Hwa Chong Institution
|This article is outdated. (May 2014)|
|Hwa Chong Institution
Hua ch'iao chung hsüueh
Institusi Hwa Chong
|661 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269734
|Type||Independent Secondary School and Junior College
Boys (Secondary 1 – 4),
Co-educational (JC 1 – JC 2)
|Established||1 January 2005
from the merger of
The Chinese High School
(est. 21 March 1919) &
Hwa Chong Junior College
|Principal||Hon Chiew Weng (Dr)|
|Vice Principals||Chin Bee Kuan (Mrs), Chan Kwok Leong (Mr), Chung Wen Chee (Dr), Tan Pheng Tiong (Mr), Yeo Hwee Joo (Dr)|
|Student to teacher ratio||ranging from 13:1 to 35:1|
|Campus size||72 acres / 29 ha / 0.3 km2|
|Campus type||Open concept|
|Color(s)||Red and Yellow|
|Affiliation||Hwa Chong International School
Hwa Chong Institution Boarding School
Nanyang Girls High School
|Guiding Principle||饮水思源 (pinyin: yín shuĭ sī yuán)|
|Vision||Defining Holistic Education, and Empowering our Future Leaders to Live with Passion and Lead with Compassion|
Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) (simplified Chinese: 华侨中学; traditional Chinese: 華僑中學; pinyin: Huáqiáo Zhōngxué; Wade–Giles: Hua2ch'iao2 Chung1hsüeh2; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Hoâ-kiâu Tiong-o̍h) is an independent school in Singapore for students aged 12 to 18 covering both secondary and pre-university levels. A Ministry of Education-designated FutureSchool, it operates under the Special Assistance Plan (SAP) for bilingualism, and offers the Integrated Programme (IP) and also the School Based Gifted Education Programme (SBGE), after the Secondary School Gifted Education Programme was phased out. The main campus, in Bukit Timah, covers 72 acres (equivalent to 29 ha or 0.3 km2), which is shared among Hwa Chong Institution, Hwa Chong International School, the institution's boarding school, and the Bukit Timah campus of SIM University.
Previously two separate but affiliated schools, The Chinese High School and Hwa Chong Junior College, HCI was the result of a merger on 1 January 2005. The change was in line with the Ministry of Education's introduction of the Integrated Programme, whereby students undertake a six-year "through-train" education in which they bypass the traditional GCE 'O' levels. In spite of the merger, the secondary school section remains boys-only, while the junior college (JC) section is co-educational. Students from Nanyang Girls' High School (across the road from HCI) also continue on in HCI for their JC education. Approximately 4000 students are enrolled in the school; the student-teacher ratio ranges from 13:1 to 35:1, depending on the class. Hwa Chong has been a top feeder school for international students to Oxford University. Between 2009 and 2012, seventeen Hwa Chong alumni topped Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College London, University College London, King's College London, London School of Economics, Shanghai Fudan, the world-renowned US Military Academy at West Point and the US Naval Academy.The school is a member of Strategic Alliance of Global Educators and Strategic Educational Alliance of Southeast Asia.
- 1 History
- 2 Campus
- 3 Academics
- 4 Extra-curricular activities
- 5 School culture
- 6 Affiliations
- 7 Notable people
- 8 Gallery
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes
- 11 External links
The Chinese High School (1919–2004)
The Chinese High School, at that time the Nanyang Chinese High School, was founded by Tan Kah Kee in March 1919 at Niven Road. With an enrolment of 78 pupils, it was the first Chinese institution of higher learning at that time in Southeast Asia, catering to Chinese dialect groups amongst the overseas Chinese. Six years later, the school moved to its Bukit Timah campus.
After its founding, the school offered comprehensive secondary level Chinese education. It remained funded and supported by Tan Kah Kee until shortly before World War II. In 1934, Lee Kong Chian, son-in-law of Tan Kah Kee, became the chairman of the school's board and remained in his post until 1955. During his tenure, the school faced the threat of closure several times due to financial difficulties, but managed to survive due to strong financial support from both Tan and Lee. Together they built a legacy, which the current school body commemorates them for.
