• 3,818 taiji fitness enthusiasts gathered at YCK Stadium on 2.3.14 to break the Largest Taiji Display record

  • 584 personnel from the Officer Cadet School broke the record by doing 1,000 sit-ups simultaneously on 28.10.11

  • 263 people were in the Most Number Of People Showering Together at Sentosa, organised by SingTel mio TV on 26.10.13

  • The longest zhu chang fen was made at Chinatown on 25.7.10 measuring 60.5m long

  • Dancing clubs under the North West CDC came together for the Largest Rumba Dance with 908 participants on 18.5.12

  • The Largest Rangoli (Group) measured 38m in diameter, organised by Kg Chai Chee IAEC on 24.8.14

  • KC of Ria 89.7FM stayed on air for 24 hours for the Longest Radio DJ Marathon on 17.5.12

  • 1,460 participants did jumping jacks together for 3 min to celebrate Temasek Poly’s School Of Engineering’s 20th Anniversary (25.11.11)

  • The Longest Handbell Performance went on for 24 hours in Dec 2013 at the airport played by Ministry of Bellz

  • The Largest Chinese Brush Painting was by Qi Hong who painted a 14.2m-by-7.3m galloping horse on 13.6.13.

  • Siglap South YEC used can tabs to make the largest logo. About 1.6 million can tabs were used for the 2.4×2.4m logo on 14.4.13

  • Created by Ng Kai Kong and Ng Kai Cheong at 42 x21x17.65mm, the Z-Nano is the world’s smallest optical mouse.

  • 318 students and alumni from St. Hilda’s Sec Sch took turns to play volleyball for a continuous 24 hours in Apr 2012

  • 120 people participated in the largest twister game at Downtown East on 06.06.10, organised by NTUC Club
  • The Largest Shirt Mosaic was created by Hwa Chong Inst (College) students with 2,600 shirts. It measures 10m by 9m on 22.2.11.

  • HDB staff made individual ceramic tiles which were combined into the largest such mural measuring 1.78×12.45m on 31.1.10

  • Woodgrove Sec created the Largest Montage Made Of Thumbtacks (3m x 3m) on 31.8.11 for Teacher’s Day

  • The Women’s Integration Network Council displayed 1,240 decorated teddy bears on 04.03.12 at Suntec City

  • The Largest Stiletto Race was organised by Class 95FM with 160 participants running in 3-inch heels on 2.4.11

  • Loo Kok Seng of Shunlin Wushu had 34 wooden poles swung and broken on his neck on 3.6.2007

  • In 2013, Tan Joo Heng and over 200 volunteers built the Longest Sand Sculpture – a168m snake – in Sentosa

  • Khoo Swee Chiow is the first Singaporean to reach the South Pole (31.12.1999) and the North Pole (5.5.2002).

  • CityCare volunteers made 500,000 stars from strips of paper for the Largest Word Formation Made Of Paper Stars; 2009

  • A total of 2,200 ketupats were made by residents in Sembawang GRC on 28.8.11 outside Causeway Point

  • 740 students and staff from Kent Ridge Sec Sch did the algorithm march, a widespread Japanese game of coordination, on 12.8.10

  • In 2009 Colgate Palmolive built the world’s largest ant farm placed inside an advertising billboard

  • A 23.3m robot sculpture made by Lily Tan and her team using 79,854 balloons achieved a world record on 16.03.12

  • The largest balloon costumes were worn by 12 stiltwalkers in Sentosa in May 2012

  • Fengshan CC created a 130m longest balloon sculpture of a dragon to circle its premises on 10.11.12

  • Radin Mas Pri Sch has a wall mosaic made entirely of buttons measuring 20.8 by 2.9m since 2010

  • HNF and ITE College West built the world’s longest line of drink cans in Feb 2007 using 90,769 cans

  • Cleo Magazine organised the largest mass photo shoot of 420 girls in swimsuits at Siloso Beach in 2008

  • Ayer Rajah CC youths set a world record for making a 15m x 7.5m cupcake mosaic with 20,000 cupcakes on 29.7.12

  • Fajar Sec Sch and Metta Sch used 3,530 cups of coloured water (5.0×4.3m) to set the cups mosaic record on 24.10.12

  • A 300m dragon lantern along the Singapore River for the Mid-Autumn celebrations in 09.2004 was Singapore’s longest lantern

  • Taman Jurong CC & Ananda Bhavan Restaurant made the 97-cm murukku on 28.10.17

  • Volunteers from Eunos CC and Man Fut Tong Welfare Society jointly made the longest Swiss Roll measuring 89.5m on 23.12.12.

  • 1,000 umbrellas painted by residents were displayed at Marine Parade CC on 22.6.14

  • The Biggest Birthday Cake (6.13m x1.6m x0.08m) was made by the Dawoodi Bohra Community on 5.3.11.



(Images and illustrations may be available when you place your cursor over the record title.)


Largest Kindergarten
St James’ Church Kindergarten at Harding Road was established in 1977. It has over 800 children in its enrolment.

Pre-School With Most Rigorous Teacher Training
MindChamps, founded by David Chiem in 2002, is the only preschool internationally known to make it mandatory for every teacher to undergo 200 hours of training and upgrading before they are qualified to teach.

First Pre-School Venture Overseas
Kinderland was the first pre-school in Singapore to have ventured overseas in the 1980s. Now, it has more than 20 centres in Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh.

First Chinese Kindergarten
Nanyang Kindergarten was founded in 1934 by Madam Liu Yunxian as an affiliation of Nanyang Girls’ High School. It is believed to be the first Chinese kindergarten in the whole of the Malayan Peninsula at that time.

