CHIJ Secondary

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CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh)
Sekolah Menengah CHIJ (Toa Payoh)
Toa Payoh
Type Autonomous Secondary
Motto Simple in Virtue, Steadfast in Duty
Established 1854
Session Single session
School code 7004
Principal Mrs Karen Tay
Colour(s) Blue, white

CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) is an autonomous all-girls Catholic school in Singapore. Founded in 1854, the school is the oldest of the 11 Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) schools in Singapore. The school was first housed in Victoria Street (CHIJMES) before it moved to 626 Toa Payoh Lorong 1 and classes started in 1984. The primary and secondary sections were then split and renamed CHIJ Primary and Secondary (Toa Payoh) respectively. In 2003, the school moved out of the Toa Payoh campus and into a temporary holding site in Thomson Road while the Toa Payoh premises were rebuilt. The girls moved back to the Toa Payoh premises in January 2006, after having spent nearly three years (2003, 2004 and 2005) at the holding site. Sr Anne Wong was CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh)'s first principal until 2000. Miss Theodora Tan served as Principal till July 2006, when Mrs Regina Lee took over. The current principal is Mrs Karen Tay.


"Simple Dans Ma Vertu, Forte Dans Mon Devoir" a French motto which means "Simple in my Virtue, Strong (for a female speaker) in my Duty", loosely anglicized as "Simple in Virtue, Steadfast in Duty".


Students wear a knee-length blue pinafore with a blue belt at the waist with an option of shorts underneath, a white blouse with a Peter-Pan collar beneath the pinafore, white socks, and white-based sneakers. Councillors, who were known as prefects previously, wear a pin above the school badge. Council badges are: junior councillor (green), councillor (white) and 'noblesse oblige' for councillors in the executive committee. Committee members of co-curricular activities (CCA) wear a silver badge with the words 'CCA Committee' on it. The heads of the CCA wear a gold badge with the words 'CCA Leader'.

During official engagements, students representing the school (councillors on most occasions) wear the formal uniform consisting of a long-sleeved white blouse, white skirt, with a navy blue blazer with the school crest on the left chest, along with a navy blue tie, a pair of black court shoes.


  • 1854 - The Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) was established by four Sisters, three French and one Irish, at the corner of Bras Basah Road and Victoria Street, the present CHIJMES. Classes were started for fee paying students and orphans.
Forward CHIJ

Forward CHIJ, forge a future bright
Advancing our aims with zeal and might.
Guide us in our studies, oh Lord, we pray;
Wisdom, courage and charity,
Strengthen in us each day!

Solidly united in our motto sound
Simple in Virtue,
Strong in duty bound!

Loyal to our isle we will ever be,
Defending and serving our country.
Noble in ambition, thought, word and deed;

Rally round CHIJ,
We will strive to succeed!

Solidly united in our motto sound
Simple in Virtue,
Strong in duty bound!

IJ Spirit Song

The IJ Spirit's living on,
It's stretching far and far beyond,
It's never gonna die it's gonna live in each of us.
And we will keep it burning burning strong,
The flame of zest lies in us all along,
Always inspiring us, to go on.

  • 1862 - CHIJ acquired more land as enrolment reached 145, of which 82 were free students.
  • 1881 - The school was declared government-aided.
  • 1902 - Enrolment reached 300. The Junior Cambridge Examination was started.
  • 1905 - Secondary education began.
  • 1909 - The Victoria Street Chapel was erected.
  • 1920 - Introduction of commercial classes, and Domestic Science and Needlework into curriculum.
  • 1921 - "Registration of School Ordinance" came into being. CHIJ was registered on 1 August 1921.
  • 1931 - Acquisition of a piece of land adjoining Van Dyke Hotel. This was used as a hostel but subsequently became part of CHIJ Secondary.
  • 1964 - Separation into Primary and Secondary Schools.
  • 1969 - Introduction of common curriculum to Secondary 1 and 2.
  • 1975 - Pre-University classes in CHIJ were terminated.
  • 1983 - The school moved from Victoria Street to Toa Payoh.
  • 1984 - Classes began at the new site in Lorong 1 Toa Payoh.
  • 1985 - Official opening of CHIJ Primary and Secondary on 17 August.
  • 1986 - The Art Elective Programme (Singapore) (AEP) was introduced.
  • 1994 - CHIJ Secondary became an autonomous school. 140th anniversary celebrations were held.
  • 1999 - CHIJ celebrated the Beatification of Blessed Nicolas Barre on 27 May 1999.
  • 2001 - Ms Theodora Tan assumed office as Principal after Sr. Anne Wong retired in December 2000.
  • 2003 - The school shifted out of the Toa Payoh premises for PRIME, the schools upgrading programme.
  • 2004 - The school's 150th anniversary celebrations were held.
  • 2005 - CHIJ shifted back to its new premises at Toa Payoh.
  • 2007 - Mrs Regina Lee replaced Ms Theodora Tan as Principal after she left to continue her studies at Brown University.
  • 2007 - The school (Toa Payoh) was recognised as a Centre Of Excellence for Language and the Arts, offering both the Art Elective Programme and Drama as a GCSE O level subject starting in 2008.
  • 2007 - The completion of the new school building was celebrated with the IJ Promenade - a musical extravaganza titled 'Faith, Hope and Love: A Musical Journey Through Time', which was performed by students from CHIJ Primary and Secondary.
  • 2013 - Mrs Karen Tay replaced Mrs Regina Lee as Principal when Mrs Lee assumed principal-ship at North Vista Secondary School. The school marked CHIJ's history globally by celebrating its 350th anniversary of its founding in 1662 with a CHIJ Walk.
  • 2014 - CHIJ celebrates 160 years of Love & Service with a gala dinner and a combined choral concert involving all 11 IJ schools
  • 2015 - CHIJ's Art Elective Programme (AEP) celebrates its 30th anniversary with a joint exhibition involving past and present AEP students. The school was also conferred the School Distinction Award and all 5 Best Practice Awards from the ministry

CHIJ Centre of Excellence for Language and the Arts[edit]

CHIJ Secondary was awarded the South Zone Centre of Excellence ( CoE) for Language and the Arts in Aug 2007.


CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) is affiliated to CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh), and Catholic Junior College. CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) is considered officially to be the 'sister' school of Saint Joseph's Institution ( SJI).

Notable alumni[edit]

External Links/References[edit]