St Francis Methodist School (SFMS) has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a school for girls founded by Mrs Harriet T Doraisamy in 1960. With her unstinting dedication, tenacity and resolve, the pioneering class of 27 girls evolved into a lasting legacy that has seen thousands of young minds venture into the adult world. With God’s grace, SFMS has grown into a mature and well-respected institution with a reputation for all-round excellence and a caring environment. In 1994, when Mrs Dorisamy handed the school over to The Methodist Church in Singapore upon her retirement, the Methodist Mission opened up new educational possibilities for the school and enabled it to take its vision to higher levels. Starting almost from ground zero in 1995 with just 30 students left over from the girls’ school and a staff of less than five, SFMS grew steadily, boosted by the energy and enthusiasm of staff with a passion for education.
During an era where the standard fast-track route was the norm, SFMS broke new ground by making education accessible to everyone, including those in need of a second chance. By accepting both local and overseas students who may not be able to find a place in government schools, SFMS unlocked their doors to hundreds of students with academic potential, filling a significant niche in Singapore’s still-evolving education system in the mid-1990s. SFMS also attracted many good students with its gentler and more holistic approach to education that placed equal emphasis on moral as well as academic development.
Indeed, the distinctive hallmark of the SFMS till today is its flexible approach to education that gives students the option of choosing from several academic journeys that included the Pearson Edexcel International GCSE programme, Upper Secondary Australian Matriculation Programme (AUSMAT) or Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘O’ Levels, the Pearson Edexcel International Advanced Level or Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) as well as Pearson BTEC Level 5 HND Diploma course. It is this flexibility that makes SFMS an attractive educational institution to students from foreign countries, which make up the majority of the school’s student body. Till today, SFMS continues to offer this diversity of educational choices without compromising on quality.
SFMS has remained a relatively small school with an emphasis on “family”. The cornerstone of SFMS is the education of the soul – parents who send their children here know that this is a school that wants to turn out students of good character, who will be useful members of society. With Methodist values at the core of the school’s approach to character development, a comprehensive pastoral care programme, as well as chapel, devotions and daily prayers, are as much part of school life at SFMS as academic lectures and group discussions. This caring, accepting environment that nurtures the whole person is what makes SFMS unique, for the school aims to bring out the best in its students by accepting them for what they are and imbuing them with confidence and can-do spirit which allows them to follow their dreams and soar to new heights.
As SFMS continues to grow and make greater strides in the millennium, it does so with sails at full mast, bolstered by winds of hope and optimism. Knowing that competition is here to stay, the school strives to be relevant and adapt to the needs of society, while remaining firmly committed to the aim of making education accessible to all. With a cosmopolitan team hailing from different countries, the hard work and dedication of both the teaching and administrative staff will continue to steer SFMS to a successful future.
As we live by faith according to the grace of God, we will be able to survive and even triumph over change and adversity. May God bless SFMS as we seek to grow in His glory.