Primary 5 and 6
Logo credit: Ms Renee Leung, RGPS Class of 1985.
Name: Suan Yingzhen Class: 5A
Social Studies Raffles Girls' Primary School and Raffles Girl's School were established on 4 March 1844 as a girls' section within Raffles Institution. In 1881, Raffles Girls' School separated from Raffles Institution to become an educational institution on its own. In 1928, Raffles Girlsâ€™ School and Raffles Girlsâ€™ Primary School moved to Queen Street. Raffles Girls' Primary School eventually separated from Raffles Girls' School in 1959. In 1979, Raffles Girls' Primary School moved to Holland Grove Road due to a need for more space and finally moved to its current location along Hillcrest Road in 1999. I interviewed Aunt Linda who came to the school on 9th March 2012 for this project. Aunt Linda had studied in the Holland Grove premise. Some of her unforgettable memories include recess time. Her favourite stalls in the canteen included the kacang putih stall, the mee pok stall and the prawn noodle stall. The prawn noodle stall was the very popular during those days that students have to preorder their noodles. Aunt Linda would write her name on a small piece of paper and then pass it to the auntie at the stall. During recess time, she would go to the stall to look for her bowl of prawn noodle with her name on it.
Some unforgettable programs during those days at the Holland Grove premise was the milk program and teeth brushing programs. The students had triangular milk packets from Magnolia which came in three flavours â€“ strawberry, chocolate and vanilla.
As for the teeth brushing program, the students needed to bring their beakers and toothbrush. They would stand in a row in front of the drain to brush their teeth and then spat into the drain. The teeth brushing place was near the aviary and rabbit cage. Below are some old photographs depicting how lessons were conducted.
English Composition lesson
â€œUse Your Handsâ€? Day
Interviewer: Charmaine(5A) Interviewee: Linda Seck
My mom, Linda Seck, was a pupil of the RGPS Holland Grove from 1979-1984. Her most favourite place in the school was the field because she and her friends love to build nests using the dried grass and twigs. During recess, she and her friends will use rubber bands to form a long rope to play a game called 0-point. This game requires two person to hold the two ends of the rope while the others jump over it. Once they clear a certain height, the level of the rope will be raised to a higher level. The highest level is up to a height as tall as them. In class, they will learn English, Chinese, Maths, and science. Her favourite subject is Chinese. Even though she and her friends are different, they have one thing in common , they hate the dentist! During those days, whenever they are called to the dentist! During those days, whenever they are called to the dentist they will be very reluctant and scared. In the canteen, they have stalls like Noodles, Nasi Lemak , Drinks, Ice cream, Tibits and Kachang Puteh and most of them only cost 10 cents! Her favourite food in school is Kachang Puteh. Her best friend is called Li Nah and she is short, soft-spoken, quiet and has curly hair. Li Nah stays opposite her house, and Li Nahâ€™s grandfather would always send them to school in the morning. Mrs Bong is also her favourite teacher. She would always look forward to Mrs Bong music lessons. Her principal was Mrs SN Lim. She loves her school very much and enjoyed those days spent at RGPS.
Lim Geok Keng
Mrs. Lim Geok Keng is one of the Raffles Girlsâ€™ Primary School students in 1986. Mrs. Lim Geok Keng used to have a best friend named Amy; she was in the same class as Mrs. Lim Geok Keng for all the six years in Primary School. Her favorite teacher was Mrs. Irene Bong. She had a favorite corner in the school compound which was at the stair case, they would play there and share secrets. Their recess time only lasted for 20 minutes while ours lasts for 30 minutes. The drinks at the canteen then were very cheap, a small cup of juice only costs 5 cents while a big cup only costs 10 cents.Next, during PE lessons they played with hula hoops, bean bags and gunny sacks, they played the same things for their sports day. Her CCA was the athletics, and she took part in many competitions. The lessons were quite boring compared to now as they do not have any science labs or computer labs.
Done by: Jessica Yap (5C)
Annabel Goh (5C)
RGPS Story By Elizabeth Loo/5C and Nicole Kee/5C Grandmother: Esther Ong (69) My grandmother was born in 1943 and went to school at RGPS. At that time, RGPS was different from what it is now. RGPS was then located at Queens Street in the city across a Cathedral. Our school is now situated in Bukit Timah within a housing estate. There was no school bus in the old days. Children had to either take the trishaw or private taxi to school. At morning assembly, they had to sing “God Save The Queen” and wave the Union Jack Flag as it was still under Colonial rule. Now, we sing Singapore’s national anthem, Majulah Singapura. During recess, they played simple games like five stones and skipping. We now play electronic games like iphone and psp. Also, they were provided with free milk during recess. They could choose to have their milk in vanilla, chocolate or strawberry flavour. They also had a stall that sold ice-cream. How yummy! Other stalls sold fried bee hoon and noodle soup. All school children were very well looked after. Those who were found to be under nourished were provided with fish oil. PE lesson was also very different. They had activities such as toss the bean bag, jumping around in garbage bag, throwing balls and climbing trees. The classroom environment was also not the same. They used black board and chalk. We now use white board and markers. Strangely, students were not allowed to go to school if they had tooth decay. It must have left a great impression on my grandmother as she still remembers that the dentists were called Dr Phoon and Dr Puay. My grandmother said that they did not have to bring any text books home. All their books were kept in the school locker. They only had to bring whatever homework they had home for the day. In Primary One, they had to learn sewing and ironing. Also, most teachers were elderly, married, old fashion and strict. My grandmother also remembered that she took an army truck to school once when there was a strike by the bus drivers. As she was very short, she got to sit in front of the army truck and it was fun. During the Queen’s Coronation Day, the school held a celebration in the school hall and everyone cheered and praised. When the King died, they would lower the flag and sing the King’s anthem solemnly. The school was not far from Bras Basah, and after school, some parents would bring their children across to the mall to buy rojak.
There was also a Cathedral nearby. Before school, my grandmother would follow her other friends to the Cathedral and dip their forehead with holy water and say prayers. They would also see many nuns in white within the Cathedral grounds. Normally for school excursions, the teacher would bring them to the Museum close by. They would have lots of fun watching exhibits. Like most of us, the children in those days had many fun-filled days immersing in activities that they enjoyed. Now, as technology advances, we play many exciting gadgets and electronic games that they have never played before. Nevertheless, it would be fun to have a taste of riding in army trucks and to smell the sweet grass in vast open spaces that is now covered with buildings. Sometimes, how I do wish I could take a trip back in time to experience their life which was just simple, fun and carefree!
The RGPS Story
“Together We Shall Strive, to Build a Better Life…Together, Together, All the Way”, they all sang in unison at the Monday Assembly, as I stood in attention… It was the most memorable day I have had in a while. There is little time for these small pleasures when working in a pressure filled banking environment. It was such a breath of fresh air to go back to school – where so many fond, relaxed and untarnished memories were made. School always brings a smile to my face – even today, after 17 years! Back in the day, my school – Raffles Girls Primary School was located at Holland Road. I remember how we made the move to the Hillcrest campus in 1999 when I had just finished Primary 5 and was going into my PSLE year. I felt lost at first. I realized how much I missed the chirping of the birds from the aviary, the play area next to the rows of houses and our traditional five stones. I am now back in the same campus I had been last, but so much has changed. I could not help feeling a wave of pride wash over me as I was invited back to school this time for an Alumni walkabout event! The streaming children in the corridors filed from one class to their next, the school uniform had remained fairly the same as what we had had back in my school time, but we had had badges instead of the current name tags and we could recognize a prefect by her prefect badge rather than from the ties that they had now. I strolled down the school hallway and scanned the school I used to be a part of. Everything seemed so different and yet I felt a sense of belonging. I ambled past the classrooms and noticed that they were much bigger compared to a long time ago. There were more classes per level and each class only consisted of around 32-33 chattering girls as compared to the 40 we used to have. I entered the 3C classroom, walked to the back of the class and saw two girls chit chatting. They brought back such great memories of Katrina and I. Katrina had been my best friend and we always chattered incessantly at the back of the class. Sadly we only keep in touch via email now as she migrated to California with a great corporate internship there which became her permanent residence now. I shook my head in an effort to stop my flowing train of thoughts.
A somewhat deafening voice echoed in the class, snapping me out of my daydream. “Chloe and Maxine! Stop chatting and listen to what I am saying. As this is the start of your new year- you will be having the regular subjects like English, Math, Chinese (my second language!), Health Education, Civic and Moral Education and Social Studies but since you are now in Primary 3 you will be studying one new subject Science.” I quickly turned to see who the infuriated tone had come from. A stern-looking teacher stood at the front of the class next to a visualizer. I couldn’t recall even one instance when Mrs. John, our form teacher, had ever raised her voice or screamed at anyone or for anything in class. She taught me Science in Primary 5 and 6. She would mark the black board with chalk and we would obediently copy it into our notebooks. Come to think of it, we did not even have technological devices like visualizers to aid in our learning like they had now. I continued on my tour smiling to myself as my mind flooded further with memories. All of a sudden a bell rang and a swarm of children gushed out of the classes and into the canteen. There seemed to be a sea of girls in lines in front of the various stalls in the canteen. I walked up to the stall selling Western food, only to be shocked out of my wits. The cost of one plate of spaghetti was $1! Back in our time, the same portion of food had cost us only 70 cents. Everything in the canteen had been less than $1. The students now had fish ball noodles and potato wedges but they were more pricy. What was worse is that they didn’t have any ice-cream or ice-kachang! That was a disappointment. I set my plate of spaghetti next to some boisterous girls who were gulping their food down with a speed that made me wonder what they were planning to do next, only to learn that they were off to play in a jiffy. The newly constructed play area was full of excited voices. We used to play 5 stones, ‘Freeze and Melt’ and hopscotch, very unlike the girls today who were at the basketball grounds, tossing balls into nets with perfect aim or simply playing running and catching. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of a prefect booking an innocent looking yet guilty girl. She must have been up to no good, something very unlike me at her age. I had always been in the prefects’ good books and had never gotten into any trouble - more so, because Katrina had been a prefect and she had always had me covered.
It was great to find out that the girls were given the opportunity to nominate their head and assistant head prefects whereas for us the teachers had just selected them leaving us with absolutely no say in the matter. We had never had so many CCA choices – we only had the typical CCA’s like Basketball, Netball, Choir, Gardening, Girls Brigade, Ballet and Brownies. Though part of the latter two, I never participated in the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF). Though the girls were given so much freedom of choice, I was upset that the children had to be put through so many levels of streaming. I was told that at the Primary 2 level they were to stream into groups of children, then again at Primary 3 level for the Gifted Education Program (GEP) and finally at the Primary 4 level for those who could not cope in the higher sections. It was sad the students had to be split up from friends because of their different academic aptitudes. I ventured to my favorite part of school – the library. It was a bustle of activity and still had the same bookish smell I loved when I was in school. During my first two years in RGPS, I had spent many hours in the library as our teachers brought us here to read and play during some fun-filled lessons I enjoyed. I walked towards the familiar ‘play area’ only to find they had no board games at all, which saddened me immensely. Finally, we were all ushered back into the hall for a talk by the current Principal – Mrs. Yue Yoke Mun. I thought of how our principal at the time, Mrs. Nanda Bandara spoke to us during assembly at the Holland campus. When we moved to the new campus, our Principal, Mrs. Tan Siok Cheng had taken over. I can still picture how she was always so immaculately dressed in her cheongsam, how she would speak with an air of authority yet with a smile so affectionate and friendly. I had heard that Mrs. Tan stayed principal of the school till 2008! The Principal spoke of all the achievements that the school had made and all the improvements she seek to fulfill, but what stayed etched in my mind was what she concluded her speech with – “Let’s stay true to our Vision and Mission - ‘To be a premier school with a vibrant and caring community to develop our pupils to be useful citizens and lifelong learners.
