St. Joseph's Institution, Singapore

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St. Joseph's Institution
Institusi Saint Joseph
SJI Logo.jpg
Ora et Labora (Pray and Work)
38 Malcolm Road, Singapore (308274)
Holding campus: 21 Bishan Street 14, Singapore (579781)
Type Independent
Established 1852
School district South Zone
Session Single session
School code 7020
Chairman Mr Gerard Ee
Principal Dr Koh Thiam Seng
Brother President Br Paul Ho, FSC
Enrolment Approx. 1,600
Colour(s)          Green, white
Sculpture of De la Salle, founder of the Lasallian teaching tradition on the second level of former SJI building
(see Former Saint Joseph’s Institution

St. Joseph's Institution (SJI) is a Catholic school in Singapore. It is an independent school, providing an all-boys secondary education from Secondary 1 to 4 and a co-educational pre-university education from JC 1 to 2.

Founded in 1852 as St. John's Institution, it is the third oldest educational institution in Singapore (the oldest being Raffles Institution and second oldest being Saint Margaret's Secondary School). It is the oldest Catholic school in Singapore.

SJI provides an education to students of all races and religions. In terms of academic achievements, SJI has consistently been a "Gold Academic Value-Added" school since 2005.

In September 2005, the school was one of the few in Singapore to be awarded the coveted School Distinction Award as part of the Ministry of Education's 2005 Masterplan Awards. It has been awarded the Best Practice Award for teaching and learning. SJI has received the Sustained Achievement Award for Sports and the Sustained Achievement Award for Uniformed Groups for the third and seventh consecutive year respectively.

In 2008, the school was re-validated with the Singapore Quality Class Award, obtained, for the second time, the Best Practice Award (Teaching and Learning) and attained the Best Practice Award (Student All-Round Development) in the MOE External Validation exercise. The school received consecutive Sustained Achievement Awards in Academic Value-Added, Sports, Uniformed Groups and Fitness.

In 2009, SJI was recognized by MOE with a pinnacle award – The School of Excellence Award. The School Excellence Award (SEA) recognises schools for their excellence in both education processes and outcomes. It is the highest and most prestigious award in the Masterplan of Awards framework in MOE, Singapore.

In 2013, SJI became a dual track school offering an Integrated Programme (IP) track and O-level track. As a dual track school, SJI will be able to serve students with a wider range of academic abilities. As part of its IP, SJI will be offering a 6-year education, with its JC section offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). The school had its first IP intake at Secondary 1 and Secondary 3 in 2013 and 2014 respectively while the first IBDP intake was in 2013.

Mr. Gerard Ee Hock Kim is the Chairman of the Board of Governors. Mr. Ee is an old boy of the school, and is presently also the Chairman of Eastern Health Alliance. The current principal is Koh Thiam Seng. Koh is an alumnus from the class of 1976. He is assisted by 4 Vice-Principals. Mrs Goh Poh Kenn is the Deputy Principal for Curriculum and Administration. Mr Dominic Ang is the Assistant Principal for Student Development. Mrs Anne Tan is the Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Professional Learning. The Singapore Sector Leader, Brother Paul Ho, who oversees all the Lasallian schools in Singapore including SJI, is responsible for maintaining the Lasallian Ethos of the school and the character development programmes. In June 2014, SJI announced the appointment of Rev Fr Dr. Adrian Augustus Danker, S.J. as Deputy Principal with effect from 30 June 2014. Fr. Danker is an old boy of the school. Koh Thiam Seng will finally step down as Principal after his protracted secondment from NIE, with effect from December 2015. Fr. Danker will assume appointment as Principal in Koh's place.


School Rally

Verse 1:

All through our college
A voice is resounding
Promptly respond to your duty's sweet call
Harken you all for the trumpet is sounding
Your mater's proclaiming
Her watchword to all


Forward her children dear
Ever with hearts sincere
Render with joy to your mater her due
All that is vile reject
Heaven will e'er protect
Sons of St Joseph's
Valiant and True

Verse 2:

Onward and upward in life's earnest battle
Joyously bearing the brunt of the fight
Nobly forgiving for all that may pain you
And bravely defending the cause of the right

Verse 3:

Ora et Labora your motto still bearing
Forward with courage in ways that are just
True to your standard be serving and daring
As faithful Josephians in Heaven we trust

SJI was founded in 1852 as the first missionary establishment of the La Salle Brothers in the Far East. The endeavour was initiated by Rev Fr Jean-Marie Beurel MEP, who offered six Brothers from Europe to start the school using a former chapel as premises. Within a year, an attap hut also had to be erected to accommodate all the students. The school was known as St John's, but on 19 March 1855 (Feast of Saint Joseph), the cornerstone of a new school building was laid. From that date, the school has been known as Saint Joseph's Institution. The new central classroom block was completed in 1865, though further expansion of the facilities continued well into the 20th Century. The school had 426 students in 1900. This grew to almost 1200 in 1914, and 1600 in 1922. With the student population expanding, a temporary branch school was opened, which eventually led to the building of a second school – Saint Patrick's School, Singapore – in 1933.