Largest Kindergarten Provider
The PAP Community Foundation is the largest kindergarten provider in Singapore. There are currently 247 PCF kindergartens located across the island.

Largest Childcare Provider
My First Skool, the childcare arm of NTUC was established as NTUC Childcare in 1977. It currently offers more than 8,000 childcare places in over 102 centres island-wide.


First Schools
Sir Stamford Raffles founded the Singapore Institution in 1823, at Bras Basah Road. The first students were 6 boys and 6 girls. The school’s name was changed to Raffles Institution in 1868. Prior to Raffles’ initiative, there were Malay schools, a small missionary school, 3 small Chinese schools and an English school with an enrolment of 48. Raffles said he was ‘thoroughly dissatisfied with these meagre facilities’, which made him start the school.

First Convent School
The Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) on Victoria Street was founded in 1852 by Father Jean-Marie Beurel to provide a proper education for girls in the ¬Settlement, a refuge for orphans, and to teach them the Catholic faith. The very first teachers came from France, under the leadership of Mother St Mathilde.

First Methodist Boys’ School
Anglo-Chinese School was founded on 1 Mar 1886 by Bishop William Fitzjames Oldham, as an extension of the Protestant Church. Its first location was a shophouse at 70 Amoy Street with a total of 13 pupils. The name of the school came from the fact that it conducted lessons in English at night and Chinese in the afternoon.

First Girls’ School
St Margaret’s School was founded in 1842 by Mrs Maria Dyer, a missionary with the London Missionary Society. The school, which began as a shelter for young girls sold in the streets, gave girls from poor families the opportunity to have a free education. Originally located at a shophouse in North Bridge Road, the primary school moved to River Valley Road and later Sophia Road. A secondary school was built in Farrer Road in 1957.

First Methodist Girls’ School
Sophia Blackmore, an Australian, was the first single female missionary to be sent to Singapore by the Methodist Episcopal Church. She came to Singapore in 1887. She started the Methodist Girls’ School in Short Street with nine Indian girls and a year later, the Fairfield Methodist Girls’ School. In 1890, she opened the Nind Home for Women’s Work. She left Singapore in 1928 and died in Australia in 1946.

First Individual Sponsor Of A School
The Chui Eng Free School for boys in the Hokkien community was also known as the Chinese Free School. It was built in 1854 at Amoy Street, endowed by Tan Kim Seng, a wealthy local merchant. It closed down in 1954.

Founder Of Most Schools
Tan Kah Kee, one of Singapore’s first rubber barons, was a champion of education. Among the schools he founded in Singapore are Chinese High (now Hwa Chong Institution), Tao Nan, Ai Tong, Chong Fu, Kong Hwa and Nan Chiau. He also founded and financed several schools in his native Jimei in China. In 1921, he set up the Xiamen University.

First English-Medium Boys’ School Founded By Chinese
Anglican School For Boys was first founded in the 1850s as a private school in Chin Chew Street by Sim Quee and Tye Kim. On 8 Sep 1862, it became St Andrew’s School and functioned with Sim Quee as the first headmaster. The next year, St Andrew’s Church Mission took over the school and it moved to its new premises at Upper Hokkien Street.

First English-Medium Girls’ School Founded By Chinese
The Singapore Chinese Girls’ School is an all-girls school, founded in Jul 1899 by some Straits Chinese, including Dr Lim Boon Keng and Sir Song Ong Siang, who struggled for English education amongst the conservative Chinese community. It started at premises in Hill Street, at the location of the Central Fire Station. In 1923, the school moved to Emerald Hill, originally the family home of Dr Lim.

First Bilingual School
Gan Eng Sen, a Chinese ethnic leader, labour contractor and a landed proprietor began the Anglo-Chinese Free School in 1885. In 1889, he paid for the construction of a new building at the Junction of Telok Ayer Street and Cecil Street. Anglo-Chinese Free School was renamed Gan Eng Seng School in 1893 and became a government school in 1938. The school was the only one established and maintained by a local citizen with a gift of freehold property, and adequate funding until his death. It was the first school to provide boys with a bilingual education. It was also the first to form a parent-teacher association.

First Chinese Stream Secondary School
In 1918, Tan Kah Kee founded the first Chinese secondary school in Singapore – the Nanyang Chinese High School. It opened in Mar 1919. Originally located at Niven Road, it moved to a bigger premise at Bukit Timah Road 6 years later.

First Malay Stream Secondary School
In 1956, the government opened 3 Malay classes in Siglap Secondary School which previously only offered the English stream. By 1960-1961, other schools also offered Malay stream classes – Kallang, Monk’s Hill, and Serangoon Secondary.

First Malay Stream Primary School
The first Malay stream primary school was set up by the British at Telok Blangah in 1856. The first Malay girls’ school was also started at Telok Blangah in 1884 with 60 girls and closed in 1887.

First School With Centralised Clock And PA System
The Tuan Mong School at Tank Road was the first to have a ‘master clock system’ in 1960, which controlled clocks in 48 classrooms, canteens and halls, setting off chimes according to the school timetable. Initiated by public-spirited Teochew clan leaders with an aim to provide free education, the school building was the first school in Malaya to include a built-in two-way public address system with an inter-communication unit, which enabled communication between the headmaster and his students. The school which took in about 1,900 students in 1960 and occupied the three upper floors of the four-storey Teochew Building, was closed in 1994 due to falling enrolment.

First Integrated School With Three Language Streams
Dunman Secondary Integrated School was the first school to offer English, Malay and Chinese streams in 1964. Prior to that, schools used English, Chinese or other languages as their first language. The school was later renamed Dunman Secondary School.