During the Battle of Singapore, the school's clock tower, for its height and vantage point, served as a headquarters for the Allied defenders. Following the war, the school resumed its predominant Chinese education. In the 1950s and 1960s, during periods of civil unrest in Singapore, many students, teachers and alumni participated in or led the anti-colonial riots.
After Singapore gained independence in 1965, the school came under the purview of the Ministry of Education and was accorded the Special Assistance Plan (SAP) status in 1979. Later, in 1988 the school achieved the status of an independent school, under a scheme that the ministry perceived as proven successful and which was extended to other top schools in Singapore. On 19 March 1999, the school's clock tower was gazetted as a national monument.
Hwa Chong Junior College (1974–2004)
Hwa Chong Junior College, now HCI's college section, was established in 1974 at the Bukit Timah campus of The Chinese High School as a separate pre-university education institution, but under the same management board. The college was the government-aided junior college, with its name being an abbreviation of the high school's Chinese name to mark the relationship between the two schools.
Hwa Chong Junior College moved out of its campus at Bukit Timah Road in the late 1980s following the discovery of structural problems with the building to facilitate rebuilding. Lessons continued but conducted at various locations. The rebuilding of the campus finished in 1992 and lessons restarted at the campus in 1993. Following The Chinese High School's accord of independent school status in 1987, the junior college followed suit in 2004, becoming the first JC in Singapore to be granted the status of an independent school.
Following the introduction of the Integrated Programme into Singapore's education system in the early 2000s, The Chinese High School merged with Hwa Chong Junior College on 1 January 2005 to form Hwa Chong Institution. In 2008, HCI was selected by the Ministry of Education to implement the FutureSchools@Singapore programme, one of five initial schools to do so and amongst the eventual fifteen planned. Also in the same year, the Hwa Chong Diploma was introduced. The diploma is awarded to the best performing 30% of its graduating cohort, stacking upon the GCE 'A' Levels certificate.
The school enrols an estimated 4,000 students, spread across the six levels, with a student-teacher ratio of 13:1. Hwa Chong Institution has produced 54 President's Scholars. The college section's Humanities Programme has a significant percentage of its students going on to study abroad at such universities as Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University, MIT, UC Berkeley, Peking University and Tsinghua University.
The main campus of HCI in Bukit Timah covers 72 acres, making it one of the largest in Southeast Asia. The campus land is shared between the Hwa Chong Family of Schools - namely, Hwa Chong Institution itself, Hwa Chong International School and Hwa Chong Institution Boarding School. Also onsite is the Bukit Timah campus of SIM University and its administrative headquarters. Despite the multi-sharing, each entity possesses its own set of facilities, marked by certain perimeters.
The dedicated Science Research Centre, built in 2008, has ten purpose-built laboratories in which students experience different research disciplines outside of the usual curriculum, including labs for Robotics and Engineering, Biotechnology and Microbiology, and the Pharmaceutical Sciences. The centre provides resources to support the research and innovation programmes, serving as a central facility for student research activities.
The Ong Teng Cheong Student Activities and Leadership Training Centre (also called the Ong Teng Cheong SALT Centre, or the SALT Centre), named in honour of alumnus and former President of Singapore Ong Teng Cheong, aims to develop students holistically, particularly in arts and leadership development. Housed in it are dance studios, music rooms, and a cardiovascular and weight-training room. A moot parliament is also housed in the centre, modelled on the Singapore Parliamentary Chamber, and it is a central venue for events such as student council meetings and Model United Nations conferences.
Apart from the two purpose-built facilities, other facilities in HCI include a three-storey library, a gymnasium, a 400-metre track, a multi-purpose hall, a multi-storey carpark, lecture theatres, general laboratories and classrooms. The 31-metres-tall Clock Tower of the school is a national monument, the only one in a Singapore school.
Beijing Satellite Campus
In line with the school's plan to set up a Global Academy, HCI established its Beijing Satellite Campus in 2007, the first of its kind for a Singapore school. An agreement was inked with a top school in China, Beijing's The Second High School Attached to Beijing Normal University, in which classrooms will be leased. A total of four batches of students make their way to the campus every year, staying for up to two months. Priority is given to scholars of HCI's Bicultural Studies Programme and Humanities Programme. Students in the campus take lessons together with students from China in partner schools, carry out community involvement activities, and take field trips to cities such as Xi'an, Tianjin and Shanghai.
