Raffles Institution facts for kids

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Raffles Institution
莱佛士书院 (Láifóshì Shūyuàn)
Institusi Raffles
ராப்பிள்ஸ் கல்வி நிலையம
Raffles Institution
School motto: Auspicium Melioris Ævi
Bishan, Singapore
Type Independent
Established June 5, 1823
Session Single-Session
School code 3009
Ministry of Education Institution no. 3009
Principal Chan Poh Meng
Enrollment approx. 2000
Colour(s) Green, White, Black
Common Driveway by RI and RJC at Bishan Campus
Raffles Institution

Raffles Institution is a highly-regarded secondary school in Singapore, often considered the best school in the country. Only boys can go to this school. It has been performing well in studies and sports. It was founded in 1823 as Singapore Institution by Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of modern Singapore. It is the school with the longest history in Singapore. Its name was changed to "Raffles Institution" in 1868. It has two sections, Raffles Institution and Raffles Institution Junior College. The current principal of Raffles Institution is Chan Poh Meng, who replaced Lim Lai Cheng when she left the school at the end of 2013.


Sir Stamford Raffles founded Raffles Institution on 5 June 1823, making it the school with the longest history in Singapore. Raffles Institution was along Bras Basah Road at first, where Raffles City is now. The school moved to Grange Road in 1973, and then moved to its current location at Bishan in 1990. The Grange Road campus is now the MOE Teacher's Network.


Institution Anthem

RI's school song was written in by E W Jesudason, RI's headmaster from 1963 to 1966. These are its lyrics:

When Stamford Raffles held the torch

That cast Promethean Flame

We faced the challenge of the day

To give our school a name

The eagle eye and gryphon strength

They led us to the fore

To reign supreme in ev'ry sphere

The sons of Singapore

Come heed the call Rafflesians all

And let our hearts be stirring

We'll do our best whate’er the test

And keep our colours flying

Let comradeship and fervent hope

With one voice make us pray

Auspicium Melioris Aevi

With God to guide the way.

Although the anthem refers to Prometheus and God, the school is secular. The inclusion of Prometheus is due to the literary allusion to passing the torch, signifying the importance of education while 'God' in this context is a historical legacy of the school's British roots. The current recording of the anthem is in the key of G Major.


RI's crest came from Sir Stamford Raffles' family's crest.

The gryphon - the purple-headed animal at the top of the crest - means stability and success. The lower half of the gryphon that looks like a lion means that RI is in Singapore, since Singapore also has a Lion symbol.

The school's motto, on the banner below the shield - Auspicium Melioris Aevi - is Latin, and mistranslated by the school as "Hope for a Better Age".


RI has won many awards from the Ministry of Education (MOE). RI has also won the School Excellence Award, the best award from MOE.



All students wear white short-sleeved shirts. Secondary 1 and 2 students wear short pants. Secondary 3 and 4 students can wear long pants or short pants if they want. On Mondays and during important events, everyone must wear a tie until 1.30pm. Secondary 3 and 4 prefects wear black leather shoes. Everyone else have to wear shoes that are at least 75% white.


Secondary 1 students attend a camp in January when they come into RI. The camp is 3 days long. Some Secondary 4 students accompany them. There are many activities during the camp to break the ice, build bonds with classmates, and develop the RI school spirit. After the camp, the Secondary 1 students are given the RI badge by either their teachers or student leaders. Then, they are full-fledged RI students.

Secondary 3 students attend a 5 day long camp in January too. The location is not fixed but some examples would be Sentosa, and Pulau Ubin. When they come back, they can wear long pants.


RI is 12 hectares big. There are six blocks in RI.

Administrative Block

The Administrative Block, now known as the Yusof Ishak Block, is the most important building in RI. People divide it into two - Administrative Block One and Administrative Block Two. In between the two parts, there are Lecture Theatres.

There is the General Office and Staff Rooms. There are also circular areas for people to study, and a big circular area called the Main Atrium for people to assemble at. There is also the ORA (Old Rafflesians' Association) Office and Heritage Center. There are also lecture theaters.

The Administrative Block is next to the Senior Block (where there are classrooms), the Science Block (where there are Science labs - we will talk about them later), the Junior Block (where there are also classrooms), the CCA Block (where there is the school hall, the auditorium and the canteen) and a bus stop. The Administrative Block was renovated in 2007.

Science Hub

The Science Hub has many Science labs. They are in Administrative Block One and also the Science Block.

There are normal labs for Science lessons and special labs for people to do researchTh. The HOD/Science office is also in the Science Hub.

The Science Hub was finished in October 2008. A ceremony was held to celebrate this.

Humanities Hub

The Humanities Hub contains classrooms for History, Geography and Literature. There will also be two circular theaters for people to speak or perform. It was temporarily open to the public on 23 May 2009.

Lecture Theaters

RI has three lectures theaters, an AV Theatrette and a Band Room. Sometimes, people have classes in the three lecture theaters and the AV Theatrette instead of their classroom, while sometimes, teachers meet in these theaters. The Military Band uses the Band Room for practice.

Infocomm Facilities

RI has many infocomm facilities. Infocomm is about computers. There are four computer labs, one Internet Lab for people to see how the Internet works, one Robotics Lab and one Macintosh Lab, which has special computers.

Junior Block

The Junior Block, currently known as Sheares Block, was built in 1997. There are four floors. There are:

  • 15 classrooms. People use the classrooms for both lessons and CCA practice.
  • 8 Seminar Rooms
  • 2 computer labs
  • English Studio. Raffles Players, RI (Secondary)'s drama group, uses it for practice.
  • 2 Chinese language rooms. People use it for Chinese lessons.
  • Automation laboratory
  • Classroom for Regional Studies Programme

The Sheares Block has a retractable roof, which means the roof can be opened.


The ArtSpace was formerly called the Design Centre. It comprises various facilities. The first floor houses the art galleries, classrooms, jamming studio, music keyboard laboratory, a Macintosh Lab, a drawing studio and a ceramics studio. The gymnasium, comprising training areas for gymnastics, table-tennis and judo, occupies the second floor, while lock-ups for the Uniformed Groups and the Guitar Ensemble are located on third level. The roof of the ArtSpace houses the school's mini-weather station.

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