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Dunman High School
诚信勇忠 (Honesty, Trustworthiness, Moral Courage, Loyalty)
Tanjong Rhu, Singapore,
Type Autonomous, Integrated Programme school
Established 14 October 1956
Session Single
School code 3101
Principal Dr Foo Suan Fong (Dec 2009-Present)
Enrolment Secondary and Junior College students totalling to 2,400+
Colour(s) Dark blue, white, red


Dunman High School (DHS) (formerly known as Dunman Government Chinese Middle School) is an autonomous co-educational secondary school in Singapore offering the Integrated Programme. It has always been the top co-educational secondary school in Singapore in terms of academic results.[1][2]

In 2009 the school moved back to the Kallang campus, which has been expanded to seven hectares, making it one of the largest government schools in Singapore in physical area.

Its Chinese name Démíng (德明) is a transliteration of "Dunman". The meaning of its name in Chinese is derived from a line in the Book of Rites (大学之道,在明明德) which is a statement that has influenced the Emperors of the Han, Tang and Song dynasties in Imperial China. It can be roughly translated as "the Dao (path) to the greatest learning lies in understanding the brightest virtues".



On 14 October 1956, in the midst of the Chinese middle schools riots, the Ministry of Education established the predecessor of Dunman High School, Kallang West Government Chinese Middle School, along with other schools like River Valley High School.

In the 1956 riots, Chinese middle-school students who subscribed to the communist ideology staged sit-ins and demonstrations, disrupted classes, and in effect shut their schools down. The function of the newly established Kallang West Government Chinese Middle School was to allow students who had no wish to be embroiled in communism to have a place to study.[3] The premises of a newly-built primary school at Mountbatten Road were loaned, and the initial enrolment included about 100 boys from The Chinese High School,[4] with 10 teachers. In December 1957 the school moved to Dunman Road and was renamed Dunman Government Chinese Middle School.[5]

Special Assistance Plan[]

Template:Unreferenced section In 1979, the school was selected to be one of the nine Special Assistance Plan (SAP) secondary schools. The school was renamed "Dunman High School" and began to offer both English and Chinese languages at the first-language level. When the Music Elective Programme (MEP) was introduced by the MOE in 1982, DHS was selected to implement the programme for musically gifted students.

In 1990, the school expanded its physical area by taking over the neighbouring former premises of Dunman Secondary School at Dunman Road. It then became a single-session school (previously the school was divided into the "morning session" and "afternoon session" so that two classes of students could share a classroom). It was one of six schools to go autonomous in 1994. The school moved to its current location in Tanjong Rhu on 27 May 1995. It was made the 7th Gifted Education Programme centre in Singapore in 1997.

Dunman High Programme[]

Template:Unreferenced section From 2005 the school has implemented a customised version of the Integrated Programme called the Dunman High Programme (DHP), which allows all students to bypass the 'O' Level examinations and directly take the A-Level examinations.

50th anniversary[]

A time capsule was launched on the opening ceremony of DHS's 50th anniversary celebrations on 31 March 2006. The time capsule will be opened in 2031 on Dunman High's 75th anniversary. Items such as the DHS uniform and the 2006 student handbook were placed in it. A letter by the current Principal of the school was also included.[6][7] In addition, a Heritage Run was organised that day.[5] There were also performances, including a dance by the school's Chinese Society, and a drumming performance by the percussionists from Chinese Orchestra and Symphonic Band. A 50th anniversary song, written by Kelvin Ang Chin Yuan, was played by Clara Ng Yi Wen and sung by the school.


Dunman High School embarked on a 6-year Integrated Programme called the Dunman High Programme.

To meet the needs of the Integrated Programme, the school moved to a holding school in the former Raffles Junior College at Mount Sinai in December 2006 to allow for upgrading of the current site at Tanjong Rhu.

The land area of the expanded campus increased from four hectares to seven hectares, making Dunman High School one of the biggest government schools in Singapore.[8]


In December 2008 the classrooms, general office and staff rooms of the Tanjong Rhu Campus were completed, and the school moved back to the Tanjong Rhu campus.


On 2 January 2009 the school opened to a new year with an opening ceremony named "Homecoming" (回家) to welcome students and staff to the upgraded campus.


