Fairfield Methodist School (Primary)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Fairfield Methodist School (Primary)
Location
100 Dover Road, Singapore 139648 ,
Information
Type Government-Aided
Motto Pure and Honest
Established 4 August 1888
Session Single
School code 5020
Principal Mrs Chaillan Mui Tuan
Enrolment 1
Website
Fairfield Methodist School (Primary)

Fairfield Methodist School (Primary) (abbreviation: FMS(P); Chinese: 花菲卫理小学) is a government-aided primary school in Dover Road, western Singapore.

It is affiliated with Fairfield Methodist School (Secondary).

Early years[edit]

Fairfield was founded in August 1888 by Miss Sophia Blackmore, a 31-year-old missionary from the Methodist Mission. Her mandate in 1888 was to start a girls' school in Singapore in an enclave called Telok Ayer. She started a class for eight Nonya girls in a little room at Cross Street. At that time, education for girls was not favoured by the early traditional Chinese immigrants or even the liberal Baba merchants. Miss Blackmore then persuaded families to enroll their girls at her school. However, they suspected her of being a government spy sent to catch them secretly gambling at cards, or more commonly known to the people as the 'mata-mata' agents who were helping the British government enforce its new law against gambling. Miss Blackmore's habit of asking for the women's names and writing them down in her notebook as a record of whom she had visited made parents suspicious of her.[citation needed]

Over time, they became more receptive to the idea that it would be good for their daughters to be educated. In June 1888, Miss Blackmore managed to get her first pupil. She recalls,

" How pleased we were when one little girl, hearing of the school, clapped her hands and begged her mother to let her attend. She had been nicknamed 'Gondol', which means bald, because her head had been shaved during sickness. Not much knowledge entered that little bald head, but her own willingness to come to school helped others to decide."

[citation needed]

After Gondol's mother agreed to send her daughter to school, a few other mothers followed her lead. Altogether, seven more pupils were signed on. Blackmore rented out the front room of Nonya Boon, a rich widow's house. She named the school 'The Telok Ayer Girls' School'.[citation needed]

1888 onwards[edit]

In 1893, the principal, Emma Ferris, found that the furniture had been removed because the landlady had decided to rent the room out to someone else to be used as a shop. Ferris found a new site for the school in a corner house at Telok Ayer. By 1894, the school had 30 students but some parents took their daughters out of the school when they were 12.

In 1902, when Edith Anna Hemingway was principal, the school moved into a big and airy house on Neil Road. However, it was told to move out a year later. The school now had problems accommodating its 93 students.[citation needed]

In 1905, the school moved from the corner house at Telok Ayer into a larger house at Neil Road. In 1907, after Luella Anderson's tenure as principal ended, the school appointed Mary Olson as principal. She had come to Singapore to head the Methodist Girls' School. Despite this, she took charge of the Telok Ayer School as well. In 1910, Miss Olson was appointed principal of Telok Ayer Girls' School only. The school was promoted to a 'first-rate school' by the government.

Miss Olson realised that she required more space in the building and tried to raise funds for a new building. The biggest pledge (USD 5,000) came from a Mr Fairfield from New England. The school was renamed Fairfield Girls' School.

In 1917, congestion had forced a hundred Fairfeld girls to study in a dark shophouse. In 1924, a new block of the building was completed, consisting of six classrooms and a chapel hall.

FMPS Students, 2008

On to Dover[edit]

In 1983, the school moved its premises to its current Dover campus. At the same time, the school went co-educational and split into two separate schools, Fairfield Methodist Primary School and Fairfield Methodist Secondary School, each with its own administration but both under the Fairfield Methodist School Board of Management. Cheong Yuen Lin, an old girl of Fairfield, became the principal of FMPS. In the same year, the school also saw its first intake of boys.

In 1989, Dorothy Ho became the Principal of FMPS.

In 1998, FMPS embarked on a PRIME Building Project (1998–2002) to build a new extension block and upgrade the existing facilities to enable the school to go single session by 2005.

Dorothy Ho retired in December 2001 and was succeeded by Tan Shook Fund. Tan, however, died unexpectedly in 2003 in a drowning accident in Krabi off Southern Thailand.

The baton was passed on to Charles Tong, Fairfield's first male principal, in February 2004. The next year, the school became single-session.

With effect from January 2009, the name of the school was changed from Fairfield Methodist Primary School to Fairfield Methodist School (Primary).

Fairfield celebrated its 120th anniversary in August 2008. A commemorative plaque was erected on the site of the old Fairfield Methodist Girls' School at Neil Road. The school celebrated by breaking several national records, entering the Singapore Book of Records.

The school was formally turned over to Mrs Chaillan Mui Tuan by Charles Tong in December 2008. He had been principal for five years.

In September 2009, the school conducted an experiment in preparation for a change in the school's starting time. For four days, school started at 7:30 a.m. instead of the usual 7:10 a.m.

120th anniversary (2008)[edit]

In the countdown to its 120th anniversary, Fairfield Methodist Primary School joined Fairfield Methodist Secondary School in breaking the world record for the most number of people playing Uno simultaneously. The Fairfield Schools also entered the Singapore Book Of Records for having 5000 people (students, staff and parents) make a Fairfield Badge on the school field.

The primary school also broke the world record for forming the longest contra line of people dancing to the song New Age Girl, and the record for the longest painting in Singapore on the same day.

Sports carnival[edit]

Annually, Fairfield holds a sports carnival, in which upper primary (Primary 4-6) pupils of the school houses compete against each other in sports such as Badminton, Volleyball, Captain's Ball and Ultimate Frisbee. The Sports Carnival was started in 2001, with Blackmore House winning the first edition of the Carnival. Since then, Martin House has claimed the title every year, with the exception of 2008, when the school stopped the Carvival for a year due to its 120th anniversary celebrations.

Sports Day[edit]

Sports Day is similar to the sports carnival but is for lower primary pupils. The sports are less vigorous than the ones in the carnival.( Running, jumping, etc.)

Notable Alumni[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]