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History


LIGHTING THE SPARK: OUR HUMBLE BEGINNINGS 1964 - 1988

The history of Commonwealth Secondary began in 1964, a year before Singapore became independent. It started as Tanglin Integrated Vocational Secondary School and was one of the earliest schools built in the 1960s to cater to school-going children living in Queenstown. After five years, the school was renamed Tanglin Secondary School.

In 1972, the school changed its name to commemorate the first meeting of Commonwealth Heads of Government which was held in Singapore the year before. New emblems were created —a new uniform, school crest and school song composed by Mr J de Souza, with lyrics by Mr Gurdip Singh.

By 1977, Commonwealth Secondary School had grown into a school of 1842 students, comprising 933 boys and 909 girls. The school acquired new facilities including a Prefect’s Room and a larger library. It also added a music room, which housed the school’s first military band.

FANNING THE FLAME: GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT, 1989-1999

The school relocated to Jurong East Avenue 1 in 1989. It achieved a milestone in its history when the school was awarded autonomous status by the Ministry of Education in 1995. This was in recognition of its continuous progress and high quality of education. Students continue to bear this status of Commonwealth as an autonomous school with pride, always upholding high standards and its good name.

This was also the period where Commonwealth consolidated its strengths in the area of art. The school established its Alpha-Omega Walk-in Art Gallery in 1995, funded by a grant from the National Arts Council. The gallery hosted 22 schools in its first year. In 1999, students led by Ms Ruth Ng painted The Sungei Buloh Mural. It was unveiled by Mr Richard Hale, then CEO of Hongkong Shanghai Bank (Singapore) and an avid bird-watcher who was instrumental in convincing the Singapore Government to establish the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

BEARING THE TORCH: PROUD TO BE COMMONWEALTHIAN, 2000 - PRESENT

The new millennium brought even more changes and growth. The school moved again in 2006, this time to its West Coast Road campus a stone's throw from Pandan Reservoir. Many of the school's signature programmes and unique strengths also emerged during this period, including Environmental Education and the Performing Arts. Most recently, the school has begun its journey to nurture creativity and innovation in our students through key programmes such a Design Thinking and Maker Education. It has also strengthened its character development programme by adopting the Servant Leadership model, and enhanced teaching and learning through the school-wide adoption of Differentiated Instruction.

PRINCIPALS PAST AND PRESENT

1969 - 1970Mr Boey Chen Kee
1971 - 1974 Mr N. Suppiah 
1975 - 1986  Mr A. N. Balagopal
 1987 - 1990 Mr Tan Tiek Kwee 
 1990 - 1993Mr Thomas Ong Xian Wei 
 1993 - 1998Mdm Sun Huey Min 
 1999 - 2001Mrs Lim Lai Cheng 
 2002 - 2004Ms Dorothy Tay Bee Hian 
 2005 - 2008Mrs Teo Khin Hiang 
 2009 - 2012Mrs Cheah Mei Ling 
2012 - 2017 Mr Aaron Loh Hong Oon 
2018-Present Mr Ng Boon Kiat