Maris Stella High School

Maris Stella High School (MSHS) (Chinese: 海星中学; pinyin: Hǎixīng Zhōngxué) is a government-aided, all-boys Catholic secondary school with autonomous status. As a full school, it comprises a primary section offering a six-year programme leading up to the Primary School Leaving Examination, as well as a secondary section offering a four-year programme leading up to the Singapore-Cambridge GCE Ordinary Level examinations. Run by the international Marist Brothers at Mount Vernon Road, Singapore near Bartley MRT station, Maris Stella High School is one of the eleven Special Assistance Plan (SAP) high schools in Singapore.[1]

Maris Stella High School
Sekolah Tinggi Maris Stella
25 Mount Vernon Road
Singapore 368051

Coordinates1.3414°N 103.8778°E / 1.3414; 103.8778
Special Assistance Plan (SAP)
(Diligence, Determination, Loyalty and Courage)
Established1958; 63 years ago (1958)
SessionSingle session
School code7111
PrincipalMrs Woo Soo Min
Enrolmentapprox. 1,500
Colour(s) Blue   Black



Maris Stella High School was founded in 1958 by the international Marist Brothers to ease overwhelming applications for admission to Catholic High School.[2] The school begun operations with eleven teachers, running a primary section of 163 students and a secondary section of 124 students. Academic lessons took place in the afternoon at St. Stephen's School in Siglap.[3]

As enrollment rose, other schools were approached for assistance in lesson grounds. Between 1963 and 1966, Maris Stella High School functioned concurrently at different premises. Among them were Silat Road Government Integrated Primary School, St. Patrick's School, Opera Estate Convent, Tung Ling English School, and Jalan Kembangan Integrated Primary School. Numerous issues plagued the institution, both in administration as well as in conducting lessons, as the premises used were miles apart.[3] The school also ran pre-university classes between 1964 and 1975.[4]

Mount Vernon campus

On 22 October 1966, Maris Stella High School moved into a permanent campus at Mount Vernon Road. The campus was built with fifteen classrooms and a four-storey science block. A grand celebration was held to mark the official opening of the new school.[3] In 1969, the second phrase of the campus development was completed, consisting of an administrative block and a 1600-seat auditorium. In total, these two phases of development cost over S$1.3 million.[5]

In 1974, the development project for the expansion of the campus was launched. The new five-storey building for the primary section was completed by the end of October 1975, at a cost of about $1.1 million. The new building was officially declared open on 11 September 1976.[3]

A separate 3.11 hectares site for the primary section was acquired in 1982, which was adjacent to the present school building. A designated three-storey school building was built and opened in 1987, and that year, in order to cope with its large student population, the primary and secondary sections were split into independently functioning entities.[6]

Attainment of SAP status

By the late 1970s, the Straits Times reported that the school's academic performance was good, having a pass rate of at least 97% in the Primary School Leaving Examination, and a mean pass rate of 90% in the GCE Ordinary Levels. The school was also one of the few Chinese-medium schools in Singapore at that time not facing falling primary enrolment.[4]

In 1978, the school was selected as one of the initial list of Special Assistance Plan schools. The first batch of nine schools, including Maris Stella High, welcomed its first full cohort of Special Stream students in 1979.[7] That same year, the school introduced instruction in English for several subjects.[8] In line with the Ministry of Education's bilingualism policy of the late 1970s, the school introduced English-speaking days and requested students to speak English during assemblies.[4]

Autonomous status and the new millennium

In 1996, Maris Stella High became an autonomous school, the additional funds providing extra programmes and facilities.[3] From 1995 to 1997, the school moved to a temporary site at Mount Vernon Secondary School while the school was rebuilt.[9]

In 2002, Maris Stella High was designated as a Cluster Centre of Excellence for Information and Communication Technology (ICT).[3]


Name of Principal Years Served
J. Chanel Soon F.M.S. 1958 – 1981
John Lek F.M.S.[10] 1982 – 1984
Anthony Tan Kim Hock F.M.S. 1984 – 2009
Lim Choon Kiat Joseph 2009 – 2015
Woo Soo Min 2016 – Present

Academic information

GCE O Level Express Course

As a non-Integrated Programme Special Assistance Plan school, Maris Stella High School offers four-year Special (Express) course. The Express Course is a nationwide four-year programme that leads up to the Singapore-Cambridge GCE Ordinary Level examination.[11]

Academic subjects

The examinable academic subjects for Singapore-Cambridge GCE Ordinary Level offered by Maris Stella High School for upper secondary level (via. streaming in secondary 2), as of 2017, are listed below.[12]


  1. Subjects indicated with ' * ' are mandatory subjects.
  2. All students in Singapore are required to undertake a Mother Tongue Language as an examinable subject, as indicated by ' ^ '.
  3. "SPA" in Pure Science subjects refers to the incorporation of School-based Science Practical Assessment, which 20% of the subject result in the national examination are determined by school-based practical examinations, supervised by the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board. The SPA Assessment has been replaced by one Practical Assessment in the 2018 O Levels.[13]
Sciences Language & Hunanities Arts & Aesthetics
  • Additional Mathematics*
  • Mathematics*
  • Physics (SPA)
  • Chemistry (SPA)*
  • Biology (SPA)
  • Science (Combined)
  • English Language*
  • English Literature
  • Chinese Language* ^
  • Higher Chinese Language
  • Geography
  • History
  • Combined Humanities (Social Studies & another Humanities subject at elective level)*
  • Art
  • Design & Technology
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Music

Notable alumni


  1. "School Information Service (SIS)". Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  2. Sharp, Ilsa; Yan Poh, Koh (16 December 1978). "THE SUPER SCHOOLS:Tenacity and faith - that's Maris Stella". The Straits Times. Retrieved 19 November 2017 via NewspaperSG.
  3. "school-history". Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  4. "Maris Stella: Increasing enrolment unabated". The Straits Times. Singapore. 6 June 1978. p. 32. Retrieved 1 March 2021 via NewspaperSG.
  5. "$1.3 million wish comes true, and Brothers now have another". The Straits Times. 7 October 1969. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  6. Mei Kiang, Seah (8 June 1985). "Maris Stella to be split into two schools to cope with high enrolment". Singapore Monitor. Singapore. Retrieved 29 December 2017 via NewspaperSG.
  7. Lee, Kuan Yew (2011). 李光耀 - 我一生的挑战 - 新加坡双语之路. Singapore Press Holdings. pp. 97–122. ISBN 978-981-4342-04-9.
  8. "Maris Stella High goes bilingual". The Straits Times. 16 April 1978. Retrieved 31 October 2017 via NewspaperSG.
  9. "Maris Stella to have smaller classes from '97". The Straits Times. 18 August 1995.
  10. "Ministry of Education Appoints 60 Principals in 2009". Ministry of Education. Archived from the original on 17 October 2009.
  11. "Express Course Curriculum". Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  12. "School Information Service". Ministry of Education, Singapore. Ministry of Education, Singapore. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  13. "GCE O-Level Syllabuses Examined in 2018". Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB). Archived from the original on 28 April 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  14. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)