HCI has been quoted as saying that it is looking to opening satellite campuses in India and the United States, with the aim of establishing the two in the near future. In July 2010, it was announced that HCI would be developing a school in the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City in Guangzhou, China, akin to that of its first satellite campus, following the inking of a memorandum of understanding (MOU). This would see HCI partnering a top local school for exchange and mutual learning programmes.
Incorporated within HCI are the high school (junior high) section and college (senior high) section, each caring for different cohorts of students separated by age group. Secondary 1 (age 13) students first enter the high school section and study there for four years, before proceeding to the college section where they prepare to take the GCE 'A' Levels final examinations. The high school section uses the Mean Subject Grade grading system in tests and exams. The school-wide Integrated Programme offered enables students to skip the GCE 'O' Levels, typically taken by Secondary 4 students in Singapore. The Hwa Chong Diploma was introduced in 2008 and is awarded to the best performing 30% of its graduating cohort. It is awarded on top of the 'A' Levels certificate, and is an added qualification to university applications.
HCI also organises academic competitions and conferences, both for its students and external participants. The school organises the Asia Pacific Mathematical Olympiad for Primary Schools (APMOPS) and the Singapore Mathematical Olympiad for Primary Schools (SMOPS). At the same time, the International Science Youth Forum (ISYF) is hosted at HCI and co-organised by Nanyang Technological University, bringing students from across Asia-Pacific together to network and dialogue, with Nobel laureates coming down to share their experiences in the scientific field; a record five Nobel laureates were involved in 2010.
Consortia and faculties
Students in the high school section are divided into what are called consortia - a different naming convention from the typical house system. The four consortia in the school are Aphelion, iSpark, Ortus and ProEd. The iSpark consortium houses HCI's School Based Gifted Education Programme (SBGE). The consortia work closely with one another and each has its own student council. In the college section, they are instead called faculties, highlighting the differences in function between consortia and faculties. There are four faculties, namely - Apollo, Ares, Athena and Artemis - all named after Greek deities.
Various special programmes are offered in HCI, such as the Bi-cultural Studies Programme, the Art Elective Programme and the Science and Math Talent Programme. These programmes offer a degree of specialisation that is generally not possible in the standard curriculum, enabling students in the school to explore respective fields to a greater degree. Despite having similar names, the special programmes offered in the high school and the college section are different; however, most are closely associated with each other. An example would be the Humanities Programme (HP), in which the high school HP focuses on the three core humanities subjects - History, Geography and English Literature, while HP in the college section offers a greater variety of subjects such as China Studies and economics, while gearing students for university humanities programmes locally and abroad.
In 2008, the Centre for Scholastic Education (CSE) was set up to house all special programmes in the high school section except for the Art Elective Programme and the Malay Special Programme. They are the Bicultural Studies Programme, Humanities Programme and the Science and Math Talent Programme. From 2013 onwards, all students participating in Special Programmes are housed under CSE, part of the iSpark Consortium. The Integrated Programme-Special Programme (IPSP) has been abolished in the same year. CSE also used to house the now-defunct Entrepreneurship Programme. CSE is also used as an umbrella term to describe the specialised academic programmes offered at the upper secondary level.
From 2013 onwards, Special Science and Maths Talent programme (SSMT) is introduced to the SMTP curriculum to train talented students in areas such as Physics and Biology. Sexuality and relationship education programmes are also conducted.
Under HCI's Integrated Programme, the Sabbatical Programme is offered whereby students from Secondary 1 to 4 go on sabbatical courses for one week every term except the last (Term 4). The programme is unique in allowing the majority of the school populace to put aside formal curricular lessons for a week in pursuit of their passions or interests. Sabbaticals offered are of a wide variety, in categories as defined by the school: Arts & Aesthetics, Chinese Studies, Humanities, English & Literature, Leadership, Technology, Science and Math, Camps and Student Exchange; they are essentially courses for students to opt for, such as beginner guitar and songwriting lessons, professional music production, Model United Nations training camps, football friendlies with other schools, et cetera. Also, the school requires students to use the specifically designed Online Bidding System - the i-ComP - to organise their sabbatical plans. Students who accumulate demerit points as a result of various offences are penalised in their sabbatical bidding or are recommended for corrective work order.
