Nan Hua High School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Nan Hua High School
Nánhuá Zhōngxué
Nan Hua High School Logo.jpg
Administration and Aesthetics Block, Nan Hua High School, Singapore - 20131002.jpg
Loyalty, Respect, Humanity, Love, Courtesy, Righteousness, Integrity, Sense of Shame
41 Clementi Avenue 1,
Singapore 129956

Coordinates 1°18′30″N 103°46′09″E / 1.308381°N 103.769167°E / 1.308381; 103.769167Coordinates: 1°18′30″N 103°46′09″E / 1.308381°N 103.769167°E / 1.308381; 103.769167
Type Co-educational SAP Secondary, with Autonomous Status
Established 14 June 1917 (1917-06-14)
Founder Mr Xiong Shangfu
Session Single-Session
School code 3047
Chairman Dr Leong Heng Keng,
BBM (L), K. St. J
Principal Mrs Tan Jong Lek
Vice Principals Mdm Lim Yick Chwee, Joy
Mrs Thai Mok Jee
Enrolment 1,700+
Blue, White, Red

Nan Hua High School (Chinese: 南华中学) is a secondary school in Clementi, Singapore, offering the four-year Express course. The school is operated by the Ministry of Education, and is located in the West Zone school district.

It is the tenth Special Assistance Plan (SAP) school in Singapore, in which both English and Chinese are taught as first languages, and it is also a coeducational school with Autonomous Status. Nan Hua High School was founded in 1917 and it celebrated its 95th Anniversary in 2012.[1] It is not affiliated with Nan Hua Primary School, but both schools have a shared heritage, with a similar school song and similar values.

Nan Hua's niche areas include Performing Arts, where the school's Performing Arts Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) attained 9 Certificates of Distinction at the 2013 Singapore Youth Festival (SYF) Central Judging competition.[2] Other niche areas include the SAP Flagship Programme, Centre of Excellence for Chinese Language and Culture, and environmental activities. Nan Hua High School is the only school in Singapore to have 95% of its students achieve the National Youth Achievement Award (Silver).[3]


Beginnings: Pre-1945[edit]

Undated photo of Nan Hwa Girls' School's former campus on Bencoolen Street

Nan Hwa Girls' School (NHGS) was first established by Mr Xiong Shangfu, an overseas Chinese, on 14 June 1917. It was founded with the aim to give the girls in Singapore the opportunity of receiving an education, which was a privilege that few girls had at that time. It was first founded in a makeshift school in Coleman Street. Fewer than 100 Chinese girls were studying there. The school grew rapidly, necessitating larger premises. In 1921, the school moved to a new building in Bencoolen Street, due to a rapid increase in student population. However, in 1924, the school was forced to close temporarily due to financial difficulties. After a series of public appeals, generous contributions of funds from the community helped pay off the school's debts, and the school re-opened.

By 1928, the Basic Teacher Training Programme had started and the student population of the school was booming, leading to a space constraint. In 1941, a new school building at Adis Road was ready and it became the "Main School", catering for normal training classes for teachers and primary classes. The old building at Bencoolen Street continued to function as its "Branch School", for primary classes only. That same year after the Japanese invaded Singapore during World War II, the school complex at Adis Road was turned into the headquarters for the Imperial Japanese Army and the school was forced to close again.[4]

Post War: 1945-1980s[edit]

The school re-opened in October 1945 after the return of the Allied forces. The School Management Committee (SMC) set out to raise funds to rebuild the school and enrol students. Due to the overwhelming financial support of many parents, secondary classes were set up and the school's enrolment rose to 700 pupils. The school's name was changed to Nan Hwa Girls' High School (NHGHS) in 1956. During this period, the curriculum underwent much restructuring and NHGHS emerged as one of the premier girls' schools in Singapore. The Branch School was transformed totally into a primary school, and the Main School became a secondary school after it terminated the intake of primary pupils in 1964.[5]

Co-ed School: 1980s-2000[edit]

