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School History


School history


River Valley High School (RV) was the first Chinese secondary school set up by the government. Initially known as the Singapore Government Chinese Middle School when it occupied the premises of Seng Poh Primary School, it was renamed Queenstown Government Chinese Middle School when it moved to Strathmore Avenue.


The 1st Principal was Mr Suen Y-Chern.

1958 It was relocated to Jalan Kuala and renamed River Valley Government Chinese Middle School.
1960 Mr Lim Hui Eng was appointed the school’s 2nd Principal.
1962 In June 1962, Mr Wong Chong Chie assumed the post of Principal, making him the 3rd Principal.


Mr Wong Bing Chie was appointed the school's Acting Principal when Mr Wong Chong Chie vacated his post.


Mr Ong Pang Boon, Minister for Education, visited the school.


Mr Wong Bing Chie was officially appointed the school's 4th Principal. The school began its expansion programme to include more facilities.


Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew visited the school.


The school's extended facilities were declared open.


In the same year, the School Advisory Committee was set up.


Mr Wong Bing Chie retired from service and Madam Leong Fan Chin became the school's 5th Principal.


The school was selected to be a Special Assistance Plan school.


Mrs Pearl Goh became the school's Vice Principal.


The School Alumni was formed.


The school was renamed River Valley High School.


The first Student Council was formed.


In December 1980, Mr Yong Kwei Leong became the Vice Principal.



The school shifted to a new campus at West Coast Road in December 1986.


Mr Chan Kok Heng became its Vice Principal.


On 1 Jan 1987, Minister of State for Education, Mr Tang Guan Seng, flagged off a 16-km walk from the old RV campus at Jalan Kuala to the new RV campus at West Coast Road.


On 14 Jan 1989, the MP for Ayer Rajah, Dr Tan Cheng Bock, officiated the opening of RV's new campus.


The Archives was completed and it was declared open by Assistant Treasurer of SAC, Mr Lee Tuan, and SAC Member, Dr Ho Nai Kiong.


RV celebrated its 35th School Anniversary with a dinner at the school compound and a concert at the Kallang Theatre.


The school began its facilities expansion programme.


Mr Kwok Kah Kuoy became the Vice Principal.


RV won the inaugural Trim and Fit Gold Award.


After 19 years with River Valley High School, Mdm Leong Fun Chin left to assume the headship at Hwa Chong Junior College.


Mr Tham Tuck Meng became the school's 6th Principal.


Mrs Lee Yin Ling became the school's Vice Principal.


It became a single-session school in 1993.


The school was among six secondary schools in Singapore to be selected to be an autonomous school. The autonomous school status was given to schools with outstanding achievements.


On 6 August 1994, the school's extended facilities were officially declared open by the Member of Parliament for Ayer Rajah, Dr Tan Cheng Bock.


Mr Ng Lee Huat became the Vice Principal.


The school took part in the National Day Mass Dance Display.


The school celebrated her 40th School Anniversary with a cultural concert at the World Trade Centre and a dinner hosted by the School Alumni.


Mrs Tan Miao Ling became the school' Vice Principal.


Mrs Tan Miao Ling left to attend the Diploma in Educational Administration. Miss Serene Teo Swee Choon, Head of Humanities, covered the duties of Vice Principal.


RV was awarded her first Sustained Achievement Awards for Arts, Physical Fitness and Uniformed Groups, making her amongst five secondary schools in Singapore to receive three Sustained Achievement Awards.


On 15 December, Miss Ek Soo Ben became the school's Vice Principal.


Sponsored by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, the school started her Fast Track @ Schools project to spearhead our IT programme. We were the first to officially launch the project at the 44th School Anniversary.


RV became the West 3 Centre of Learning for Science and Technology. This project is co-sponsored by the National Science and Technology Board and the Ministry of Education.


RV was awarded her second Sustained Achievement Awards for Arts, Physical Fitness and Uniformed Groups.


RV celebrated her 45th School Anniversary with a cultural night at the Kallang Theatre and a dinner hosted by the School Alumni.


  • The Guest of Honour at the Alumni Dinner was Mr Chan Soo Sen, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Prime Minister's Office & Ministry of Health.
  • The Leong Fun Chin Education Fund was officially launched at the Dinner.


RV was awarded a Singapore Quality Class Award by the Singapore Quality Award Council and a Best Practice Award (Teaching and Learning) by the Ministry of Education.


We also officially launched the Distinguished Speakers Series and Science Niche Programme.


The school was identified by the Ministry of Education for upgrading and rebuilding under PRIME Phase 3. The long-term development plans for RV included options for a new building with up-to-date teaching facilities and a performing arts centre.


