Commonwealth Secondary School

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Commonwealth Secondary School
CSS Crest.png
698 West Coast Road, Singapore 608784
Jurong East
Type Autonomous
Motto Ever with the Best
Established 1964
Session single
School code 3012
Principal Aaron Loh (Mr)
Enrolment Over 1,300
Colour(s) Blue, yellow, white.

Commonwealth Secondary School (abbreviation: CWSS) is a government, autonomous and coeducational secondary school in Singapore. Founded in 1964, Commonwealth Secondary School offers secondary school education from secondary one to four/five which leads to the GCE 'O' Level and GCE 'N' Level certificates, and admits students (express stream) with PSLE score ranging from 238 and above annually.


The new campus at West Coast Road

Commonwealth Secondary School began as Tanglin Integrated Vocational Secondary School in 1964 and became an academic institution named Tanglin Secondary in 1969.

In 1972, the name was changed again to Commonwealth Secondary School since it was situated near Commonwealth Drive. The school relocated to Jurong East in 1989 and functioned as a neighbourhood school in the Hong Kah constituency for seven years before moving to Jurong East Street 24 of the Yuhua Constituency at the end of 1995. The school moved to its new campus on West Coast Road in November 2006. The official opening ceremony of the new campus was held on July 11, 2008.[1]

Commonwealth Secondary has been an autonomous school since 1995, a status given to the school because of its academic success and achievement in co-curricular programmes. Commonwealth Secondary is also a Higher Chinese Centre since 1995, catering to students who have the passion to pursue Higher Chinese Language(HCL) in the West District. On the academic front, in addition to being a Higher Chinese Centre, Commonwealth has also been offering Higher Malay and Higher Tamil to its pupils since 2006. From 2006, a humanities subject, Economics, was offered to Secondary 3 students. Dance and Drama has been Commonwealth's niche areas since 2000. The Walk in Art Gallery has been open since the school itself opened in 1993. In 2004, Commonwealth received its 1st Ministry of Education's Sustained Achievement Award for both uniformed groups and the performing arts.

In 2007, CWSS received the Singapore Quality Class status. The school has been designated as a Centre of Excellence for Environmental Education from 2008 onwards.[2]

School anthem :

Commonwealth Secondary School
To you we pledge our total loyalty
Neither colour nor creed shall affect
The total unity we pledge to you

Your flag and principles we'll cherish
Even if we have in the course to perish
The crescent and starts five shall guide
The flame of solidarity in which we pride

To serve will be our very aim
No influence will our zeal maim
The purity of thought and deed we'll nurture
Thus we will attain stature


In March 2007, Pandan Reservoir and Sungei Pandan were adopted by the school.[3]

CWSS is now led by Mr Aaron Loh. His deputies include Mr Tan Tai Huat, Mrs Lena Chua and Mr Tan Boon Piang. Also, West Coast Park has been adopted by the school in 2008.[4]


  • 1969 - 1970 Mr Boey Chen Kee
  • 1971 - 1974 Mr N. Suppiah
  • 1975 - 1986 Mr A. N. Balagopal
  • 1987 - 1990 Mr Tan Tiek Kwee
  • 1990 - 1993 Mr Thomas Ong Xian Wei
  • 1993 - 1998 Mdm Sun Huey Min
  • 1999 - 2001 Mrs Lim Lai Cheng
  • 2002 - 2004 Ms Dorothy Tay Bee Hian
  • 2005 - 2008 Mrs Teo Khin Hiang
  • 2009 - 2012 Mrs Cheah Mei Ling
  • 2012 - Mr Aaron Loh

School crest[edit]

The CWSS Crest, designed by Miss Ruth Ng

This is the school's statement on the CWSS crest:

Behold our school crest
With our motto, ever with the best
See the flame burning with zest
It proudly stands of CWSS.
Blue for infinite resourcefulness
Gold for faith and fruitfulness
Ever-glowing is our flame
Ever-growing is our name


Ever With The Best

Co-curricular activities[edit]

The school has performed actively in the areas of sports, with students participating in its Commonwealth Secondary's CCA programme comprises sports, uniformed groups, aesthetic groups, clubs and societies.

2003 was a key milestone for CWSS as all five of its aesthetic groups (Band, Choir, Drama, Chinese dance, Indian dance) attained gold medals in the biannual Singapore Youth Festival Central Judging. In 2005, these gold-medal winning groups sustained their achievements as they attained two Gold with Honours and three Golds in the SYF Central Judging.[5] The newly formed Malay Dance Group won a silver award in the SYF.

The Choir team was selected as the only choir to perform on the Opening Ceremony of the Singapore Youth Festival at the Esplanade Theatre on 1 July 2005. The Drama team performed for the SYF at the Hwa Chong Institute Drama Theatre on 22 July 2005. In March 2006, the performing arts group held their 1st public performance 'Leaving a Legacy' at the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay. 2009 was a record-breaking year for the school, with three aesthetic groups attaining the highest accolade, Gold with Honours.