Written by Sneha Bobba (5C), On behalf of Anita Jiawen Sadasivan who studied at RGPS from 1995 – 2000. She is currently working as a Client Service Executive at ANZ Bank, Singapore. Photos Retrieved From: http://www.rgps.moe.edu.sg/cos/o.x?c=/wbn/pagetree&func=view&rid=49392, The Raffles Girls’ Primary School Website: History of Raffles Girls’ Primary School
By Shanya Shanmugam P5E(27) 2012 My aunt was a former RGPS girl. She went to school in the 1970s so it was located in Queen street and Holland Grove Road. When, talking about recess, she told me that she loved to play in the field outside the school with her friends. She would play simple games like catching and hide-and-seek with them. However, she could not remember how much a bowl of noodles cost! Her best friend was a girl called Renuka and they had a secret spot behind the canteen. They would always meet there to go to play with each other. Then, instead of CCA, they called it ECA, which stands for extra-curricular activities. The word 'extra' had confused her into thinking that it was optional so she did not have one! She said she had enjoyed all her subjects, especially P.E., where she got to play fun games. I wonder if their P.E. was more fun than ours! She also enjoyed music, as her teacher was very fun and got to sing along.
I would really enjoy and look forward to going to school then. If only I could invent I time-machine...
The former RGPS student whom I interviewed is Jeanine. She is a parent volunteer in our school now. She studied in the Queenstreet campus from Primary 1 to Primary 3. In Primary 4, she moved to the Henry Park Campus. In the Henry Park campus, there were three levels and 4 classrooms per level. During recess, Jeanine liked to build houses using twigs. She loved playing outdoors. Her favourite activities were catching, 0’point and 5 stones. There were 4 stalls in the canteen; drinks, buns and Muslim. She received $2.00 for a week’s pocket money. That is very little compared to what I receive now! Jeanine also loved to study. She was taught Mathematics, Science, English, Mother Tongue, Art and Music. There was no Social Studies then. However, her favourite subject was English because she loved to write! Furthermore, her English teacher, Ms Costello, was very inspiring! In her classroom, back then, there was only a blackboard and only one visualiser shared among the whole school! She said that usually, the Primary 6 students will get to use it. WOW! Isn’t that so different from now where we have a whiteboard and a visualiser in each class! She also claimed that her teacher will take the duster and whack pupils’ buttocks if they misbehave. In the school, there was no library. There was only an assembly hall, where talks would be held, and Jeanine said that they were boring! Her principal was Mrs Lim. She loved a few corners of the school. One of her most favourite corners was the part of the school which had a low coconut plant. Interesting! There were also something similar to CCA in her campus. It was ECA (extra-curriculum activities). She said that pupils could choose whether they wanted ECA or not. Jeanine’s ECA was Gymnastics. There was also community singing in their campus once a week. Her happiest moment in RGPS was playing in the fields. Her most proud moment was when she finished her PSLE. She loved her friends. She said that everyone wore gold badges too! Their PE pants was extremely baggy that it looked like a skirt, according to Jeanine. During PE, they played with with hoola hoops and beanbags. They also played basketball, hockey, skipping and relay races.Just like now, they also had NAPHA. Life in the old campus was really fun compared to now. I shall always remember the past memories of RGPS.
DONE BY: SHWETA D/O KUNACIILAN (28) 5E, RGPS
The name of my interviewee is : Jessica Tang Wai Fun. She studied at RGPS from 1975 -1980 at the Queen Street and Holland Grove campus. The subjects that they studied were Chinese, English, Science, Mathematics, Health Education, P.E. and Music. During her generation, they used the blackboard instead of the whiteboard. The teacher would use white coloured chalks to write on the blackboard. Sometimes during their break, the students would use the coloured chalks to doodle on the board. In terms of class size, it is about the same size as what we are now, fitting approximately 40 – 45 students per class instead of the usual 40. What the teachers wore during her generation is slightly different from the current generation. There were teachers who wore cheongsam or clothing in the seventies. My interviewee, Mdm Tang, could only recall her form teachers for Primary 1, 2 and 5. Mrs Koh was her form teacher from Primary 1 to Primary 2, who taught her the major subjects such as English and Mathematics and her Chinese teacher was Miss Koh. As far as she can remember, Mrs Ching ,her Primary 5 form teacher, was also the teacher-in-charge for Choir. Mdm Tang could remember that Mrs Ching was a beautiful and demure teacher. Mdm Tang recalled having a bowl of warm soup with fish cake, which cost about 20 cents, during cold, rainy mornings. Can you imagine the fish cake only cost 20 cents during their time ? The place where we call ‘canteen’ was called ‘tuckshop’ during that generation. The tuckshop did not have as many varieties of food as we do have now. Something they have at that time that we do not have now is the kachangputeh stall, which only cost 5 cents per serving. One interesting fact that she recalled was the vendor for the noodle shop now was actually the same vendor during her time. That was about 30 years ago!! For the P.E attire, the students wore blummers and t-shirts without collars . They had house colours such as Blue, Green, Yellow and Red. The Green house used to be the winner on Sports Days. Instead of having the school badge sewn on their pinafore during their generation, they had the school badge pinned onto the uniform. There was no name tag sewn on the uniform. So teachers had to remember the students’ names by heart. My Alumni had a wonderful 6 years of education in RGPS. Janine Heng 5F (12)
THE RGPS STORY On 9th March, we interviewed the alumni of Raffles Girls’ Primary School. Our whole class interviewed Auntie Mitchie and Auntie Jen. Raffles Girls’ Primary School, RGPS, was named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore. RGPS was established in1844, and moved four times. It was at Bras Basah, then moved to Queen Street, Holland Grove, and finally Hillcrest. During the Japanese Occupation, the RGPS Queen Street campus was a Kempetai headquarter. Auntie Mitchie and Auntie Jen were both students studying in the Holland Grove campus. They shared a common field with Henry Park Primary School back then. Their principal was Mrs Lim. She served as the principal of the school from1979 to 1984, from the Queen Street campus to the Holland Grove campus. School back then started at 7.30p.m.and ended at 12.30p.m.for the morning session. Afternoon session started at 1p.m. and ended at 6.30p.m. Mrs Patricia Tan came up with our School Song while Ms Dorris Wee started the Girls’ Brigade. There were male and female teachers in the school, but majority of the teachers were females. There were a total of eight classes. In the classrooms, there were forty to forty-five students. The teachers wrote on the blackboard with chalk, and the students had a duty roster to clean the blackboard. During Physical Education periods, the students would wear a shirt and bloomers. The co-curricular activities, CCAs back then were quite similar to our CCAs now. Auntie Mitchie served as a Brownie while Auntie Jen played the recorder in the School Band. The staffroom back then was not air-conditioned whereas the library was airconditioned. At the Holland Grove campus, there was a magnificent Bridge Of Love. Auntie Mitchie’s and Auntie Jen’s favourite corners in school were a small, outdoor playground and the carpark, where they would play games like 0 point and five stones. There were six to eight stalls in the canteen, and the food sold are kachang puteh,ice balls etc., sold at a cheaper price. The subjects learnt then were very similar to ours now, such as Health Education. I have learnt a lot about RGPS from this interview with the alumni. As students of RGPS, we must all live up our school values: Learning, Graciousness, integrity, creativity, responsibility. “Together, we shall strive to build a better life. Together, together! All the way!” Goh Dai Lin (9), 5F
Name: Laurene Sim and Charlotte Chan 5F
The RGPS Story My mother, Evelyn Goh was an ex-RGPS girl. Her school then was at Holland Grove. I was amazed to know that RGPS was established in 1844, which makes it 168 years old this year! I was extremely curious as to how the school was like more than 25 years ago when my mother was a student then. I asked her to tell me specifically what are the key differences between the now and the past. She started off describing the “tuck-shop” which we now refer to as the canteen. She said that the food then was a lot cheaper. For example, a bowl of noodles cost about 20¢ while it now cost about 90¢! Her favourite stall was the Kacang Puteh stall. Kacang Puteh refers to different kinds of nuts and it was their simple joy of tibits at that time. The Kacang Puteh comes in paper cones which the stallholder skillfully rolled and were sold at only 10¢ per cone. The duration of their recess was about 20 minutes. What I found most hilarious was that the pupils were made to brush their teeth after recess, squatting along the drains. However, I was told that this routine was taken seriously and pupils who forgot their toothbrush were asked to stand on the stage until the rest of the students are done with their brushing. I am glad that we no longer practice this as I think it is very troublesome to remember to bring our toothbrushes and toothpastes. But on the other hand, it would allow us to skip a bit of lessons! As for the classrooms, the teachers used blackboards instead of the whiteboards. While I find blackboards interesting, I am happy with the whiteboards we have in our classes now as we will not have chalk dust flying around! The tables were arranged individually, unlike ours which were arranged in groups. I prefer the group arrangements as my friends are just beside me so we can talk and discuss issues as well as work in between periods. Regarding the teachers then, I was told that they were extremely fierce and punished the students in a number of ways that (fortunately!) were not practiced now. Some teachers made their students stand at the back of the classroom or outside the classroom, while others used the chalkboard duster to beat the buttocks of the students (what a mess!). The worst punishment was when the teachers threw books out of the window. Some even landed in the school pond!
The school uniforms have remained the same, but the school badge was made of metal and was pinned on the pinafore. As pupils were required to have their school badge on everyday and forgetting it would mean having your name captured by the prefects. Some students would resort to buying a new badge from the bookshop each time they forget to bring their badge! Prefects also wore special badges instead of ties. In addition, pupils did not have any nametags. I think nametags are good as it helps us to remember the names of our friends. I suppose particularly so for the teachers who need to remember the names of so many students. The report book required the teachers to write the marks and remarks on the book itself. I much prefer my report book, as it is printed, which makes it very neat! I am very proud to be an RGPS girl and I am very happy to know that my mother, my two aunts, my sister, and I, are all going to be part of the RGPS history!