RV was presented a Singapore Quality Class by the Singapore Quality Award Council. We also won a Best Practice Award for Teaching and Learning (inaugural award).


RV won the Thinking and Learning Culture National Award, Best Zone Award and Most Improved Award.


RV was awarded the Sustained Achievement Awards for Physical Fitness and Uniformed Groups.


We began our first fund-raising project for our upgrading plans. “Walk to Reach”, a jogathon held together with the School Annual Cross Country, raised about $90,000.


In March 2002, the Vice Principal, Miss Ek Soo Ben, left for the Leaders-in-Education Programme.


In June 2002, Mr Martin Koh Chin Thong, joined RV as her Vice Principal.


In September 2002, Miss Ek Soo Ben, returned to RV as her Vice Principal. End October, RV held a retirement ceremony for Mr Tham Tuck Meng.


The RV Concert Band was invited by the Ministry of Education to compete in the 4th Asian Symphonic Band Competition, Bangkok. The Band was awarded a Silver, beating strong competitors from the other Asian countries.


On 15 December 2002, Miss Ek Soo Ben, officially became the School’s 7th Principal.


RV was awarded her fourth Sustained Achievement Awards for Physical Fitness and Uniformed Groups, and third award for the Arts.


On 11 January 2003, the School held a Retirement-cum-Fund-Raising Dinner in honour of Mr Tham Tuck Meng. The Guest of Honour was Dr Tan Cheng Bock.


The RV Chinese Orchestra was the first cultural group to perform at the Esplanade-Theatres-by-the-Bay. This was another fund-raising effort by the School. Both events were well supported by the School Advisory Committee, RV Alumni and the Parent-Teacher Association.


On 26 March, MOE announced school closure due to outbreak of SARS. This was the first time since the war period that schools were closed. Through a concerted effort by all, schools were finally re-opened on 17 April 2003. All other outdoor events, contact sports as well as overseas trips were put on hold due to SARS. We had an extra week of lessons during the June holidays.


RV won 5 Gold Medals in the Singapore Youth Festival Central Judging for Chinese Orchestra, Concert Band, Choir, Dance and ELDDS.


The Netball ‘C’ Division Girls Team emerged Champions in the West Zone Netball Championships and 4th placing in the National Netball Championships. The Basketball C Division Boys Team emerged 2nd in the West Zone Basketball Tournament and 4th placing in the National Basketball Tournament, while the Cross Country ‘C’ Division Boys came in fourth.


RV won the Best Practice Award for Arts Education (Bronze award) by the National Arts Council.


RV won the prestigious Best Practice Award for Student All-Round Development by the Ministry of Education.


RV won the Orchid Award (Singapore Environmental Council) for good environmental practices.


RV was awarded her fifth Sustained Achievement Awards for Physical Fitness and Uniformed Groups.


On 25 Oct 2003, RVHS sees many distinguished guests, including the Minister for Education, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, arrived at RVHS for the launch of the BackPack.NET – Pilot and Trials Pillar. The objective of BackPack.NET is to create opportunities for schools and Institutes of Higher Learning to use Microsoft technologies to develop innovative solutions for Tablet PCs for use in teaching and learning. RVHS was the first school to be involved in this programme.


11th Trim and Fit Award.


On 15 December, RV welcomed Mr Lee Yan Kheng as the Vice Principal.


48th School Anniversary cum Walkathon to raise funds for the School. The Guest of Honour was Dr Tan Cheng Bock.


7 & 8 February 2004: RV Cultural Concerts at Kallang Theatre,


  • Launch of the Arts Niche Programme Guest of Honour for 7 Feb 2004: Mr Chan Soo Sen, Minister of State for Education and Community Development and Sports
  • Guest of Honour for 8 Feb 2004: Ms Chang Hwee Nee, Deputy Secretary (Services) Education


On 16 July, we held our fund-raising Golf Tournament at the Raffles Country Club. Guest of Honour: Dr Tan Cheng Bock


PS Lim Chuan Poh was the Guest of Honour at our Speech Day held on 17 July 2004.


2004 saw a bumper harvest for RV. We were presented the following awards:


  • School Excellence Award
  • School Distinction Award
  • Best Practice Award for Organisational Effectiveness
  • Sustained Achievement Awards for Arts, Uniformed Groups and Physical Fitness
  • 3rd President’s Scholar
  • Lee Kuan Yew Mathematics and Science Award Recipient


A Teachers’ Day-Alumni Silver Jubilee-Fund Raising Dinner was held on 3 September. Our Guest of Honour was Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister for the Environment.


12th Trim and Fit Award.


2004 also saw RV moving out of the West Coast site to the holding site at Queensway.


RV moved out of the West Coast site to the holding site at Queensway.