Former Nan Hua Secondary School campus from 1982 to 2003

A third move took place on 12 December 1982 when the school moved from Adis Road to Clementi Avenue 1 on the recommendation of the Ministry of Education (MOE). The school began to admit Secondary One boys and thus became coeducational in 1984. The school also dropped the "girls" in its name to reflect the change, renaming itself as Nan Hua Secondary School. On 1 April 1986, the SMC handed over the administration of the school to the MOE, thus ending its long-standing status as an aided school.[6]

10th SAP School: 2000-present[edit]

View of the admin & aesthetics block of the present campus of Nan Hua High School

In the new millennium, Nan Hua Secondary School became the 10th Special Assistance Plan school. Under PRIME, the school was relocated to a new campus at 41 Clementi Avenue 1 on 20 December 2003. The previous campus is now occupied by the NUS High School of Math and Science. To build cross-cultural capabilities in a multi-racial society, Nan Hua also offers promising students the opportunity to study Malay (Special Programme) (MSP).[7]

The school subsequently attained the School of Distinction Award and Singapore Quality Class Award in 2005. The new building was officially opened by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on 17 July 2005 when he declared Nan Hua Secondary School achieving its Autonomous Status in 2006. The name was changed to Nan Hua High School from 1 January 2006.

In 2010, Nan Hua High School received the President's Award for the Environment, the highest environment accolade for organisations and companies in Singapore. The same year saw the participation of Nan Hua students and its Dance Society in the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore, with the Dance Society performing in the segment entitled 'Bud', and the students as volunteers.

"南华95" formation done by students and staff during the 2012 Annual Sports Carnival

In 2012, Nan Hua celebrated its 95th Anniversary with a series of activities and celebrations throughout the year, culminating in the 95th Anniversary Dinner held on 7 July 2012 and the formation of the characters "南华95" by students and staff during the Annual Sports Carnival. Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Education, launched Nan Hua High School's Chinese Language Pedagogy Unit on 7 July 2012 at the school's 95th Anniversary Dinner.[8]

School culture[edit]

School crest[edit]

Nan Hua High School crest

The white colour of the school crest embodies everything that is pure and wholesome, particularly purity in thought, word and deed. The blue signifies essential qualities of good character, namely sincerity and integrity.

The three corners of the triangle on the school crest represent the three aspects of school education: moral, intellectual and physical. The widely opened book featured in the crest symbolizes the importance of reading.

School song[edit]

The school song is made up of two verses, one in English and one in Mandarin. In every rendition of the school song, both verses are sung, with the English verse coming first, followed by the Mandarin verse. The verse in English are written by Miss Ho Lai Lin, and the song was moderated by Mr Chin Wai Fah. Nan Hua High School and Nan Hua Primary School have similar school songs, due to the shared heritage of both schools. Both school also share the same school values.

English Verse Mandarin Verse
Years it takes to build a nation 立国大计须百年树人
Strive we to this end with valour always 我校同人以此自克励
Nurtured we from childhood through our youth 小学教育与中学教育
Finest essence spread we all our days 五育平均发展相砥砺
Loving, loyal, filial, upright, courteous be, 礼义廉耻 忠孝仁爱 好校训
Patient, tolerant and humble we shall be 容忍谦让 热诚负责 相勉励
Work together, each dutifully 分工合作奋向万里前程
Forward to the future eagerly 他日学成为国家效力


Attire and appearance[edit]

Nan Hua students in full school uniform

The school uniform is a white shirt with two metal buttons at the shoulder, with the Chinese characters of "Nan Hua" on it. Boys wear shirts with two front pockets at the chest fastened with two metal buttons that plays the role of two buttons, and it is also known as a studded shirt in the school's official website. Both shirts for boys and girls feature two shoulder flaps on each side, a unique feature of traditional Chinese schools. Traditional Chinese schools award ranks to students according to their achievement and seniority, and these shoulder flaps are used to hold epaulets denoting their ranks, much like military uniforms. The traditional Chinese schools have since abolished this system, and the shoulder flaps serve no major purpose. However it is still retained as it symbolizes Nan Hua's roots as a traditional Chinese school.

