More room for growing family at Tanglin Trust

More room for growing family at Tanglin Trust
The 90-year-old Tanglin Trust School will be expanding its Portsdown Road facilities to accommodate its growing student and staff numbers. Construction of the first new building will begin in June.

TANGLIN Trust School, which turns 90 this year, will expand its facilities to accommodate its growing student and staff population, after securing an additional 15 years of lease on its current site.

The school - the second oldest international school in Singapore, after the Japanese School - will build four new buildings over the next eight years. These will add to its seven existing buildings.

Construction of the first building, which will house sports and arts facilities, such as an indoor gym and theatre, will start in June and end by August next year.

The new buildings will also house meeting and research rooms, classrooms, exhibition space, and common areas, among others.

The school, which offers a British curriculum for children aged three to 18 years, has finalised its agreement with the Singapore Land Authority to renew the lease for its Portsdown Road premises until 2038.

Its earlier lease was to last until only 2023. The 4.5ha campus is situated within one-north in Buona Vista, a high-tech research and development hub.

The school's chief executive, Mr Peter Derby-Crook, told The Straits Times: "We wanted to be sure we would be here for longer before we went ahead with development plans."

The school, which caters mostly to British expatriates, was founded in 1925 by Miss Anne Griffith-Jones. She had been a welfare officer at a munitions factory in Wales and arrived in Singapore in 1923.

The school, which was known as Tanglin School, started with five students within Tanglin Club's premises in Stevens Road.

In 1981, it merged with two sister schools, Weyhill Preparatory School and Raeburn Park School, into its present campus, with 1,200 students.

The name, Tanglin Trust School, was adopted in 1996.

It grew even further after introducing classes for older students.

The school's first cohort of A-level students graduated in 2003. In 2009, the school introduced the broader-based International Baccalaureate diploma programme, which about 30 per cent of its students choose.

It now has 2,770 students, 262 faculty members, up from 1,006 students and 149 faculty members in 2005.

Every year, the school produces close to 10 students who enter the prestigious Oxford and Cambridge universities in Britain.

Tanglin Trust students pay tuition fees of $20,000 to $30,000 a year.

Mr Derby-Crook said: "Our numbers have grown because families are staying here rather than going back to Britain to boarding school.

"When we came here in 1994, one-north was a forest. People said no one would come to a school so far from the city. But that isn't true, and the community has grown around us.

"In the last few years, we have been very constrained in terms of space. Classrooms are never empty and the shared areas such as canteens and sports facilities are always packed."

A Year 10 student, Madeleine Wright, 14, said she is looking forward to the new buildings.

She said: "It is always exciting having new facilities, but I am particularly looking forward to the performance and social spaces for the senior school.

"Plus, having the space to host competitive sport on site will make it so much easier to support our school teams, and build an even stronger sense of community across the schools."

To mark its 90th anniversary, the school has planned a series of activities for the year, including a concert, sports days and an arts festival.

This article was first published on Jan 16, 2015.
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