The RGPS Story
A time to remember Bras Basah, Queen Street, Holland Grove, Hillcrest… What do these names remind you of? Why, non other than the former locations of Raffles Girls Primary School! Well, except Hillcrest, RGPS is still there. Many do not know about what this government school used to be before it turned into one of the top schools in Singapore. Thus it was decided that an interview on a former RGPS student had to be conducted. On the 9th of March, many former RGPS students came to our school. There was one who came to our classromm, the 5F classroom. She spoke to us about her time in school. Her name was Aunty Jon Liew, a classmate’s mother. I called out to her,”What classes did you take?” Aunty Jon Liew replied,”Well, we learned English, Math, Music, Health Education and Science. We didn’t have Social Studies lesson. During our time,we had no retake spelling or banded classes. “ You’re so lucky!” someone in our class shouted.”The banded class we have now are horrible because we mingle with the GEPs!” Aunty Jon Liew smiled and carried on,”In our classes, there were 40-45 pupils in one class and the size of the classroom never changed. There were 8 classes altogether. We used chalk and blackboard instead of whiteboards and markers. My teacher made the students take turns to clean the board. Whenever it was my turn, I would always silently grumble. Cleaning the blackboard always made my hands dirty. There was a rumour around school that inhaling too muchchalk dust could damage our lungs permanently. Since I was so young, I believed this rumour and was always afraid of cleaning the blackboard.” “Who was the principal back then?” “Which location was the school at?” “What did you eat and do during recess?” A lot of pupils started bombarding Aunty Jon Liew with questions. She just laughed and said,” Wait! One at a time, please. I’ll answer the questions I heard. The principal was Mrs Lim Soo Noi. She oversaw the move of school from Queen Street to Holland Grove road. I didn't really know her so I can’t say whether I like her or not. I went to RGPS when it just moved into Holland Grove, 1979, and left when Mrs Lim retired, 1985. As for what I ate and did during recess, I guess you might want to know how much the food cost. A bowl of noodles cost about 0.50dollars.” There were gasp of shock around the class. A bowl of noodles cost that little? Now, it was sold at a price of 0.70dollars! What a big difference! “My pocket money was 0.30dollars everyday.” Aunty Jon Liew continued.” I played many different types of games during recess. For
example. Hop-scotch, Zero-point, skipping rope and hide-and-seek. They were all quite fun, actually. Oh! I just remembered!” Aunty Jon Liew gasped.” We didn’t have badges on our uniforms like you do, but instead, we had to pin little metal badges up. If we forgot to bring the metal badge, we would get into trouble with our teachers! Luckily, the bookshelf sold the badges for 0.10dollars each. Whenever I forgot to bring the badge, I would always buy it from the bookshelf and use up all my pocket money on it. Anymore questions?” I raised my hand and said,” What was your CCA?” “Oh, I forgot.” Aunty Jon Liew said.” But I remember CCA used to be called ECA.” “You shared a field with Henry Park school, right?” someone in the back row asked. “Ah, yes, we did! Whenever any RGPS pupil saw a Henry Park boy, she would immediately chase them away! We didn’t like boys you see.” She chuckled. Just then, the bell rang and Aunty Jon Liew announced that she needed to go off. We saluted her and thanked her for sharing her memories. From this interview, I learned a lot about the old RGPS. There were so many differences between the old RGPS school and the one I studied in! I’m glad I had this interview, the RGPS history is really interesting!
Name: Joy Liew Yu (5F) These are memories of a RGPS Girl, who also happens to be my mother. Raffles Girls’ Primary School was next to Henry Park Primary School at the Holland Grove campus. In between the two schools, there was a large field with an imaginary line that splits it into two.
The Sports Meet, now called Games Carnival, was held on our side of the field. Jan was in green house. Her house’s cheer was “Green, green, always win!” (And it was very true as Green House always won). During Sports Meet, there were many events. Some of the individual events were Baton, Sack Race and Exchanging Beanbags. At the end of Sports Meet, trophies (Gold, Silver and Bronze) would be presented to the winners. The cheer for Yellow House is “Yellow, yellow, dirty Fellow”! It felt fun to run on fresh green grass. During recess and Physical Education lessons, she and her friends would make sure that the Henry Park boys stay on their side of the field. If not, they would be chased out. On rubbish picking day, the girls would pick litter on their side of the field only. The canteen and hall were together on the first floor. The food stalls were facing the tables and chairs where the students sit and eat their food. At both sides of the hall, there were shallow drains. The students would squat at the side and brush their teeth there. On very special occasions, the teachers would give them a bright pink tablet to chew before brushing their teeth. The stains on the teeth showed the locations of dental plaque. Jan’s best friend is Ruth. She went to the library on some days. The librarian would take out a card from the book she wanted to borrow, write the due date and slip it into her library card and keep it. Afterwards when the book was returned, the librarian would take out the piece of paper, put it in front of the book, give Jan back her library card and put back the book. The library card was paper then but it is all electronic now. During recess, Jan would play active and inactive games. She would play zero-point with her friends on the field. The rope used in the game was made out of many rubber bands bonded together. First, everybody is split into two groups. Then, you put it on the floor and the other group would go over the rope. You would do the same as when you hold it at your knee, waist, armpit, on your head and a little bit over your head. While waiting in the hall for their teacher, Jan would play five stones with her friends. The stones were usually filled with green beans. My mother’s memories of her RGPS days are different from mine. Some day, I too hope to be able to tell my own daughter about my memories of RGPS.
My name is Zainab and I interviewed my mother , Yuliza Yusoff, for this project. My mother is a former Rafflesian. She was in Raffles Girls’ Primary School from the year 1976-1981. From 1976-1979 , the school was at Hill Street. Then, from 1979-1999, the school shifted to Holland Street. My mother’s principal was Mrs Lim. Her teachers were Mrs De Silva and Ms Chan. A class can hold up to 42 pupils! Pupils had to wear bloomers during their P.E. Now I shall tell you more about the school. The school canteen had 1 Drink stall,1 Muslim stall ,1 Indian stall ,1 Chinese stall and 1 KACANG PUTIH STALL! Such a pity that these days many schools do not have a KACANG PUTIH STALL. The school used the chalkboard. Nowadays, school either use the whiteboard or the ‘SMARTBOARD’. Tables in the olden days has compartment in it! The school at Hillstreet was the bigger among the two. This was because it was formerly a PRE-WAR HOSPITAL.. Many said the school was haunted because some had seen ghost. The school was also a good place to play hide- andseek as it has many places to hide. Games which are commonly played in the olden days are , Batu Seremban, Teng teng and even Hopscotch. Chapteh, But the hopscotch played in the olden days were different from those played these days. In the olden days they used chalk to draw the boxes but now they print and paste. My mother was in the AVA CLUB and the Table Tennis CCA. One of the CCA they had in those was Volleyball. It would be so amazing to turn back time and see the old RAFFLES GIRLS’ PRIMARY SCHOOL.Well we can see the old gate of the school at the city center of Queen Street.
The name of my interviewee is Jessica Tang Wai Fun. She studied in the Queen Street and Holland Grove campus, from year 1975 – 1980. The size of the classroom was about the same as what we have now, approximately 40 – 45 students per class. They had blackboard and chalks in the classroom during her generation. Mdm Tang could recall one incident where her hands were dirty with chalk powder and she accidentally touched her own face. She became a laughing stock ! The subjects that they studied were Maths , Science , Chinese , English, Health Education , Physical Education and Music. However, they did not have Social Studies. Mdm Tang’s teachers were Mrs Koh (P1 – P2), Mrs Ching (P5) who was also the teacher-in-charge of Choir. She remembered Mrs Ching as a beautiful and demure teacher. Most of the teachers wore clothings that were in the seventies fashion, while some would wear cheongsams. Unlike now, they had bloomers and t-shirts without collars. There was no such thing as house t-shirts but they do have house colours such as Red, Blue, Green and Yellow. The Green house was usually the winner on Sports Days. Instead of a canteen, they had a tuckshop which sold similar food but fewer stalls. There was also a kachang-puteh stall which Mdm Tang always patronized. She remembered the prices of the food was much cheaper compared to now. Example, the kachang-puteh only cost 5 to 10 cents each, and noodles only 30 cents. On cold, rainy days, Mdm Tang would buy a bowl of soup with fish cake to warm her stomach. It was so comforting and heartwarming. The most memorable moments in her 6 years that Mdm Tang recalled was when she topped the whole class during Primary 1 and 2.
Interviewer: Dalene Ng 5G Interviewee: Rena Yeo (Queen Street-Holland Grove Campus 1978-1983)
My mother, Rena, was a pupil from Queen Street to Holland Grove in 1978 to 1983.Her most memorable incident was when she fell down and her kneecap has a hole. The shops in the canteen are still the same except that there is no kachang puteh in the canteen now. I was shock to hear that the food was only $0.30-$0.50! But in olden days, it is very hard to get even a $0.50.My motherâ€™s favourite food in the canteen is the prawn mee and the fishball noodles. During recess, she would always take a walk around the school. My mother always takes her class photo at the eco-garden in Holland Grove. She said that in her time, there was no science laboratory and computer laboratory also she mentioned that there were no electronic gadgets like calculator. And instead of PE pants, my mother wore bloomers and also, they do not have house T-shirt. And of course there was no whiteboard so they use blackboard with a chalk. My mother will always take public bus to school. She also said that the size of the classrooms is the same as now and there are about 40 pupils in a class. And our badges are sewn so we do not need to worry but in olden days, their badges are the kind that you need to pin on your pinafore. She said that the colour of school in olden days is about the same. She also mentions that there are prefects in her time but not as many as now. And also the prefects do not wear a tie but a badge. In her time, there was no pottery class and no higher Chinese, Malay and Tamil. My mother also said that there was Napha test and the CCA are the same as now. The subjects are the same but the books are different and there were 5 storeys in Holland Grove. My mother felt fortunate to be in this school and she misses her school. She also likes her school very much. I feel fortunate to be in this school and in the same school as my mother.
THE RGPS STORY – A TIME TO REMEMBER Done By: Heshma Anoosheh Maricar 5G(12) I interviewed my aunt who studied in the Holland Road campus. She spoke a lot about her fond memories about RGPS. Today for my project, I have written most of what she has told me about her experiences in the school. Her name is Zaheera Maricar. She studied in RGPS from 1989 to 1994. In each medium sized classroom there were about 20 to 30 students. In the school there was one Science laboratory but unfortunately there was no Computer laboratory. My aunt enjoyed walking on the RGPS “Bridge of Love.” There was also the Japanese pond and the Hop Scotch play areas. Their P.E. attire then was bloomers. The CCAs then were the same as the CCAs now. The teachers however have always been the same; kind, caring and friendly. My aunt was a basketball player. The food in the canteen was really affordable. With 30cents she could eat to her heart’s content. The delicious “Mee Siam, Mee Rebus and Nasi Lemak.” Her principal was Miss Nanda Bandara. The chairs in the classroom were made of wood and steel. In that school, there were many places to hide so they could play hide and seek and the ‘seeker’ would never find them. There was a piano at the entrance of the school. Often children who were early to school or keen in playing the piano would play it. She also has a lot of fond memories of her teachers, some of whom are not around today. After interviewing her I realized that RGPS has certainly a very rich history and I am very proud to be a part of it.
Interviewer: Chiow Si Ern Livia and Lim Yi Huan(Primary 5G) Interviewee: Rebecca Foo (Queen Street/ Holland Grove Campus: 1977 to 1982)
Livia’s mother, Rebecca Foo, was a pupil of both the RGPS Queen Street and Holland Grove campuses from 1977 to 1982. She has many fond memories of RGPS. This is especially so because she experienced the school’s big move from Queen Street to Holland Grove Road in 1979. She remembered the President of Singapore then, Mr Devan Nair, graced the occasion of the official opening ceremony of the new campus at Holland Grove Road. All the girls were very excited as they lined the roads along the campus to welcome the arrival of the VIP. There was great excitement as the entire school celebrated the joyous occasion. Livia’s mother was very active when she was in RGPS. She was a member of the Band and she played the cornet (a brass instrument that is similar to a trumpet, but shorter in length). Though there were many long hours of band practices, Livia’s mother enjoyed herself tremendously, making music and making friends. She was extremely thrilled when they won a silver medal for a band competition.
THE RGPS STORY Playtime in RGPS: In 1978, our interviewee, Mdm Yuzila Yusoff, had a fun time playing with her friends . Capteh and five stones were the popular games .
When they play dog-and-bone, they use their school belts. They were lucky as the playing equipment was provided by the school. Even though there was no playgrounds in school, their fun did not end there. Most of the fun was started during recess and after school. They even sacrificed their food for playing games and activities. The games and the activities were held either infront of the assembly area or the field. I wish I could have done that too ! Too bad that they did not have an indoor sports hall like we do to shelter them from rain. Playtime will never end in RGPS.
