The House system is the cornerstone of the school’s pastoral network. Each student is allocated to one of eight school houses under the leadership of the House Master, House Tutors and student House Prefects. The smaller student numbers of 150 per house compared to the whole school of 1000 students enables a strong family environment to be maintained. Every student is known by the house leaders.
A friendly yet competitive rivalry between the houses is encouraged through the various inter-house activities that occur throughout the year.
Aims of the House System
The aims of the House system are as follows:
✓ To foster a collaborative environment within the school community
✓ To develop a spirit of cooperation and unity within the school community
✓ To develop leaders among students and teachers within the school community
✓ To reinforce the distinctive ethos of the school community thereby enhancing its attractiveness
✓ To develop the IB Learner Profile and character development as outcomes within the House system
History of the Houses
The ACS Houses are named after distinguished people who have contributed significantly to ACS. All the ACS Schools have the same House system.
Thoburn House (Thoburn)
Thoburn House was named after Bishop Dr James Thoburn. He was responsible for initiating and accompanying the pioneer mission to Singapore. He (and Bishop Oldham) were responsible for the setting up of the Methodist Church as a Mission in Singapore in 1885. Bishop Dr Thoburn’s vision (and Bishop Oldham’s) made possible the birth of ACS. Had it not been for him, there might not have been an ACS. It was his personal initiative as an important leader in the Methodist Conference in India that resulted in the establishment of the first Methodist Church in Singapore in 1885.
Oldham House (Oldham)
Oldham House was named after Bishop William F Oldham who founded ACS in 1886. His first tour of duty in Singapore lasted about five years and the Methodist Mission was well and truly established when he left Singapore. Poor health forced him to return to America. In 1926, he and his wife visited Singapore and participated in the 40th anniversary of the School, and again in 1935 at the Golden Jubilee of the Methodist Mission.
Cheong Koon Seng House (CKS)
Mr Cheong Koon Seng was for many years the President of ACSOBA. One of the earliest ACSians he joined ACS in 1891. In the 1934 ACS Magazine, Mr Cheong was memorialized as “a genial friend, a sound businessman and a loyal old boy of the school to which he had rendered valuable and ungrudging help.” Working very closely with the Methodist Mission, he helped to acquire the land at Barker Road where the ACS (Barker Road) complex now stands.
Tan Kah Kee House (TKK)
Mr Tan Kah Kee was a folk hero, not only in Singapore but also in the Asean region and in China. A visionary, he was a pioneer industrialist, philanthropist, social reformer and, above all, a patriarch. Mr Tan was keenly interested in education and had given large donations to the Anglo-Chinese School and the then proposed Anglo-Chinese College.
Lee Seng Gee House (LSG)
Dr Lee Seng Gee has been the Chairman of the Lee Foundation since 1967. Dr Lee is the eldest son of Tan Sri Dr Lee Kong Chian and is an ACSian. He is also the Chairman of Lee Rubber Pte Ltd and the Lee Group of Companies. The Lee Foundation was set up by Dr Lee’s father. Popularly known as the “Rubber King”, philanthropist, businessman and civic leader Lee Kong Chian benefited from attending schools made possible by the generosity of first generation community leaders. He made it his legacy to continue this tradition of contributing to the society from which he benefited.
During his lifetime, Tan Sri Lee’s benevolence to ACS was marked by two major donations – the Lee Kuo Chuan Auditorium of ACS (Barker Road), in memory of his father in 1950, and later on, the building at the Lee Kong Chian block of ACS (Barker Road) which housed the Post School certificate classes as well as modern science laboratories.
The establishment of the Lee Foundation in 1952 served as a platform for further philanthropic work, where he assisted a wide spectrum of the community, in particular, toward the advancement of education, medical assistance and social welfare. The Lee Foundation continues to donate generously to the ACS family of schools.
Shaw Vee Meng House (SVM)
Dr Shaw Vee Meng is the Chairman of the Shaw Foundation. He is the elder son of Sir Run Run Shaw and is an ACSian. He is also the Chairman of The Shaw Organisation Pte Ltd. The Shaw Foundation was set up by Tan Sri Dr Runme Shaw and Sir Run Run Shaw in 1957.
One of Asia’s most respected philanthropists, the Shaw brothers were prominent businessmen, who made their fortune from film production and distribution. Their overriding principle was that wealth gained through society should be returned in generous measures. The Shaw Foundation is one of the largest philanthropic organisations in the world, distributing generously to various fields of education, welfare, medicine and heritage.
In 1970, Shaw Foundation financed a new Olympic-sized pool, Shaw Pool, at the ACS at Barker Road, making it the first school in Singapore to own such a sporting facility. In later years, the Shaw Foundation also funded the building of one block of classrooms, named Shaw Block, in the old Barker Road Campus and the Shaw Library at ACS (Independent).
To this day, the Shaw Foundation continues to make generous donations to the ACS family of Schools, in support of educational pursuits, the arts and the building of a brand-new Olympic-sized pool at the new ACS (Barker Road) Campus.
Goh Hood Keng House (GHK)
Rev Goh Hood Keng was one of the most remarkable ACSians. He taught for about 20 years in ACS and distinguished himself as one of the most esteemed teachers of the school. He was the first Singaporean ordained Methodist Minister. As a minister of the Methodist Church, he pastured the Straits Chinese Methodist Church (Kampong Kapor Methodist Church) for nearly 40 years until he retired in 1952. As a preacher, Bishop Doraisamy considered him a “legend before his time”. Combining his gift of teaching with that of preaching was perhaps why the School named one of the Houses after him.
Tan Chin Tuan House (TCT)
Tan Sri Tan Chin Tuan set up the Tan Foundation in 1976. Between the mid-1950s and mid-1970s Tan Sri Tan was appointed Chairman of OCBC Bank and eight other blue chip Singapore companies. Tan Sri is an ACSian.
A magnanimous philanthropist, an astute businessman and a distinguished civic leader with an impeccable record of public service to Singapore, Tan Sri Tan lived by the highest standards of personal conduct. Well-known for his integrity and compassion, he has been the benefactor, in many cases anonymously, of a host of charitable and educational institutions.
In 1950, he played a significant role in the Building Committee and gave generously to the construction of the original Barker Road Campus. Today, his generosity to his alma mater, Anglo-Chinese School, is commemorated in the gift of the Tan Chin Tuan Hall, the Tan Cheng Siong Theatre in memory of his father at ACS (Barker Road), the Tan Chin Tuan Auditoriums at ACS (Independent) at Anglo-Chinese Junior College, and the numerous scholarships awarded to outstanding students at both ACS (Independent) and Anglo-Chinese Junior College named after ACS pioneers.
Through his deeds, Tan Sri Tan Chin Tuan represents the values of kindness, diligence and dedication and has become a powerful symbol of the spirit of Singapore’s early pioneers.