During World War II, prior to the fall of Singapore to the Japanese, the school was used as a Red Cross hospital and housed a unit of the Civil Defence Force, the A.R.F. (Air Raid Precautionary Group). On 16 February 1942, a bomb hit the school courtyard during the war, leaving a crater, but the main building remained unscathed.

During the Japanese Occupation, the school was renamed to Bras Basah Road Boy's School. The Brothers were soon asked to 'resign'. The school and hostel were run along military lines. However, 3 weeks after the Japanese surrender, the Brothers returned and St Joseph's was re-opened and normal lessons resumed.

In 1954, St. Joseph's Junior School was housed in St. Michael's School, now known as St. Joseph's Institution Junior.

In 1975, SJI's first year pre-university classes and some its teachers were transferred to the newly opened Catholic Junior College.

In 1988, SJI shifted into a new campus at Malcolm Road situated just off the neighbourhood of Toa Payoh, beside the Tanglin Community Centre. The beautiful old campus with its distinctive semi-circular wings was gazetted by the Singapore National Heritage Board as a national monument. After restoration work, it houses the Singapore Art Museum.

In 1990, SJI became one of the few schools invited by the then Education Minister to turn independent - a mark of its excellence. Leadership in the school has passed increasingly to lay people but they remain committed to the memory and mission of the Christian Brothers and their founder St John Baptist De La Salle.

Under the administration of Brother Paul Anthony Rogers, SJI saw its peak in growth. In 1995 a Performing Arts Centre and an entirely new wing to house Secondary One students were added.

In 2002, SJI celebrated the 150th anniversary of her founding.

In 2006, SJI, upon the urging of the Economic Development Board of Singapore, began an international school. SJI International began classes in January 2007. The School started with just over 100 students but now boasts more than 1200 students across both its Elementary School and High School. This remarkable success is due to the dedication of the Old Boys and the faith of the parents. SJI International High School offers the IGCSE and the IB Diploma Programme.

2006 was the first year in which double pure science was offered to every candidate, with no student doing combined science.

In 2013, SJI took in her first intake of students under the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), with an inaugural batch of 80 students - both boys and girls - admitted. SJI also bolstered its academic staff and upgraded its facilities for the IBDP student block to provide the necessary infrastructure and support for the students to develop to their fullest of potential.

SJI has been a Gold Value Added school for the GCE 'O' Level examinations.


"Ora Et Labora", Latin for "Pray and Work" is a reflection of the twin pillars of the La Salle Brothers, Faith and Zeal.

Mother Tongue languages[edit]

  • Chinese
  • Higher Chinese
  • Malay
  • Higher Malay
  • Tamil
  • Higher Tamil
  • Hindi

Affiliated schools[edit]

SJI Senior School[edit]

The SJI Senior School admits students to its IB Diploma Programme in two ways - first, as part of the IP starting in Secondary One, whereby students move on to the IBDP itself; and second, via direct admission based on 'O'-level results. The cut-off point for entry through the secondary school 'O' Level route is 6 points (L1R5), as of the 2015 Joint Admission Exercise. The Head of Senior School is Mr Nick Moughtin and he is assisted by Mr Tang Woh Un, Director of IB, and various academic and non-academic Heads.

The curriculum structure adheres to the global IBDP standard and its faculty comprises both foreign teachers with extensive instructional experience in the IB Diploma, as well as a group of experienced local teachers. The subjects currently offered are: Mathematics, Economics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, History, Geography, Language and Literature, English, French, Chinese, Malay, Tamil and Music. Students further participate in the Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) programme that aims to provide a holistic educational roadmap.

In January 2015, the Senior School's pioneer cohort consisting of 76 students were all successfully awarded the IB Diploma, connoting a 100% pass rate. The average score across the cohort, out of a maximum of 45 points, was 39.4 points. This score is above the national average of 36.43 points and above the global average of 29.94 points. 44 students scored 40 points and above, with 3 students achieving the school's highest score of 44 points.


The school uniform is a simple, white attire with the school badge worn on the shirt pocket on the top left corner (the Prefect badge, worn by school prefects, is to be attached to the shirt pocket at the centre, instead of the top left corner). The school pants are worn by Sec 3 and Sec 4 boys and must conform to the school’s design. White shorts are worn by Sec 1 and Sec 2 boys. Badges, representing CCA identities may be worn but only one is permitted on each shirt collar. The school tie is worn on the first school day of the week and for all formal school functions. The official school P.E. attire is the only other attire that can be worn on campus. A belt is to be worn by Sec 3 & 4 boys only. Socks are to be plain white only. Shoes must be clean, white and in good condition. Stripes, lines, logos and/or coloured edges are not permitted. Coloured sports shoes may be worn only with P.E. attire.