INTERVIEWERS:DINAH FAHEEMA(5H)NUR SARA ZAIN(5H) INTERVIEWEE:MDM YUZILA YUSOFF(PR1 QUEEN STREET) (PR2-PR6 HOLLAND GROVE)
The RGPS Story… … Every school has a history. It is timely for each one of us to pen down a part of our school history as we celebrate the 168th anniversary of RGPS……… Mrs Irene Ng was enrolled in RGPS at the Holland Grove Campus. These are her fond memories: She remembers ‘The Majestic Marble Staircase’ as her favourite corner of the school. The staircase led to the pick-up point. They were not allowed to run down the steps, so they had to walk down slowly. Each time she walked down the stairs, she felt like she was a princess walking daintily down the grand staircase. Every student has a favourite time of the day. Recess was her favourite time of the day. She remembered vividly that the moment the bell rang, she would dash down to the canteen and queue up to buy her food. At that time, one bowl of noodles cost only thirty cents whereas now, one bowl of noodles costs a dollar and fifty cents! After eating her food, she and her friends would go out to the field to play games like five stones, skipping or simply chase each other around. What a blissful time that was! In the words of the school song: “Together we shall strive, to build a better life. Together, together! All the way” Indeed, teachers and pupils share a warm and meaningful relationship as they work together. Her favourite teachers were her Chinese teachers, Mrs Tan and Miss Koh. They built her foundation in Chinese by encouraging her. They helped mould her character by inculcating values in her. RGPS continues its tradition of dedicated teachers. The only difference now is that our teachers are humorous and friendly, unlike in the past, when they were mostly fierce and strict. Joy Sim P 5P
A Time to Remember Interviewer: Nur Syahindah Juhari
Interviewee: Mdm Rayhanah Mohd (RGPS Holland Grove Campus 1991-1996)
Mdm Ray was excited to start her Primary 1 in 1991 at the hexagon-shaped RGPS Holland Grove Campus. At that time, Mrs Wong Wing Choon was the discipline headmistress and her Malay teachers were Cikgu Mastura and Cikgu Fatima. Mdm Marie Loe also used to be her teacher. She was a fierce but a good teacher who always scolded her class and laughs when in a jovial mood. Mdm Ray also knew Mrs Tanabal and Mrs Rajamani then. In the building compound, there was the “Bridge of Love”. Unfortunately, Mdm Ray was not allowed to go on the bridge. In those days, the computer lab housed many big old ugly computers but Mdm Ray was seldom brought to the lab. She did not attend any remedial classes and didn’t take up Higher Malay. Mdm Ray had been a school librarian and one of her tasks was to help arranging the books. She enjoyed coming early to the school library and played with her friends. One of the reasons why she decided to become a librarian was because of the air-conditioned atmosphere. The school library at that time was fairly cosy. However, it was widely circulated that the library was “haunted”. It all started with a picture of a clown. At every corner of the library, you would be able to see the clown “staring” at you. Nevertheless, Mdm Ray could not be bothered by the rumours.
RGPS has been organizing many activities and one of them was the “Alice in Wonderland” musical. Although Mdm Ray was not one of the performers, she had a great time watching it and thoroughly enjoyed the evening. She was involved in two CCAs at that time – Brownies and Mini Tennis. Every Saturday, her mother would have to send her to school for her Brownies CCA. In Mini Tennis, she played using a small tennis racket with a sponge ball. Everyday, Mdm Ray would take the school bus to school until she was in Primary 5. During her time, the class had 5 walls and each group was assigned 1 notice board each to update the class of any issue. When graduating from the primary school, Mdm Ray felt sad but was ready to move on. Till now, she still remembers the precious moments when she played hopscotch and zero point with her friends. She still stayed in touch with her best friend, Latisha Castillo who is currently in the United States. Mdm Ray has developed a deep sense of belonging to the school. Now after becoming a teacher in RGPS Hillcrest Rd Campus, she feels like being welcome back to her childhood home.
Social Studies – Oral History Mini Project Interviewer : Stephanie Loi Si Xian 5Q (12) Interviewee : Irene Tan (RGPS Queen Street Campus: 1972 – 1977) Miss Irene Tan was a student on the Queen Street Campus of Raffles Girls’ Primary School. She loved the school and especially liked recess. They would play games in the field. She also liked the Grand Staircase, which was hung with pictures. She remarked that it was like walking in a museum! Her principal was Ms Lim Soo Nooi and her favourite teachers were Mrs Eu and Mrs Ee. She was in the Red Cross and her CCA was on Saturdays! She also had a lot of homework. Her parents could not help her as they did not know English.
Nevertheless, she finds her school life fun and exciting.
daughter, Charlotte Ng Si Min is now in Raffles Girls’ Primary School, 5Q.
Done By: Stephanie Loi Si Xian 5Q (12)
Rebecca Zeng (22)5Q I interviewed an old RGPS girl called Madam Mary Pauline Carmelita Michael. She studied at the Queen Street campus (1967-1971). Her principal was Miss Ida Goh, the sister of the late Goh Keng Swee. Then, her school was double-session and there were more than two classes in each level. The classes like now, had about 40 pupils each. One of her favourite corners in the school was the sheltered corridor leading from the classrooms to the general office and the school garden. During recess time, she would eat Kachang Puteh, which was bought from the canteen with 10 or 20 cents. She would also play hopscotch and five stones there. She used a chalk to draw the hopscotch with many of her close friends. D. Soodi was one of them. D. Soodi is now working in CCPD, MOE but meets Madam Mary at meetings for Tamil language teachers. Sometimes, instead of hanging out along the corridor, they would sit around and talk in the canteen. When her sister, Jacinta, was in primary 1, she would show her around the school during recess. Occasionally, she would spent time talking with her friend, the daughter of a school servant who lived in the school. In the canteen, there were five stalls. One of them sold yellow mee soup, 20 cents per bowl; another stall only sold Kachang Puteh; the third stall was a drink stall; the fourth stall was a sweet shop and candy stall and the final stall was a stall selling Muslim food. In class, her favourite teachers were Miss Tan and Miss Davy as they told interesting stories. During PE, the girls had to wear bloomers and a blouse. PE was fun has they usually played games like beanbag and gunnysack races. When they grew older, they had to learn exercises like broad jump and learn to jump over hurdles. Madam Mary felt privileged to have been in a school like RGPS.
RGPS Story Interviewers: Han Geng Ning (8) 5R, Chia Yee Wei (6) 5R Interviewee: Ms. Elaine Yeo Ms. Elaine Yeo was a RGPS student at the Holland Grove Campus. She remembers many of her past RGPS experiences. The library was air-conditioned at that time like now and she liked reading reference books and the encyclopedia. However their P.E. clothes at that time was different from ours; their shirts had no collar and they could wear any shorts they wanted provided that it was blue. Her classroom was very different from ours too. They used a blackboard and wrote with chalk and when they erased the board, the classroom would be very dusty but our classrooms have whiteboards. Their classroom also had curtains unlike our classrooms which have no curtains. During her art lessons she would also learn sewing which we do not learn. They also had big, bulky computers. Ms. Elaine Yeo was also a head prefect and she had badges that were very, very sharp and could cut others. If she loses her badge, she could go to the bookshop to buy a new one. Her prefect teachers were Mrs. Yap Eng Wah and Ms. Shah Choi Ngoh. Mrs. Lim was the principal of the school. Flag-raising was her duty. Ms. Elaine Yeo was in the debate group as she liked speaking and debating. She also got first prize for debate. There was also the Gifted Education program which started in secondary one. RGPS was not as big as it is now and there were only 4 classes per level at that time. RGPS was also visited by the Minister of State for education. In the past, she and other RGPS students had to do the cleaning themselves. For example, they had to do toilet washing and cleaning unlike now when we have cleaners to help us clean the school. However, Ms. Elaine Yeo enjoyed it as they would spray water at each other and it was fun. They also had a brushing teeth campaign every Wednesday after recess. She would also play many games with her friends in the past like chatek, zero point, skipping rope, the rope made out of colourful rubber bands and five stones. Ms Elaine Yeo has some special memories too. She remembered that someone had dared her to put a stink bomb on the teachers’ seat before. Also, the school had an aviary containing 3 rabbits and birds. Shockingly, someone had let dogs kill the rabbits. This interview has helped us to realise how RGPS was like in the past. It is very different, and in a way similar, to RGPS now. However, RGPS will always be the same inside, no matter how much technology has improved. Go RGPS! “Together, together, all the way!”
RGPS story 2012 Interviewee: Mrs Elaine Ooi Interviewer: Sarah Ann Lee (19) and Sandra Lau (14) of P5R Topic: RGPS memories from Elaine Ooi… Our interviewee was Mrs Elaine Ooi, the mother of Kathryn Ooi who is now currently studying as a pupil of RGPS (GEP). She remembers that during the period of time when she was studying in RGPS as a Primary 1 student, the school’s canteen vendors actually sold a wide variety of sweets besides the normal dishes! How fantastic that would be, if the school still continued this system! However, this appealing idea of stalls selling sweets soon ended. When a fresh year started and Mrs Elaine Ooi turned 8 and became a Primary 2 student, the canteen vendors stopped selling candies. This probably caused many students with “sweet-tooths” to feel really upset. Now, look at our school! The 8 stalls sell so many types of food! In one stall you see spaghetti, French fries, yakitori chicken, mushroom soup and nuggets. In the stall next to it, you see fresh cut fruits in the refrigerator on the counter and bottles of 100plus next to it. In the third stall large containers full of snacks are displayed before you and they even sell jelly and dimsum! Rice with various dishes (like eggs,lettuce,carrots,tofu), porridge, udon,“chicken seaweed” (chicken wrapped with seaweed), macaroni, fish-balls, dumplings, Lor Mee, “Fried Bee-Hoon”, roti prata, nasi lemak, bottled drinks and milk tea can all be found at RGPS’s other canteen stalls! To top it all off, water coolers and a vending machine selling snacks complement the entire canteen! Our school even has a free dental service at our one and only dental clinic on the first floor near the lift lobby! In the past, Mrs Elaine Ooi and her classmates had to clean the toilets on a weekly basis. How shocked we were when we first heard
about it! The toilets had to be cleaned by washing and cleansing the floor with buckets of water and perhaps some soap. Mrs Elaine Ooi recalls that she liked cleaning the toilets, for one reason: she could play with her friends in the toilet by splashing each other with the water. Their excuse was that they were merely doing their job and that they had been cleaning the toilet.
Frances Judge (7)
5R RGPS Story
My mother, Yet Yi Shuan was from Raffles Girlsâ€™ Primary School at Queen Street. The curriculum then was different from the one we have now. She had sewing lessons, and did not have any Social Studies lessons. Also, the scores for her PSLE were given in grades such as A, B, C etc, instead of having numbers and actual marks like we do now. Her extra lesson such as Music and Physical Education did not have tests such as recorder playing for Music, and football, netball and softball for Physical Education. In my opinion, the subjects taught in school have not changed that much till now, only adding subjects such as Social Studies and Civics and Moral Education.
