Tanjong Katong Girls' School

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Tanjong Katong Girls' School (TKGS)
Type Autonomous Secondary
Motto Moribus Modestus
(Demure and Resolute in Latin)
Established 1953
Session single session
School code 3013
Principal Mrs Mary Seah
Enrolment Approx. 1,500
Colour(s) Green

Tanjong Katong Girls' School (TKGS) is an autonomous girls' secondary school in Singapore. TKGS is one of the few schools in Singapore that offer the Music Elective Programme (MEP) to students who wish to pursue Music as a subject in the Cambridge 'O' Level examinations. TKGS is also sometimes referred to as the "Premier School of the East".

TKGS was established on 12 January 1953 with seven classes, 250 pupils, and ten teaching staff. The school was the first post-war government English girls' school built in colonial Singapore.


Tanjong Katong Girls' School (TKGS) was first opened on 12 January 1953, with seven classes.[1] That same year, the school began admitting selected Chinese school students.[2] In 1955, new science laboratories were constructed.[3]

TKGS became a double-session school in 1960 to cater to the increased enrollment of 1,200. It was also the year Mrs Maude Scott, founding Principal of TKGS, was succeeded by Miss See Tin See. TKGS became an integrated school in 1962, with the Chinese language. Since its establishment, TKGS has hosted trainees from the Teachers' Training Course (TTC), and has served as a workshop for Home Economics students. In the late 1970s, TKGS conducted "immersion programmes" for students from the Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools, where students who had a Chinese medium of language were exposed to English lessons in an English environment. TKGS served as a Music Elective Programme (MEP) centre for students who were taking music as an 'O' Level subject but whose schools did not have suitable facilities.

In January 1966, the school was expanded to include another 4-storey block which housed Science laboratories, classrooms and special rooms. A new cookery room was added to the domestic Science block and the canteen was extended to cater to the increased number of students. In 1967, the first Pre-University classes were started, boosting the student enrollment to 2,000. In 1972, TKGS won the champion title at the School Band Competition, and clinched the title at the Inter-School Debate Series in 1973. In 1975, TKGS produced the top girl in the Singapore GCE 'O' Level Examination.

In 1983, TKGS was selected by the Ministry of Education (MOE) for the Music Elective Programme (MEP), and was one of the four schools in Singapore to offer music as an examinable 'O' Level subject. The Pre-University programme was stopped in 1993 in line with MOE policy. In 1995, the school moved to a new campus at Dunman Lane, though the official opening only took place in 1997. The landmark sculpture, the "Spirit of TKGS", was commissioned and unveiled by the then Minister of Education, Mr Teo Chee Hean, during the school's official opening. Other achievements include gaining autonomous status and the conversion to a.

TKGS curriculum includes all the pure Sciences, humanities and aesthetics. It is also one of the few schools in Singapore to offer Economics as an examinable 'O' Level subject, and at the first Cambridge GCE 'O' Level Economics Examination in 2008, TKGS produced the top Economics students in Singapore. Class periods were extended to 50 minutes in 2003, and in 2005, TKGS announced that it would be one of the first schools in Singapore to offer Drama as an examinable 'O' Level subject. The LEGACY (Leading, Empowering, Guiding, Affirming and Challenging Youths) Programme was introduced as part of the Integrated Character Development Programme as well, consisting of classroom and experiential learning of moral education during curriculum time. Another initiative was the Multi-Disciplinary Project Work for the Secondary 2s, with Future Problem Solving at the core of its framework. The Chinese Special Programme (CSP) and the Malay Special Programme (MSP) were introduced for students in Malay and Chinese respectively to learn the other language. In 2007, TKGS was appointed the East Zone Centre of Excellence (COE) for English Language, in recognition of its innovative approach towards the teaching and learning of English and the students' consistently good performance in English at the GCE 'O' Level examinations.

TKGS now has an enrollment of 1,388 students and around 120 staff, and offers all the Pure Sciences, Economics, Drama, and Music in addition to the normal curriculum.

It offers the Music Elective Programme and the Drama Elective Programme. Every pupil is required to participate in at least one core co-curricular activity. Girls who desire to serve the school may participate in the optional non-core CCAs.

TKGS is partnered with the Thai girls' school, Satri Si Suriyothai School in the Singapore–Thailand Enhanced Partnership (STEP) Programme. Students with good academic results from the People's Republic of China, Brunei and the ASEAN region are also invited to join the school.

The current principal of TKGS is Mrs Mary Seah, who succeeds Mrs Phyllis Lim, former vice-principal of Gan Eng Seng Secondary School.

Notable alumni[edit]


Entertainment and The Arts[edit]


External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Chinese switch to English schools". The Straits Times. 21 February 1953. Retrieved 19 November 2017 – via NewspaperSG. 
  2. ^ "Five new science labs for schools". The Singapore Free Press. 19 June 1954. Retrieved 19 November 2017 – via NewspaperSG.