First Mandarin Medium School
Tao Nan School was the first Chinese school to change the medium of instruction from dialect to Mandarin. The Hokkien Clan Association started Tao Nan School on 18 Nov 1906. With generous support from the Hokkien community, a school was constructed at Armenian Street in 1911. Among the teachers were philanthropist Lee Kong Chian and artist Pan Shou. In 1982, the school moved to Marine Parade, while the Armenian Street premise was converted into the Asian Civilisations Museum.

First Chinese Stream Government Secondary School
Founded in 1956, River Valley High School was the first Chinese secondary school set up by the government. It was initially known as the Singapore Government Chinese Middle School.

First Malay Stream Secondary School
Sang Nila Utama School at Upper Aljunied Road was established in 1961. The school was closed in 1987.

Oldest Surviving Madrasah
The Alsagoff Al-Arabiyah was established by Syed Mohamed Ahmad Abdul Rahman Alsagoff in 1912 at Jalan Sultan. It was originally a boys’ school but was converted to a girls’ school in 1967.

First Tamil Schools
Early Tamil schools were set up in the shophouses in and around Tanjong Pagar, Serangoon and Potong Pasir, following the earliest emigration of Tamils from southern India. In 1834, the first formal Tamil education started with 12 pupils at the Singapore Free School.

Only Tamil Medium Secondary School
Umar Pulavar Tamil High School was founded in 1946 by Indian Muslims. It was located in a shophouse at Tanjong Pagar Road. The school was closed in 1982 due to declining enrolment.

First Schools To Offer IP
The Integrated Programme (IP) was launched in 2004. The first schools to offer the programme were Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), National Junior College, Raffles Institution, Raffles Girls’ School, Raffles Junior College, The Chinese High School, Hwa Chong Junior College and Nanyang Girls’ School. The programme allows students to study for 6 years in a modular form of education, without having to take the GCE ‘O’ level examinations.

First Schoolwide Use Of Tablet PCs
In 2004, Crescent Girls’ School introduced schoolwide one-to-one computing, in which all its 1,400 students had their own tablet PCs connected to the school’s website by a wireless broadband network. Digital multimedia textbooks replaced some printed ones. There were also better interactions between teachers and students who used emails, instant messaging and online discussion forums as part of the lessons.

Youngest To Attain A GCE ‘O’ Level Certificate
Ainan Celeste Cawley took the Chemistry GCE ‘O’ level exam at the British Council on 18 Jan 2007 at the age of 7 years and 1 month. He obtained a ‘C’ grade credit. His parents are Valentine Cawley, an Irish, and Syahidah Osman Cawley, a Singaporean Malay. At just 8 years and 4 months old, he started doing part-time laboratory-based Chemistry modules, at the Singapore Polytechnic. At 10, he began an American degree programme at Taylor’s University in Malaysia.

First School To Offer IB Programme
United World College of SE Asia/Singapore has been an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School since Jan 1977. The private school offers the IB Primary Years Programme and IB Diploma Programme.

First IP School To Offer Its Own Diploma
The NUS High School of Mathematics and Science, started in 2005, offers a 6-year Integrated Programme leading to its NUS High School Diploma, which is recognised by the local universities and many top overseas universities.

First Mainstream School To Offer IB Programme
Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) was the first Singapore school to offer the IB in place of the GCE ‘A’ level examination. The students took the exams in Nov 2007. The IB was started 40 years ago in Geneva and is now offered by 2,200 schools in 125 countries.

First Junior College with Secondary One Intake
National Junior College has extended its 4-year Integrated Programme by 2 years, taking in students at Secondary 1 from 2009. It also has a two-year programme for those who have completed Secondary 4.

First Junior College
The National Junior College was founded in 1969 at Bukit Timah to provide a centralised 2-year pre-university education leading to the GCE ‘A’ level certificate. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was in the first batch of NJC students.

First Perfect Scores For IB
Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) students taking the International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations for the first time in Nov 2007 produced results that were among the best in the world. Nine students obtained the perfect score of 45. They were Kevin Tan, Matthew Lee, Clement Tan, Yeo Yao Wen, Colin Chan, Jeremy Choo, Samuel Chan, Charleen Chan and Elisa Goh.

First Smartphone Educational Programme
300 Primary 3 students from Nan Chiau Primary School got to use the Nokia Lumia 710 smartphone for one year to promote mobile learning. The pupils could access assignments and related learning materials through a mobile-learning platform called MyDesk. This pilot project was enabled by a grant from chipmaker Qualcomm.

School With Most Overseas Campuses
Hwa Chong Institution has four overseas campuses in Beijing, Suzhou, Xi’an and Guangzhou, making it the school with the most overseas campuses. Its satellite campus in Beijing, set up in 2007, is the first by a Singapore school.The campuses host month-long Mandarin courses for students who are stronger in other subjects but weak in the Chinese language. The students also get to interact with Chinese counterparts in top high schools that HCI has tie-ups with.

First Independent Pre-Tertiary Arts School
In 2008, the government opened Singapore’s first independent pre-tertiary school to nurture youths talented in the arts. The School of the Arts (SOTA) at Prinsep St offers a 6-year unique integrated arts and academic curriculum for youths aged 13-18 years old.

First Roof-Top Playing Field
St Hilda’s Secondary School in Tampines has a full-sized roof-top hockey pitch cum soccer field. Completed in 2012, the 7-storey student activity complex has an air-conditioned 1,500-seater multi-purpose hall, 2 indoor sports halls and a number of play courts.

First School To Have A Swimming Pool
Anglo-Chinese School at Barker Road is the first school campus to have an Olympic-sized -swimming pool.