Lower secondary boys wear white shorts and upper secondary boys wear long white pants. Girls of Nan Hua high wear a white blouse also with 2 metal buttons on the shoulder, also known as a studded blouse, with a knee-length box-pleated skirt. All students are required to wear either plain white socks or Nan Hua socks, which have the abbreviation of the school "NHHS" embroidered on them. Students are also required to wear only white shoes. Ties are to be worn by all students on assembly day (Monday) every week, and during special events.

Assembly session in Nan Hua High School. Notice the plaits sported by some female students

In Nan Hua High School, girls with long hair have to tie their hair into two scorpion or French plaits. In the early part of Nan Hua's history, only the female members of the Dance Society were allowed to keep long hair, which would have to be plaited. It was only in the later part of Nan Hua's history were girls then allowed to keep long hair, which would have to be plaited. Nan Hua High School is one of the only two schools in Singapore that require girls with long hair to tie plaits. Plaits are a unique part of Nan Hua's school culture, and is often associated with the school itself.

School spirit[edit]

Screenshot of Instagram posts with the "#nhtoocool" tag
#nhtoocool badges made by the Student Council (left) and the Alumni Association (right)

Many students of Nan Hua High School, past and present, often cite the strong school spirit at Nan Hua as one of the reasons why they have enjoyed their time at Nan Hua. It is common for ex-students to visit the school to volunteer in CCA matters as well as school events every now or then. The school boasts a strong alumni group whose membership includes ex-students from as far back as the pre-1980s. Nan Hua students and staff, past and present, often term themselves as "Nan Huarians" or the Chinese term, "南华人".[10]

A tradition that Nan Hua students are proud of is the practice of writing cards to friends across the various levels on Valentine's Day. The cards are often delivered by placing them in the recipient's locker. Sweets and chocolates are also often given out along with cards. This also highlights the strong friendship and rapport between students of different levels.

In addition, whenever Nan Huarians tweet any school-related tweets or post any school-related posts on Instagram, such as showing their approval of a school event, showing support for their fellow Nan Huarians who are on competitions, or just expressing their love for the school, they often accompany their tweets or posts with the tag '#nhtoocool'. Badges bearing this tag have been made by the Student Council and the Alumni Association in recognition of this emblem of school pride.

School events[edit]


Camp Achiever[edit]

Since 2011 all four levels of the entire school cohort, from Secondary One to Secondary Four, attend their respective level camps in early January. Secondary One students attend the Orientation Camp, also known as Camp Genesis, where they go through activities with their classmates so as to build friendships and bonds between each other. Secondary Two students attend a bi-cultural camp, named Camp Cultura, where they go through activities with their classmates, gaining more knowledge about the customs of the various races in Singapore. Secondary Three students attend an adventure camp, named Camp Vigour, in Johor, Malaysia, where they go through activities such as jungle and beach trekking, high elements, dragnet fishing, raft building and kayaking. Secondary Four students attend Camp Horizon, which aims to prepare them mentally for the GCE 'O' Level examinations at the end of the year through various activities.

Lunar New Year Celebrations[edit]

Students and staff displaying their calligraphy during the 2012 Lunar New Year Celebrations

The event is marked with various activities and a concert put up by the various Performing Arts CCAs. In recent years, students and staff have engaged in efforts to establish local records related to the Lunar New Year. In 2012, Nan Hua High School set a Singapore record for the Largest Display of Calligraphy, with 1,698 students and staff writing their wishes on red calligraphy paper and displaying them collectively in the parade square. In 2013, Nan Hua set a record for the Most Number Of People Carrying Hongbao Lanterns, with 1,818 students, staff and invited senior citizens making lanterns using red packets (hongbao), and displaying them collectively in the parade square.

Annual Road Run[edit]

Former Vice Principal Mr Lee Peck Ping flagging off the Secondary Two girls at the 2013 Annual Road Run

The Annual Road Run is a running event held at the end of the first school term in which students and staff take part in. It is usually held at West Coast Park, located in West Coast, Singapore. Males run a distance of 4.6 kilometers while females run a distance of 3.5 kilometers. Medals are awarded to the top 20 boys and girls. Classes have a picnic and inter-class competitions between classes of the same level are held after the run.

