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PLANTING THE SEEDS: CTSS’ HUMBLE BEGINNINGS 1980 – 1989
Located in the heart of Clementi, Clementi Town Secondary School’s growth began in 1980 under the loving cultivation by our first principal Ms Kan Sou Tin. Students were and have been since then, endearingly referred to as Clementeens. The school’s crest was designed by Mrs. Lim T.W. and Mr. M. Yazid using the school’s initials, with the letters ‘C’ and ‘S’ seeded beside the ‘T’, a graphical symbol of a budding tree. Green, white and black were set as the official school colours, expressing growth, purity and strength. The school’s motto is ‘Aspire and Grow’, and the teachers have been dedicated since then to nurture the students’ dreams, where they believe strongly that Clementeens will give “from each his best” and yet, strive to aspire and grow “as one”. The school song’s lyrics were penned by teachers Mrs Lee Hong Leong and Ms. Ho Swee Yin, and the music was written by Mr John De ‘Souza. The principals of CTSS had believed strongly in nurturing Clementeens to strive to grow and be kind and empathetic members of society, and hence also placed focus on pastoral guidance and care. In line with the devoted support of the students’ dreams, the school had nurtured the seeds of IT interest as early as in the 1980s, and the first fully equipped computer laboratory was declared open in 1988.
“As long as we aspire, we can, will and must grow.” ~ Ms Kan Sou Tin, first Principal of CTSS
“Clementeens must learn to be persons for others.” ~ Sister Maria Lau, second Principal of CTSS
To further support the aims of student pastoral care, Form Teachers took on the term ‘Classparents’ since 1988, making CTSS even more so, the “one big family” that we are.
NOURISHING THE BUDDING TREE: OUR DEVELOPMENT, 1990 – 1999
The tradition was carried on by the next Principal, Mrs Virginia Cheng, who continued to grow Clementeens’ characters and nurture their dreams. To further support the aims of student pastoral care, she began the Peer Support Programme where Secondary 3 students served as Peer Support leaders to the Secondary 1 students new to the family.
“We should always aspire and grow in personal excellence so that we can be persons for others. The previous principals have used strong concrete and steel and now a strong foundation has been laid. It is my duty therefore to creatively continue to complete this building with an architectural design that will make it stand out as a building for the 21st century.” ~ Mrs Virginia Cheng, third Principal of CTSS
With her focused aims, the Apple Macintosh Computer laboratory was set up in 1994, and CTSS became the pilot school for the SMART Classroom Project. The school began to do educational exchange programmes with other countries and the fourth block, the Clementi Block (for administration), was added to join the existing ‘Classroom Block’, ‘Technical Block’ and ‘Science Block’. Our fourth principal Mdm Ann Phua continued to emphasise the need for pastoral care in our teaching. The school also launched the IT Masterplan in 1997, under our fifth principal, Mrs Lim Thian Loke.
GROWING TO THE SKIES: 2000 – 2010
Receiving the baton from Mrs Lim Thian Loke, Dr. Hang Kim Hoo led the school to develop a new school mission and vision to align with Thinking Schools, Learning Nation. Strategic goals were crafted to focus on character education, mathematics, science, technology, arts, innovation and entrepreneurship as early as in year 2000, and Dr. Hang was pivotal in cultivating the students’ love for Mathematics and Science. Under our seventh principal, Mrs Tan Jong Lek, the school started ASPIRE, school-wide camps for all levels. She also formed the Youth Wing in the Clementi Town Secondary School Alumni (CTSSA), who became crucial support for the school camps as facilitators. The school facilities were further upgraded and the school underwent the PRIME programme in 2007 to 2008. During this period of time, the school’s holding site was in Queensway. We returned to our refurnished home end of 2008, in a whole-school Big Walk from Queensway back to the heart of Clementi. The current compound now has bigger classrooms and an Indoor Sports Hall. The school continues to develop students holistically and support their passion in the arts, and had embarked on its biennial musical journey in 2009.
APPRECIATING ROOTS, GROWING TO THE SKIES: 2011 – present
Committed to the school’s vision to be “a vibrant community of learners that values every individual”, CTSS, led by our eighth principal, Mrs Grace Chua, continues to nurture students in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. She had also further developed the students’ capacity in Aesthetics, and under her leadership, the school started Drama-in-Curriculum for Lower Secondary students to train the students in speech and build their confidence. The school also entered a strong partnership with National University of Singapore in a Science Student-Mentorship Programme since 2012, where our students are guided by NUS professors in their Science research.
With our current Principal Mrs Helen Tan-Lee, the school celebrated her 35th birthday in 2015 with four big events – Planting of the Time Capsule (which will be unearthed when the school turns 50), Combined Aesthetics Concert held in Victoria Theatre (where the alumni had been invited to perform with the school), Homecoming Dinner and the CT Shoes4Soles Project (where used shoes were collected and distributed to the needy in Singapore and various countries overseas). Dedicated to keeping CTSS the “one big family” we have always aspired to be, Mrs Tan encourages further and stronger alumni commitment and the CTSSA has grown healthily.
The school has also staged five school-wide musicals since 2009, with the most recent being performed at Victoria Theatre in 2016.
To further develop our students’ character and guide our students’ navigation about the modern VUCA world, the school included ‘Empathy’ as our sixth school value (joining Adaptability, Self-Discipline, Perseverance, Integrity and Respect). The school currently offers O-level computing as part of our Applied Learning Programme (ALP), and the school remains much connected with the graduated students in the field of IT, to better support students’ authentic learning. Tapping on the school’s achievements and strong foundation in the Uniformed Groups, the school also offers Leadership through the Uniformed Groups as our Learning for Life Programme (LLP).