First School To Use Campus-Wide Smart Card
In 2004, the Australian International School Singapore deployed contactless smart card technology throughout the school. ¬Supported applications include identification and ¬payment for transactions such as food ¬purchases, ¬excursions, photocopying and printing. The card is also used for attendance tracking and library checkout.

First PSLE
Soon after coming to power, the PAP ¬government laid the principle of equal ¬treatment for the 4 main language streams. In 1960, it introduced a common examination at the primary level, the Primary School ¬Leaving Examination (PSLE), sat for by students of all 4 streams.

Largest Use Of Solar Energy In School
The world’s largest solar cooling system was unveiled at UWCSEA East Campus in Dec 2011. It is the first and only school that uses a hybrid of air-conditioning and hot water system generated by renewable solar energy. With a collector area of 3,900 sqm, this system will generate approximately 1,750 MWH a year, which will provide all of the schools’ hot water demand as well as a considerable part of the air-conditioning.

First Children’s Day
In 1961, the Ministry of Education earmarked Monday, 23 Oct as Children’s Day. The date was in keeping with the United Nations’ Children’s Day which fell on 22 Oct, but since it was a Sunday, the celebration was held the following day for schools. Children’s Day was later changed to 1 Oct.

The Pledge
The Pledge was written in 1966 by the then Minister of Culture and former journalist, S Rajaratnam soon after Singapore’s separation from Malaysia. The draft of the text was sent to Lee Kuan Yew, who polished it before submitting it to the Cabinet for approval. It was introduced to all schools in July that year.

Largest Chain Of Music Training Centres
In 1980, Cristofori Music opened its first Piano Technological Centre at Joo Chiat Road focusing on piano repair and servicing. Soon it moved into retail and teaching. Now it has 33 centres in Singapore. ABRSM exams are held at the Cristofori centres.

Highest Score At International Mathematical Olympiad
The Singapore team clinched one gold medal, three silver medals and two bronze medals at the 53rd International Mathematical Olympiad held in Argentina on 4-16 July 2012. Lim Jeck from NUS High School was ranked first, out of 548 contestants, and was also the only contestant with a perfect score of 42. His love for puzzles, spatial and logical reasoning was large contributors to his success in this prestigious event.

Pioneer Of Newspapers, School And Library
JH Moor was born in Macau in 1803. In 1830, he came to Singapore and became the editor of the Singapore Chronicle from 1831-1834. He was made the first editor of the Singapore Free Press a year later, a post he relinquished in 1837. In 1833, he started the Singapore Free Schools which occupied the Raffles Institution building. Moor also established Singapore’s first library in the RI premises in 1840. It was open to the public, but only subscribers to the school fund were allowed to make use of the borrowing facilities. This library was to be the beginning of the Raffles Library (now the National Library). He also established a printing press in the school, hoping to do jobs for the government, in order to cover costs of maintenance and to initiate destitute boys into printing.

Largest School Bookshop Operator
Established in 1976, Pacific Bookstores is the largest school bookshop operator in Singapore with over 100 bookshops located in primary and secondary schools, and junior ¬colleges. It is a subsidiary of Times bookstores.

First Student To Become Principal Of The Same School
Charles McGowan Phillips was a student of Raffles Institution (RI) and won a Queen’s Scholarship to Cambridge in 1889. He became Assistant-Master in RI in 1894 and principal in 1906, a post he occupied till he retired.

Only Tiger-Killing Principal
Charles McGowan Phillips was a crack sharpshooter who had won many laurels on the rifle range. In 1910, he took the City of London Cup for the best shot. In 1902, he was called upon to shoot a tiger that had wandered into Raffles Hotel. It is believed that this was the last native tiger in Singapore.

Youngest Principal
Kenny Low, a NTU Economics graduate, became the youngest principal in Singapore at age 27 when he established City Harvest Education Centre, a school registered with the Ministry of Education in 2002. The school employs unconventional teaching styles to aid students who did not fare well in mainstream schools. The school has expanded its intake to 320 in 2007 from its initial enrolment of 18 students. It is now called City College.

Top Country For Mathematics
Singapore students scored top place for Mathematics in 1995, 1999 and 2003 in an international study of 45, 38 and 49 countries respectively. The studies were conducted on Grade 4 (Primary 4) and Grade 8 (Secondary 2) students. The study is conducted once every four years by the International Association for Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) based in Boston, USA. In 2007, Singapore was ranked second and third in Grade 4 and 8 respectively. 48 countries participated.

First Autism School To Offer Mainstream Curriculum
The first school to offer mainstream curriculum to autistic children was Pathlight School at Mountbatten Road. It was founded by the Autism Resource Centre. Students at the school learn to acquire life skills and prepare for the PSLE and GCE ‘O’ level examination.

Largest Chinese Tuition Provider
Since 1993, Han Language ¬Centre has grown from a humble beginning to 18 centres islandwide. Han is Singapore’s largest tuition provider specialising in the Chinese language.

Youngest To Achieve 10 GCE ‘O’ Level Distinctions
Bryan Yip, 14, was awarded 10 A’s and another two credits when he sat for his GCE ‘O’ level examinations. His sister, Michelle, 12, scored four A’s and passed another two subjects. They took their ‘O’ level examinations at the British Council in 2007. In Nov 2008, at 13, Michelle sat for nine more subjects and scored straight A’s. In total, she had 13 A’s. Bryan attended Anglo-Chinese School and Michelle was at Henry Park Primary School but subsequently moved to a boarding school in England. Their parents are Dr Kevin Yip, an orthopaedic surgeon, and Dr Joanne Lin, an oncologist.

