PAL (Parents Are Links) was inaugurated on 9 November 1999. The first chairperson was Mrs Vivien Woon. Simultaneously, Mrs Ong also began fundraising through a charity golf tournament to build the Theresian Archives.


2000.jpg Building Bridges, Making Connections
To make St. Theresa's a safer and more inviting environment, a pedstrian overhead bridge into the school compound was built and completed in 2000. The statue of our founder, Fr Nicholas Barre was also installed in the school's foyer on 20 October 2000.

Sanctuaire de Barre is a quiet but an important reminder to all who enter the portals of CHIJ St. Theresa's that the school would not be in existence if not for the vision and courage of Fr Nicholas Barre and thecommitment of the IJ sisters.


2001-1.jpg Inauguration of the Student Council & Opening of Notre Heritage
To broaden the roles and responsibilities of student leaders, the Prefectorial Board was developed into the Student Council which was inaugurated on 6 July 2001, in conjunction with Youth Day. 

The building of the Theresian Archives was also completed.

Former President Dr Wee Kim Wee declared the Notre Heritage officially open on 22 October 2001.

2002 - 2003

2002-03.jpg Principal: Mrs Christine Anne Kong (2002 - 2007)
Mrs Christine Kong was appointed principal in 2002. To meet the recreational needs of a more sophisticated generation, Mrs Kong began construction of a Student Activity Centre in 2002.

The SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in the first half of 2003 was a difficult time for the nation. St. Theresa's, like all other secondary schools was shut from 27 March 2013 to 14 April 2013. This however did not deter the school from marking its 70th anniversary.

The Lighthouse was declared officially opened on 6 June 2003 by alumnus Mrs Margaret Tan who was then Principal of CHIJ Katong Primary.


2003.jpg Celebrating 70 Years of Tradition: Theresians - Light of the Nation
The National Education (NE) Heritage Gallery was declared officially open by Mr Koh Boon Long, Deputy Director, NE Branch on 8 August 2003, in conjunction with National Day celebration and the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the school's founding.

The gallery comprises a creative display of panels that document the development of CHIJ St. Theresa's Convent in parallel with the development of Singapore. These panels were installed on the walls of the staircase well of Block C, which was the classroom block.

2004 - 2005

2004-05.jpg CHIJ 150th Anniversary Celebrations
The IJ community marked its 150th year of IJ presence in Singapore. The book, Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus - 150 years in Singapore by Elaine Meyers was published.

On 26 December 2004, the Indian Ocean earthquake triggered a series of devastating tsunamis that affected Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Mindful of its social mission, St.Theresa's organised a school-wide event that involved the packing of relief supplies for the tsunami victims.

2006 - 2007

2006-07.jpg Celebrating Arts and Sports
As Singapore continues to meet the needs of an increasingly sophisticated generation in arts and sports , CHIJ St. Theresa's similarly works at meeting the aspirations of Theresians. Performing Arts and sporting excellence remain the focus of a Theresian education.

To this end, a 200m track was constructed and opened in 2006. A musical entitled 'Sing to the Dawn' was also produced in the same year in conjunction with Racial Harmony Day.

In 2007, Developing Confident & Resilient Leaders, Learners & Ladies through Hockey was recognised as a niche programme by the Ministry of Education.

2008 - 2009

2008-09.jpg Principal: Mrs Pauline Wong (2008 to date)
Mrs Kong was posted to MOE HQ as Cluster Superintendent and Pauline Wong took over as Principal. The school celebrated the 75th anniversary of its founding with 3 key events - a food & fun fair in conjunction with International Friendship Day on 19 April 2008, the folding of 57,000 hearts from recycled paper to mark UN Day for Eradicaton of World Poverty on 17 October 2008 and a dinner for alumni, parents, staff, students and friends of the school in November.

In 2009, the school also supported the inaugural Asian Youth Games (AYG) by involving 180 student helpers at the Beach Volleyball event at Sentosa.

2010 - 2011

2010-11.jpg Two years at Holding Site
To make way for upgrading under PRIME, the school moved out to its holding site at Queensway. The Theresian Spirit burned bright even though we were away from home.

Business was as usual after the school was blessed on 30 December 2009.