The RGPS Story Interviewer: Wong Jia Hui Interviewee: Elaine Yeo
The school was located at Holland Grove, next to Henry Park Primary School. The girls did not like the Henry Park boys. After a few years, Henry Park Primary School took over Raffles Girls’ Primary School’s premises and the latter relocated to the Hillcrest campus, where it remains till today. The campus at Holland Grove was not very big with only seven classes per level, divided into morning and afternoon sessions. The morning school hours were from 7.30 am to 12.45 pm. Classes A, B, C and D were the mainstream classes and classes E, F and G were for the Gifted Education Programme. Elaine Yeo was the Head Prefect. Back then, the prefects wore badges, not ties, unlike now. There was once, during a rainstorm, the Singapore flag got wet. It was hung on a chair overnight, but in the morning, it did not dry. As the Head Prefect, she had to raise the flag with the Assistant-head Prefect each morning. As the Singapore flag was not allowed to touch the floor, the two prefects had to hang the flag on their shoulders. As a result, their shoulders were soaked. The teachers were very fierce. Elaine once played a prank by putting a stink bomb under her teacher’s seat.
When the teacher sat down, she was bombarded with a stench.
Nevertheless, the teacher did not even suspect anything – not even a pupil. There were rabbits in the school, and the pupils often played with them. One day, a dog came and tore the rabbits into pieces. From then on, there were no more rabbits in the school.
There were no Community Involvement Projects, but there were Civics and Moral Education lessons. They were thought in the Mother Tongue. The pupils had to wash the toilets. They loved that as they could splash each other with water, and had great fun. Instead of using visualisers, over-head projectors were used. The school had a Language Laboratory. There was also a library at the Holland Grove campus. Each pupil had a Library Card. They could only borrow one book a week. For a pupil to borrow a book, she had to put her Library Card into a box. There were many librarians in the library. A librarian would stamp the due date onto the back of the book. There were many books in the library. Elaineâ€™s favourites were the reference books. By Primary Six, she had already finished reading all of them. She loved encyclopedias. They had a debating team, and Elaine was part of it. Debating cards that they had made helped them with their debates. Elaine took part in a Courtesy Campaign Competition, and received a beautiful blue file as a prize. There was a Brushing Teeth Campaign too. The pupils had to bring a toothbrush and a mug on Brushing Teeth Day, which was held once a week. If a pupil did not bring the needed kit, she would have to stand up and pull her ears for approximately two hours. Elaine did not like to wash her cup, so her cup was very stinky. The pupils did not need toothpaste. All they did was to get water from the tap, rinse their mouths, squat down next to the drain, start brushing their teeth, gurgle their mouths, and done! Recess was for half an hour. The canteen drink stall sold Fanta grape, Fanta cherry, Fanta lime and a few other drinks. The drinks were available in plastic bags or cups. You had to pay more if you asked for a cup. The bookshop sold cheap notebooks, pens, and the usual stuff that you see in bookshops. The bookshop was really small â€“ even tinier than the small one at the current Hillcrest campus. The bookshop was stocked high with items, and during recess, it would be exceptionally crowded. This is a very fascinating oral history of RGPS. Even though it was so long ago, school life was actually not very different from what it is today. But I think it was more fun back in the old days.
Keziah Lam 5R The RGPS Story Interviewee : Mrs Elaine Oei Former Pupil of RGPS When Mrs Oei was a pupil at RGPS, the school was very different. After interviewing her, I learnt many new things about the RGPS of old. At that time, RGPS was not located at Hillcrest yet. Many things about the school were different. In the classroom, instead of a whiteboard, a blackboard was used and a overhead projector, or OHP, was in place of a visualizer. The OHP could only be used on plastic sheets and not paper. This was very inconvenient and it make me think how fortunate I was â€“ instead of taking the trouble of writing on the plastic sheet, we can just flash the worksheet under the visualizer. There were also alternative ways of learning, like audio learning, where students would listen to lessons through a headset. There was even a whole CCA, or co-curricular activity, devoted to preparing these Audio and Visual aids, or AVA. However, there were also similarities between RGPS in the past and now. There were afternoon and morning sessions in school, and the library was one of the air-conditioned places in the school. The Parent Volunteer Group was also already in existence. There were some differences in the school uniform too â€“ the PE t-shirt was different from the one that we wear now and pupil were allowed to wear their own black or blue shorts for PE lessons. Now, we all wear the same shorts. Also, the prefects wore badges instead of ties to signal their authority. Of course, school could not be complete without some fun. There was a snack in the canteen called a Haha snack, which came with a free toy inside! The students often bought this snack not because they liked the taste of it, but just to get the toy inside! No wonder the snack is called Haha, when I think of the pupils buying the snack just for the toys it really makes me laugh. Also, in the past, students had to clean toilets, which was something Mrs Oei certainly enjoyed, as she and her fellow classmates could fool around and spray each other with water while cleaning. What fun! Not only that, school had an aviary with many birds and also rabbits, which the pupils could admire during recess. How nice, if only they still had that now! Looking back on all these memories shared by Mrs Oei, they really got me thinking. What a rich and enjoyable heritage RGPS has! Though many things have changed over the years, but the values and legacy is passed down to generation after generation of the RGPS family. This project has really helped to strengthen my sense of belonging to RGPS, and makes me feel proud to belong in a school with an admirable heritage.
Social Studies Project Interviewer: Valancia Siew (6A) Interviewee: Brenda Gee (Former RGPS Pupil) Years spent at RGPS: Year 1976-1979(Queen Street) Year 1980-1982(Holland Grove) The interviewee mentioned above is my mother who happened to have spent her first four years in primary school at Queen Street campus. She told me that she could not remember many things that happened in primary school but there was one rumour that remained etched in her mind till now. According to her, the RGPS building in Queen Street was an old colonial building with dark corridors and huge columns. In P3, her classroom was at the ground level. She told me that outside her classroom stood a huge tree and large rock. Rumours had been going around about the rock being able to move by itself and that there were spirits lingering around the tree. When I heard her story, shivers went down my spine. But she added in that she has NEVER seen any â€œstrange activitiesâ€? going on. Of course I was very relieved to hear that and was fortunate that I do not study in that same eerie compound! Nevertheless, I enjoyed her spine-chilling recollection!
Interviewer : Melis Feriha Dogruoglu (P 6B) Interviewee : Mrs Agnes Yang (Queens Street campus 1976-1978)
Auntie Agnes is the mother of my friend, Denise Yang.
in Raffles Girlsâ€™ Primary School in Queen Street from 1976 to 1978. She is very proud to be an ex-student of RGPS. 1
Raffles Girls’ Primary School – Queen Street Campus
The colonial architectural campus in Queen Street. 2
Principal and Teachers
Principal Mrs Lim Soo Nooi and her Teachers
Auntie Agnes is very grateful to the teachers for their guidance and dedication in her years in primary school. She holds fond memories of them as she reminisces the good old days in RGPS. 3
Class of 1976 (P 1A)
Auntie Agnes was in P 1A in the morning session. She was seated in the second row, fourth from left. Wasnâ€™t she cute? Her form teacher was Mrs Buay Guay Eng. She remembered her as a kind and patient teacher.
The Office Staff
The typewriter was a â€˜word processorâ€™ in those days. (top pic) The duplicating machine was rendered obsolete by our modern day photocopy machine. (bottom pic) 5
Auntie Agnes loved reading since she was young. She enjoyed spending her time reading in the Central Library. Records of books borrowed catalog cabinets. 6
by the students were kept in the little
The ‘Use Your Hands’ campaign was a success in inculcating in both teachers and pupils a positive attitude towards manual work and also the dignity of labour. 7
Annual School Sports
The annual school sports was held in the school field. Auntie Agnes was in the â€˜red house â€™. She always looked forward to the school sports day because it was fun-filled and exciting. 8
Singapore Youth Festival Award
Auntie Agnes was very proud that RGPS won a certificate of distinction in the Singapore Youth Festival in 1977 for music and dance.
National Day Assembly
Flag raising ceremony at the National Day assembly. Clenching their right fists to the left side of their chests while reciting the Pledge was not implemented at that time. 10
RGPS at Henry Park
The new building at Henry Park was completed in 1978 and the school moved to the new premises in 1979. Auntie Agnes loved both the colonial architecture at Queen Street as much as the hexagonal buildings at Henry Park as they brought her fond memories of her years in RGPS.
RGPS Story Name: Rachel Ong Li Lin Class: 6B Interviewee: Ms Jaclyn Low (RGPS Holland Grove Campus)
My interviewee, Ms Jaclyn Low, studied in Raffles Girls’ Primary School in Holland Grove Campus from 1979 to 1984. According to Ms Low, participation in CCAs was not compulsory unlike these days. Whose line of rubber band was longer? Was it yours or mine? As they lined up rubber bands, one by one, soon 30 minutes was over. The biggest bowl of noodles cost only 50 cents at that time. It is amazing to see how much the price has escalated! Sigh, only if I were born much earlier, I would not have to do any homework! You just need to finish the work given by the teacher and hand it up in class. Just wish… Heaps of homework is waiting for you to complete nowadays. Ms Jaclyn Low had a favourite teacher, Ms Yap. Ms Yap was her form teacher for Primary One and Ms Low found her to be very fierce but yet responsible. “RGPS has a very strong culture.” These were her parting words before the interview ended...
Name: Glenda Cheng (6)
Interviewee: Gabrielle Cheng
My older sister, Gabrielle was a formal pupil from RGPS from 2007 to 2009. She only joined the school in Primary 4, 2007. When Gabrielle was in RGPS, it was at the Hillcrest Road campus. In P6, there were 10 classes in the cohort and including 3 GEP (Gifted Education Programme) classes. Gabrielle really misses her primary school life as the academic work then was much more relaxed compared to the secondary school. Hence she is now taking twice as many subjects than she was taking in primary school. Gabrielle’s favourite teacher throughout her 3 years in RGPS was her P6 English teacher Mdm Melissa Yeo. Mdm Yeo’s lessons were productive and her teaching methods were efficient, which explains why Gabrielle favours her. Gabrielle’s favourite food in the canteen was chicken curry rice, which was sold in the stall selling Indian food. She almost bought the same food every day! She also liked sitting on the steps of the hall leading up to the stage after school as she used to do her homework there before her CCA started. One of Gabrielle’s most memorable experiences was in Primary 4. There was a rumour that the toilet near the dentist was haunted. One day during recess, Gabrielle and her friends decided to ‘venture’ into the toilet. Mustering all their courage, she and her friends stepped into the toilet with their eyes shut. The moment they opened their eyes, they all screamed even though they did not see anything scary and started running back to their classroom. When they were back in the classroom, all of them laughed at each other for being such cowards. Until now, Gabrielle still brings up memories of her primary school experience. In the future, she hopes to share her experiences with the future RGPS girls.