The Hockey team was ranked among the top eight schools in Singapore for the third year running. The netball team obtained 2nd position in West Zone Netball B Girls in the year 2006 and champions in the M1 School Challenge League 2009.

The NCC and Red Cross units won gold medals in the Best Unit Awards 2005. The Red Cross Unit was awarded the Community Service Gold Award for the 4th consecutive Year, c. 2006.

The AVA team won the Silver and Special Mention Award in the 6th SVA and the FnV team have obtained Merit in the 8th SVA.[6] The New Media Club achieved Gold in the 2008 Schools' Digital Media Award. The school won the Lotus award in Green Audit Awards in years 2006, 2007 and Sustained Achievement Award in 2008 with the help of Green Club.[7] The Art and Craft club won Bronze awards in SYF 2006 and 2008.


Major school achievements

Awards Award level Year(s) Awarded by
School Distinction Award[8] - 2010–2014 MOE
President's Award for the Environment[9][10] - 2009 MEWR
Singapore Quality Class[11] - From 2007 SPRING Singapore
People Developer Standard[12] - From 2006 SPRING Singapore
Autonomous Status[13] - From 1995 MOE
Centre of Excellence for Environmental Education[2] - From 2008 MOE, MEWR
Watermark Award[14][15] - 2008 PUB
Best Practice Award for Staff Well-Being[16] - 2010–2014 MOE
Sustained Achievement Award (CHERISH) [17] Platinum 2010 MOE
Sustained Achievement Awards in Aesthetics/Uniform Groups/Physical Fitness [17] - From 2003/2004/2008 MOE
Thinking Culture Award Best School (Zonal) 2007 MOE
Character Development Award [17][18] - 2007–2012 MOE
Joint HPB-MOE CHERISH Award[19] Gold 2008 HPB, MOE
CHERISH Award[20] Silver 2005 HPB
School's Green Audit Award[21] Lotus/

Sustained Achievement

2006, 2007/


National Arts Education Award[22] Bronze 2008 NAC
TAF Award[23] Gold 2006, 2007, 2008 MOE
Academic Value-added in Special/Express Streams[17] Silver/


2007, 2008, 2009/


Academic Value-added in Normal Stream[17] Bronze/


2008, 2010/



Major CCA achievements

Year/CCAs Choir Band Drama (English) Dance (Chinese) Dance (Malay) Dance (Indian) Art and Craft
2011 Gold Silver Gold Gold Gold Silver -
2009 Gold with Honours Silver Gold with Honours Gold Gold with Honours Gold -
2007 Gold Gold Silver Silver Bronze Gold 2 Bronze (2008)
2005 Gold with Honours Gold Gold with Honours Gold Silver Gold Bronze (2006)
2003 Gold Gold Gold Gold - Gold -
2001 Gold Silver Gold Gold - - -
Year/CCAs Girl Guides NCC (Land Boys) Red Cross NPCC (Land)
2009 Gold Gold Silver Silver
2008 Silver Gold Silver Silver
2007 Silver Silver Silver Bronze
2006 Silver Silver Bronze Bronze
2005 Silver Gold Gold Bronze
2004 Gold Silver - Bronze
2003 Gold Silver - Silver

Major academic achievements

  • ‘O’ Level Band (Special/Express - Based on previous years 'O' Level Results(L1B5)):[27][28][29]
Year Special/Express Normal
2010 3 2
2009 2 1
2008 2 1
2007 2 -
2006 3 4
2005 4 -
2004 6 5
  • 2009 GCE 'O' Level:

Two top Secondary five students, one of the schools with students scoring 7A1s and above.[30]

  • 2008 GCE 'O' Level:

One top Secondary four Chinese student, one of the schools with students scoring 7A1s and above.[31]

  • 2007 GCE 'O' Level:

99.5% Eligible for Junior College, one of the schools with students scoring 7A1s and above.[32]

  • 2006 GCE 'O' Level [two students featured in Singapore News]:[33]

96.5% Eligible for Junior College, Top Indian Student in Singapore

  • 2005 GCE 'O' Level [Results featured in Singapore News]:[34]

1 student with 10 A1s, 5 students with 9 A1s. Top Indian Student in Singapore

  • 2010 GCE 'N' Level:

Top student in Singapore with an aggregate of 6.[35][36]

Special Programmes[edit]

Commonwealth Secondary is a higher Chinese centre, offering life science programme, math olympaid training, student leadership training and IT-skills training.

Environmental education[edit]

In 2001 the school started a Green Club. One of the projects was the adoption of the mangrove boardwalk trail in the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve as part of the Adopt-A-Park Scheme launched by the National Parks Board.

