Anglo-Chinese School

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The Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) is a family of six schools in Singapore, namely Anglo-Chinese School (Junior), Anglo-Chinese School (Primary), Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road), Anglo-Chinese School (International) and Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC). The school is also affiliated with other Methodist schools in Singapore, including Methodist Girls' School and Fairfield Methodist School.


ACS was founded on March 1, 1886 by Bishop William Oldham, as an extension of the Methodist Church. The name of the school came from the fact that it conducted lessons in English in the mornings and Chinese in the afternoons.

From 1914 - 1920, under the leadership of the Reverend Nagle, the school introduced regular religious services and physical education classes. Afternoon classes were also established for academically-weaker pupils. Nagle encouraged ex-students to return to the school as teachers so as to ensure continuity in school life and keep the school adequately staffed. The Anglo-Chinese Continuation School was started in 1925 by the new headmaster, the Reverend Peach, for students who had to leave the school due to the newly imposed age limits on school-going boys by the government. Eventually, ACS was renamed the Oldham Methodist School and a secondary school was opened at Cairnhill.

In January, 1961, the Oldham Methodist Secondary School merged with the Secondary School at Barker Road. The school completed the construction of the sports complex at Barker Road in 1970, with an Olympic-sized swimming pool and a sports hall. In 1977, the Pre-University classes moved to the newly constructed Anglo-Chinese Junior College at 25 Dover Close East, leaving the Barker Road site to the Secondary and Junior schools. The Junior School eventually relocated to new premises in its old neighbourhood at Cairnhill, in 1985.

The Ministry of Education started its Independent School arm in 1988. Allowing it to be privately funded and subject to less government regulation in setting out the curriculum. The school was renamed ACS (Independent) in 1993. In that same year, the Barker Road campus was vacated and the school moved to Dover Road and the site was retained for a second secondary school. At the same time, Anglo-Chinese Primary School abandoned Coleman Street to share premises with the new Secondary School at Barker Road, now named ACS (Barker Road). The Barker Road campus was completely rebuilt in the late 1990s, with ACS (Barker Road) temporarily relocating during the construction and ultimately split into primary and secondary school sections, the latter retaining the Barker Road suffix and the former becoming ACS (Primary). It was officially opened by then Deputy Prime Minister Dr Tony Tan on July 15 2003.

In 2005, ACS (International) opened its doors, recruiting students both locally and from abroad. Its students will take the International General Certificate of Secondary Education in their fourth year, then go continue for another 2 years for the International Baccalaureate diploma (from 2007). Before 2007, they took the International A-Levels. The school also has been authorised by the International Baccalaureate Organisation to offer the IB Diploma Programme in 2006. ACS (Junior) moved to a new school building located at Winstedt Road in 2007

School anthem and crest[edit]

The school's anthem, memorised and sung by generations of ACS students, was written by teacher Henry Martyn Hoisington in 1926. It is a close re-write of the unofficial Canadian National Anthem, The Maple Leaf Forever and has served over the years as a means of bonding between students and alumni, evoking as it does memories of attending the institution.

Drawing inspiration from the anthem, Dr Yap Pheng Geck designed the coat-of-arms like school crest in 1930.


ACSI is proud to have inherited the ACS tradition of strict discipline, achieved through the use of demerit points, suspension and, where necessary, caning.

Up until the 1970s, when the school was still called ACS, there were no private canings, and all punishments were carried out in front of the other students.

Notable Alumni[edit]


  • Vivian Balakrishnan, Foreign Affairs Minister
  • Lui Tuck Yew, Ambassador of Singapore to Japan. Former Transport Minister and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, former Chief of Navy and former Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority
  • S.R. Nathan, 6th President of Singapore
  • Ng Eng Hen, Defence Minister and former Education Minister
  • Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies
  • Tan Chuan Jin, Speaker of Parliament, former Minister of State for Manpower and National Development & Army General
  • Chee Soon Juan, Head of the Singapore Democratic Party
  • Chiam See Tong, former MP and Head of the Singapore People's Party
  • Goh Keng Swee, former Deputy Prime Minister, Defence Minister, Finance Minister and Education Minister
  • Dr Richard Hu, former Finance Minister for Finance and Trade and Industry Minister
  • Lim Kim San, former cabinet minister, Chairman of the Housing and Development Board and Chairman of the Port of Singapore Authority
  • Tan Soo Khoon, former MP and Speaker of Parliament
  • Yeo Cheow Tong, former MP & Transport Minister
  • Yuen Pau Woo, Canadian Senator, representing British Columbia


  • Poh Seng Song, national sprinter
  • Joseph Schooling, national swimmer, Olympics Gold Medallist
  • Quah Zheng Wen, national swimmer
  • Gary Tan, national swimmer

Medical / Law / Defence Force[edit]

  • Benjamin Ong, Director of Medical Services, Ministry of Health
  • Chew Chin Hin, former Deputy Director of Medical Services and Master, Academy of Medicine
  • Ernest C.T. Chew, former Dean, NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Steven Chong, former Attorney-General of Singapore, currently Judge
  • LG Winston Choo, former Chief of the Defence Force, Chairman of Singapore Red Cross
  • LG Desmond Kuek , former Chief of the Defence Force & CEO of SMRT Cooperation
  • MG Melvyn Ong, Chief of the Army
  • V K Rajah, former Judge of Appeal, Attorney-General of Singapore (2014-2017)
  • Lucien Wong, Attorney-General of Singapore (2017-Present), Senior Counsel
  • RADM Ronnie Tay, former Chief of Navy
  • Wong Tien Yin, Director, Singapore Eye Research Institute
  • Yeoh Khay Guan, Dean, NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
  • Tay Khoon Hean, Chief of Surgery Changi General Hospital & former national swimmer


  • Terence Cao, actor
  • Nat Ho, actor
  • Hossan Leong, actor & Radio DJ
  • JJ Lin, singer
  • Adrian Pang, actor
  • Benson Puah, CEO of Esplanade, ACS Board of Governors
  • Nathan Hartono, singer
  • Mark Chan, composer and former national swimmer

External links[edit]