Singapore Chinese Girls' School

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Singapore Chinese Girls' School (SCGS)
190 Dunearn Road
Type Independent
Motto Sincerity, Courage, Generosity, Service
Established 1899
Founders Sir Song Ong Siang
Dr Lim Boon Keng
Session Single
School code 7014 (Secondary)
5026 (Primary)
Principal Eugenia Lim (Mrs.)
Enrolment Approx. 2,400
Colour(s) Jade & Gold
Affiliations Eunoia Junior College

Singapore Chinese Girls' School (Abbreviation: SCGS) is an independent, all-girls school in Singapore. It was consistently ranked as one of the top secondary schools in Singapore in the now-defunct official school rankings released by the Ministry of Education. It is one of the oldest schools in the nation, having been founded in 1899. It is a full school with both primary and secondary divisions, admitting girls between the ages of 6 and 16. The secondary division was among the first schools in Singapore to be accorded the status of an independent school in 1989.


SCGS was founded as an all-girls Peranakan school in July 1899 by a group of Straits Chinese men including Dr Lim Boon Keng, Sir Song Ong Siang and Khoo Seok Wan, at premises in Hill Street, with an English headmistress and seven girls on the register.[1]

In 1923, the school left its premises at Hill Street (the site later became the Central Fire Station) and moved to Emerald Hill. The premise on Emerald Hill cost $60,000. It was a two-storey block with 12 classrooms, an assembly hall, a staff room, and principal’s office. In 1997, the premise on Emerald Hill was declared a significant historical site by the National Heritage Board, three years after SCGS had moved to a bigger campus on Dunearn Road.

From 1905 to 1936, the school admitted a handful of male students, but afterwards reverted to being an all-girls school. In 1946, after the Japanese Invasion in the Second World War, girls of all races were accepted into the school. By 1950, the school had 700 girls. By 1952, the number had risen to close to 900.

In 1971, the students sat for the first Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education or GCE ‘O’ Levels. Everyone passed, giving SCGS a 100% record. In 1989, SCGS celebrated her 90th birthday and also became an independent school, with more latitude to expand the curriculum. On 4 July 1994, after 70 years at Emerald Hill, the school moved to a newly built campus at Dunearn Road.

In 2011, SCGS was presented the School Excellence Award, a pinnacle award under the MOE Masterplan of Awards,[2] which recognizes schools for excellence in both education methods and results. In addition, SCGS received the Best Practice Award for all three categories (Student All-Round Development, Teaching and Learning and Staff Well-being) and the Outstanding Development Award for National Education.[3] These achievements affirm the school’s holistic education for the pupils and the capacity and commitment of the staff.[4]

In 2012, MOE announced that SCGS and five other schools will offer the Integrated Programme (IP).[5] However, SCGS will continue to offer the Singapore-Cambridge GCE 'O' Level Programme to existing and incoming students. In January 2013, SCGS accepted the first batch of IP students in the Secondary One intake alongside new students on the 'O' Level programme. After four years at SCGS, IP students will bypass the 'O' Level examination and move on to Eunoia Junior College.[6] The junior college was newly created as part of a Joint Integrated Programme (JIP) to accept IP students from SCGS, CHIJ Saint Nicholas Girls' School and Catholic High School starting from 2017. Besides IP students, Eunoia Junior College will also accept students from other secondary schools with 'O' Level qualifications. All students enrolled in Eunoia Junior College will sit for the Singapore-Cambridge GCE 'A' Level examination after a two-year programme.

School Identity & Culture[edit]


The colours of the school crest are jade and gold.

This reflects her time-honoured tradition, because jade and gold in Hokkien (Kim Gek) and in Mandarin (JinYu) connotes a young Chinese girl brought up and educated in the best manner. In today’s educational, social and cultural context, such traditional values remain as steadfast and meaningful as ever.

The school motto is Sincerity, Courage, Generosity and Service.

The Yin and yang aspects of the traditional Chinese symbol of balance are in jade and gold respectively. This symbol, which represents the universe, light, darkness, life and death, lies at the heart of the many branches of classical Chinese sciences, philosophy and medicine.[7]

Notable alumni[edit]

Politics & Government[edit]



  • Dr Susan Lim: Prominent surgeon and medical researcher


Entertainment and The Arts[edit]


  • Chan-Ng Ai Lin, Senior Accounting Lecturer, Nanyang Technological University[14]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]