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Raffles Girls' School may be relocating

School may move closer to RI, due to Integrated Programme. -ST

Sun, May 30, 2010
The Straits Times

By Liew Hanqing

FOLLOWING in the footsteps of school families coming together, Raffles Girls' School (Secondary) (RGS) looks set to become a neighbour of its brother school, Raffles Institution (RI).

While the school would neither confirm nor deny the move, it admitted that its current site at Anderson Road was no longer adequate for its growing co-curricular activity (CCA) needs.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, principal Julie Hoo said: 'Our current campus at Anderson Road is good; there are, however, many new programmes and initiatives with the Raffles Programme in RGS. These are creating a need for more - and different - facilities.'

The school's population has hovered at the 1,800 mark the past few years.

The Raffles Programme is the six-year Integrated Programme which sees girls from RGS and boys from RI progress directly to the A levels at RI without having to take the O levels.

Other school families that have come together include the Hwa Chong family, comprising Nanyang Girls' High School and Hwa Chong Institution in Bukit Timah Road, and the Saint Andrew's family, comprising the junior and secondary schools and the junior college at Potong Pasir.

Sources said it is likely RGS will occupy the former Braddell-Westlake Secondary School site along Braddell Road, across the road from RI. A Ministry of Education (MOE) spokesman would say only that development plans for RGS were 'under review'.

Mrs Hoo said the school had approached MOE last year to help provide additional venues for CCA groups to hold practice sessions.

'MOE kindly agreed and allowed for a few of our CCA groups to train at the Braddell-Westlake site, which is conveniently located not too far from RGS,' Mrs Hoo said.

A spokesman for the Urban Redevelopment Authority said the site area of RGS' Anderson Road campus is about 4.5ha, while the Braddell-Westlake site is about 7.4ha, or slightly more than 1.5 times RGS' present size.

Alumnae responses to a potential relocation were mixed.

Miss Rachelle Goh, 25, a marketing executive, said: 'I feel that the soul is lost when you up and move from a place with so much history. It won't be the same.'

But not all alumnae are against the move.

Ms Chua Soh Kheng, 59, deputy president of SGP International Academy, said: 'A bigger campus with more modern facilities and resources would provide a better learning environment for the students, and support the school's needs.'

This article was first published in The Straits Times.

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