Every school in Singapore has one. The school crest graphically encapsulates the values an educational institution seeks to inculcate in its students.
While schools in Singapore have standardised facilities and a adhere to a national curriculum provided by the Ministry of Education, they are left to determine their own identity including their crest design. It has given rise to myriad designs over the decades. Many are the works of the school's art teachers, who are often appointed to visualise the vision set out by their principal and colleagues.
As the first schools in Singapore were set up by its then British administrators in the 19th century, their crest designs took reference from English heraldry. They commonly included an open flame and book to signify enlightenment and the power of knowledge respectively. Schools were also founded by the various immigrant communities, such as the Chinese, who adopted the trends back home.
With Singapore's decolonisation in the 1960s, the newly independent local government embarked on an industrialisation drive and emphasised technical education to support it. This can be seen in the crests of the many new schools setup during this period, which often adopted gear wheels and other symbols of science and engineering.
The modernisation of Singapore over the decades has also seen school crests evolve into abstract symbols that are often no different from modern corporate symbols.
- Zhuang, Justin. Singapore School Crests: The Stories Behind the Symbols (2013). Singapore: Singapore Memory Project.