Our History and Museum


To be Rafflesian is to be a part of an institution inextricably linked with the Singapore story. We were founded in June 1823 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the Briton who galvanised our nation's emergence as a major trading centre. RI is also the birthplace of Singapore's National Museum and the National Library Board.

Progressive since the beginning, we welcomed girls in 1844 and began offering pre-university classes in 1886. In 1879, the girls' wing was established as our sister school, RGS (Raffles Girls' School (Secondary)). RJC (Raffles Junior College) was established in 1982 to take over RI's pre-university enrolment.


In 2009, RI and RJC re-integrated to offer a six-year programme together with RGS.


Our campus was originally located along Bras Basah Road. Unfortunately, the school had to move 149 years later as the building fell into disrepair. We moved to Grange Road in 1972, and then to our current Bishan campus in 1990. However, the legacy of our first home lives on as an illustration on the back of the Singapore two-dollar bill, and in the name of the complex that now stands on the former site - Raffles City.

You can find out more about RI's history on the Raffles Archives & Museum website.

Read our History-related articles and interviews


Raffles Archives & Museum


The RAM celebrates the rich 201-year history of RI. Its large collection of historical documents and artefacts is arranged thematically to allow visitors to experience our school's history. 

Please contact the RAM to arrange a visit or donate memorabilia. Alternatively, you may wish to visit the RAM's virtual tour

[email protected]

Year 1-4 Campus, Yusof Ishak Block, Main Atrium

School days, 8.30am to 4.30pm


RAM Facebook page
RAM Website





RI was established as the Singapore Institution at Bras Basah Road by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles.

The 1866 annual report reflects the school's new name as 'Raffles Institution'. 

RI's girls' wing is established as Raffles Girls' School. 

RI began offering pre-university classes. 

Rafflesians Lim Boon Keng, PSV Locke and Song Ong Siang are among the first winners of the Queen's Scholarship. RI publishes its first newsletter, 'The Rafflesian'.

The colonial government assumes direct management of RI, transforming it from a private school to a government school. 

The Old Rafflesians' Association is established. 

The school moves to Grange Road. 

Raffles Junior College opens its doors to take over the burgeoning pre-university enrolment. The RJC campus was located at Paterson Road.

RI is selected by the Ministry of Education to offer a school-based Gifted Education Programme. RJC moves to the Mount Sinai campus.

RI relocates to its current site in Bishan and becomes an independent school. 

The Raffles Programme is introduced as a six-year integrated programme leading up to the GCE A-Level Examinations. 

Raffles Junior College shifts from its Mt Sinai campus to Bishan, taking up residence next to RI. 

The school establishes the Raffles Academy, with the merger of the Gifted Education and the Special/ Express streams into a single stream.

RI and RJC are reintegrated under the name 'Raffles Institution'.

RI celebrates its 200th anniversary