RGPS STORY An interview with Yeo Su-En (Class of 2011) My sister, Su-En, was a former student of RGPS. She was in RGPS from 2006 to 2011. She summarised her time in RGPS as a time of “immense and unforgettable fun” and a time of growth. She came to RGPS as a wide-eyed and innocent little girl of six and left RGPS in 2011 as a more mature, disciplined and appreciative young twelve year –old with confidence to handle the exciting and yet tumultuous teenage years. The memories of RGPS will remain etched in her heart because of the friendships that she has forged as well as the learning that she has gained from her teachers. Through these six years, her friends and her have survived petty quarrels and change of classes. Till today, they remain friends and not just friends on Facebook; but friends who still call, care and meet together. They continue to reminiscence about their fun times in RGPS – about recess, games carnival, CIP projects and especially about their teachers and Mrs. Hwang! She is confident that these strong bonds will continue to grow even though her friends and her are now in different schools. She also appreciates the many caring teachers that had taught her during her time at RGPS. This is especially evident when she was in Primary Six. Her teachers encouraged her and explained the work well. She is especially grateful for the extra worksheets prepared by her subject teachers and not forgetting the yummy cakes baked by her second language teacher. She will also always remember the kindness and love extended by as well as the tasty pancakes from Mrs. Hwang. She especially enjoyed the art lessons at RGPS especially the Ceramic classes. In fact, she was able to use the various ceramic pieces as well as some of the art works done in school as part of her portfolio to gain admission to the Secondary School (School of the Arts) of her dreams. RGPS will always remain a special part of Su-En’s life. This was the place she grew up - she learnt about friendships and character values like responsibility, discipline, punctuality and integrity as well as experience love and care from her teachers! Interviewed by Yeo Su-Wen (Primary 6B-2012)
My RGPS Story Story of Ms. Alice Tan in Raffles’ Girls Primary Primary 1-6 (1981-1986) In 1981, Ms. Alice had studied at RGPS at Holland Road Campus. However, now the place is occupied by Henry Park Primary School. At that time, the population of students enrolled in Primary 1 was less compared to now. The facilities available in the school were much less than now. There were black boards in the classroom at that time but now, they have been replaced by white boards. White chalks were used but white board markers of different colors are being utilized in modern times. During Ms. Alice’s schooling phase, RGPS was a building of three levels. Today, RGPS has expanded to 6 levels. Badges were pinned to the pinafore instead of being stitched to the pinafore like now. During those days, no hand phones were allowed, not even at the pick-up point!! The most favorite thing she shared about schooling was the Bridge of Love. The Bridge of Love was a bridge where the students could stand on that and feel overwhelmed with happiness. The students then shared their happiness with their friends. When she was in Primary 2, brushing teeth exercises were held for all the P2 students. It was held after their recess. They squad down infront of a drain and brush their teeth. Ms. Alice began wearing spectacle at an early age of 8(P2). In her Primary life, the scary time she came across was going to the Dentist center. Ms. Alice was afraid to go there as the Principal’s office was just next to this room. She fear was what if she bumps into the principal! On another note, her favorite place was the playground. She loved the monkey bar as she hung in the air freely. The playground was only for the first three levels of the school. At her time, checking cleanliness of students was very serious. Students make a lot of effort in the eleventh hour to enhance their turn-outs. For example, students polished the black marks on shoes with white chalks. They place their fingernails on a ruler to trim them. If there are not trimmed, the teachers would hit their knuckles with a wooden ruler. She also mentioned that bullies bullied the younger ones verbally and escaped punishments. Previously, the canteen food was very cheap compared to now. For example, drinks were sold at a price of $0.25 and Food was sold approximately at a price of $0.30. Ms. Alice’s favorite subject was Math as it was challenging to solve. She love to try out challenging problem - solving. From her life experience of Primary life, I think she had enjoyed herself.
- Nanthini Ramanathan (P6D)
RGPS Story 2012 Interviewers: Farhah Kusaini(14) Clarissa Chua (12) (6D) Interviewee: Arfiah Arshad (Farhah’s mother) Ques: When were you in RGPS? Ans: 1978 Ques: What classes were you in from Pr1-Pr6? Ans: I was in Pr1C then Pr2-Pr6A all the way. I was in the best class throughout the next 5 years. Ques: Did RGPS had to move to another location during your time? Ans: Yes. For my second year, in Pr2, we had to move from Queen Street to Holland Grove. We had to share half of the field with Henry Park Primary School. We had limited use of the field. Sometimes, when my classmates and I played ‘catching’, we would get carried away and run to the other end of the field just to have fun and break the school rule. Ques: Who was your favourite teacher from Pr1-Pr6? Ans: Mrs Alice Gay. She died of cancer about 20 years ago. Ques: Who was your school principal then? Ans: Mrs Lim Soo Noi Ques: What was your most memorable moment there throughout those 6 years? Ans: That memorable moment was during my Pr6 years. My class and I did a performance on stage for Teachers’ Day by doing a pom-pom dance. We made our own pom-poms with raffia string. Ques: What CCA were you in during that time? Ans: Choir.
Thank you! :)
RGPS Story My interviewee is Soh Eng Huey, my mother. My mother was a pupil from RGPS between 1976-1982. She was at the Queen Street Campus from 1976-1979 and at Holland Grove Campus from 1980-1982. She had the opportunity to experience her school life in two different campuses. The older Queen Street school had a distinctive colonial architecture complete with broad arched corridors and imposing marble staircases. There was a huge field in the centre of the school where all the students participated in the annual Sports Day. My mother spent 3 years at the Queen Street school before moving to the campus at Holland Grove. They played familiar traditional games like five stones and zero point during their recess time. The schoolmates would compete with each other to see who had the highest score for zero point. They would all have a whale of a time jumping up and down.. School life back then was somewhat more relaxed. My mother and her friends would often sit under the frangipani tree and tell each other spooky ghost stories as the Queen Street Campus was once the Kempeitai Headquarters. They would take turns to scare the wits out of one another with a bone-chilling tale. In 1980, my mother performed in the Official Opening Ceremony of the Holland Grove campus. Guests were given a tour of the new school and treated to a concert where students showcased their musical, dance and sporting talent. My mother and her friends performed a gymnastic routine. That was one of her most memorable time of her school life. She performed a series of splits, somersaults and cartwheels that stunned the audience. When my mum and her friends finished their spectacular routine, the audience gave them a standing ovation. My mother recollected with nostalgia the times where all the students would gather along the ‘longkang’ after recess to brush their teeth. This was an initiative by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to inculcate good oral hygiene for primary school students. Every student was given theirown set of toothbrush and mug and would hang it in the classroom after each use. My mother recalled the occasions where she shuddered with fear whenever it was her turn to visit the much-feared in-house dentist at the school. It was one of the pilot projects by the MOH. This practice is still being carried out in RGPS to this very day. Annual Sports Day was also held to foster camadarie and sportsmanship among students. There were relay races, sack races and hurdle race etc. at both inter-house and inter-class levels. The teacher versus students “tug-of-war” was the most exciting event of the carnival. RGPS is a prestigious school with a rich history and heritage. It started in 1844 with only six boarders and five scholars but has since flourished into a premier school with a vibrant and caring community. I am proud to be a Rafflesian and will treasure every bit of my time left in Raffles. I hope to do my school proud and carry forth the Raffles Flame. By Esther Lai Shi Ning (P6E) May 2012
Chong Shu Ning (P6E)
Tan Yung Yung (RGPS Queen Street & Holland Grove Campus)
My friendâ€™s mother, Mrs. Tan, was a former pupil of RGPS from 1976 to 1981. She studied at the Queen Street campus during her Primary 1 and 2 years and followed by the Holland Grove campus from Primary 3 to 6. Being a diligent student, Mrs. Tan was a prefect then. given a delicate badge unlike the ties that were given in RGPS nowadays.
She was to prefects
One of Mrs. Tan favorite form teachers was Mrs. Emilie Emilie Tan was an austere teacher but yet had a warm heart towards students who were well behaved.
Tan. Mrs. and kind
Mrs. Tan also had a favourite canteen food â€“ the twenty cents bowl of Laksa accompanied by a few slices of fishcake.
In her enjoyable years in RGPS, Mrs. Tan favourite corner of the school compound was the AVA room. She would visit there so as to watch movies screened on the visualizer. Unlike the AVA room we have in school now, there was no airconditioner in the school back then. However, many beautiful memories occurring in the AVA room is still etched in her mind. Back then, there was also a miniature school library. Since it was small, there was not much books. There was no air-conditioner too. Mrs. Tan enjoys singing. Thus, she enrolled into the choir CCA which she was elated to be accepted in The biggest difference between Mrs. Tan school back then and the school we have now was that her school was divided into two. There was school 1 and school 2. For example : Term 1: School 1 morning class, School 2 afternoon class Term 2: School 2 morning class, School 1 afternoon class Mrs. Tan said that her primary school days were very enjoyable to her and she has enjoyed being a pupil of RGPS.
RGPS story project Name of interviewer: Ong Jing Xin (6E) Name of interviewee: Mrs. Sharon Chan (RGPS Holland Grove Campus) She studied in RGPS when she was younger. That time, the school was located in Holland Grove. The school was started in 1979. She graduated in 1986. RGPS shared the school with Henry Park Primary School. Then, Raffles Girls’ Primary School had something special: the Raffles Bridge of Love. Every morning, the pupils would assemble in the car park. Usually, the students would play “Dog and Bone” and “Hopscotch”. There was a scary rumour about the rusty monkey bars when Mrs. Sharon Chan was still a student. It was said that a ghost haunted that area. After that rumour was spread, the pupils dared not venture near the monkey bars for a long time… In her time, the top classes were ‘A’ and ‘B’. Pupils had to line up orderly. The teachers were very strict. Unlike the present where students are encouraged to speak up, students were not allowed to talk, stand nor walk in class. If anyone disobeyed the rules, they would be punished severely. The teachers would smack chalk on the pupil’s face. The pupil is not allowed to wipe the chalk off or she would be hit a second time. The teacher might also throw the chalks at students. Mrs. Sharon Chan’s ECA (extra curriculum activities), what they call CCA currently, were gym, choir and swimming. She enjoys karaoke, in fact, it is her favourite activity. As for sports, there was no NAPFA for her in primary school.
The RGPS Story “Hello, I am Tan Yung Yung. My friends called me Judy. I studied in RGPS. I still remember my school days like they just took place yesterday. Let me tell you about them. First, I’ll tell you about myself. I was a very responsible prefect. Instead of wearing a prefect tie, we wore a prefect badge. My favourite food that was sold in the canteen was laksa and fishcake. A bowl of laksa or fishcake cost 20-cents.You may think this is cheap, but during my time, we were not given much pocket money. My CCA was Choir-I love singing. I had much interest in Chinese and Music. Now, I’ll tell you about the school. I studied in RGPS from 1976 to 1981. In Primary 1 and 2, the school was in Queen Street. Then, in Primary 3, we moved to Holland Grove. During my time, there was no GEP or streaming. The school was divided into 2 sessions-School 1 and School 2. I was in School 2, class 1C. My form teacher was Mrs Emilie Tan. She was strict but kind to the students who behaved well. Every term, we switch our school timing with School 1. For
example, in Term 1, School 1 is in the morning session, then School 2 will be in the afternoon. Then in Term 2, School 2 will be in the morning session and so on. My favourite place in the school was the AVA room. Why, you may ask. Well, it was not because there was air-conditioning (there wasnâ€™t any air-conditioning anyway), but only because Mrs Tan often brought us there to watch movies. The school library was very small and unlike now, there was no airconditioning. I enjoyed my Primary School years in RGPS and I hope you so too! â€œ
The RGPS Story By Erica Kan Class 6F
The person in the middle of the picture is my aunt – Dr Lee Tung Jean. She is currently a Director in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and holds a PhD in economics from Oxford University. Unfortunately, she is the wife of my mum’s brother, hence, the genes did not flow over to me. I recently chatted with her about her RGPS days (1982 – 1988), and learnt the following. RGPS then was located at Holland Grove Road. Her impression of the site then was that there was constant construction work going on as the school had to expand to accommodate more students. Even though it was dusty and noisy, she had pleasant memories of RGPS Unlike the iPhones and computer gadgets of today, their favourite games at that time were simple ones like “five stones” and “zero point”. During recess and after school hours, groups of girls could be seen playing these games everywhere, from the porch to the canteen, and sometimes even in class (when the teacher wasn’t looking)! The teachers were very dedicated. They sought to understand the students, and even today when they meet up, the teachers can still remember each and every one of them – their hobbies, favourite books and even their antics when they were RGPS students. Of course, getting scolding seems to be a common phenomenon then and now. Her favourite teachers were her Maths teachers – Mrs Wong Siew Tin and Ms Lim Sai Ngim; Chinese teachers – Mrs George Teo and Mrs Lee Kian Long. Ms Dolly Tan, her form teacher in Primary 3 who subsequently became the Vice Principal, was also memorable. Her favourite memory was during one of the school’s Children’s Day celebrations. It turned out that the bunch of girls running on stage then was actually their teachers decked out in RGPS uniforms. Somehow they had managed to secure uniforms from the bigger sized girls (who were sworn to secrecy so as not to spoil the surprise!). They treated the students to a hilarious song and dance performance which left all of the audience in raptures. The students were deeply touched by their initiative and effort in coming up with the performance. Another memorable occasion was when their Principal, Mrs Lim Soo Nooi, retired. A farewell concert was held, and at the end of the concert, the whole school was in tears as they were all
caught up in the emotions then of seeing their beloved Principal leave. Auntie Jean’s advice to us is – • •
Treasure your friends. These are likely to be the friends who will be with you the rest of your life. Treasure your teachers. They are not only educators but once you leave school, they can become your good friends.