Speech & Prize-Giving Day[edit]

Parade put up by Nan Hua High School's Uniformed Groups at the 97th Speech & Prize-Giving Day in 2014
Mass dance put up by the Dance Society at 97th Speech & Prize-Giving Day

Also called Speech Day, awards are given out to selected students for achievements in the areas of academics and CCAs. Awards are also given out to long-serving staff and retiring staff, and the Friends of Nan Hua award is given out to certain individuals or organizations who have been of great service and help to the school. The inaugural Student of the Year award was given out at the 93rd Speech & Prize-Giving Day in 2010.

Before the presentation of awards at the hall, a parade is held at the parade square involving the members of Nan Hua's Uniformed Groups CCAs, which is followed by a mass dance by the Dance Society. Since 2013, the sports CCAs have been involved in a rendition of the Nan Hua Mass Dance, performed to the song "Through the Years". Several performances are put up by some Performing Arts CCAs after the presentation of awards.

Annual Sports Carnival[edit]

Various sports activities are held during the carnival, with different activities for different levels. The type of activities vary each year. A concert is held after the activities, with performances put up by some of the Performing Arts CCAs and sometimes the teachers.

Cultural Potpourri[edit]

Finale featuring all 8 Performing Arts CCAs at Cultural Potpourri 2013

Cultural Potpourri is a public concert held annually at the National University of Singapore University Cultural Centre (NUS UCC). It was started as a biennial event in 1998 to give the Performing Arts CCAs a chance to perform their pieces from the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF) Central Judging competition. The event was changed to an annual event in 2011 to encourage more participation in the Performing Arts.[12] Tickets for the concert are sold by the school, with performances put up by all 8 Performing Arts CCAs.

Teachers' Day[edit]

Concert segment of Teachers' Day Celebrations in Nan Hua High School, 2014

Nan Hua High School's Teachers' Day celebrations are organized by the school's Student Council. Before a concert, students and staff embark on a walk to nearby Clementi Woods Park and back, as part of an activity marking ACES Day which falls on the same day as Teachers' Day. The concert is put up by performers who are chosen through an intra-school audition. Special videos where the teachers are shown doing activities considered "youthful" are also made and shown during the concerts, and are well received by students and staff alike. Personalised gifts are also made for the teachers as well.

Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrations[edit]

2014 Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrations

Nan Hua High School's Mid-Autumn celebrations involves the Lower Secondary students setting up booths where they sell various products such as food, drinks, games and art and crafts, with a percentage of the earnings are donated to charity. A concert is also put up by various Performing Arts CCAs in the parade square. Members of the public are welcome to attend this event. The Mid-Autumn celebrations often serve as a gathering for the Nan Hua High School alumnus.

Graduation Day & Night[edit]

Confetti falling on the Class of 2013 after completing the Ceremonial Walk, on Graduation Day 2013

The Secondary Four students obtain their graduation certificates during Graduation Day, which is held after the 'O' level examinations. Students receive their certificates individually from either the principal or vice principals on stage, and performances are put up by selected Secondary Four classes. Class videos made by each Secondary Four class is also shown throughout the ceremony. Graduation Night is usually held a few days later.

School campus[edit]

Nan Hua High School's present campus at 41 Clementi Avenue 1

Nan Hua High School's current campus lies on 292,710 square feet (27,194 m2) of hill land at 41 Clementi Avenue 1. The school was constructed at a cost of S$12,281,240. It consists of an admin & aesthetics block, a science block, a canteen & hall block, three classroom blocks, a foyer, an indoor sports hall, a parade square, an eco-garden and a field.

The admin & aesthetics block mainly houses the general office, staff room and dedicated rooms and studios for the Performing Arts CCAs. A sky garden on the 5th floor of the same block and was opened by then Minister for Education, Tharman Shanmugaratnam on 25 April 2007.[13] The garden is used for both formal lessons and student-initiated activities. The auditorium, named the Yeung Ching Foundation Auditorium, is also located on the same level as the sky garden.

