Tanglin Trust School

Tanglin Trust School (TTS) is an international school in Singapore run as a non-profit organisation. Established in 1925, Tanglin Trust School provides British-based learning with an international perspective for students aged 3–18. There are approximately 2,720 students at Tanglin, with 740 in the Infant School,[1] 770 in the Junior School[2] and 1190 in the Senior School[3] and Sixth Form.[4] Each school has its own building and facilities within the one campus. Approximately 60–70% of students in the school are British passport holders, although this is not an admissions requirement. As at May 2014, 54 nationalities are represented. Very few Singaporean students attend the school as the Singapore government's regulations prevent most of its citizens from attending international schools, hence only 4% of the student body of international schools in Singapore are Singaporean.[5]

Tanglin Trust School
95 Portsdown Road


Coordinates1.297434°N 103.792084°E / 1.297434; 103.792084
FounderAnne Griffith-Jones
Chief Executive OfficerCraig Considine
Director of LearningJohn Ridley
Teaching staff250
Age3 to 18
Number of students2,720
Education systemNational Curriculum
HousesBaloo, Rann, Bagheera, Sher (Infant School)
Beruang, Elang, Harimau, Singa (Junior School)
Alexandra, Cameron, Raeburn, Wessex (Senior School)
Athletics conferenceFOBISIA
SportsAthletics, basketball, swimming, football, rugby, netball,
tennis, gymnastics, badminton, cricket, golf, tee-ball, softball and volleyball
School feesS$7,616.26 – S$12,649.54 per term

In its last four inspections in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, Tanglin Trust School was awarded Outstanding, the highest possible grade[6] under the Ofsted-recognised British Schools Overseas framework.

Admissions criteria

The two admissions criteria[7] to enter the school are that a student must have a level of English sufficient to access the curriculum and the school has the capacity to support a students' learning support needs. Waiting lists exist for some year groups. Children of staff and prospective students who have siblings already attending the school are some of those given priority on the waiting lists. A Placement Rights scheme exists to facilitate accelerated entrance into the school. Students may be asked to submit a sample of work, attend an interview or complete an exam depending on the circumstances.


The English National Curriculum provides the basis for the programmes of study which are enriched to reflect the calibre of students and the school's international setting. Infant School students are aged between 3 and 7 and the curriculum they follow is the Early Years Foundation Stage in Nursery and Reception followed by Key Stage 1 in Years 1 and 2. Students in the Junior School, aged between 7 and 11, follow Key Stage 2 in Years 3 to 6. Students in the Senior School, including those in the Sixth Form, are aged 11 to 18 years. They study Key Stages 3 in Years 7 to 9; Key Stage 4 in Years 10 and 11; and Key Stage 5 in Years 12 and 13. As students progress through Key Stage 3 to 5 of the English National Curriculum, they are presented with a widening choice of subjects to choose from for their General Certificate of Secondary Education (I/GCSE) and A Level or IB examinations.

The school achieves impressive International Baccalaureate, A-Level and GCSE results[8] enabling graduates to enter their universities of choice in the UK as well as other leading institutions around the world.

Outside the classroom

At Tanglin there is a strong belief in the value of learning outside the classroom. The development of the child as a whole is paramount and it is recognised that different students are motivated by different experiences. Hence students can take part in a wide array of co-curricular activities and challenging residential field studies to enrich their learning experience. In addition to year group outdoor education programmes to destinations right across Asia, Australia and New Zealand, there is also a range of curriculum-based and optional discovery programmes including skiing in Switzerland, an adventure week in Western Australia, studying art in Bali, brushing up language skills in Barcelona and even a chance to climb to Everest Base Camp. The school also offers the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Scheme, operating under the Singapore designation of The National Youth Achievement Award (NYAA).[9]

Sport is an integral part of the Tanglin curriculum. Athletics, basketball, swimming, football, rugby, netball, tennis, gymnastics, badminton, cricket, golf, tee-ball, softball and volleyball are all established activities that have well-developed training programmes in place and offer participants the opportunity to compete in inter-school events, both in Singapore as well as overseas. Sports facilities at the school include: air-conditioned sports halls within each of the schools; an eight-lane 25-metre swimming pool and learner pool; tennis courts; playing fields; running track; athletics facilities and a fitness centre.

Tanglin has a sustained commitment to The Athletics Conference Singapore International Schools (ACSIS)[10] sporting structure which underpins the school's continued involvement in local sports. This is further supported through participation in overseas sport at regular tournaments and competitions through the South East Asia Student Activity Conference (SEASAC) and the Federation of British Schools in Asia (FOBISIA),[11] as well as sporting tours to destinations around Asia, the Middle East and Australia.

Moreover, the school embraces the performing arts, with well-established choirs, orchestras, dance show cases and concerts. The performing arts facilities include several performance halls, fully equipped drama and dance studios, a film studio and a state-of-the-art music department which includes practice rooms, a music IT suite supported by iMacs and electronic keyboards, a main rehearsal space for larger groups and a professional recording and performance studio. Tanglin also participates in regional events involving the Arts such as the International Schools Theatre Association (ISTA)[12] events.

