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A New Era

letter_i.pngn 2006, St. Michael’s School was renamed St. Joseph’s Institution Junior to reflect its shared identity with its Brother School, St. Joseph’s Institution (Independent). To retain its St. Michael’s heritage, the words “St. Michael’s Campus” are emblazoned proudly beneath the school’s name in parenthesis outside the main gate. More than just a name change, the impetus for the rebranding of the school was borne out of the need to provide continuity for the boys of both school vis‐à‐vis a programme that is enriched with critical thinking and communicative skills to nurture each individual’s interests and talents in one or more specific areas.

Between 2006 and 2007, teachers from both schools met regularly, with the aid of consultants in the core subject areas of English, Mathematics and Science, and strong curriculum underpinnings from Wiggins and McTighe’s Understanding by Design (UbD) framework.

From 2007, students from SJI in the Josephian Programme and those from SJI Junior in the Josephian Talent Programme (JTP), embarked on tie‐ups in the form of trails facilitated by the Senior Josephians and extension of learning in the various subject‐specific areas through hands‐on activities and literature appreciation programmes.

This programme garnered much interest from the teaching fraternity and members of the public when the JTP boys presented it at the 2008 MOE ExCEL Fest. In addition, a group of JTP boys performed at the Centre Stage their very own version of a twisted fairy tale which was part of the English JTP curriculum at Primary 4.

In 2008, the school implemented CCA Day on Tuesday mornings during curriculum hours. With this initiative, it necessitated that all boys took up a CCA. For some, it meant that they were able to pursue their interests; for others, they were exposed to sports, clubs or enrichment activities which they might have otherwise not had the chance to participate in.

The Parents‐Teachers Association (PTA) celebrated its 40th year in 2009. Always ready to serve and support the school’s programmes, the PTA successfully organised the ‘Family for Others’ Carnival. It also marked its 40th anniversary with the publishing of the PTA e‐newsletter which captured highlights of the school’s events, information on upcoming events, trivia on the school, articles on parenting, handling exam stress and study tips.Together with the PTA, the School’s Management Council (SMC) and Parent Volunteers (PVs) provide invaluable support through the advice and assistance they give on many aspects of school life, enriching our students’ school experience.

2012 saw the school relocating to 3 Geylang Bahru Lane for the next one and a half years, while redevelopment works took place in the Essex Road campus. For the first time since 1991 when the school functioned as a full‐session school for a year, SJI Junior operated once again as a single‐session school. The mass exodus in 2012 would also be the fourth in the school’s history out of the Essex Road campus due to redevelopment. By going single‐session, SJI Junior was able to pilot some of MOE’s initiatives for primary school education, one of which being the Programme for Active Learning (PAL) modules for Primary 1 and 2 boys, while the rest of the student population carried on with its CCA on Wednesday mornings.

However, going single‐session was not without its challenges. For example, the school had to source for a canteen operator who could cope with food preparation over six recesses for a student population of over a thousand hungry boys! More crucially, the school had to organise fund raisers in aid of the school redevelopment. This it did through a Golf Tournament and Dinner with former alumni, Mr Mah Bow Tan and DPM Teo Chee Hean, as Guests‐of‐Honour respectively. A Car Rally, co‐organised by the PTA, was also organised. As a result, over $150 000 was raised. Stained glass panels which told the story of the Lasallian founder, St. John Baptist De La Salle, the saints which the classes are named after, and the various badges of the school crest were also sold to raise funds. These stained glass panels are now displayed around the school hall.

At its temporary campus, the school continued to shine in various aspects. Of significance was the fact that its Choir was awarded SYF Gold status, and its Tennis team was crowned National Champions.

The end of 2012 also saw its principal of 8 years, Mrs Sara de Souza, taking leave from office. In her place was Mr Timothy Goh, former vice‐principal of St Anthony’s Primary School. Also leaving office was vice‐principal Mrs Adeline Ong who was replaced by Mrs Linda Tan. With the new school leaders helming the school, the school’s redevelopment project was completed in mid‐2013. Apart from new facilities such as a bigger school library and an eye‐catching eco‐garden complete with fishes and other pond organisms, one of the more significant addition to the façade of the school was a three‐storey indoor sports hall. It was officially opened by DPM Teo Chee Hean on 25 January 2014 and was named the St. Michael’s Sports Hall, in honour of the school’s history as St. Michael’s School. The official opening was witnessed by alumni members and all who were involved in the school and the development of the indoor sports hall. Mr Mark Chin, chairman of the SJI Junior SMC and Mr Joseph Bong, chairman of the St. Michael’s School Alumni Fund Committee gave inspiring speeches before the unveiling of the plaque by members of the committee.