HCI offers a host of exchange programmes with schools spread across the Asia-Pacific, including University of Tsukuba in Japan, Philippine Science High School in the Philippines and the Bugil Academy in South Korea. In 2008, a collaboration between the Loudoun Academy of Science and HCI saw the team winning the Extreme Collaboration Award in the Stanford Global Innovation Tournament, in a unique achievement for both schools.
HCI offers a wide variety of extra-curricular activities, labelled Co-Curricular Activities (CCA) by the Ministry of Education, and this is in part due to the school's large student population and size.
Since 2006, HCI has hosted an annual international leadership conference, the Hwa Chong Asia-Pacific Young Leaders Summit, a forum where Asian and international student leaders gather to discuss pertinent issues in the region, as well as to share their cultural and personal experiences. It has seen students from schools in Australia, China, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States and more, providing an international representation to the summit.
Another annual leadership conference which HCI organises is the Student Leaders Convention (SLC). This is the conference organised by student councillors from the High School section, in collaboration with student councillors from Nanyang Girls' High School, HCI's sister school. The Student Leaders Convention witnesses the gathering of over 400 student leaders locally and internationally. Student leaders from other countries include those from Malaysia, India, China, Mexico, Australia and many more. Into its 19th year, the SLC hopes to provide a platform for the discussion of issues and problems which affect youth and the nation.
There are a number of sports CCAs offered in HCI, ranging from soccer to ten-pin bowling, and from wushu to touch rugby. The canoeing, gymnastics, judo, shooting, table tennis and track & field teams garner nationwide achievements almost every year. HCI has won track & field championships in most divisions. The HCI track & field team used to hold and currently holds a few national records, particularly in pole vault. Other sports which have achieved significant results over the years include the basketball, canoeing, volleyball, water polo and wushu teams. For example, in 2010, the volleyball team, won the championships in both A divisions (Boys and Girls). Nine HCI students were selected to represent Singapore in the Youth Olympics Games 2010, two of them from the championship-winning basketball team.
There are currently four uniformed groups in HCI: National Cadet Corps (Land), National Police Cadet Corps, St. John Ambulance Brigade, and Scouts (and Ventures & Rovers). These CCAs provide a highly structured organisation and a well-defined hierarchy. The HCI National Cadet Corps unit (HCINCC) has been awarded Gold for 15 consecutive years, winning the Best Unit Competition (BUC) in 2000. Also, HCINCC is the only Centre of Excellence in Precision Drill department amongst all NCC units in Singapore. The National Police Cadet Corps (NPCC) is currently the largest uniformed group in Singapore, and in HCI, in terms of membership. HCINPCC is also one of the only 2 units in Singapore to have achieved more than 15 gold awards in the annual Unit Overall Proficiency Award (UOPA). The St. John Ambulance Brigade is one of two School Corps awarded Gold in the Corp Achievement Award for 15 consecutive years. The Ambulance Cadet team from Hwa Chong finished as National Champions for the Inter-Zone First Aid and Home Nursing Competition in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. The Ambulance Cadet team then went on to win the biennial Singapore-Malaysia First Aid and Nursing Competition in 2011 and 2013. The Ambulance Adult team also won 1st place for the Inter-Zone First Aid and Home Nursing Competition 2013, and finished 2nd runners up in 2014. The Scouts uniformed group hosts the Lion Dance troupe, which performs at special and commemorative events. All four uniformed groups achieved Gold in the annual national assessment. Apart from regular planned training, other activities include inter-unit competitions in bowling and captain's ball.
||It has been suggested that Hwa Chong Institution High School Band be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since June 2013.|
The eleven performing arts groups in HCI are: the Chinese Orchestra, the String Ensemble, the Piano Ensemble, the Chinese Drama Club, the Harmonica Ensemble, the English Drama Club, the Choir, the Music And Dance Society, the Guitar Ensemble, the Band and lastly Chinese Dance. The 2010 Singapore Youth Festival, saw the English Drama Club judged, where it attained a Silver Award. The previous year, 2009, saw the other performing arts groups being assessed; a number of awards were won, including two Golds with Honours for the Chinese Orchestra and the High School Band.