Youngest To Attain An A-Star For GCE ‘O’ Level
Anthony Yip, 9, took 2 ‘O’ level Mathematics papers in 2012 as a private candidate and scored A* in both. The Primary 4 pupil from Henry Park Primary School is the younger sibling of Bryan and Michelle (above).

Largest Mental Arithmetic Training Provider
CMA Singapore was founded by Tay Shy Ching in 2005. It has now grown to 18 centres islandwide. It is the pioneer in the ‘two-hand, four-finger’ methodology in the training of abacus and mental arithmetic.

First To Top The IGCSE English Exam
On 24 May 2011, Anglo-Chinese School (International) student Ho Ren Chun became the first Singaporean to beat students from 127 countries and emerge top in the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) English examination. His mother is former NMP, Claire Chiang, who heads hospitality group Banyan Tree with his father, Ho Kwon Ping.

Youngest To Present Paper At International Scientific Congresses
18-year-old RJC boy, Nicholas Tan Xue Wei, was at the 2007 World Congress in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Applied Computing, Las Vegas, on 25-28 Jun 2007 the following week. He was in London at the World Congress on Engineering 2007. At both meetings he spoke about and answered questions about his research paper entitled, ‘Towards a serum-free medium: Growth receptors and signaling pathways that regulate multipotency in human mesenchymal stem cells.’

Highest Earning Physics Tutor
Phang Yu Hon is the first person to start a physics tuition website, physics.com.sg. The former research engineer with Mindef, with a first class honours degree in Electrical Engineering from NUS, teaches physics to upper secondary and JC students. He grosses over a million a year.

Youngest To Attain ACCA Qualification
In 2006, 18-year-old B. Sundarabalan became the youngest person in Singapore to pass the ACCA examinations, a globally recognised qualification for accountants. He passed the examinations simultaneously while he was preparing for his ‘A’ levels, the only person who has ever done so. He was also captain of the Temasek Junior College cricket team.

Highest PSLE Scorer
Natasha Nabila Muhamad Nasir of St Hilda’s Primary School scored 294 out of a maximum of 300 in the 2007 PSLE. She went on to Raffles Girls’ School.

First Non-American To Top USNA
LTA Sam Tan Wei Shen beat 1,099 American and foreign cadets to top the prestigious United States Naval Academy where some of the brightest Americans are trained. Tan graduated from USNA with a BSc degree majoring in Ocean Systems Engineering on a SAF Merit Scholarship. He began his 4-year training at USNA in 2008.

First Overall Winner Of Commonwealth Essay Competition
Amanda Chong, 15, of Raffles Girls School, won the top prize in the 2004 Commonwealth Essay Competition, which drew 5,300 entries from 52 countries.

First To Top The IGCSE Mathematics Exam
17-year-old Nathan Darius, from SJI (I), was given the Cambridge ‘Top in the World’ award for his performance in the Mathematics paper. The accolade recognises the top scorers in individual subjects in the IGCSE exams.

Youngest To Attain An A-Grade For IGCSE
In Oct 2011, Ezra Koh, at the age of 8 years 11 months sat for the Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary School education (IGCSE) Mathematics (extended syllabus) examination. In Jun 2012,at the age of 9 years and 7 months he took the Additional Mathematics examination. He scored an A-grade in both papers.

First Disabled Person Admitted To Singapore Sports School
12-year-old Khristine Quek became the first disabled person to be enrolled at the Singapore Sports School in 2007, where she could pursue both her studies and her swimming. Wheelchair-bound because of a muscular disorder, Khristine has won 11 gold medals in three national championships.


First Polytechnic
The first school to provide technical education in Singapore was the Singapore Polytechnic, which started functioning in 1957. Its first campus was located at Prince Edward Road and it functioned there until 1979 when it moved to its Dover Road campus.

First PBL-Based Institution
Republic Polytechnic was the first educational institution in Singapore to adopt the Problem-Based Learning approach for all its diploma programmes, when it began operations in Jul 2003.’

First Dark-Room Exhibition
Located in Ngee Ann Polytechnic is Singapore’s first permanent dark-room exhibition – Dialogue in the Dark. In the exhibition, blind guides lead visitors through a completely dark environment where one has to depend on other senses to get around. Dialogue in the Dark was founded by Andreas Heinecke in 1988 and has more than 160 such sites throughout the world.

First Overseas Polytechnic Campus
In 2004, Ngee Ann Polytechnic set up the first overseas Polytechnic education centre in Shenyang, China. The campus provides in-depth immersion programmes for the Polytechnic’s staff and students as well as the students from China.

First ITC Course
Singapore Polytechnic introduced the first two-year Industrial Technician Certificate programme introduced in 1969. In 1975, ITC courses were transferred to the Industrial Training Board.

First Restaurant In A School
Located in Ngee Ann Polytechnic is Singapore’s first permanent dark-room exhibition – Dialogue in the Dark. In the exhibition, blind guides lead visitors through a completely dark environment where one has to depend on other senses to get around. Dialogue in the Dark was founded by Andreas Heinecke in 1988 and has more than 160 such sites throughout the world.

First IDC In Asia
In 2007, Asia’s first Interactive Digital Centre (IDC Asia) at Temasek Polytechnic was set up. The founding members of the IDC Consortium consist of major players in the graphics industry – nVidia, Philips, Microsoft, Christie Digital, Hewlett Packard (HP) and EON Reality. The centre will also serve as the Asia headquarters of the IDC Consortium. The IDC Asia Centre houses state-of-the-art innovative 3D technologies and laboratories for industry project development, training and research.