The science block houses science laboratories and cookery rooms used for Home Economics lessons. The science block features eight red pillars on its facade, each adorned with a plate bearing the Chinese character of one of the eight school values, 忠,孝,仁,爱,礼,仪,廉,耻 (Loyalty, Respect, Humanity, Love, Courtesy, Righteousness, Integrity, Sense of Shame).

Three classroom blocks house the classrooms which are used to conduct lessons for the more than 1,700 strong student cohort at Nan Hua High School. The blocks consist of six floors and boast a total of 47 classrooms. Each classroom is air-conditioned and there are lockers outside the classrooms which students can place their textbooks in for storage.

In late 2013, a statue of Confucius has been erected at the car porch. The statue has become quite an attraction at the school, and visitors and students are often seen taking photographs with the statue.

Due to the higher elevation of the Nan Hua High School campus building and an extensive empty plot of land adjacent to the school, sunrises can be easily seen from the upper floors of the building, in the direction facing the nearby Clementi Road

Panorama of the Admin & Aesthetics Block (left), Science Block (centre), Canteen & Hall Block (right), and the Parade Square (foreground)

Student activities[edit]


Co-curricular activities[edit]

Uniformed Groups Performing Arts Groups Visual Arts Groups Sports Groups Clubs and Societies
National Cadet Corps (Land) (Boys) Dance Society Art & Design Club Athletics Club Infocomm Club
National Cadet Corps (Land) (Girls) Chinese Orchestra Calligraphy & Painting Club Badminton Club Innovation Club
National Police Cadet Corps Symphonic Band Basketball Club (Boys) Chess Club
Boys' Brigade Choir Football Club (Boys) Media & Debating Club
Girls' Brigade Guzheng Ensemble Netball Club (Girls) Service-Learning Club
Girl Guides Harp Ensemble Softball Club (Girls)
St. John Ambulance Brigade English Drama Club Table Tennis Club
Chinese Drama Society Volleyball Club (Boys)

Student Council[edit]

The Student Council was formed in 1993. It consists of a group of student leaders who are in charge of important school events and projects, and also to present proposals to improve the school environment. Councillors are nominated on a self-nomination basis or by teachers in the second half of their Secondary One year, and they will serve a probationary term of a few months until the term of the current Student Council is up, which usually happens in May. Councillors would then be selected based on their performance throughout their probationary term. Each councillor serves a one-year term, which usually starts in May, and councillors may serve up to two, one-year terms throughout their education in Nan Hua High School.

Examples of events organised and led by the Student Council include the Secondary One Orientation Camp, Secondary One Registration Exercise, the Combined Student Leaders' Investiture, Teachers' Day Celebration, Secondary 4 Graduation Night and Student Planning Day. The Student Council also plans and organizes some projects aimed at improving student welfare. For example, the Student Council puts up encouragement notes in the vicinity of the examination hall, as a form of support and encouragement for Secondary Four students when they are sitting for their 'O' level examinations.

Care Force[edit]

The Care Force was established in 2001 to provide a student-based system in providing support and care for the student population. The Care Force is made up of Care Representatives in each class and student volunteers as well. Their responsibility is to show care and concern for their friends and help to build friendship across classes.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Speech by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Acting Minister for Education, 30 December 2003.
  • Nan Hua High School Student Handbook 2013
  • Nan Hua High School Yearbook 2013
  • Nan Hua High School Yearbook 2012
  • Nan Hua High School 96th Speech & Prize-Giving Day 2013 Programme Booklet
  • Nan Hua High School 95th Speech & Prize-Giving Day 2012 Programme Booklet
  • Nan Hua High School 94th Speech & Prize-Giving Day 2011 Programme Booklet
  • Nan Hua High School 93rd Speech & Prize-Giving Day 2010 Programme Booklet
  • Rapport: A Nan Hua High Newsletter (Volume 25, 2013)
  • Rapport: A Nan Hua High Newsletter (Volume 24, 2012)
  • Official website of Nan Hua High School
  • Choosing Your Secondary Schools, Part Two: Information on Secondary Schools (2010)

External links[edit]