Established in 1950, the Teacher’s Training College (TTC) was the first permanent and full-time college for English-medium primary school teachers. Chinese, Malay and Tamil-medium teachers were subsequently added into the curriculum in the late 1950s. Upon its official opening on June 1951, the college was already training 1,300 students. Singapore’s independence led to a surge in school enrolment and the old campus at Cairnhill Road which lacked many facilities was deemed inadequate to serve as a campus to train teachers. Plans were therefore made for the construction of a second campus on Paterson Road, which began in 1954.
TTC moved to the new campus on Paterson Road in 1955. The modest and functional blocks were designed according to an efficient structural modular system to fulfil the functional purposes as a school campus.
Staircases were strategically positioned at the centre to provide vertical connectivity. The narrow width of the buildings encouraged natural light and ventilation from windows at both sides. The double-pitched roofs with extended roof eaves provide ample shade from the sun and rain.
The Paterson Road campus also welcomed a host of new facilities—a library, gymnasium, playing field, arts and crafts building, laboratories, hostels and two “demonstration schools” for primary students. In the 1960s, the college added a language laboratory, and additional facilities to accommodate the growing student population.
1970s and Beyond
The 1970s saw the establishment of the Institute of Education (IE), an independent statutory board which replaced TTC. TTC held its last convocation ceremony in 1972, and IE occupied the site from 1973 before moving to its new location at Bukit Timah in 1981.
The campus at Paterson Road subsequently became home to many other schools and training centres, some of which include: Raffles Junior College, Mass Rapid Transit Corporation, Overseas Family School, and American College.
ISS International School
As of 2020, ISS International School’s Elementary and Middle School take up two blocks of the Paterson Road campus. The students and staff of ISS International School come from diverse cultures and nationalities. The school offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the IB Middle Years Programme (IB MYP).
From training teachers to hosting a range of different schools, the campus on 25 Paterson Road has seen the development of Singapore’s education system and holds an important place in the memories of generations of students and teachers.
Buildings and sites featured on Roots.SG are part of our efforts to raise awareness of our heritage; a listing on Roots.SG does not imply any form of preservation or conservation status, unless it is mentioned in the article. The information in this article is valid as of June 2020 and is not intended to be an exhaustive history of the site/building.