Most Eco-Friendly Polytechnic
The Republic Polytechnic has outdoor lightings controlled by photocells and toilet lightings controlled by motion detectors. There are also special thermal energy storage tanks filled with water that are chilled in the cool of the night for air-conditioning the buildings in the day. It won BCA’s Green Mark Platinum, the highest rating for green environments.

Largest ITE College
ITE College East, which sits on 10.7 ha of land along Simei Avenue, enrolled its pioneer batch of 3,000 students in Jan 2005.

First ITE College
After being restructured from the Vocational and Industrial Training Board, the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) was officially established on 1 Apr 1992. The Balestier campus dates back to the 1930’s when the government established the Precision Engineering Institute. It became ITE Balestier in 1992.

Largest Polytechnic
Sitting on 38.5 ha of well landscaped grounds, the Singapore Polytechnic campus is home to 19,000 students and more than 1,500 staff.

First World Champion At Worldskills Competition
Viridis Liew Mei Qi from Nanyang Polytechnic clinched the Albert Vidal Award at the 38th WorldSkills Competition held at Helsinki, Finland, in May 2005. The biennial international competition sees youths under 23 years of age from various parts of the world converge to pit their skills against one another in various fields of technology, industry and services.The Albert Vidal Award is given only to the overall top scorer. Liew clinched a score of 571/600 in the Information Technology area (PC & Network Support).


First University For Arts And Sciences
Raffles College was established to provide tertiary-level education in the liberal arts and sciences. It opened its doors to an initial 43 students in Jun 1928 at Bukit Timah Road. The first principal of Raffles College, from 1928-1931, was Richard Winstedt.

First University
The first university traces its origins to the founding of The Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States Government Medical School in 1905. Its name was changed to King Edward VII Medical School in 1912, and to King Edward VII College of Medicine in 1921. It merged with Raffles College in 1949 to form the University of Malaya in 1949. It became the University of Singapore in 1962.

First Medical School Building
When the first medical school was founded in 1905, it used the premises of a former women’s mental asylum at Sepoy Lines. In 1911, the Tan Teck Guan Building was built with an endowment from Tan Chay Yan in memory of his father Tan Teck Guan. The medical school was later renamed King Edward VII Medical School.

Largest Private Education Group
Raffles Education Corporation is the largest private education group in the Asia-Pacific. Since establishing its first college in Singapore in 1990, the group has grown to operate 33 colleges in 30 cities across 13 countries in the Asia-Pacific. More than 21,500 students have enrolled in the goup’s tertiary programmes. The group also owns the Oriental University City in Langfang, China. Within this campus, the university has an additional student population of over 24,000.

Largest Private School Within Singapore
Kaplan Singapore is part of one of the world’s largest education companies, Kaplan Inc, founded in 1938 with its headquarters in New York City. The Singapore school has the largest enrolment of students among private schools with 18,000 students. It offers diploma and degree programmes.

First Game Software Degree School
DigiPen Institute of Technology offered the world’s first bachelor’s degree programme in game software engineering – BSc in Real Time Interactive Simulation (RTIS). DigiPen Institute of Technology Singapore is the first international branch campus of DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, Washington.

First Teachers’ Training College
The Methodist Church built an extension of Anglo-Chinese School in Cairnhill Road in 1928. In 1950, the building was taken over by the government and it became the first Teachers’ Training College in Singapore. In 1973, it was renamed the National Institute of Education. In 1993, the Cairnhill building was converted into an arts centre housing theatre and dance groups.

First Graduate Medical School
24 medical students graduated from the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore in 2011 with a Doctor of Medicine (MD) after joining the course in 2007. The school admits those who already have bachelor’s degrees, though not necessarily in medicine, to be trained as medical and biotech researchers as well as medical practitioners.

First Film Degree School
In 2005, Herman Van Eyken founded the Puttnam School of Film at Lasalle College of the Arts. It is Singapore’s first film school to offer a bachelor’s degree. In 2012, it partnered Goldsmiths (University of London) to offer BA (Hons) in Film.

Largest Student Hostel
NTU has 16 Halls of Residence, each with a capacity of between 500 and 652 residents. All halls are co-ed by floor or wing and offer single and double occupancy rooms. They can accommodate over 9,000 undergraduates.

First Law Course
The first Law course in the University of Malaya began in Sep 1957. LA Sheridan of Belfast was appointed to the first chair in Law. The first batch of graduates included Thio Su Mien who became Dean of the Law Faculty, Prof Tommy Koh, a law professor and ambassador, and Chan Sek Keong, a former Attorney-General.

First Private University
NTU has 16 Halls of Residence, each with a capacity of between 500 and 652 residents. All halls are co-ed by floor or wing and offer single and double occupancy rooms. They can accommodate over 9,000 undergraduates.

Oldest Tertiary Arts School
The Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts was founded by Huang Suiheng and Lim Hak Tai, with the financial support of Tan See Siang and the alumni of Jimei High School (Xiamen) in 1938. It has since been recognised as Singapore’s pre-eminent tertiary institution for artistic studies.

First Social Work Course
The University of Malaya (Singapore) offered the first professional social work qualification in 1952. With the two-year diploma in social studies, social work came into its own as a profession.

Only Singaporean To Top Queen’s Scholarship Thrice
Song Ong Siang, from RI, sat for the Queen’s Scholarship three times and topped all three attempts. However, he obtained the scholarship only in 1888 as he was judged underaged, at 15 and 16, in the first two attempts. He was the only Chinese to read Law in the Inns of Court in London and was admitted to Downing College, Cambridge and was later qualified in 1893. He became Sir Ong Siang Song after being knighted.

