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Saint Patrick's School, Singapore

St. Patrick's School
Potest Qui Vult (He Who Wills, Can)
Marine Parade (East Coast)
Type Boys, Government-aided
Established 1933
Session Single session
School code 7022
Principal Mr Adolphus Tan
Mr Aloysius Yong Kim Seng (VP1)
Mr Joseph Peterson (VP2)
Enrolment approx. 1400
Colour(s)              Blue, green and white

Saint Patrick's School (simplified Chinese: 圣伯特理中学校) is a Lasallian Roman Catholic boys' secondary school in East Coast Road, Singapore. It is more commonly referred to as St Pat's, SPS or St Patrick's. Students and old boys call themselves Patricians or Sons of St. Patrick's. The school is well known for its Military Band, which has performed internationally and won awards.

In keeping with the school's Roman Catholic nature, students recite the Apostles' Creed in the morning, and the Angelus or the Regina Coeli during easter at noon


  • History 1
  • Houses and sports events 2
  • Co-curricular activities 3
  • School symbols 4
  • Facilities 5
  • Uniform and discipline 6
  • Affiliations 7
  • Notable alumni 8
    • Politics 8.1
    • Arts 8.2
    • Sports 8.3
    • Others 8.4
  • External links 9
  • References 10


The school was founded in 1933 as a temporary branch school of Saint Joseph's Institution, another Catholic boys' school in Singapore. It was built on land acquired by the La Salle Brothers in 1898, land intended for a resort bungalow for the brothers. But Brother Stephen Buckley saw the population growth in the eastern side of the island and petitioned the La Salle Brothers to build a school on this piece of land. The main school building was completed in 1932, and Saint Patrick's became a school in its own right in 1933.

During World War II, the school was used by the British as a hospital and later by the Japanese as an administrative building. It was returned to the Brothers in 1946.

In 1957, the primary section of the school was separated and became Saint Stephen's School.

The school went co-educational with the introduction of pre-university classes in 1969; but this was phased out in 1978, and the school returned to being an all-boys school.

In 2002, former Changkat Changi vice principal and educator of 38 years, Mr. Lucas Lak Pati Singh, was posted in. During his tenure of office, he brought in several measures to raise academic standards and improve the conduct of Patricians.

The full history of St. Patrick's School and its alumni can be viewed either on the school website, the old boys' (The Patrician Society) website or at the School's Heritage Room (previously the old school library).

Mr. Lak, the school's longest-serving principal, was succeeded in 2012 by Mr. Adolphus Tan, the former principal of Shuqun Secondary School. Mr Joseph Peterson, a senior physics master, was promoted to the post of vice-principal, joining Mr Aloysius Yong, an alumni who has served in various other capacities in the school and the sole vice-principal until then.

Houses and sports events

The school has six houses named after former brother principals of the school.

  • Joseph McNally (McNally House) - Green
  • Joseph Kiely (Kiely House) - Blue
  • Stephen Buckley (Buckley House) - Orange
  • Cannice Brennan (Brennan House) - Yellow
  • Alban Rozario (Alban House) - Red
  • Justinian De Souza (Justinian House) - Purple

Houses compete in activities during Sports Day, Interhouse Games, Cross Country and other activities. Students buy House T-shirts of their respective houses, which carry the slogan 'I Love St. Pat's' and the school badge with the name and colour of their house on their shirts.

Other than inter-house games, other sports events are also organised. Every year, selected Secondary 1, 2, 3 students participate in the Inter-class football league normally held during semester 2.

St Patrick's School annual Sports Day at Bedok Stadium. Photo taken on 22 May 2014

Co-curricular activities

A notable CCA at St Patrick's is its Military Band, which has won gold medals in competitions locally and abroad, under the baton of their resident conductor, Mr David Anthony Glosz, since 1990. In the 2005 Singapore Youth Festival (SYF), the band won Gold with Honours. This was the first year such an award was introduced into the SYF grading scheme. In the 2007 SYF, the SPSMB achieved a Gold with Honours, which was the 2nd consecutive Gold With Honour award. In the 2009 SYF, the Band again won Gold with Honours, its tenth consecutive Gold award in the SYF and its third consecutive Gold with Honours. And in 2011 SYF, the Band achieved Gold with Honours, its 11th consecutive Gold award and fourth consecutive Gold with Honours. On special occasions, the school's Military Band plays a live version of the School Rally as opposed to the audio recording which is usually played every morning. The tradition took place particularly at the annual opening ceremony of the Patrician Annual Enrichment Festival (PAEF), but as of 2012, it has been gradually rescinded to a once-a-year affair. In addition, the Saint Patrick’s School Military Band also held a commemorative concert at the Esplanade Concert Hall to celebrate its 60th Anniversary.[1]

The school has 5 Uniformed Groups, all of which have their own outstanding achievements. They are the Scouts, National Cadet Corps (Land), National Cadet Corps (Air) and National Police Cadet Corps (NPCC).

The St Patrick's Pajigwad Scout Troop is the oldest scout troop in the Katong district. They have achieved the Frank Cooper Sands Gold award for several years running thanks to the high standard of training planned by the teachers and the Patrol Leaders Council. A notable alumni of the troop is His Excellency, Mr Tony Tan, the seventh President of Singapore. He returned to the school during the Adiji Scout Ceremony in 2012 to accept his role as Chief Scout of the Singapore Scout Association. More than 6000 scouts attended the event.

