Dunman High School

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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.

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.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,with 10 teachers. In December 1957 the school moved to Dunman Road and was renamed Dunman Government Chinese Middle School.

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.

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