SINGAPORE – Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) Katong Primary officially opened its new school building on Friday Nov 20, 2009. That was three years after it was first relocated to Bedok North while the school along Martia Road was upgraded under the Education Ministry’s school premises improvement programme.

Staff and students, who first returned to the original building on Dec 1, 2008, now enjoy more space over six storeys and one basement, compared to the previous four-storey block. Classrooms are bigger and there are more open spaces to facilitate learning in different ways, such as new science decks, an arts section and even a music corner for performances and dance studios.

The school was officially blessed on Jan 23, 2009, but celebrated its official opening only in November with an open house, outdoor performances, and co-curricular and class displays.

Among the guests present were Ms Grace Fu, Senior Minister of State for National Development and Education, Archbishop Nicholas Chia, priests, IJ Sisters, the IJ Board of Management, officials from the Ministry of Education, principals, former teachers of the school, benefactors, parents and friends.

In a speech, Ms Fu, the guest of honour, said that to be a part of the “IJ family is to partake in an educational experience that is forward-looking yet steeped in tradition (because the school) has a long tradition of developing pupils in the aesthetics and places emphasis on developing the pupils’ ability to express themselves well”.

The CHIJ Katong Primary pupils put up performances in music, dance, gymnastics and drama during the course of dinner.

The celebration’s theme was “To Serve with Love”, which was also the vision of the school’s founder Blessed Nicholas Barre.

(Written with information from Sheila Rabot)
By Joyce Gan
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