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Our History

Our School History – The SJCian Heritage

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Our Present Campus @ Sengkang East Way since Nov 2000
Year / Event
CHIJ St. Joseph's Convent (SJC) began as a private school in a rented house at Flower Road. There were 21 pupils under the care of one nun of the Order of the Holy Infant Jesus and two teachers. The school was then known as Paya Lebar Convent
Before 1945
Prior to World War II, the enrolment rose to 79 pupils with classes from Primary 1 to Secondary 3.
After the war, the school reopened in a bungalow lent by a neighbor, off Upper Serangoon Road where the present “The Helping Hand’, a Christian halfway house stands. Enrolment then had risen to 214.
The school then moved to 11 Hillside Drive where a wooden building comprising four classrooms was erected, all paid for by mission funds.
A year after the war ended, Paya Lebar Convent was renamed St. Joseph’s Convent – in recognition of the protection the Saint had given our school through Sister Theodora’s prayers.
A new building was erected.
The school was approved as an Aided-School.
As enrolment swelled, afternoon classes were approved.
The government provided a grant of $12,000 towards the cost of building six new classes along Highland Road.
A new two-storey block including a science laboratory was completed
A domestic science room (kitchen) was added. The school presented its first batch of pupils for the School Certificate examination.
A new two-storey block was built with a library, hall and staff block added. The school conducted classes for both primary and secondary students until the late 1960s when the primary section was phased out.
Netball as a co-curricular activity was started by teacher Mrs Cecile Tan who was both coach and teacher-in-charge. The sport became a niche CCA for generations of students who were known to be formidable opponents in Netball at the National School Games and the Pesta Sukan competitions. Many of the ex-players continued to retain their skills long after they left school.
The school flag was designed by a student of the school which was first hoisted on 20 July 1968 to mark the opening of the Singapore Youth Festival.
The school song was composed by Mrs Josephine Caloco, a staff in the school.
SJC became a full-fledged secondary school with morning and afternoon sessions. With the phasing out of the primary section, CHIJ Our Lady of the Nativity (OLN) and CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel (OLGC) became the primary schools affiliated to SJC.
First intake of Secondary One Express stream.
Three students from the Class of 1978 were among the nation’s top performers in GCE O-Level Examination.
A mini lab was set up to meet the needs of the Lower Secondary Science Programme.
First intake of Secondary One Normal Academic stream.
Major renovation works were carried out to provide a more conducive work and study environment for both staff and pupils to enlarge the staff room, improve school leaders’ office spaces and upgrading of school facilities and façade.
A Careers Library was established. Enrolment had increased to 920.
The school celebrated its Golden Jubilee with a week of festivities from March 7th – 12th.
In November, SJC’s first Vice-Principal was appointed.
The school’s first Computer Room was set up.
The Heads of Department (HOD) Scheme was implemented.
A part-time counsellor was employed for the first time to address socio-emotional needs of girls.
First intake of Normal Technical stream.
SJC celebrated its Diamond Jubilee with a Musical held at Jubilee Hall in Raffles Hotel and a Dinner and Dance at Orchard Hotel. To commemorate the occasion, a CD of a collection of songs written and sung by SJCians was produced.
A pure Science class was introduced.
Ground breaking ceremony of new school site in Sengkang preceded by then Archbishop Gregory Yong
The school moved to its current site in Sengkang East Way in November and produced her first top National student in the GCE N-Level examination.
A new beginning in Sengkang with our first intake of nine Secondary One classes and enrolment went up to 1200.
The school implemented the Home Room system for classroom teaching.
SJC achieved the top 10 Value- Added School for Normal and Express stream and the Top 10 School for Physical Fitness Tests and Fitness Index.
Blessing of the new Chapel.
The school at Sengkang East Way was officially opened by RAdm (NS) Teo Chee Hean, then Minister for Education and Second Minister for Defence in 2003.
Opening & Blessing of I & E Room.
Attained 1st Sustained Achievement Award (SAA) in Uniformed Groups
Opening & Blessing of school Heritage Room, Notre Fiétre
Achieved 1st Sustained Achievement Award (SAA) in Uniformed Group & 1st SAA in Performing Arts from MOE.
Celebration of 70th Anniversary with the theme, “Ties That Binds, Dreams That Inspire”.

Opening of the Indoor Sports Hall with a fund-raising walkathon from old school site in Hillside Drive to present site in Sengkang East Way that brought past and present girls and staff together.
The CHIJ community marks the 350th anniversary of its founding in 1662
Tiger Babies”, an original school musical was commissioned for SJC’s 74th anniversary.
Celebration of 75th Anniversary with theme of iBless 75.
Combined IJ schools’ CHIJ Walk to commemorate the 350th year of the founding of the CHIJ schools by Father Nicholas Barre in conjunction with celebration of World Water Day.
MOE awarded SJC three Best Practice Awards for Teaching and Learning, Character and Citizenship Education and Staff Development.
The CHIJ schools celebrated its 160th anniversary with a record-breaking bid and the launch of a fund to help needy students. CHIJ Student leaders attended the 160th Anniversary Forum at Catholic Junior College in August 2014. The Theme of the forum was” Women in the Footsteps of Mother Mathilde”.
One of 12 pilot schools for Subject Based Learning introduced by MOE.
SJC’s LAMBSs (Little Angels of Many Blessings) differentiated approach to support her Normal-stream students was acknowledged with the Lee Hsien Loong Award for Innovations (2015 – 2020)
Attained the Lotus Award by the Singapore Environmental Council
The school staged a youth adaptation of The Sound of Music musical that involved CCA members across all Performing Arts CCAs and talents scouted through auditions.
Validated with the People Developer Award (2017 – 2023) by Spring Singapore
Celebration of 80th Anniversary with the theme of Our Legacy of Love with a Mass held in St. Anne’s Church to commemorate St. Joseph’s Feast Day and a dinner held in the school hall for the CHIJ SJC family of then present and ex-students, past and present staff, PSG members and guests from the IJ fraternity.
SJC together with all the other CHIJ schools and the IJ fraternity celebrated the 165th anniversary of the CHIJ schools in Singapore with a combined Mass at the National Stadium and a CHIJ Forum with the theme, “Ever Seeking, Ever Serving
Along with all the other IJ schools in Singapore, SJC updated her school flag to standardize all the IJ schools’ flags. The SJC flag created in 1968 for the first Singapore Youth Festival, was ceremoniously decommissioned.
The Bentinck, an after-school self study room and an eco-garden was added to improved school learning environment.
The school’s Selected classroom spaces were reconfigured for LBS (Learning and Behaviour Support) programmes and small banded class sizes and and an after-school hideout for students, The Circle Room was added to provide a conducive learning environment