School Prefects and those authorized to wear the school blazer are permitted to wear simple, black, leather shoes when they are formally attired.

Co-Curricular Activities[edit]

SJI offers a large variety of CCAs for Secondary One students to choose from. The 3 main groups include Sports, Uniformed Groups and Clubs & Societies. SJI's niches include Rugby, Canoeing and Table Tennis.

The St Joseph's Institution Military Band (SJIMB) clinched the Gold with Honours Award under the baton of Mr Tan Thiam Hee in the recent 2009 Singapore Youth Festival Central Judging, the highest achievable award in that competition.[1] It was one of the top 10 bands in the competition to do so.

In the 2011 Singapore Youth Festival Central Judging, the band managed to clinch the Silver award.[2] The choice piece was the Seventh Night of July and the set piece was the Memories of Friendship.

In the 2011 Singapore Youth Festival Central Judging, the Vocal Ensemble managed to clinch the Gold With Honours award. This was the Vocal Ensemble's inaugural participation in the SYF competition. The choice pieces were Ubi Caritas and Kruhay, while the set piece was The Wind by Kelly Tang. The TTBB Vocal Ensemble was second place overall in the entire competition.

Notable alumni[edit]


Governmental organizations[edit]

  • Gerard Ee - Chairman, Eastern Health Alliance; Chairman, Charity Council (Singapore)
  • Philip Yeo - Chairman, SPRING Singapore and former Chairman, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
  • Tan Tee How - Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs; President, Scout Council, The Singapore Scout Association
  • Leo Yip Seng Cheong - Chairman, Economic Development Board
  • Roy Quek - Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs
  • Gabriel Lim - Principal Private Secretary to Prime Minister
  • Lim Soo Ping - Retired Auditor General of Singapore
  • Lee Kok Fatt - Principal Private Secretary to the President
  • Tan Chin Tiong - Ambassador to Japan
  • COL Percival Goh - Chief Signal Officer
  • LTC (Dr) Christopher Cheok - Head Psychiatrist, Singapore Armed Forces
  • BG Bernard Tan - former Chief Armour Officer
  • Tan Yam Pin - Member, Public Service Commission
  • CWO Joseph Koa - SAF Sergeant Major
  • SWO Peter Estrop Ronald Hugh - Formation Sergeant Major, SAF Commando Formation


  • Ee Peng Liang - Businessman and philanthropist
  • Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat - late Singapore tycoon
  • Ernest Wong - Temasek Holdings Advisory Board
  • Lim Chee Onn - Executive Chairman, Keppel Corporation Ltd & Former Cabinet Minister
  • Peter Seah Lim Huat - Non-Executive Chairman, Sembcorp Industries Ltd, Various Board Appointments; Chairman, DBS Bank
  • Tan Puay Chiang - Chairman, Exxon Mobil China
  • Noel Hon - Former Chairman, NEC Solutions Asia Pacific, former President of the Singapore Scout Association and recipient of the Gold Lion Scouting Award


Arts and entertainment[edit]

  • Dick Lee - musician; Cultural Medallion winner
  • Goh Sin Tub - A pioneer of Singapore literature and a teacher, civil servant, banker, builder, social worker and former chairman of the SJI Board of Governors
  • Prof. Jeremy Monteiro - jazz pianist; Board Member, National Arts Council; Cultural Medallion winner
  • Julian Hee - Mediacorp artiste
  • KF Seetoh - Makan King
  • Mark Van Cuylenberg - host compere, radio personality




  • Prof. Tan Cheng Han, S.C. - Former Dean and Head, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore
  • Prof. Tan Chorh Chuan - President, National University of Singapore; Board Member, Monetary Authority of Singapore
  • Prof Leo Tan Wee Hin (Class of 1963) - Professor of Biological Sciences and Director (Special Projects) for Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore, Former Director of the National Institute of Education and Professor of Natural Sciences and Science Education, Nanyang Technological University
  • Assoc Prof Chang Tou Chuang - Vice Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore
  • Assoc Prof Kwok Kian Woon (Class of 1972) - Associate Chair (Academic) and Head, Division of Sociology School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University
  • Mr John Yip (Class of 1956) - Former Director of Education, Ministry of Education
  • Mr Winston James Hodge (Class of 1975) - Former Director of Training & Development, Ministry of Education and Former Principal of Raffles Junior College (2001-[4] 2007), Principal of Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) [5] (2011-)


Scholarship Holders[edit]

President's Scholarship[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]