Since its establishment in 1956, Dunman High School has had eight principals:

In office Name Chinese name Photo Significant contributions/remarks
1956 – 1959 Mr. Sun Hwan Sin 孙焕新
1959 – 1969 Mr. Chen Jen Hao 陈人浩
  • Principal of Chung Hwa Confucian School from 1949 to 1954.[9]
1969 – 1978 Mdm. Shu June Mai 许锦美
1978 – 1993 Mr. Lim Nai Yan Template:Unicode
1994 – 1998 Mr. Cheah Chak Mun 谢泽文
1998 – 2004 Mr. Tan Thiam Hock 陈天福
2004 – Dec 2009 Mr. Sng Chern Wei 孙振炜 98px
  • Former Dunmanian (1984–1987).
  • Former Victorian (1988–1989).
  • Awarded the President's Scholarship in 1990.
  • Youngest principal to have taken office in Singapore's history, taking office as Dunman High School principal at age 34.
  • Has led the designing of the Dunman High Programme and also the PRIME needed for expanding of the school campus to meet the new integrated programme's needs.
  • Is now the Deputy Director of Schools (West) starting from December 2009.
Dec 2009 –2016 Dr. Foo Suan Fong 符传丰
  • Also a former Dunmanian.
  • Principal of Nan Hua High School from December 2003 to December 2009.
2017-present Mr.Low Teck Eng tony 刘德荣

School song[]


Simplified Chinese Pinyin English translation
德明中学 矗立加东 démíng zhōngxué chùlì jiādōng Dunman High School stands proud in Katong
亭亭松影 习习海风 tíngtíng sōngyǐng xíxí hǎifēng (Where) the pines sway in the ocean winds
集我英才 汇于一家 jíwǒ yīngcái huìyú yījiā Gather all my talents under one roof
文艺科学 同冶同攻 wényì kēxué tóngyě tónggōng Studying arts and science
树模楷 教诚信 shù mókǎi jiào chéngxìn (With) the trees as our model, teaching us honesty and integrity
立风范 诲勇忠 lì fēngfàn huì yǒngzhōng Setting an example, preaching bravery and loyalty
吾学兮博通 吾德兮高崇 wúxué xī bótōng wúdé xī gāochóng Our learning is of the most comprehensive, our virtue is of the highest quality
师生共陶镕 浩气干长空 shīshēng gòng táoróng hàoqì gān chángkōng Students and teacher exist harmoniously, our courage compares with the horizon.
爱护我德明 永志乎五中 àihù wǒ démíng yǒngzhì hu wǔzhōng Love and protect my Dunman, declare my aspirations
光大我德明 永志乎五中 guāngdà wǒ démíng yǒngzhì hu wǔzhōng Glorify my Dunman, declare my aspirations

School crest[]


Dunman High School Crest

The school crest of DHS was designed by the late Chen Jen Hao, its second principal, and Liu Kang, a pioneer in local fine art and former art teacher of the school.[11] The two Chinese characters read, from right to left, Dé míng, the Chinese name of the school. The characters are written in seal script.

The red colour symbolises passion and the drive for success. The blue colour signifies peace and dignity, while the circular border represents wholeness and unity, as well as the pursuit of universality, as defined in the Confucian classic Book of Rites.

Relations with other schools[]

Dunman High School is not officially affiliated with any school.

It holds an annual sports meet with Chung Cheng High School (Main), Ngee Ann Secondary School and Temasek Secondary School called the Four-School Combined Athletes Meet since 1980, in which students aged 13 to 16 from the four schools compete in sports events.[12]

Student Council[]

Template:Unreferenced section The DHS Student Council (DHSSC) was set up in 2004. One of the objectives was to streamline the system of student leadership, for the school's application of Best Practice Award (Student All-Round Development) and also for DHP.

The DHSSC is separated into two sections, one for the Junior High section made up of Year 2-4 students, and a Senior High section made up of Year 5-6 students.

The Junior High section of the DHSSC (JHSC) was formerly divided into three departments, General Affairs, Event Management and Pupil Mentoring, each headed by a Vice-President of the Student Council, and overall headed by a President. This structure was modified in late 2005, into six departments, namely Level Council, Student Welfare, Communications and Publicity, CCA Council, Corporate Relations and Internal Affairs. As of late 2006, the Junior High SCs has been categorised under four departments, Level Council, Internal Affairs, Corporate Relations and Student Welfare.

In 2007, with the pioneer batch of Senior High students, the Senior High Student Council (SHSC) was set up. It was headed by an Executive President (EP) who would also oversee the Junior High Student Council (JHSC). The Senior High Council was also headed by a Vice-President and four HODs, who form the Executive Committee (EXCO) of the Senior High Council. From 2008, the Senior High Council EXCO was restructured. It is now led by the Executive President (EP), President(Senior High), four HODs and one Secretary-Treasurer. The EP now coordinates the Junior High, Senior High Councils and the House Committee(SHHC).