In 2006, the staff endorsed the goal of working towards becoming a Centre of Excellence for Environmental Education. A group of teachers was identified to develop a customised environmental education curriculum for the school, starting with the Secondary One students in 2007. 2006 also saw the school clinching the Lotus Award in the Singapore Environment Council’s Green Audit.[7] In 2007, the school was designated a Centre of Learning for Environmental Education for the West 7 cluster.[37] The school converted the school pond into a Constructed Treatment Wetland to recycle used water to water the plants in the school compound.[15] Commonwealth Secondary School became the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Education in 2008.[2]

On 28 March 2014, the school celebrated Earth Hour with the Amazing Spider man II cast, Andrew Garfield and Jamie Foxx. It was a significant milestone for the school because it is the first time Hollywood came to Commonwealth. The two superstars not only interacted with the 1400-strong audience, they also did their part for the environment by planting a sugar apple and giant lemon bush in the school's Gift of Life Garden. It was a befitting way for the school to kick start her 50th Birthday celebrations.

Parent-teacher network[edit]

All parents are automatically members of the PTN. They have the right to vote and the right to hold office in the society. The PTN office bearers meet regularly and are involved in the school activities.

Members of PTN are involved in planning school events such as a funfair, and the seniors' graduation night.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "PRIME". Ministry of Education. Archived from the original on 2008-06-01. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  2. ^ a b c "Commonwealth Secondary launches small wastewater treatment centre". Channel NewsAsia. 2008-07-11. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  3. ^ "Watermark Award 2008". PUB. Archived from the original on 2009-04-06. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  4. ^ "West Coast Park's marsh garden to undergo rejuvenation project". Channel NewsAsia. 2008-04-19. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  5. ^ a b "SYF Central Judging Results". Ministry of Education. Archived from the original on 2007-04-15. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  6. ^ "8th SVA Winners" (PDF). Ministry of Education. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  7. ^ a b "Green Audit Awards". Singapore Environment Council. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  8. ^ "Recognising School Achievements in 2010". Ministry of Education (Singapore). Archived from the original on 2010-09-23. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  9. ^ "Pacesetters in Sustainable Development Selected For President's Award for the Environment". Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. Retrieved 2009-10-12. 
  10. ^ "President's environment award goes to youth-related organisations". Channel NewsAsia. 2009-10-12. Retrieved 2009-10-12. 
  11. ^ "Certified Singapore Quality Class Organisations". SPRING Singapore. Archived from the original on 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2007-08-04. 
  12. ^ "Certified People Developer Organisations". SPRING Singapore. Archived from the original on 2007-12-24. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  13. ^ "Autonomous Schools in Singapore". Ministry of Education. Archived from the original on 2007-08-12. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  14. ^ "PUB’s Watermark Award Recognises Six New Water Champions". PUB. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 
  15. ^ a b "More individuals, firms doing their part to save water". Channel NewsAsia. 2008-08-28. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 
  16. ^ "2010 Honour Roll for Best Practice Award" (PDF). Ministry of Education (Singapore). Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f "Achievements". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2007-09-28. 
  18. ^ "2010 Honour Roll for Outstanding Development Award and Development Award" (PDF). Ministry of Education (Singapore). Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  19. ^ "JOINT HPB-MOE CHERISH AWARD 2008 RESULTS" (PDF). Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  20. ^ "CHERISH Award 2005". Health Promotion Board. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  21. ^ "Green Audit Awards". Singapore Environment Council. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  22. ^ "National Arts Education Award". National Arts Council Singapore. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  23. ^ "TAF Awards 2006". Ministry of Education. Archived from the original on 2007-05-09. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  24. ^ "SYF Central Judging Results". Ministry of Education CCAB. Archived from the original on 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  25. ^ "SYF Central Judging Results". Ministry of Education CCAB. Archived from the original on 2009-05-20. Retrieved 2009-05-16. 
  26. ^ "Uniformed Groups". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  27. ^ "School Achievements Table (2007)" (PDF). Ministry of Education. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-08-21. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  28. ^ "School Achievements Table (2009)" (PDF). Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  29. ^ "School Achievements Table for Special/Express Course(2010)" (PDF). Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  30. ^ "Results of the 2009 Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education (Ordinary Level) Examination" (PDF). Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2010-01-12. 
  31. ^ "Results of the 2008 Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education (Ordinary Level) Examination" (PDF). Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  32. ^ "Results of the 2007 Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education (Ordinary Level) Examination". Ministry of Education. Archived from the original on 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  33. ^ "'O' Level 2006 Results Release" (PDF). Ministry of Education. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-02-27. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  34. ^ "'O' Level 2005 Results Release" (PDF). Ministry of Education. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-04-22. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  35. ^ "'N' Level 2010 Results Release" (PDF). Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2010-12-17. 
  36. ^ "N Level results released". Channel NewsAsia. 2010-12-17. Retrieved 2010-12-17. 
  37. ^ "NEA to offer Environmental Education modules to more schools". Channel NewsAsia. 2007-11-06. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 

External links[edit]