Ms Grace came to talk to the Grade 1's this week and answer our questions about the history of ISS and the surrounding land.
ISS was founded in 1981. We started with only 8 students and it was not here at Paterson. It was on Preston Road. It was an old school that belonged to the government. There are about 500 students at this campus now, and the majority come from the elementary school.
This block here used to be the teacher training college. The Middle School used to be the Civil Defence.
Johnny: The elementary school has 500, or the Elementary School and the Middle School has 500?
Ms Grace: The Elementary School and the Middle School have 500. The Elementary School has over 300. There are about 700 students in all with the three campuses.
The present staff lounge used to be the canteen for the staff.
In 1995, the Elementary school only moved here.
The school also had an American college and they used to use the canteen too. One of the Grade 5 classrooms used to be a lounge for the American college students.
Johnny: In 1981, where was the canteen?
Ms Grace: I don't think there was a canteen. I think people brought their lunch from home.
We started with only 1 grade.
Even the school uniforms were different.
In 2005 the sandpit was built.
The Art room used to be the library. It has also int he past been used as the staff room.
Johnny: When did the people in the photo come to the school?
Ms Grace: They've all been here for over 5 years.
Adam: When was the playground made?
Ms Grace: When we came they had hopscotch and the basketball court. The new ones will be the K1 area. That is very new. Oh and one of the slides was replaced when it was damaged by a tree last year.
The Music room is probably the same place.
Our chairman used to be a politician with Lee Kuan Yew. He encouraged the chairmen to start up an international school.
Teddy: Did you still learn Mandarin?
Ms Grace: Yes, but it used to be twice a week before. Now it's three times a week, right?
Adam: When was the bathroom made?
Ms Grace: They've always been there.
Emanie: What about the field?
Ms Grace: The field was there too.
The library has always been there too, I think.
Teddy: Did you have desks or still tables?
Ms Grace: Always tables, never individual desks. International schools do not use individual desks.
The playground changed gradually.
Griff: Where there balls and stuff?
Ms Grace: Yes, there was always some equipment, but it was not as new as now.
Griff: Which teacher has been here the longest?
Ms Grace: Ms Hazel has been here 16 years and Ms Advesh Singh left last year but she had been for about 22 years.
The nurse room was opposite Mr Pinchbeck, in Mr Walsh's room. The old nurse room was the conference room for admissions.
Griff: Why are the two principal's offices together?
Ms Grace: Dr Alvarez thinks there should be an administration hub.
Emanie: Was there assembly?
Ms Grace: Yes, every Friday. The old principal would use his guitar and sing.
There was always a main teacher and an assistant teacher.
Arwyn: Was there the same ISS song?
Ms Grace: No, it started about 5 years ago.
Claire: Who was the last principal?
Ms Grace: Julia Alden.
Griff: Where there more classrooms or offices?
Ms Grace: Classrooms definitely.
Arwyn: Were there always buses?
Ms Grace: Yes, but we outsourced to other companies.
The library has changed tremendously.
The fish tanks have always been here, not in that place, but in the school.
Immediately next to us was OFS, another international school. Before that it used to be a family court. It was very big. Now it's going to be the new MRT line. There are about 500 trees on the property that will be or have been cut down. They are building the Thompson Line. Before there was a path to lead you to the bus stop.