bus ride which cost five-cents took Mdm Koh Chye Kuan from Tanjong Pagar to Queen Street. It was her first day of school, one afternoon in 1966. The smell of jackfruits wafted to her nostrils as she alighted from the bus. Trailing behind her P4 sister, she gingerly avoided the rotten jackfruits on the pavement as she walked towards the school gate. She was proud to be part of this majestic looking school. Raffles Girls’ Primary School. A school she had looked forward to after hearing so much from her four older sisters. Her principal was Ms Ida Goh. Mdm Koh’s favourite recess ‘meal’ or rather snack was kacang puteh, especially the peanuts coated with white sugar. It cost five cents. Her pocket money was fifteen cents. She would walk home with her sister so that she could save her last five cents. What were Mdm Koh’s most memorable moments of her alma mater?
“It was all the games I played with my classmates”, she vividly recalled. During recess, they would play tag or police-and-thief around the frangipani tree. Playing hopscotch under the jambu tree was another of their favourite. This area was a bald patch of the school field and they would draw the hopscotch patterns with twigs. On raining days or when the field was muddy, they would play five stones. Mdm Koh’s favourite part of her school was the grandeur marble stairs. She and her friends loved to roleplay Cinderella, running down the stairs, losing their glass shoes. Or rather their school shoes? She added that they even ball-danced (where one bows and the other curtsies) during their P5 class party. “So old-fashioned…”, I muttered to myself, trying very hard not to be rude. However, I am really grateful to be transported into that era through Mdm Koh’s memories who is none other than my mother. Interviewed by Sandra Leong (6F)
Interviewee: Mdm Koh Chye Kuan (RGPS Queen Street Campus 1966-1971)
Wang Yi Qin (6F)
When asked what was the most significant moment in school, Genevieve Toh, one of last year's PSLE top scorers from RGPS with an aggregate of 275, said that it was being selected to give a valedictorian speech during the P6 Graduation Ceremony. "It was such an honour and I was very worried I might do an inadequate job. I spent quite a bit of time preparing the speech and rehearsing it," she recalled. She said that she was all jitters on the day itself and her mind almost went blank. "Once I started speaking, I felt a calming effect came over me and I think I did an okay job! This short 3-minute speech is definitely my most significant moment at RGPS." She added that it was an honour for her to give a farewell speech on behalf of the P6 GEP cohort. Genevieve also thanked the teachers and the parents for their patience and support as well as apologised to them if they (the GEPers) had fallen short. "How did you feel on the first day of school (P1)?" was my next question. Incidentally, her first three years were spent at St Nicholas Girls' School. The school had mobilised parent volunteers in the classroom to assist the form teacher "attend" to the little girls. She remembered there were so many parents around and they helped the girls do everything. "It was like royal treatment. We even had a personal 'bodyguard' escort us to the restroom!" she exclaimed. Every hour or so, somebody would ask if they felt all right and whether they needed to go to the washroom. "There was even an area cordoned off for the primary ones during recess." My final question was where her favourite corner in the school was. She replied that it was definitely the library. "I find it a tranquil and cool place, away from the recess hustle-and-bustle, and where I can spend some quiet moments to collect my thoughts and do some reflection. Overall, she concludes that her years in RGPS were very memorable. "Once a Rafflesian, ALWAYS a Rafflesian!"
Social Studies Report on Madam Priscilla Chong, an Ex-RGPS Pupil Name: Rebecca Sim Rui Yi (30) Class: Pri 6G General Information Madam Chong was studying at Hill Street but moved to Holland Road when she was a Primary 5 student. At her time, the morning session lasted for 5 hours and school ended at 12pm daily. In each class, there were at least 40 pupils. Canteen Her most memorable place in the school was the canteen, where Kachang Puteh, Laksa, Yakult and Prawn Noodles were sold. Her favourite food was the Laksa. She remembered her friend putting a lot of chilli in her laksa, making it very spicy. Parents were allowed to be with their child during recess. CCA and Sports Madam Chongâ€™s CCA was the Track and Field where she was trained to be a runner. She enjoyed running in the field aimlessly as she felt relaxed and comfortable each time she did that. During the annual Sports Day, the pupils had to throw bean bags and play basic sports games. She had many enjoyable and fun memories with her friends. Classroom Activities Pupils did not have to bring many textbooks to school. Most teachers tried to make lessons interesting by letting them get to know each other. The teachers were very easy-going. However, when punishing pupils, they pinched their studentsâ€™ cheeks and caused them to turn red. The pupils did not have to study so hard. As the weather then was very cooling and windy, their classrooms did not need fans. Extra Lesson During Art class, there was no ceramics lesson or home economics. They learnt basic art like colouring and drawing. Back then, there were no such facilities as Computer Lab, Science Lab, etc. Outside Class There was an incident when pupils saw brooms being used to block the entrance to the toilet. Then someone started a rumour that there was a ghost in that toilet. That incident caused a lot of pupils to fear and avoided the toilet. There were no theft cases as pupils brought only 10 cents or 20 cents to school. There were also no such things as mobile phones then. When the school shifted to Holland Road, it was the most memorable and significant event for Madam Chong.
Interview with Ruth Tay Ruth started her first day of school in Raffles Girl’s Primary School on the 3rd Of January in 1984. The school was located at Mount Sinai road then. Her most unforgettable experience was her first day of school as she was able to meet a lot of friendly people whom she was able to easily interact with and soon became good friends with. Going all out to helping each other when one was facing difficulties. The teachers were nice and patient towards the students and gave each and every one of them a chance to answer questions, never failing to praise their answers and building up the confidence of the students. She loved eating the fish ball noodles and at that time, the stall owner sold it at 50cents only. During her free time, she would run around the basketball court with her group of friends, playing catching, a popular game played till now. She was also appointed as a prefect starting from primary four (1987). Happiness overwhelmed her and she was very excited when she first received her new prefect tie then. She started her first prefect duty the following day, having to raise the national flag while the other pupils in the school were singing the national anthem. Unlike most, she felt elated to be able to raise the national flag while some would have been a bit nervous for fear of going wrong. That was also one of her most unforgettable memories in Raffles Girls’ Primary School. Raffles Girls’ Primary School is where she had many fond memories and learning experiences which Raffles Girls’ Primary School had provided for her. Being reminded of her childhood past, she recollected many fond memories and dedicated her good results in Secondary school to the good foundation Raffles Girls’ Primary School had provided her. Indeed, it was an unforgettable memory of hers.
Interviewed by: Sarah Lee(16) & Gabrielle Soh(8)
Interviewer: Nur Fadhilah(6H) Interviewee: Mrs Grace Ang. (current teacher of RGPS) Mrs. Grace Ang was a pupil of the Holland Grove Campus. She was in the Gifted Education Programme. According to her, she found the school very relaxing and it was more comfortable than the current campus. Miss Nanda Bandara was her principal and she have brought the school to greater heights. Mrs Ang was a member of the Girl Guides and it was a very popular CCA then. Mrs Angâ€™s favourite sport was basketball and she played with her friends whenever they had time. During the that time, they had quite a number of outings and they even went fishing. When Mrs Ang went for these excursions she had tons of fun. Mrs Ang was only in RGPS for three years. She even created a scrapbook about her memories in RGPS. In conclusion, Mrs Grace Ang loves RGPS very much.
The RGPS STORY A Time to Remember
Jayanti Advani was a former pupil of Raffles Girls’ Primary school in the year 1981 to 1987. She was in the Holland Grove campus and lived a walking distance from the school.
Her recollections of her memories
were very pleasant and she missed playing with the rabbits and guinea pigs in the outdoor quadrangle. She also mentioned an aviary with a variety of birds in it. Her favourite canteen food was the prawn noodle which she used to order before school commences. The stall holder would place the ordered bowls on the table so that the children need not waste time queuing up for food.
Jayanti, with her older brother posing on her first day of school in Primary 1.
A funny incident happened
once when Jayanti’s dog - Bambi strolled into the school grounds.
immediately called her mother to bring Bambi home. Her principal at that time was Mrs. Lim Soo Noi who was the ‘most gentle soul’ one could have known. On one incident, Jayanti was called to the principal’s office after Mrs. Lim had relieved a Mathematics lesson in her class.
Jayanti’s heart was beating fast but
later found solace in the arm-chair of Mrs. Lim where she was asked to spell ‘ninety’ ten times. Jayanti had apparently misspelled ‘ninty’ and course that mistake will not happen again! With a nostalgic smile, Jayanti wished she could relive her school days which were filled with good teachers, friends and definitely less workload than now! By: Valeska Tan Ying Lin (20) Class: Primary 6 P Date: 12th March 2012
The interviewee: Mrs Eng The interviewer: Lynn Hong 6P (7) Mrs Eng has seen Raffles Girls’ Primary School through her growing years. From the Queen Street campus that started with only ten teachers under Mrs Pestana to the Holland Grove campus under the care of Mrs Ida Goh. Mrs Eng had taught at Raffles Girls’ Primary School for 37 years. However, she still remembers with clarity all the wonderful memories. Even till today, she is still visited by her ex-pupils, some of whom live abroad, whose names she can recall by heart. Mrs Eng recalls all the exciting programmes the school used to have. For instance, there used to be a netball game between the teachers and the students every week for Physical Education lesson. The girls simply adored it and they were dismal when rained and the game was cancelled. Mrs Eng used to head the AVA Club, an extremely sought after extra Curricular Activity then. Their duties included looking after the sound equipment and making transparencies for teachers to conduct their lessons with. They also made all the posters in the school and had a good reputation among teachers for producing first-class transparencies. Although they were poorly funded, Mrs Eng managed to keep the club running smoothly. She recalls with a chuckle the miraculous tale of the microphone that saved the school from embarrassment. There was only one working microphone that had at one of the most untimely moments stopped working. It happened when a distinguished guest was visiting. Luckily, another microphone that had previously been thought to be malfunctioning worked! These fond memories have made Mrs Eng’s teaching career unforgettable. In the past, Mrs Eng recalled that instead of the usual thirty pupils per class, there were 44 pupils! She recalls with fondness that the girls were extremely cooperative, caring, respectful and lively. When Mrs Eng was expecting, the girls would buy milk for her everyday with their meagre pocket money in order that her child grow up to be strong and healthy. They were even upset when she did not drink her milk. Also, they brought a stool for her to rest her feet on. On a daily basis, they also helped her carry books to the staff room. Even though it was an extremely big class, Mrs Eng was close to each and every one of the girls. Stories would frequently be exchanged which resulted in the circulation of ghost stories. Mrs Eng has taught some distinguished alumni, such as Claire Chiang and Lynn Lee. All in all, Mrs Eng can remember with clarity all the beautiful memories of her career and has shared with us all her invaluable experiences for which we are extremely grateful.