First Chinese University
Nanyang University was officially opened on 30 Mar 1958 with a substantial donation from wealthy rubber merchant and industrialist Tan Lark Sye. Taxi drivers and trishaw riders donated a day’s earnings toward the building of the university. The land in Jurong was donated by the Hokkien Huay Kuan.

Biggest Donations To A University
The largest donation ever received by a tertiary institution is S$100 million, made in memory of Dr Yong Loo Lin, a Hong Kong-trained doctor and businessman. NUS renamed the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine in his honour in 2005. The Yong Loo Lin Trust which made the donation, also gave S$25 million to NUS in 2003 in memory of one of his daughters. The university’s Yong Siew Toh Conservatory is named after her. On 8 Mar 2007, Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-Shing also made a S$100 million donation to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at NUS. The money came from the Li Ka Shing Foundation, Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa.

First Government Scholarships
In 1885, top students were awarded the Higher Scholarships by Governor Cecil
Clementi Smith to study at either Cambridge or Oxford universities in London. It was awarded to students from the three Straits Settlements territories. In 1889, the Higher Scholarships were renamed the Queen’s Scholarships. CS Angus and J Aitken, both from RI, were the first two scholars awarded in 1886.

First Chinese To Win Queen’s Scholarship
Dr Lim Boon Keng, from RI, was the first Chinese Singaporean to win the Queen’s Scholarship. He received it in 1887.

First And Only Malay Graduate Of Nanyang University

Jaafar Kassim graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Language, Literature and Philosophy, making him the first and only Malay graduate of Nanyang University.

First Business Professor of the Year
Prof Vijay Sethi, 52, from NTU has been named Business Professor of the Year by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The award recognised him as the world’s best business educator. At a live ‘teach-off’ held in London in Mar 2013, he beat 3 other finalists, who were selected from 222 professors worldwide.

First Poly Grads Admitted To NUS Medicine And Dentistry

Soong Jun Wei and Ron Ng, both 22, were the first Polytechnic graduates to enter NUS’ Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine in 2007. Both did Biotechnology at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Alex Chua Koon Ting, 23, Singapore Polytechnic Biomedical Science graduate in 2007, entered the highly competitive NUS Dentistry school under the faculty’s Exceptional Individuals Admission Scheme.

Youngest Student At NTU
14-year old Sunku Sai Swaroop, from India, was admitted to NTU in 2007 after his second attempt. NTU did not accept him when he applied at 13. The student at NTU’s School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences did his A-levels in Kuala Lumpur. He graduated in 2011 and is currently doing research on magnetoelectrics.

Youngest Student At NUS
Abigail Sin started playing the piano at the age of four. By 11, she attained her Licentiate of the Royal School of Music (LRSM) in Piano Performance. She was the top PSLE student in Methodist Girls’ School in 2004. On Aug 2006, 14-year-old Abigail was admitted to the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music of NUS for the Bachelor of Music programme on a full scholarship.

First Yang Di-Pertuan Negara Scholars
In Aug 1964, the Yang di-Pertuan Negara Scholarships were inaugurated to be awarded to the most outstanding Higher School Certificate students from all language streams. Five scholarships were awarded that year, followed by six in 1965. Lim Siong Guan, who is EDB’s Chairman, was among the recipients in 1965.

First Local Professor And Head Of University Department
Prof Kiang Ai Kim was the first Singaporean to become professor and head of a university department, when he was appointed Head of the University of Singapore’s Chemistry Department in 1960. Prof Kiang was also the first Singaporean to join the Chemistry Department in Raffles College as faculty member.

First Rhodes Scholar
Dr Tan Eng Liang was the first Rhodes Scholar for the Singapore-Malaya region. The scholarship to study at Oxford University is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious academic prizes. He received the award in 1961. He served in Parliament from 1972-1980.

First Singapore State Scholars
When Singapore attained self-governance in 1959, the Queen’s Scholarships were abolished and replaced by the Singapore State Scholarships, which were tenable only at the University of Malaya and worth S$2,500 a year. The first three scholarships were given out in 1959 to Leonard Tan Kim Tuan (from ACS), Tony Tan Keng Yam (from SJI) and Mah Puay Tim (from RI).

First President’s Scholars
In 1966, the Yang di-Pertuan Negara Scholarship was renamed The President’s Scholarship following Singapore’s independence. The first President’s Scholars were Lee Yock Suan, Barry Desker and Koh Cher Siang.

Oldest Undergrad
Chen Woo Teck attained his degree in Chinese Language and Literature at SIM ¬University at 76 in 2009. A retired primary school teacher, he is now pursuing a PhD.

First Visually Handicapped Person With PhD In Maths
Dr Yeo Sze Ling is the only ¬visually handicapped person to complete her PhD in Mathematics at NUS. She lost her sight when she was about four, after contracting glaucoma. In spite of that, she went on to become the top student for her degree of BSc (Honours) in NUS and also obtained the best overall performance in Mathematics throughout her undergraduate course. A*STAR offered her a graduate scholarship and she obtained her doctorate in 2005.

Youngest Donor Of A Scholarship
SMU Accountancy graduate of 2006, Darren Lim started a scholarship called the Ee Seng and Claire Lim Accountancy Scholarship, under his parents’ names. Chen Huifang was the first recipient of the S$4,000 one-year scholarship.

First Winner Of St Gallen Award
Chen Yeshan, an NUS Life Sciences undergraduate, is the first Singaporean to win the prestigious St Gallen Wings of Excellence Award, an international student writing competition. He was the youngest of the four winners in 2006. His essay on ‘Creating an Inspired European identity’ won him 5,000 euros at the St Gallen Symposium in Switzerland.

