Nan Hua High School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Nan Hua High School
Nánhuá Zhōngxué
Nan Hua High School Crest.jpg
Administration and Aesthetics Block, Nan Hua High School, Singapore - 20131002.jpg
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 Government
Special Assistance Plan (SAP)
Motto 忠孝仁爱、礼仪廉耻
(Loyalty, Respect, Humanity, Love, Courtesy, Righteousness, Integrity, Sense of Shame)
Established 14 June 1917 (1917-06-14)
Founder Mr Xiong Shangfu
Session Single-Session
School code 3047
Chairman Dr Leong Heng Keng
Principal Mrs Tan Jong Lek
Enrolment approx. 1250
Blue, White, Red

Nan Hua High School (NHHS) (simplified Chinese: 南华中学; traditional Chinese: 南華中學; pinyin: Nánhuá Zhōngxué) is an co-educational secondary school in Clementi, Singapore, offering the four-year Express course leading to the Singapore-Cambridge GCE Ordinary Level national examination.[1][2] Founded in 1917, Nan Hua High School is the tenth Special Assistance Plan (SAP) school in Singapore, and is an autonomous school since 2001.[3][4] The school is also the West Zone Centre of Excellence for Chinese Language and Culture.[5]


Beginnings: 1917-1945[edit]

Nan Hwa Girls' School (Main) at Adis Road

Nan Hua High School was founded as Nan Hwa Girls' School by Xiong Shangfu, an overseas Chinese, on 14 June 1917. It was founded with the aim to give the girls in Singapore, then a British colony, 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, contributions of funds from the community helped pay off the school's debts, and the school re-opened.[6]

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 Japan 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.[3]

Ascendance: 1945-1984[edit]

Nan Hwa Girls' School (Branch) at Bencoleen Street

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 in 1956. During this period, the curriculum underwent much restructuring and the school emerged as one of the premier girls' schools in Singapore. The Branch School was separated from the main school and transformed totally into a primary school The Main School became a secondary school after it terminated the intake of primary pupils in 1964.[3]

Co-educational School: 1984-2000[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.[3]

10th SAP School: 2000-present[edit]

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

In the new millennium, Nan Hua Secondary School became the 10th Special Assistance Plan school. Under the Programme for Rebuilding and Improving Existing Schools (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 school 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 school's name was changed to Nan Hua High School from 1 January 2006.[3]

In 2010, Nan Hua High School received the President's Award for the Environment, the highest environment accolade for organisations and companies in Singapore.[8] 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.

School Identity and 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.[9]

School Song[edit]

The school song is made up of two verses, one in English and one in Mandarin Chinese.[10] 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 Chin Wai Fah.[11] Nan Hua High School and Nan Hua Primary School have similar school songs, due to the shared heritage of both schools.[12]

Attire and Appearance[edit]

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

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.[10] In Nan Hua High School, girls with long hair have to tie their hair into two scorpion or French plaits.[13] This is a practice rare among Singapore schools, and thus plaits are a unique part of Nan Hua's culture and is often associated with the school itself.

School Events[edit]

2014 Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrations

As a Special Assistance Plan school, Nan Hua High School observes traditional Chinese festivals such as the Chinese New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival through annual school events that are attended by students, staff and alumni. Other notable school events include Camp Achiever, a collection of camps attended by all four levels of the school cohort at the start of the year, as well as the annual Road Run and Sports Carnival.


Nan Hua High School is not affiliated with Nan Hua Primary School, despite a shared heritage.[14]


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.[15] 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, a classroom based on an "open classroom" concept on the 5th floor of the same block was opened by then Minister for Education, Tharman Shanmugaratnam on 25 April 2007. The sky garden was the culmination of a variety of proposals put forth by students after a challenge issued to them by then Principal Dr Foo Suan Fong to come up with ideas to transform the space into one which could be used not only for casual meetings, but also for lessons.[16] The auditorium, named after the school's top donor, the Yeung Ching Foundation, is also located on the same level as the sky garden.

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]