The school also encourages students to take up leadership roles, hence the establishment of the Peer Leader's Council, the Prefectorial Board and the Board of Patrician Ambassador. These Patrician student leaders facilitate camps such as the Patricians' Leadership Training Camp (PLTC) which is held overseas in countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia, as well as local camps such as the secondary one orientation camp for new students every year. Selected students also represent their school and participate in the Lasallian Leaders Servant Leadership Camp (LLSLC), where they and students from Lasallian schools in the Philippines interact with each other to learn servant leadership by helping less fortunate communities in the Philippines.

School symbols

The shamrock is found on the student's belt, socks and neck-tie, on the running vests and on the T-shirts, and the school flag is a shamrock on a blue background. It is made up of three green hearts touching at the centre at an equal spacing from each other. Two of the hearts are at the lower half with one at the upper half. The shamrock represents the school's virtues of Honour, Humility & Honesty. The school's patron saint, St. Patrick's, used the shamrock to represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Another icon of the school is the "I Love St Pat's" logo. It is printed on mugs, T-shirts, vests, decals, wristbands and umbrellas sold by the school.


Academic buildings

  • Kiely Block is the junior block and houses computer laboratories and Information Technology rooms.
  • Alban Block is the senior block, and the location of specialised subject rooms.
  • Buckley Block is the aesthetics block, with the Media Resource Library (MRL), a Mother Tongue Language room, art and craft rooms, co-curricular activities (CCA) rooms and counselling rooms. Buckley Block is the oldest block in St Patrick's, and is under conservation. It used to be classrooms for the older batches of students.
  • McNally Block houses a design laboratory, indoor and air-conditioned shooting range and the design workshops.
  • Datok Brian Chang Block is the science block, with two chemistry laboratories, two physics laboratories, two biology laboratories and an air-conditioned lecture theatre (smaller than the main Lecture Theatre).

Other buildings

  • Justinian Block houses the general office, staff rooms, conference rooms, school bookshop and the main lecture theatre.
  • Tan Sri Runme Shaw Block has an air-conditioned hall and canteen.
  • Brennan Block has the band room, dance room and Shamrock Studio(recording studio). Brennan Block consists of the 1st and 2nd floor corridor links between Buckley and Datok Brian Chang blocks.
  • Henry Jassaud Block houses indoor squash courts. It is located off Buckley block and the Brothers' Residences, facing the Brothers' field.
  • De LaSalle Brother Residences - the compound where the La Salle Brothers live and the Shamrock Cove (Student Entertainment Centre)
  • Dormitory - the residence of international students. Adjacent to Brothers' Residences and faces the canteen.

Other facilities

  • An astroturfed school field (completed in May 2009; previously natural turf)
    • A basketball court
    • A street soccer court
    • A running track
    • A cricket net
  • Two tennis courts
  • School chapel
  • School Heritage Room(Part of the Chapel Block, used to be the old library)

Uniform and discipline

The all-white school uniform is compulsory. The full uniform is a white short-sleeved shirt with the school badge pinned on the top left hand corner above the shirt pocket, white short trousers (for lower secondary students) or white long trousers (for upper secondary), white school socks with the shamrock logo, white canvas shoes or sports shoes ( Sports shoes do not have to be white ), and a tie. Students wear the school tie every morning for assembly. The shirt must be tucked into the pants. Details of the uniform are set out in the school's Rules and Regulations.[2]

For physical education lessons, students change into their PE attire (Rule applied until 2014), which their house T-shirts and the shorts with the shamrock logo and SPS sewn on it. The T-shirt has I love St. Pat's printed at the back. With effect from 2015 starting from the lower secondary batch, students are allowed to wear their PE attire for the whole day only on days which they have PE lesson. The white/black PE vests are no longer in use.

St Patrick's School was beset by discipline problems such as truancy in the 1990s but these are now reported to be in the past.[3] Corporal punishment is a long-standing feature of the disciplinary system, whereby the offending student receives a number of strokes with a rattan cane across the seat of his uniform trousers.[3] The current Rules and Regulations state that students found in possession of cigarettes, lighters or matches will be caned and referred to the Smoking Control Unit of the Ministry of Health.[2]


St Patrick's School is affiliated with all four of the Lasallian primary schools in Singapore, St. Joseph's Institution as well as Catholic Junior College. It maintains relationships with other Roman Catholic schools in Singapore as well.

  • St. Joseph's Institution Junior (formerly St. Michael's School)
  • St. Stephen's School
  • De La Salle School
  • St. Anthony's Primary School

Notable alumni





External links

  • Official school website
  • SPS Parent Support Group website


  1. ^ "Saint Patrick’s School Military Band (SPSMB) Celebrates 60th Anniversary with Commemorative Concert". Darren's Blogosphere. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Rules and Regulations". St Patrick's School. 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Chong, April (30 August 2008). "St Pat's turns 75 and is far wiser: It bounces back academically and on sports field". The Straits Times (Singapore). p. 44. 
  4. ^ "Past Presidents and Vice Chancellors". National University of Singapore. 2 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "Sports fraternity pays last respects to Chan". The Straits Times. 29 August 1998. p. 50. 

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