Apart from occasional performances held locally in Victoria Theatre and the school's Drama Centre, many of the performing arts groups travel overseas both for exchange and performances. Amongst them, the High School Band, the Choir and the String Orchestra are notable for their international achievements. In 2010 the College Choir attained significant achievements in an international competitions, the Festival of Songs in Olomouc, Czech Republic. while in 2011, the choir attained a Gold with Honours in the 2011 Singapore Youth Festival Central Judging of Choirs. The High School Band, which once performed in the Istana, travelled to Hawaii to attend the Pacific Basin Music Festival for the second time in 2010, attaining a gold award. The Band has also performed at the National Day Parade. The High School String Orchestra, more commonly known by the acronym "HCISO", has also travelled widely. It won first runners-up at the open category of the 2006 Gothenburg International Music Festival, and went on tour with the Australian Boy's Choir to Melbourne, Australia, and Johor Baru, Malaysia, to perform at the opening of the 7th JB Arts Festival. Most recently, the string orchestra achieved Gold with Honours at the 2011 Singapore Youth Festival for String Ensembles. It was also one of the six schools, and the only school in Asia, to be invited to participate in the 2012 Los Angeles International Music Festival at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Clubs and societies
Clubs and societies are the most numbered in the school, stemming from a diverse range, such as the Socrates Club (mathematics), the Chinese Calligraphy Society, the English Drama Club and the MediaTech Club (photography / live sound mixing / stage lighting). Many of these clubs/societies have performed well in competitions.
|World Championship Titles Won (2006–12)|
|1||Purple Comet International Mathematics Competition||1st Prize (World Champions)||2006, 2007, 2009, 2010|
|5||Odyssey of The Mind World Finals||World Champion Award for Odyssey of The Mind World Finals||2007|
|6||Global Talentrepreneur Innovation & Collaboration Business Competition||World Championship||2007|
|7||Intelligent Ironman Creativity Contest||World Championship||2007|
|8||Future Problem Solving Program International Finals|| 1st Prize,  Overall Champion||2007, 2008|
|10||5th World Choir Games||World Champions (1st in Mixed Choir category) (2 Gold Medals in Folklore and Mixed Choir categories)||2008|
|11||Stanford Global Innovation Tournament||Extreme Collaboration Award (1 Global Award)||2008|
|12||Oracle ThinkQuest Competition||Champions (Category 19)||2009|
|13||International Biology Olympiad||1st in the World||2009|
|14||International Regions Mathematics League||World Champions||2009|
|15||24th Barcelona Dance Award||2 Championship Titles (Choreography and Ethnic Dance Categories)||2010|
|16||Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Mathematics Tournament Online Competition||6 Champions||2010|
The Hwa Chong Institution student council comprises the College Council, High School Council, and the smaller consortium councils, which represent the college section, high school section and the four high school consortia respectively. Currently into its 42nd year (in 2015), the High School Council is generally regarded to be among the oldest student councils in Singapore. It is tasked with caring for the welfare of students in the school, and acts as a middleman between the school administration and the student body. The council also organises multiple events every year, mostly with teacher involvement limited to mentorship only, including skills workshops, forums, the Hwa Chong Student Leaders Convention (SLC), the two yearly freshman orientations and the Hwa Chong-Nanyang Annual Combined Sports Meet. The President and Vice-President of the 42nd High School Council are Keefe Ng (from class 4A1) and Zhuang Shengbin (from class 4P1) respectively.
Information technology usage
Having been designated a FutureSchool in 2008, HCI has rapidly adopted new Information Technology (IT) resources. Announcements and notices are posted regularly online in the school's Electronic Message Board (EMB), as a replacement for traditional school-wide announcements, and students are required to check the online board regularly. HCI recently developed its own wiki platform, called the Hwa Chong Institution Wikispaces, which further supports collaborative learning and interacting for all staff and students of HCI. The school also organises home learning periods every term, typically lasting two to three days, where students study and learn from home through the Internet and their computers without the need to return to school.
