Queenstown Secondary School started as Queenstown Secondary Technical School in 1956 as an all-boys technical school. It was then housed in Jalan Eunos School. In January 1957, it moved to Strathmore Avenue (they were only three main blocks) with 343 pupils in secondary one and two.
In 1959, all 92 of our first batch of pupils sat for the 1959 General Certificate of Education Examinations. By 1960, our school began to take shape of a technical school but facilities were still lacking as there were insufficient lathes and workshop benches. Improvements to the school building were completed in 1963. The addition of four new classrooms enabled us to have a proper library and reading rooms. Of the 200 pupils who sat for the Cambridge School Certificate Examination, 150 or 80% passed. The best student was Lee Yock Suan, who scored 7 distinctions. Ang Hock Chye was awarded the Yang DiPertuan Negara Scholarship, now known as the President Scholarship.
In January 1965, a Pre-University class was started to meet the new requirements into degree courses at the Polytechnic.
In 1966, Lee Yock Suan became the second Queenstownian to be awarded the President’s scholarship. Several others were awarded Colombo Plan Scholarships. The Queenstown Secondary Technical Alumni Association was registered. The construction of a 4-storey building, a hall-cum-canteen and 4 Science Laboratories were completed on 2 April 1968. The Minister of Education, Mr Ong Pang Boon, officially declared the new extensions open.
Girls were admitted to our school in 1971, making it a co-education school from then onwards. In the GCE ‘O’ Level in 1974, all 5 top pupils were from this lot of female ‘pioneers’. Two joined the National Junior College (NJC) while the other three opted to remain in Queenstown even though they secured places in NJC.
The first Student’s Council was formed with 12 members in 1976. New facilities were added to the school in 1977 in the form of two basketball courts in the field, one volley ball court between the two workshops, ten table-tennis table made of concrete and nine wooden tables in the hall. That year, we secured yet another distinction. Queenstownian Mui Chee Wai become the only people to secure a P1 distinction for Basic Electricity. He continued his studies in the United Kingdom. Today, he continues to render services to his alma mater by assisting in our Scout Troupe.
In 1980, newly clothed in a shining and immaculate coat of paint, the school was ready to launch the pupils into a ‘New Experience’ brought about by the changes in Singapore’s education policy, affecting in particular, pupils in the pre-university centres which offered only the 3-year course.
The School Executive Committee was formed in 1983. The Committee helped to air-conditioned the library and improved its facilities. A computer was installed to store information regarding the library. 1984 was officially declared open by Goh Kim Leong, Permanent Secretary (Education/Director of Education).
Our Computer Laboratory and Language Laboratory were officially opened in conjunction with our Speech Day in August 1985. our Guest-Of-Honour was Mr Lee Yock Suan, Acting Minister of Labour. Our Computer Laboratory was equipped with 26 personal computers sponsored by the School Executive Committee, the School Advisory Committee and the Ministry of Education. Our Language Laboratory was equipped with a teacher’s console and 48 pupils’ booths.
In 1988, our school was among the few secondary schools in Singapore to provide CoRT Thinking and Pastoral Care & Career Guidance to our pupils. In keeping with the philosophy of our school, in November 1988, we launched a 3-day seminar for secondary 1-3 pupils to participate in the ‘Growth Through Shared Responsibilities’ workshops.
In December 1993, the school moved out of the premises in Strathmore Avenue to a temporary site at 369 Commonwealth Avenue. This is to make way for the demolition of the old buildings and the construction of new buildings with up-to-date facilities. The new school is scheduled for completed in April 1997. The school has shifted back to its new building since June 1997 and is now functioning as a single session school.
In January 1997, the school was amongst the 20 pilot schools selected for the Thinking Programme by the Ministry of Education. The school also started on the Peer Tutoring/Group Study programme for pupils in Secondary 4 and 5 in Science and Mathematics in 1997.
In December 1994, our last batch of Pre-U pupils completed their education in Queenstown Secondary School. We are pleased that our last batch of Pre-U pupils did well in their GCE ‘A’ Level Examinations.
To date, 14 Principals and 12 Vice-principals have served the school. We have come a long way since 1956 when we started with only 116 pupils in three secondary classes and 227 pupils in six secondary classes, 15 teachers, 5 clubs and 1 uniformed group in borrowed premises.
We have excelled in both the academic field and extra-curricular activities. Keeping up with times, the school has been renamed Queenstown Secondary School since 1 January 1993.
The new school building and the QUEST Museum were officially opened by Mr Lee Yock Suan, Minister For Information and the Arts and Minister for the Environment on 9 July 1999.