The RGPS Story: A Time to Remember Social Studies- Oral History Mini- Project Primary Six
Interviewer: Chen Yixuan (1) and Shannon Tan (18) [6P] Interviewee: Ms Samantha Lim (Holland Grove Road, 1980- 1986)
In 1980, my interviewee, Ms Samantha Lim, a second generation RGPS girl, stepped foot for the first time in Raffles Girlsâ€™ Primary School at Holland Grove Road. That was the beginning of her fun and enjoyable school days which she would fondly remember even after a few decades. With her class of about 30- 45 pupils, she had her lessons conducted outside on the grass instead of the conventional classrooms. As they did not have so much homework then, her childhood was mainly playing outside school. The education curriculum also did not require many exams which were not difficult. She recalls being the cheeky one who sits at the back and played pranks on the teachers. She also said that her favourite subjects were music, art and English. However, she found Chinese Language the most boring as she did not do well in it. Miss Lim liked to catch grasshoppers on the field at the back of the school garden with her friends during recess. Her favourite places are the canteen, hill and hall. She recalls that she kept eating prawn noodles for recess. Surprisingly, she did not get bored of it. At that time, the magnificent looking school had a marble- white staircase, much like ones in palaces or Titanic, although the classrooms were smaller than ours.
She remembered that the co-curriculum activities included choir, ballet, Chinese dance, nature club, drama, Girlâ€™s Brigade, Brownies, Chess, Concert Band, Softball and Strings Ensemble just to name a few. She was participating in Drama. She chose this CCA as she was not sporty. She enjoyed the CCA thoroughly and had lots of fun. However, her education was not all smooth sailing. In the interview, she recalls that there was a time when she struggled catch up and copes with her work as she had been participating in a programme, causing her to miss quite a lot of lessons. Despite all of this, she still went to her CCA on time and without fail. I am sure that not every student could be so committed. This is a good example of what we call the RGPS girl. Ms Lim says that she pities students nowadays as most of them do not have much time to play. In her opinion, she felt that the students nowadays do not have the luxury of being able to play as much as she could. She concluded off as being happy as she had fun with her friends, including her best friend, Elizabeth, in the prestigious primary school. She is more than proud to once been part of RGPS.
Interviewer: Neo Tung Yin (6R) Interviewee: Doris Gwee Mrs Gwee was a teacher in the RGPS Holland Grove Campus. She is well-known for setting up the Girls’ Brigade in RGPS. Her experiences as a young girl in the Girls’ Brigade motivated her to do this. She feels that CCAs are good as they are really for you to relax, after studying so hard. She remembers when she first came to the school, she taught a P1 class; she previously used to teach upper primary, and when she asked them to copy down their timetable, the girls were like, “Huh?” She also remembers when she was once talking about healthy food, and felt sorry when she found out that a girl’s mother sold sweet drinks in the tuck-shop, . The famous Bridge of Love in the school, according to her, was to show friendship. Some other unique things in the old school are that they used to celebrate birthdays in the classroom, the sports day was held with Henry Park Primary School before there was a space constraint, which was when they held Sports Day in university fields. The classrooms were stuffy, compact, in the shape of a hexagon, and they used to clean the classrooms, which used to have mice. The tables in the canteen were small and made of wood. The school used to have community singing once a week, where they sang popular songs, like Edelweiss. During the P5 camps, they used to camp under tents, unlike huts now. The PE t-shirt was also different at the time. The teachers also used to teach all subjects, other than Mother Tongue, which had a separate teacher. Some things that remain the same like now include the teachers, which used to perform on Children’s Day, the same pinafore, which made her happy when she saw it during the interview, and the school being an elite and premier school. Some memorable events in the school include the Walkathon, when they raised money for charity, the time when the Girls’ Brigade helped the visually handicapped, and when they had Ministers and foreign visitors over, and also the makan sessions they had. The teachers at the time were dedicated, with special lessons and more enrichment, and work was prepared to the level of the weaker students, with teachers taking work seriously. There used to be no male teachers in the school at all, until 1985, at the time when Mrs Koh became the principal. The teachers, like they do now, dislike students rocking their chairs. The canteen food at the time was cheap and good, selling things such as char kway teow for 60 cents, and prawn noodles, which the Girls’ Brigade used to cater for various functions, and there was also a stall selling vegetarian food, and food could be cooked in advance.
Name: Grace Ooi (14)
Class: Primary 6R RGPS Story: Ms Nanda Bandara
Ms Nanda Bandara was the principal of RGPS at the Holland Grove campus from 1988 to 1999. She was succeeded by Ms Tan Siok Cheng in 1999. The Holland Grove campus was 3 storeys high with 2 buildings linked with one another. It shared the field with Henry Park Primary School and had joint celebrations and sports day with HPPS. It had an open hall with a cement floor where Assembly was held. One popular facility in the school was the Raffles Bridge of Love, which was built over an eco-pond. It signified love and unity. Ms Bandara’s office was on the first floor. Ms Bandara found out that many students missed their breakfast to get to school, so breakfast was provided for the pupils to eat. In the Character Development Programme, students were taught important lessons and values in life. During an excursion to Ritz Carlton, the chief cook taught the girls how to bake for Mothers’ Day. During her time there, she met a speaking bird that greeted her in Malay every morning. Students could showcase their talents in SYFs. The girls could dance, sing, act and speak well and always won gold or silver awards for the school. Girls were also taken on learning journeys around Singapore and even overseas to expose them to different cultures. After a while, she decided to move the school due to space constraint, population growth and the growing need for better facilities. A fundraising event was organised featuring girls acting out Alice in Wonderland at the Victoria Theatre. However, every journey comes with some problems. There was a traffic problem-there were usually traffic jams at the school. She had to get used to the building and the students; she often got lost and the family background of the students was radically different from the school she came from. Ms Bandara found getting the Gifted Education students to mix with the mainstream pupils a problem as the GE students usually thought that they were smarter. Pupils from other races did not mix with each other and she found this a problem too. One memorable event…4 weeks since school started for the year, a mother came to the school to look for her daughter. It was Assembly time then and the students were assembled in the hall, which was joined with the canteen. She looked around and found that her daughter was nowhere to be found. She went to that canteen and found her daughter sitting at the back of the canteen crying. After asking, she found out that her daughter was avoided by her classmates because her skin colour was different. Ms Bandara was notified and very soon, the girl had some friends. Ms Bandara learnt many things in her tenure as the principal of RGPS. Firstly, to be the principal, she needs the support of teachers and parents. Secondly, each child has her own strengths and wants to learn. Lastly, teamwork, co-operation and perseverance are needed to take the school to greater heights. She says that we should not be trying to compete with other schools but should excel and improve every year based on feedback.
RGPS STORY by Charlotte & Charmaine Lim/Pr 6R-2012 Our mother, Cynthia Ng, proudly graduated from Raffles Girls Primary School in 1976. She was from class 6E and the school was located at Queen Street. Those days, all students in the school continued with the same class that they started with in Primary one.
Therefore, she was in Class E and the same group of
classmates stuck with her from Primary one to six. Our mother had an enriching time in RGPS. She vividly remembers the winding staircase which she stood at the top on her first day of primary school where she looked down and felt very small. “It was a grand, titanic like staircase. I liked that place a lot,” she recalls, smiling.
She fondly remembers RGPS as a school with a
vibrant, caring body of teachers who were friendly and approachable though strict. She says that Raffles was her second home with a good learning environment and she considers her six years at Raffles as her ‘Golden Years’. The huge and elegant school had many corridors and secret ‘hidey holes’ which she loved to go when she was young. She looked forward to every day as each day was full of laughter and fun. Here’s her unforgettable experience at Raffles. Those days, many of the students in RGPS were very thin.
RGPS was very
concerned and in an attempt to make these girls stay healthy and not underweight, they introduced the ‘drink milk’ scheme during her lower primary school days. “They would say ‘Drink milk girls! Line up!’ and we, the thin ones, would come forward to a room near the general office,” my mother said. She was one of the many students involved in this scheme. She says that through this, she can feel that the school actually cares not only about the girl’s academic excellence, but also the wellbeing of their students to bring out the best in each girl. Our mother received a nutrition boost thanks to the milk provided by the school and remembers the unforgettable yummy taste of milk served at that time. There was even a supposedly haunted corner of the school compound, the vegetable patch located at a secluded corner of the school grounds. “I always get this eerie feeling when I am near there… all my classmates tell me stories about the place being haunted by the ghosts of dead British soldiers who died from the torture during the Japanese Occupation under the hands of the Japanese… but I never found out
whether the rumours were true.â€? she told us. The vegetable patch thus became the girlsâ€™ least favourite place in the entire school. At age 48, my mother still keeps in touch with her friends from primary school. She likes the heritage, culture and the methods of teaching RGPS uses and had no qualms about sending me and my sister there. She believes that Raffles is able to instil good values in every child and even today, she still misses the days of yore when she ran around the school grounds playing games of tag.
My mother thoroughly
enjoyed herself at RGPS and she is confident that we have enjoyed ourselves at RGPS so far. She is absolutely right.
Name: Goh Jia Lin Kellisa (8) Class: 6R Interviewee: Doris Gwee “Be a good sister, be a good daughter, be a good student, be what you can every day.” Mrs Gwee was a teacher of RGPS at the Holland Grove Campus and was the one who established the first Girls’ Brigade Company in RGPS. She joined RGPS in 1985, teaching English, Mathematics and Science. She remembered fondly the intriguing yet creative structure of the school building, which was hexagon in shape. Not to mention, there was also the Raffles Bridge of Love, which the girls loved so much. Many went on the bridge to take photographs as souvenirs as well as tokens of friendships and sisterhood. Even visitors, parents and teacher were attracted to it. Unfortunately, too many people went on the Raffles Bridge of Love and it eventually collapsed. : (
At that time, all the teachers were very dedicated to their work – they gave tuition and enrichment classes to their students. Mrs Gwee was also in charge of community singing once a week and she enjoyed it as it represented the unity of all the girls to her.
When Mrs Lim Soo Noi, the principal then, found out that Mrs Gwee had been a Girls’ Brigade member since she was nine, she was invited to set up the 20th Girls’ Brigade company in RGPS. Mrs Gwee was hesitant at first but agreed eventually as she believed GB was fun and would be beneficial in many ways for the girls. “When it hurts to look back and you are scared to look ahead you can look beside you and your best friend will be there. “ Friendships were forged and lost during Mrs Gwee’s time in RGPS but she would always remember her best friends – her students.
Interviewer: Serafina Cen Yu (6R) Interviewee: Cen Shuyun (RGPS Hillcrest Road Campus: 2003 - 2008) My sister, Cen Shuyun, was a student at RGPS Hillcrest Road Campus from 2003 to 2008. She looked forward to go to school everyday and would play with her friends or go to the library during recess times. Her favourite canteen stall was the chinese cuisine stall, which is stall number 4. She loved the sweet and sour pork and the tofu that they sold. The library was her favourite place in the school. She said that she liked the library as the librarians were very friendly and the place was air-conditioned. There was a variety of books available and they were all very interesting. The most memorable event in her six years in the school was winning the Voicebox Competition in 2008. My sister and four of her friends decided to compete in the competition as a group, singing the song “The Sweet Escape” by Gwen Stefani. My sister was caught by surprise when the judges announced that they won the competition. Their photo was published in the school newsletter.