Inside Eunoia Junior College, Singapore’s newest JC

When the name for Eunoia Junior College (EJC) was announced in December 2015, many made snide comments and called the name pretentious.

Some mocked the new school for having a name that sounded like “you know ah”.

But first-year student Kay Yeung, 16, is proud to be among the pioneer batch at EJC.

The students are especially excited as they had a hand in composing the school anthem, deciding what co-curricular activities the school should have and even designing the uniform.

Located in Mount Sinai off Holland Road, EJC had its first day of school yesterday, and The New Paper was there to witness the start of its orientation camp, which ends on Jan 12.

The 440 students received a warm welcome with self-composed school cheers and a mass dance performed by the student leaders and teachers.

Related: Integrated Programme vs O levels: 6 things parents must know

With no seniors to lead them, Kay and 83 others had returned during the December holidays to prepare for the camp.

Kay said: “I am quite proud that we could help develop the values of the college. But it was also a responsibility on our part.”

The word Eunoia, which is pronounced “yoo-noh-iea” and has Greek roots, means “beautiful thinking” and “goodwill towards others”.

Principal Wong Mei Heng, 57, told TNP: “I think when people had the chance to understand the meaning, they began to see how suitable the name is.”

Mrs Wong said the school is expecting a first-year cohort size of about 650 students.

About 440 Integrated Programme students from three top schools – Catholic High, CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ and Singapore Chinese Girls’ – started school on Jan 9, 2017.

The other 210 students will join them on the first day of junior college on Feb 3, after the release of the O-level results on Jan 10.

The school saw high demand for its Direct School Admission programme, with three to four students competing for each available place, said deputy principal, Mr Boy Eng Seng, 40.

Mrs Wong said: “While we are planning, we are also careful not to overplan so we can allow students to co-create with us.”

Related: Direct School Admission: Does it benefit rich kids more? 

She added that a sense of ownership will be important in creating the school…

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