2010.jpg Blazing the Trail - Youth Olympics Games (YOG) 2010
Singapore hosted the inaugural AYG in 2009 and the inaugural YOG in August 2010. 800 of our Sec 1, 2 and 3 girls participated in the Closing Ceremony mass dance entitled Blazing the Trail. More than 25 practices were held from March to August that year to prepare our girls for the performance. Our Theresian ladies, staff and parent volunteers did us proud.

Thursday, 26 August 2010 when our girls took to the stage is a momentous day in the history of both CHIJ St. Theresa's Convent and of Singapore. We have indeed blazed the trail!


2011.jpg Light on the Hill returns
Upgrading under PRIME was completed. The 200m track and the Lighthouse had to make way for a new competitive-sized hockey pitch with synthetic turf complete with water sprinklers. The school returned 'home' on 25 November 2011.

On the 6th floor of the newly piled Block E, a 220 sqm space has been designated as the new Lighthouse. A symbolic home run from the holding site was held on 29 December 2011 followed by the school blessing by His Grace Msgr Nicholas Chia.



80 Years of Love and Light - The Rose in Full Bloom Again
In 2013, Education For Life - Developing Portable Skills through and for Real World Problem Solving was recognised as a second niche programme of the school by the Ministry of Education.

On 19 July 2013, a Teaching & Learning (T&L) Fair was held in conjunction with Racial Harmony Day and The Rose Hallway was declared officially open by Senior Minister of State, Ms Indranee Rajah.

The Rose Hallway captures our 80-year journey of strengthening founddations, guided by God's love and light. It comprises the amalgamation of the treasures from Notre Heritage and NE Heritage Gallery.

2014 picture 1.pngpicture 2.jpg160th Anniversary Forum

The first CHIJ schools in Singapore was founded in 1854 by the Sisters who also set up an orphanage and provided assistance to the poor. The CHIJ schools celebrated its 160th anniversary with a record-breaking bid and the launch of a fund to help needy students. CHIJ Student leaders attended the 160th Anniversary Forum at Catholic Junior College in August 2014. The Theme of the forum was” Women in the Footsteps of Mother Mathilde”. 

The Rose Terrace

The Rose Terrace was officially declared open by our Guest-of-Honour, Mrs Rina Liang, ex-Thereian and Principal of Geylang Methodist Primary on 19 November 2014. Situated at the highest level of our school, The Rose Terrace’s primary feature is a set of 4 solar panels which generate enough energy to power the light at the terrace. This night light serves as a reminder to present day Theresians that we are still the ‘Light on the Hill’. 

The Rose Terrace also encompasses much of what St Theresa’s Convent represents. The rose, as a school emblem, exudes the radiance, beauty, promise and hope which we wish for in all Theresians.
2015 picture 3.pngpicture 4.pngpicture 5.png

Habits of Life (HFL)

Inspired by the spirit of our pioneers, CHIJ STC launched their Habits For Life programme on 9 January 2015. This weekly 45-minute period comprises a variety of activities organised under 4 modules, shown as follows:

a)            HEART OF LIFE for Mindfulness, Aesthetic Appreciation & Stress Management

b)            CIVICS FOR LIFE (Values Inculcation, Current Affairs & Reading)

c)            FIT FOR LIFE (Healthy Eating & Physical Exercises)

d)            ACTIVE FOR LIFE (Cardio vascular Fitness Activities)

The objectives of HFL are to support the delivery of the school’s  Learning for Life Programme as well as to integrate other related school level initiatives like Values Inculcation, Silent Reading & Reflection, and Aesthetic Appreciation. HFL modules provide learning experiences that promote development in Cognitive, Physical & Aesthetics and Social & Moral domains, thus strengthening the school’s efforts at providing a well-rounded, holistic education.

SG50 – The Pioneering Spirit since 1965

Theme for CHIJ STC for 2015 – Pioneers on the Hill, In Service and Love.  To commemorate SG50, the Secondary Three start right programme had their learning Journey to Changi War museum, Johore Battery and Sook Ching massacre sites.

All pioneers of CHIJ STC will be invited to our school National Day Celebration cum Student Leaders Investiture on 7 August 2015.