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Tanglin School and Tanglin Prep School

In 1925, Tanglin School was founded by Anne Griffith-Jones OBE, to provide high quality British education to children of expatriate families. The school opened at the Tanglin Club with only five pupils. In 1958, Miss Griff retired to the Cameron Highlands and the British European Association, now the British Association of Singapore, took over the private company, Tanglin School Ltd. Tanglin Preparatory School (TPS), also known as Tanglin Prep, was located on Holland Road in former army barracks.

In 1961, after negotiating a 20-year lease on suitable premises in Tanglin Road, the school was handed over to the then Tanglin Trust Ltd. On 12 September 1961 Tanglin Preparatory School opened with Kathleen Crowe as its Headmistress. The school was housed in an imposing black and white building named 'Matheran' on the corner of Tanglin and Jervois Roads. In 1981 the school was relocated to Portsdown Road and merged with Weyhill Preparatory School and Raeburn Park School to form Tanglin Infant School and Tanglin Junior School.

According to an English School Inspector in 1929, Tanglin Prep was " be of better standing than usual, and should in time compare favourably with schools of a similar type in England.

Reports began coming in of alumni thriving in further education. Miss Griff said in 1932: “I have received three reports from England, Scotland and Australia and, in each case, our former little pupil is reported to be more than ‘holding his own’ with children of the same age.”

And in 1936: “The news of many of our children who have left us tells us of the satisfactory places that they have taken at their home schools in England – and educationally, that is our chief concern.” The Straits Budget even reported in 1937 that a seven-year-old graduate had won a scholarship to study at the Liverpool College for Girls in Liverpool.



Cameron Highlands School

In 1934, Miss Griff opened another school in Cameron Highlands for Tanglin Preparatory School’s pupils to pursue further education in Malaya – in a cooler climate closer to their parents. The idea first entered her mind in 1928,14 just three years after she had established Tanglin Preparatory School in Singapore. The branch school was to be an extension of the quality education she had been providing for European children aged 3½ to nine in Singapore.

Miss Griff shared in a Singapore Free Press interview in 1930, that the school was set up to prepare children up to the standard of public school entrance examinations, so that if the climate proves sufficiently satisfactory the children may remain out East until they are 11 to 13 years old.

There was a strong latent demand for such a school in Malaya. Many European parents had approached her with this request. Such a school would allow them – many of whom worked as officials or planters – to stay and work longer in Malaya instead of having to follow their children home. In the 1920s and 1930s, before air travel became commonplace, home was a grueling sea journey of at least two months one-way. And even if parents were willing to be an ocean away from their children, boarding school fees in Britain had skyrocketed beyond the means of many, at a time when the Great Depression still loomed large.

Cameron Highlands’ Tanglin School swiftly grew from strength to strength. The long-awaited official launch in the completed school building took place in May 1935, and by then it had 20 pupils. The enrolment tripled to nearly 60 by 1937, and by 1939, there were 13 staff overseeing 78 children aged four to 14 years old– about as many pupils as Singapore’s Tanglin Preparatory School, which was its main feeder school!

There was a perpetual waiting list and children were registered to enroll up to three years ahead of time. The school boasted applications from not only every part of Malaya, but from as far afield as the Raj of Sarawak (now part of Malaysia), Siam (now Thailand), and French Indochina (now Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia).

The campus and its facilities expanded accordingly to keep pace with enrolment. Two wings were added in 1936,35 and more classrooms, dormitories, and a large gymnasium were completed three years later. A separate bungalow was dedicated for a nursery for four to five-year-olds.

By 1930, as the Tapah-Cameron Highlands road was nearing completion, she wrote to the authorities about opening a school in the hill station. Her proposal fit their plans to open up the area, and they gave her the green light. She purchased 19 acres of jungle overlooking the golf course in the Bintang Basin, and spent the next few December holidays travelling up-country to oversee the construction and setting up of the school. She also used her precious home leave to search for suitable staff, including a fully-trained nurse to serve as Matron.

Four years later, on 6 July 1934 – a Friday – Miss Griff’s branch school soft-launched in a rented bungalow named “Fairwinds” in Tanah Rata. There was Miss Griff as principal of course, accompanied by Miss Morgan the Matron, and a French teacher, Miss Delaney, in charge of a few children.

The school was known as “Tanglin”, Cameron Highlands’ Boarding School for European Children – a little slice of Singapore had been transplanted into the mountains of Malaya!



Raeburn Park School

Other than the Tanglin schools of Singapore and Cameron Highlands, there were also other schools which initially did not bear the name of Tanglin, but eventually came under the leadership of Tanglin Trust. The first of these was the Harbour Board School, which came to be known as Raeburn Park School.

In May 1947, a few officers of the Singapore Harbour Board started a small school for the children of the Board’s officers. They were granted space on the ground floor of the former old Harbour Board club, and the building was situated in Raeburn Park, to the northwest of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. The upper floor of the club served as a mess for bachelor officers. Two teachers were engaged, and the school had eight children enrolled, with ages ranging from 3½ to seven years old. At this point, the school was simply known as “Singapore Harbour Board School”.