First Winner Of PATW Competition
NTU Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering undergraduate Liu Shiyu won the top prize in a global competition that pitted engineering students and young professionals from around the world. Organised by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, UK, the Present Around the World (PATW) Competition finals were held in London in Nov 2008. Liu’s project was a retractable roof that can be deployed, for example, in sports venues to allow for indoor sports ¬during bad weather.


First Boy Scout Troop
Scouting in Singapore began in 1910 when Frank Cooper Sands arrived from Nottingham and started the First Sand’s Troop of 30 boys under the sponsorship of the YMCA, whose building also served as the Scout Headquarters.

First And Only Jewish Scout Troop
The Dove Patrol, founded by St Andrew’s School students – Jacob Ballas, David Marshall, Yahya Cohen and ten others in 1936, was Singapore’s first and only Jewish Scout group.

First Scout Job Week
In 1952, Singapore scouts went on their first Job Week and raised funds to send its first contingent to Australia to participate in the 2nd Pan-Pacific Jamboree in Sydney.

First NCC Apex-1 Club
The NCC Apex-1 Club is a post-secondary and non-uniformed club targeting ex-NCC cadets and pre-enlisted male Singaporeans to inculcate in them leadership, military knowledge and citizenship development. Singapore Polytechnic started the first NCC Apex-I club in Jul 2011 which attracted 200 members. Since then, more clubs opened at ITE Colleges, other polytechnics and junior colleges.

First Girls’ Brigade Company
The first Girls’ Brigade Company was formed by Mrs Elsie Lyne, a Girls’ Life Brigade (GLB) officer, when she came to Singapore in 1927 to teach at the Methodist Girls’ School. She initiated the First Singapore ¬Company and in Jul 1928, the ¬Company ¬became formally ¬registered with the GLB HQ in London.

Highest Scouting Awards – Bronze Wolf
Only 3 Singaporeans had been awarded the Bronze Wolf by the World Scout Committee: Dr Ee Peng Liang in 1991, Billy Goh Piak Chiang in 1997 and Anthony Thng in 2005. The award recognises outstanding service contribution by individuals to the World Scout Movement.

Highest Guiding Award – Bronze Cross
In 1946, Mrs Elizabeth Choy, war-time heroine, was awarded the Girl Guide Bronze Cross by the Chief Guide, Lady Baden-Powell. The Bronze Cross, the highest award of Girl Guide Movement, is an award of gallantry. She was a guide at CEZM School, now known as St Margaret’s School.

First Girl Guide Unit
The first Girl Guide Unit was registered at St Mary’s Home (the former residence of Tan Yeok Nee) in 1917. Other units were subsequently registered at Raffles Girls’ School, Singapore Chinese Girls’ School and St Margaret’s Secondary School.

First Boys’ Brigade Company
The First Singapore Company of The Boys’ Brigade was started by James Milner Fraser, CME, in 1930.

First National Cadet Corps
The first NCC started in Raffles Institution on 15 May 1901 with the formation of the first Army Cadet Corps. A second unit was formed in St Joseph’s Institution the following year. The aim in those early years was to prepare students for the Singapore Volunteer Corps, a military reserve for the Straits Settlements. The NCC continued to expand throughout the 1930s and 1940s, and by 1949, the Sea Cadet Corps and Air Training Corps were also established.

First National Police Cadet Corps
The NPCC started out as an experimental unit in Bartley Secondary School in 1959.

First Salvation Army Mission
The Salvation Army was established in ¬Singapore in 1935 by Brigadier Herbert Lord with its headquarters at Killiney Road. A home at Paterson Road was established two years later to serve women who were destitute or forced into prostitution.

First Combined Camp For Uniformed Groups
In Aug 1989, the first-ever National Camp was held at Sarimbun Scout Camp for various uniformed groups such as the National Cadet Corps, National Police Cadet Corps, Singapore Scout Association, St John’s Ambulance ¬Brigade, Red Cross Society, Boys’ Brigade and the Girls’ Brigade. It was organised by the National Cadet Corps.

First St John Ambulance Brigade
Dr JS Webster, a radiologist with the Medical Services of the Singapore General Hospital, established the first St John Ambulance Brigade in Sep 1938 when he recruited a number of first-aiders to form their first division of the uniformed organisation.

First Red Cross Youth
Red Cross work in Singapore began on 30 Sep 1949 as part of the British Red Cross Society. Red Cross Youth comes under the Singapore Red Cross Society and reaches to primary schools, secondary schools and post-secondary institutions.

First School Band
A Volunteer Cadet Corp with a drum and fife band was formed in Jan 1902 at Raffles Institution. It was intended for boys of all schools but in the early years it involved Raffles boys only. The cadets formed a part of the Singapore Volunteer Infantry.

First Youth Flying Club In School
The first Singapore Youth Flying Club was set up in Serangoon Secondary School in 2001 to promote aviation to youths.

Largest Robotics Competition
The National Junior Robotics Competition has been organised annually by the Singapore Science Centre and A*STAR since 1999 with 167 teams from 70 schools taking part. Over the years, the number of participating teams has grown phenomenally. In 2006, about 4,000 students in 793 teams participated (373 secondary and 420 primary school teams). This could possibly be the world’s largest robotics competition.

First International Robotic Competition Winner
Comprising 10 students from Singapore Chinese Girls’ School, River Valley High and Juying Primary, the Singapore team beat 81 other teams to win the First Lego League World Festival held in Atlanta in May 2008. This was the tenth year of the competition.

First National Civil Defence Cadet Corps
NCDCC was introduced in 12 schools in 2005. For this pilot phase, 38 cadets completed the very first NCO course while 22 teachers were commissioned as the pioneer batch of NCDCC officers after completion of the first officer basic course.