Developing Principled Leaders

Others before Self; Honour above Duty; Leadership by Example

In CHS, our leadership development programme Heart of a Leader” is offered to both IP and OP students, and both tracks have the opportunities to excel in leading and serving peers and communities. The concept of ‘Leader’ is integral to the Catholic High experience, and it is rooted in our strong heritage of nurturing generations of leaders for the nation in numerous fields – public service, academia, culture, business and many more.

Through the curricular, co-curricular and community experiences and signature programmes, the Catholic High students are developed to become leaders who are visionary, grounded upon strong moral principles, and who lead with empathy and by example: to inspire, to serve and to leave a collective legacy. Whatever the pathways and opportunities, we take a stand on developing Principled Leaders who can touch lives and transform the futures of himself and others.

SLB Inestiture 2017 (650px)

Our Student Leadership Board – leaders with hearts

Pathways & Opportunities

Today, Catholic High’s student leadership experience is multi-faceted, anchored on an approach modelled after John C. Maxwell’s Five Levels of Leadership.

We believe that to lead is to make – and be – the difference, and this is the guiding philosophy that steers our student leaders as they helm our various students’ organisations such as the Student Council, the Prefectorial Board, the Class Management Committee, the Co-Curricular Activities Executive Committees, Ambassador Leaders and more.

The pathways and opportunities for leadership development are varied and dependent on each student’s interest and ability.

A student can opt to develop his leadership through:

  • his CCA;
  • the Student Leadership Board (SLB);
  • the Talent Development Programmes (TDP); or
  • even possibly through all of the above.

For example, we have students who are Prefects/Councillors, Captain/Sergeant/President of a CCA and also a leader in TDP.

  • These students went on to excel in both academic and non-academic spheres and were recognised through the Lee Kuan Yew Award for All-Round Excellence (LKYARE) for Secondary Schools. Our 2017 winner, Benjamin Soh was a Staff Sergeant in NPCC, our Head Prefect as well as an Assistant Chief Editor for our school’s Chinese student newsletter. Siauw Yu Chuan, winner of 2019 LKYARE was our Scouts Troop Leader and a Prefect serving the school. One of our Class Chairmen, Damien Kang, also a Scouts Troop Leader won the LKYARE in 2020.

“In my years in Catholic High School, I met many different leaders, and witnessed and experienced many forms of leadership. Being exposed to a multitude of activities, in Prefectorial Board, National Police Cadet Corps and 燎原报 (Chinese Newsletter), offered me the opportunities to learn and practise different forms of leadership, equipping me with critical thinking and evaluative skills, and allowing me to hone my bilingual competency. Most importantly, igniting in me the passion to serve not only the school but also the community.”

– Mr Benjamin Koh Zikang (Catholic High Alumni/2016), Recipient of Lee Kuan Yew Award for All-Round Excellence


Our 2017 winner for the Lee Kuan Yew Award for All-Round Excellence, Benjamin Soh

Students with leadership potential can make a decision with teacher and peer endorsement, particularly around Level 2, on whether they want to pursue a leadership development pathway with their CCA (e.g. as CCA leaders such as Sports captains, Uniformed Group sergeants, Club presidents) and/or in Talent Development areas (e.g. as ambassadors/student leaders in our 华青班, CΩergy).

For students who are keen to volunteer their service to others at the school-wide level, they can also apply to our Student Leadership Board (SLB) as probates to be developed and qualify as Prefects, Student Councilors or Class Management Committee leaders.

Development Programmes

The school’s formal student leadership curriculum for our student leaders is the “Heart of a Leader” Programme. It comprises workshops on communication skills, project management, leadership case studies and scenario planning, as well as intra-school and beyond-school student forums, leadership conferences and community advocacy projects.

IP students also experience Joint IP Student Leadership Development with students from CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School and Singapore Chinese Girls’ School.

We also provide tiered leadership training through our CCE programme, so that at the lower levels all our IP and OP students can grow and develop a better appreciation of what are their own strengths and areas-for-improvement, and aspirations as well.

In addition, Level 1 student leaders who join us through DSA will take part in the Global Scholars Programme, alongside peers in other DSA talent areas. During this 6-month programme, they have digital exchanges with international peers from 8-10 geographically diverse cities. They share ideas and perspectives in online discussion boards, guided by a shared curriculum about an important global issue. The programme culminates in a local community action project.