In January, we held a school-wide Carnival to welcome the Secondary 1 students.


We celebrated our 49th School Anniversary on 15 January in conjunction with the RV Fund Raising Donation Draw.


The Director and key personnel from our sister school, Samsen Wittayalai School in Bangkok, Thailand, visited RV as part of the STEP (Singapore Thailand Enhanced Partnership) in January.


In March, two groups of Thai students visited RV. One group stayed for a 2-week Immersion Programme. It was a cultural exchange between the two groups of students.

13th Trim and Fit Award.


In September, RVHS was given the approval for the Integrated Programme. This was announced by Minister Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam.


Following the announcement, MOE also re-evaluated the West Coast Site and found it too small to support the 6 year programme. Hence, a new site at Jalan Boon Lay of 7.5 Hectares was allocated to RVHS.


We celebrated our 50th School Anniversary on 15 and 16 January at the NUS Cultural Centre and a Dinner hosted by the Alumni, SAC and PTA.


We began our Integrated Programme journey for Year 1 and 2 students.


RVHS was given the go ahead for the Bicultural Programme for 2007.


In June, RV moved out of the Queensway site to the holding site at Malan Road. A school warming was organised on the last Friday of the June school holidays. This was to support the RVIP programme and wait for the new school building to be ready in 2009.


RVHS was validated based on the School Excellence Model and we were once again awarded the Singapore Quality Class, Best Practice Awards for Teaching and Learning, Student All Round Development, Organisational Effectiveness.


14th Trim and Fit Award.


RVHS was awarded the LEAD ICT@Schools. The LEAD ICT@Schools recognises and supports schools that are ready to achieve a higher level of ICT use from 2006 to 2008. Schools under the scheme will be supported in experimentation and research to push the innovative use of ICT in teaching and learning.


Principal presented a paper at the Suzhou Round Table Education Conference.


RV launched the Bicultural Studies Programme (Chinese) and saw her first batch of SAP scholars. 7 students were awarded the SAP scholarship.


2 students were awarded the DSTA scholarship.


We became the West Zone Centre of Excellence for Science and Technology in April. In June, we officially launched the WZCOE and started our inaugural science seminar at the Singapore Science Centre.


RV was awarded the Sustained Achievement Award for Sports and Academic Value-added, together with Physical Fitness and Uniformed Groups. We were awarded all five of the SAA awards.


15th Trim and Fit Award.


RVHS hosted many distinguished visitors, including Minister for Education from Oman, Minister for Education from Israeli and Permanent Secretary for Education from Jordan.


The Principal presented a paper on “RV Journey to Excellence” at the Indonesian Education Conference.


Mr Choy Ban Heng was selected as the only teacher to represent Singapore for the ASEAN Workshop on ICT-Pedagogy Integration from 26 Nov to 1 Dec 2007 in Bangkok.


In February, RV’s last O-Level cohort received their results.


RV had her full cohort of 1,600 Integrated Programme students across four levels.

2009 In December, Mr Koh Yong Chiah became the school’s 8th Principal.

RV moved from her holding campus at Malan Road to her permanent campus at Boon Lay Avenue.


RV organised the 2010 Asian Young Leaders Convention which saw more than 900 student leaders from across Asia gathering in RV, to hone their leadership skills and forge friendships.


RV celebrated her 55th anniversary.


Mr Sze Guan Kheng joined the school as the Vice Principal. Mr Sherwin Cheng became the school’s Vice Principal.


RV’s first Integrated Programme A-Level cohort received their results in March. Tan Zhi Xiang, RV’s top student, was also a national top student.

RV had her Singapore Quality Class (SQC) Award and School Excellence Award renewed.


RV co-organised the 2011 Asian Young Leaders Convention with Wenjiang Middle School in Wenjiang, China.


RV’s second Integrated Programme A-Level cohort also produced a national top student. He is Soh Zhi Liang.


RV launched her iPad one-to-one programme.


Mr Loi Guang You became the school's Vice Principal. Mr Gabriel Wong joined the school as the Vice Principal.


In December, Mrs Teo Khin Hiang became the school’s 9th Principal.


RV held her first Y.Lead Seminar in July.


Mr Gay Choon Lin joined the school as the Vice Principal (Admin).


RV held her inaugural Arts Fest week from 28 April to 3 May:


  • Launch of the Arts Fest and Arts modules for students on 28 April
  • Revel Fest on 29 April
  • Drama Night on 30 April
  • Concert Band performed at the Istana on Labour Day
  • Combined Performing Arts concert, Exuberance, at the University Cultural Centre, National University of Singapore on 2 May
  • Combined Performing Arts concert, 劲, at the University Cultural Centre, National University of Singapore on 3 May