Anglo-Chinese School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Anglo-Chinese School
District information
MottoThe Best is Yet To Be
Established1 March 1886; 137 years ago (1886-03-01)
Governing agencyMinistry of Education
Methodist Church of Singapore
Students and staff
Colors  Red
Other information

Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) is a family of Methodist schools in Singapore and Indonesia. It was founded in 1886 by Bishop William Fitzjames Oldham as an extension of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Its students and alumni are referred to as "ACSians" (/ˈɑksiɑn/). ACS was the first school in Singapore to have a flower named after it, the "Ascocenda Anglo-Chinese School orchid", a hybrid created by the school to mark its 116th Founder's Day on 1 March 2002.[1]


The ACS House along Amoy Street, the original premises of ACS

Founded on 1 March 1886 by Bishop William Fitzjames Oldham as an extension of the Methodist Church,[2][3] the school was a shophouse at 70 Amoy Street, Singapore with 13 pupils. The name of the school came from its conducting lessons in Chinese in the morning and English in the afternoon. By the following year, enrollment was 104 and the school moved to Coleman Street.

Between 1914 and 1920, under Reverend J. S. Nagle, the school introduced religious (or "chapel") services and physical education classes. Afternoon classes were started for academically weak pupils. In a bid to ensure continuity in school life and keep the school adequately staffed, Nagle encouraged ex-students, known as "old boys", to join the school as teachers. The Anglo-Chinese School Old Boys' Association is a link through which many "old boys" continue to maintain close ties with the school.[4]

The Anglo-Chinese Continuation School started in 1925 under a new principal, the Reverend P.L. Peach, who had to leave the school due to the newly imposed government age limits on school attendance by boys. ACS became Oldham Methodist School while a secondary school opened in Cairnhill Road.

During the World War II Japanese occupation of Singapore between 1942 and 1945, lessons were suspended. The school opened again in 1946, a year after the Japanese surrender, once the buildings at Cairnhill and Coleman Street had been made safe following damage sustained during the war. The pre-war principal, T. W. Hinch, who had been interned by the Japanese during the occupation and had been sent back to England to recover, returned to the school in June 1946. He set up "X" and "Y" classes, each with different levels of difficulty, for students who had missed their education due to the occupation. In September 1950, the secondary school relocated from Cairnhill Street to Barker Road.

ACPS moved out of the Coleman Street campus in 1994; in its place now are the National Archives.

In 1988, when the Ministry of Education started its independent school program, the school reorganized. New regulations allowed schools access to private funding and subjected them to less government regulation in the content of their curricula. Renamed ACS (Independent), in 1993 the school vacated the Barker Road campus and moved to Dover Road. After strong lobbying by alumni, the Barker Road site became the site of a second secondary school. At the same time, the Anglo-Chinese Primary School abandoned its Coleman Street premises (the old building now housing the National Archives of Singapore) to share premises with the new secondary school at Barker Road, now named ACS (Barker Road).[5]

Anglo-Chinese School Independent, shot in 2016.


Anglo-Chinese School (Primary)[edit]

Anglo-Chinese School (Primary) (ACSP) was separated from the secondary classes in 1928 and was located at Coleman Street while the secondary classes moved to the new building at Cairnhill. In 1951, a branch school was established at Barker Road. In 1957, ACPS in Coleman Street catered to pupils from Primary 1 to 3 while Primary 4 to 6 classes remained known as ACJS. In 1961, leaving the Barker Road campus to be used for secondary and pre-university classes, Mr Lau Hee Boon became the first autonomous principal of ACPS with pupils from Primary 1 to 6, incorporating the Oldham Methodist Primary School with classes from Primary 1 to 6 in the afternoon. At the end of 1984, the junior school moved to 25 Peck Hay Road, while the primary school continued lessons at Canning Rise until 1994. It merged with the Barker Road school in that year, but in December 1998 relocated temporarily to 9 Ah Hood Road while waiting for the completion of the Barker Road campus rebuilding project. The school moved back to Barker Road on 4 December 2002.

Anglo-Chinese School (Junior)[edit]

Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) (ACSJ), formerly named Anglo-Chinese Junior School, is one of the two ACS primary schools in Singapore. Established in 1951 at the old Coleman Street campus, it moved to its former premises at 25 Peck Hay Road at the end of 1984. In December 2008, it relocated to a new building at 16 Winstedt Road.

Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)[edit]

Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)
ACS (Independent) Aerial Panorama. Shot in Feb 2023.

Anglo-Chinese School obtained its independence status from MOE in 1988. In 1988, Anglo-Chinese Secondary School was renamed Anglo-Chinese School (Independent). After receiving its independent status, the school had outgrown the Barker Road campus and plans were made to construct a new building. It relocated to 121 Dover Road in 1992.

Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road)[edit]

Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road)

Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) opened in 1994 and is located at the Barker Road campus. It moved to the former Swiss Cottage Primary School while awaiting completion of the Barker Road rebuilding project. The school was divided into primary and secondary sections, the latter retaining the Barker Road suffix and the former later becoming ACS (Primary).

Anglo-Chinese School (International) Singapore[edit]

ACS (International)

Anglo-Chinese School (International) is a private school. The school opened in January 2005 with 150 students and is located in Holland Village on the former premises of the now defunct Buona Vista Secondary School at 61 Jalan Hitam Manis.

Anglo-Chinese Junior College[edit]

Anglo-Chinese Junior College opened in 1977, located at 25 Dover Close East.

ACS Jakarta[edit]

ACS Jakarta began in July 1996 as Sekolah Tiara Bangsa (STB) before formally joining the ACS Family as STB-ACS (International) Jakarta in July 2006 following. The name was changed to ACS Jakarta in 2015.

Notable alumni[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

  • ACS is mentioned repeatedly as the alma mater of numerous Singapore-based characters in the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "And now, an orchid named after ACS". Anglo-Chinese Junior College. ACS ECHO Magazine. 2002. Archived from the original on 10 March 2003. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Heritage". ACS International Singapore. Archived from the original on 9 February 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Methodist Schools". The Methodist Church in Singapore. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  4. ^ "History of ACSOBA". Anglo-Chinese School Old Boy's Association. ACSOBA. Archived from the original on 6 February 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Anglo-Chinese School". National Heritage Board. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  6. ^ Teng, Amelia (31 August 2014). "ACS old boys turn up in white & blue for reunion". The Straits Times. ISSN 0585-3923. Retrieved 22 September 2023.
  7. ^ Singapore National Library - Singapore Infomedia - Dr Tay Eng Soon Archived 2010-10-01 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Chew, Ian. "Swim sensation Joseph Schooling of ACS(I) lights up inter-school championships". Red Sports. Retrieved 7 April 2023.
  9. ^ "Mr. Lim Nee Soon". The Straits Times. 25 August 1935. p. 17. Retrieved 7 April 2023.