On 23 February 2009 the Junior High Student Councillors were invested on their 5th anniversary, with the investiture called De5ined.

In July 2009 the Level Council department Junior High section was merged under Student Welfare. The JHSC now has three departments: Internal Affairs, Corporate Relations and Student Welfare.

Co-curricular activities[]

DHS offers co-curricular activities (CCAs), including competitive sports, uniformed groups, musical groups and clubs and societies. The school's traditional forte has been Chinese orchestral music.[13] The Uniformed Groups have a strong presence in Dunman High School, with CCAs like Saint John Ambulance Brigade, Scouts, Girl Guides and National Police Cadet Corps achieving honours.[14]

Junior High CCAs[]

Chinese Orchestra[]

The Dunman High School Chinese Orchestra was founded in 1973 and has a current strength of almost 300 members.

The Orchestra director is Dr Tay Teow Kiat. The school has also engaged several professional music instructors from the NAFA City Chinese Orchestra as sectional instructors.[15]

The orchestra has been invited to perform at various functions and celebrations, including festival performances at the Istana, the Millennium Chinese Cultural Festival Opening Ceremony, Singapore Youth Festival Opening Ceremony, and the opening ceremonies of certain international conferences.

Since 1984, the orchestra has given an annual public concert at the Victoria Concert Hall.

It has also been invited to perform in other countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, and China.

The orchestra has participated in the biennial National Music Competition (Chinese Music Section) and won prizes in both the ensemble and individual categories.[16]

In addition, the orchestra has won the biennial Singapore Youth Festival (SYF) "Award of Distinction" since 1983, and "Best Chinese Orchestra of the Year" since the inception of this award in 1997.

The Dunman High Junior High Chinese Orchestra was awarded "Gold with Honours" at the 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011 SYF Central Judging.

The Dunman High Senior High Chinese Orchestra has been established only since the start of the school's Integrated Programme. It took part in its first SYF in 2009, and was awarded "Gold with Honours". It won "Gold" in the 2011 SYF.

Sailing Club[]

The Sailing Club was formed as a student-initiated CCA for the senior high section in 2008, obtaining funding from MOE's Co-Curricular Activities Branch Sea Sports Programme.[17] The club recruits sailors who go on to compete at the National Interschools Sailing Competition.[18]



  • Josephine Teo (Mrs): Minister of Manpower & Member of Parliament for Jalan Besar GRC
  • Alex Yam: Head, Young NTUC & Member of Parliament for Chua Chu Kang Group Representation Constituency
  • Low Yen Ling (Ms): CEO, Business China & Member of Parliament for Chua Chu Kang Group Representation Constituency
  • Dr Ong Seh Hong: Former Member of Parliament
  • Chia Ti Lik: Lawyer; Secretary-General, Socialist Front


  • Douglas Foo: Founder, Sakae Sushi; Entrepreneur of the Year, 1992[19]


  • Sng Chern Wei: Principal, Dunman High School, 2004–2009; President's Scholar, 1989
  • Dr Foo Suan Fong: Principal, Nan Hua High School (2004–2009), Dunman High School (2010–Present)
  • Tan Bao Jia (Ms): President's Scholar, 2009[20]

Entertainment and The Arts[]

  • Michelle Chong (Ms): Actress/Compere, Mediacorp; Winner, Best Comedy Performance (Highly Commended), Asian Television Awards, 2008 [21]
  • Otelli Edwards (Ms): Newscaster, Mediacorp
  • Vincy Chan (Ms): Hong Kong singer
  • Ho Kah Wye (Ms), Loo Eng Teck (Ms) and Linda Ong (Ms): members of rock band, Lunarin [22]


  1. Template:Cite web
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  4. Template:Cite book
  5. 5.0 5.1 Template:Cite web
  6. Template:Cite web
  7. Template:Cite web
  8. Template:Cite web
  10. Template:Cite web
  11. DHS Handbook 2009.
  12. Template:Cite web
  13. Template:Cite web
  14. Template:Cite web
  15. Template:Cite web
  16. Template:Cite web
  17. Template:Cite web
  18. Template:Cite news
  19. Template:Cite news
  20. Template:Cite news
  21. Tan, Lorna (19 August 2008). "She doesn't stint on the three Fs". The Straits Times (Singapore).
  22. "Lunarin, The Chrysalis" (press release).

External links[]

Template:Pre-university centres and post-secondary institutes in Singapore