The oldest Catholic girls’ school and the mother school of all the CHIJ schools in Singapore, CHIJ Secondary was first established in Victoria Street (where CHIJMES now stands) before moving to its present Toa Payoh site in 1983. Known as “Town Convent” then, the school was where the Sisters of the Infant Jesus Order lived out their mission to educate girls of all social classes, especially those in need. Over her 165 years of history and transformations, scores of girls have passed through her hallowed halls and bear testament to an education underpinned by the central Christian belief of the worth and dignity of each person. By their example, the IJ sisters extolled the value of simplicity, trust in God, and a love for the community. Their legacy continues today.
Years after they left school, our old girls continue to hold fond memories of their time in IJ. They remain connected to the school in various ways, even as they welcome the younger IJ girls into the sisterhood. Our Parent Support Group works tirelessly to support the school, giving of their time, energies and resources. The IJ Board is an invaluable guide and counsel. CHIJ Secondary is a well-loved school, and it is indeed my pleasure and privilege to be leading the school.
As an educator, I believe that the educational experience is as important as the educational outcomes. As Dewey said, “education is life”, and while there are new knowledge and skills gained in successive stages of education, the real progress is in the “development of new attitudes towards, and new interests in, experience”.
Whatever their background or profile, our girls all possess immense potential in and of themselves. They all have the ability to make a difference in this world through their lives, individually, and collectively as a society. School has a monumental part to play in helping students develop personal values which define their character and purpose.
At IJ Secondary, we strive to guide our girls to have moral clarity and courage, to think about and develop their own values, so that they can make choices that are informed, defensible, and not just self-serving but also with the larger community in mind. We see the mastery of intellectual and life skills as being integral to this.
Indeed, as our motto goes, our desire is for every one of our IJ girls to be
Simple in Virtue, Steadfast in Duty.
If you are our IJ girl, know that you are among a Christ-centred community that seeks to care for and nurture you. If you are not yet a part of the IJ family, we invite you to be a part of the legacy.
Mrs Rachel Lee