TTS Foundation Our World Projects

TTS Foundation Limited (TTS Foundation)[13] was established in May 2012 and was registered as a charity in June 2013. It was set up as a fundraising entity and is managed by the Development Office at Tanglin. TTS Foundation currently has start-up funding which does not come from school fee income. It was established to support enrichment activities and projects beyond the regular curriculum and to enhance the educational experiences of students at Tanglin Trust School. It does this by administering the Our World Fund which support projects that benefit the school community. These range in nature and size and include a scholarship and awards programme as well as Our World projects. Each project has to qualify individually for funding and must adhere to Tanglin Trust School's mission statement[14]


The school was founded in 1925 by Anne Griffith-Jones. It is the second oldest International School in Singapore after the Japanese School. When it opened, it operated from premises within the Tanglin Club. It began with five students, but soon began to grow rapidly. At the time, many British expatriates living in Singapore sent their children away to boarding school in Britain at an early age. The school offered the alternative of providing British-style education in Singapore, so parents could postpone boarding school until an older age.[15]

In 1934,[16] Griffith-Jones opened a second school – the Tanglin Boarding School in the Cameron Highlands (now part of Malaysia). Again this was intended as a nearby alternative for expatriate families living in the region who would otherwise have to send their children to boarding schools in Britain. Many children who attended the school in Singapore up to the age of eight then went on to the boarding school in the Cameron Highlands, which catered for students up to the age of 13. However the school in Singapore continued to flourish.

The Japanese occupation of the Malay Peninsula in 1942 forced the closure of both schools, as British expatriates in the region (including Griffith-Jones) were interned by the Japanese. The schools reopened after the war. From 1948, the unsafe conditions created by Malayan Emergency meant the school in the Cameron Highlands had to be put under full-time armed guard and children were transported to and from school in armoured vehicles at the end and start of term.[17] The Cameron Highlands School was eventually forced to close by the Federal Government for security reasons in 1950 and the school was sold to the British War Office.[18]

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.

Headmistress Anne Griffith-Jones[19]

In 1958,[20] Griffith-Jones retired and sold the private company Tanglin School Ltd to the British European Association (now known as the British Association of Singapore)[21] in Singapore. In 1961, governance of the school was handed over to a non-profit education Trust known as the Tanglin Trust Ltd.

In 1971, the Trust opened a second British international primary school in Singapore called Weyhill Preparatory School. Three years later the Trust also took over the running of another international school in Singapore called Raeburn Park School, which had been opened in 1954[22] by the Singapore Harbour Board for the children of its expatriate staff. In 1981, the three schools were merged into one at its present campus on Portsdown Road.[23] Initially, the campus housed two largely separate-functioning infant and junior schools known as Tanglin Infant School and Tanglin Junior School. A separate nursery school (known as Winchester Nursery School) also operated at Alexandra Park for twenty years between 1976 and 1996, but this was moved to the new purpose-built Infant School on the Portsdown Road campus in 1996. In the late-1980s, the administration and curriculum of the schools was centralised under a single Head Teacher and in 1996 the name Tanglin Trust School was adopted.

Alumni and Friends of Tanglin

The school has an alumni community[24] which is designed to help current and former students stay in touch with each other and with Tanglin. Alumni from schools pre-dating Tanglin Trust School: Tanglin School, Tanglin Preparatory School (TPS), Weyhill Preparatory School (WPS), Raeburn Park School (RPS) and Winchester Nursery are encouraged to reconnect through the Tanglin Alumni community. Additionally there is a Friends of Tanglin network[25] which is open to all current and former teachers, support staff, Governors and parents.

Notable alumni

See also


  1. "Tanglin Trust School – Infant School". Archived from the original on 6 May 2014.
  2. "Tanglin Trust School – Junior School". Archived from the original on 6 May 2014.
  3. "Tanglin Trust School – Senior School". Archived from the original on 6 May 2014.
  4. "Tanglin Trust School – Sixth Form College". Archived from the original on 6 May 2014.
  5. Harper, Justin (25 March 2014). "Local students dominating British international schools". The Daily Telegraph.
  6. "404 – Page Not Found – Tanglin Trust School". Archived from the original on 6 May 2014.
  7. "Admissions – Outstanding International Education – Tanglin Trust School". tts.edu.sg.
  8. "404 – Page Not Found – Tanglin Trust School". Archived from the original on 6 May 2014.
  9. National Youth Achievement Award (NYAA) Archived 26 November 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  10. Athletics Conference Singapore International Schools (ACSIS)
  11. Gill, John. "Home". fobissea.org.
  12. "ISTA". ista.co.uk.
  13. "TTS Foundation – Tanglin Trust School". tts.edu.sg.
  14. "Trust Schools mission statement".
  15. "The Straits Times, 20 August 1936, Page 2 EDUCATION WITHOUT SEPARATION".
  16. "The Straits Times, 27 March 1934, Page 12 HIGHLANDS SCHOOL".
  17. "The Straits Times, 6 August 1950, Page 15 ARMOURED CARS ON HOLIDAY CONVOY".
  18. "The Straits Times, 20 November 1950, Page 8 War Office Buys School".
  19. "TANGLIN SCHOOL CONCERT, The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884–1942), Friday, December 18, 1936". p. 3 (Microfilm reel no. NL3590, National Library, Singapore).
  20. "The Straits Times, 27 November 1957, Page 6 SHE'LL SAY FAREWELL TO HER COLONY SCHOOLS IN MAY".
  21. Short history of the British Association of Singapore Archived 28 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  23. "The Straits Times, 15 September 1981, Page 11 Three schools for expatriate children open today".
  24. "Tanglin Alumni Community".
  25. "Friends of Tanglin network".

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