Uniform and discipline
In the high school section, students in Secondary 1 to Secondary 3 (inclusive) must wear a white short-sleeved shirt with khaki short trousers and white socks, which must cover the ankle, and shoes with a non-striking colour, together with either white or black laces. Only Secondary 4 students are permitted to wear long trousers, with a beige shirt.
Students earn demerit points for poor behaviour. Accumulated demerit points can affect final grades and eligibility for certain awards. The student handbook states that, for serious offences, male students at Hwa Chong Institution may be punished with detention, suspension, caning or expulsion. Only the Principal or Discipline Master may administer corporal punishment, which consists of a maximum of five strokes of the cane. Students found smoking are immediately caned or suspended or both. Caning may also be given for integrity-related offences (e.g. cheating), uncivilized behaviour (e.g. defiance), and criminal offences (e.g. fighting).
Class naming conventions
Classes in HCI have a special naming convention. For the high school section, the class name is made of a digit, a letter then a digit. The first digit is the class' level (1 for Secondary 1, 2 for Secondary 2, 3 for Secondary 3, 4 for Secondary 4). The letter is the first letter of the consortium of the class' pupils. An Aphelion class would have the letter A, iSpark the letter i, Ortus the letter O and ProEd the letter P. The last digit is the class number. Therefore, class 4A1 would be the first Aphelion class in Secondary 4.
HCI offers the Integrated Programme that extends to Nanyang Girls High School (NYGH), an all-girls high (junior-high) school, under the name Hwa Chong Affiliate Programme. Under the programme, a supermajority of NYGH students graduate to the college (pre-university) section of HCI to undergo their pre-university education. All students of HCI's high school section also move on automatically to the college section and undertake the 'A' Levels, unless they fail to meet requirements or specifically apply to leave.
Under the umbrella Hwa Chong Family of Schools, HCI is affiliated to Hwa Chong International School (HCIS) and Hwa Chong Institution Boarding School (HCIBS). All three schools share the same prefix in their names, and are located in the same main campus. However, in spite of the multi-sharing, each school possesses its own set of facilities.
Hwa Chong International School is a co-educational international school, offering a six-year programme from Grade 7 (11–13 years old) to Grade 12, finishing with the International Baccalaureate. In the interim years, the students will sit for the iGCSE. The fully private independent school saw its final batch of graduating international 'A' Levels students and the first batch of graduating IB students in 2010. Hwa Chong Institution Boarding School is the institution's boarding school, accommodating HCI's international scholars. It also houses international scholars studying in other local schools such as Singapore Chinese Girls' School and Bukit Panjang Government High School. Local Singaporean boarders staying in the boarding school are participants of HCI's Integrated Boarding Programme. The boarding complex was designed by renowned architect Kenzo Tange, consisting of seven six-storey halls providing accommodation for up to 1,000 boarders or guests.
HCI and its predecessor schools, TCHS and HCJC, have a wide alumni base extending to various sectors and industries in Singapore and other countries. Its best known alumnus is probably Ong Teng Cheong, the fifth President of Singapore, who graduated from TCHS in 1955. Other prominent alumni in the civil service include Grace Fu, a Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, and Ministers of State such as Lee Yi Shyan, Sim Ann and Sam Tan. Ng Yat Chung, the fifth Chief of Defence Force, and Hoo Cher Mou, the current Chief of Air Force, are among the HCI alumni in the Singapore Armed Forces top brass. HCI's more notable alumni in business and finance include Olivia Lum (the founder of Hyflux), Toh Soon Huat (the founder of Novena Holdings), and Wee Cho Yaw (the Chairman of United Overseas Bank). In the arts and media scenes, there are also notable HCI alumni such as Warren Fernandez, the editor of The Straits Times, musicians Liang Wern Fook and Eric Moo, and artist Tan Swie Hian.
Another view of the Clock Tower, with a statue of Tan Kah Kee in front of it
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