By December 1947, the enrolment of the school had increased to 48 pupils, and had classes ranging from Primary to Standard 4. The 48 pupils were between the ages of four and 13 years.

It was announced in the local newspapers on 28 April 1954 that the Singapore Harbour Board was sponsoring a new school. The school was to be located in one of the Harbour Board’s buildings at 11 Raeburn Park, and thus came to be known as Raeburn Park School. It is most likely that Raeburn Park School took over the same premises as its predecessor, at the former Singapore Harbour Board Club.

Raeburn Park School was founded on 3 May 1954 by a committee of senior officials of the Singapore Harbour Board to provide educational facilities for children of executive officers and staff employed by shipping firms with connections to the port. Although it was equipped to take almost a hundred pupils at its opening, only twenty-nine were enrolled initially, but thereafter the number increased rapidly

In light of the fact that the Harbour Board would not always be operated by expatriates, and in the interest of perpetuating Raeburn Park School as a British School, the management and control of the school was transferred to the BEA” (which also managed Tanglin School at the time) in 1960. After Singapore achieved independence in 1965, the Harbour Board was replaced by the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA), who informed the school that that its lease would not be renewed after 1972.

The school thus moved to 8 and 9 Winchester Road in 1973, taking over parts of the vacated Royal Army Ordnance Corps Mess and adjoining cell block. The school retained the name “Raeburn Park School” though – so a piece of Raeburn Park was transplanted onto Winchester Road.

In February 1975, Raeburn Park School came under the management of Tanglin Trust Limited. Just a couple of years later, in 1976, Raeburn Park School moved to Portsdown Road, opposite Weyhill Preparatory School. Raeburn Park occupied the building to the north, while Weyhill occupied the opposite building.



Weyhill Preparatory School

As Singapore attained its independence from the British in 1965, the British sought to reduce their defence expenditure and presence in Singapore. The British Government laid plans to pull out of Singapore by 1971.

While Tanglin Preparatory School and Raeburn Park School were private schools not affiliated with or funded by the British Army, the closure of the British Army service schools would automatically put more pressure on them, as they became the only alternative for British and expatriate parents seeking a British education for their children. Demand for already-limited school places would increase dramatically.

Mrs Muriel Mackay, the first headmistress of Raeburn Park School, had earlier alluded to the opening of a third school to help deal with the increasing demand for school places. The first two schools were Tanglin Preparatory School and Raeburn Park School, and the third school was Weyhill Preparatory School.

Weyhill Preparatory School was situated at the site of the former Wessex Junior and Infant Schools and Wessex Estate Malay School, along our present-day site at Portsdown Road. Mrs Goodban, who was just 29 years old at that time, was appointed Head of “the proposed new school”, and had just 9 weeks to organise the new school and get it up and running. It was an extremely ambitious and daunting task, but Mrs Goodban rose to the challenge and was clear-minded about her objectives and goals as she went about establishing the school and getting it ready for opening.

Mrs Goodban wanted a school that would develop, flourish and to earn a reputation as a school with high expectations for each child's individual achievement. She wanted to create an excellent team of staff with a full commitment to the school and shared her aspirations and would help achieve them.

The way Weyhill was named has an interesting story. Mrs Goodban was driving around the surrounding estate with her husband one day and saw Weyhill Close and just like that, Weyhill Preparatory School was born!



Tanglin Infant School & Tanglin Junior School

In 1981, Tanglin Preparatory School, Raeburn Park School, and Weyhill Preparatory School were amalgamated to form Tanglin Infant School and Tanglin Junior School. The original west wing was demolished for a new building for Tanglin Junior School, while Tanglin Infant School occupied the old north and south wings.

The Infant School was housed in two open-style, colonial buildings, with large and airy classrooms extending onto verandas and balcony areas. The Junior School building was divided into four air-conditioned teaching units. Each unit comprised six classrooms, one library, two large practical areas, and one large room for children withdrawn from classes.



Winchester School 

Winchester Nursery 

Winchester School, the nursery managed by Tanglin Trust Ltd, opened its doors in 1976 at Alexandra Park. The school premises had previously been used as the Royal Army Ordenance Corps Mess and bachelors’ quarters for the British Army Officers housed at Alexandra Park.

For many years there was a sign on the library door indicating that it used to be the Quarter Master's Store. Nursery 3 & 4 were originally the kitchens, and Nursery 5, 6, 7 and 8 were the bachelors’ quarters.

On 11 July 1996 Winchester closed its doors and in September of the same year a dedicated Nursery unit opened on the ground floor of the brand new TTS Infant School building at Portsdown Road.


Tanglin Trust School Singapore has a long tradition of providing British-based learning with an international perspective. At Tanglin we strive to make every individual feel valued, happy and successful.

Find us at 95 Portsdown Road, Singapore 139299

Tanglin Trust School Ltd
Registration number : 196100114C
Registration period : 7 June 2023 to 6 June 2029

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