New year, new uniform for West Spring Primary pupils
Pupils at West Spring Primary School start new school year with new school outfit
For the past two years, West Spring Primary School pupil Ernest Tay, eight, has been attending school in his physical education (PE) attire.
That changed earlier this month when Ernest and 209 other Primary 3 pupils finally got to wear their first proper school uniform.
The new purplish-blue top and dark grey bottoms, designed by two students from the Temasek Polytechnic (TP) School of Design, took two years to become a reality.
The primary school wanted to involve all stakeholders - pupils, parents, the school advisory committee members and staff - in selecting its design.
Mrs Jacinta Lim, principal of the primary school, said: "We decided (to let) students wear the PE attire as it's more comfortable and their movements wouldn't be restricted.
"However, later on, we realised it was a bit too informal and decided to design a school uniform that would make the students look smarter and have a sense of pride in their school," she said.
The pupils will wear the uniform only when they begin Primary 3.
Primary 1 and 2 pupils will wear the PE attire every day as their curricula are more activity-based.
Mrs Lim first met the TP students, Miss Tiffany Ng and Miss Ho Bao Yiing, who are both 20, in late 2013 when they were on a temporary job assignment.
She found out that the girls were design students and asked them to sketch out some designs for the school's consideration, which the duo excitedly agreed to do.
Miss Ho said: "We were excited to get an opportunity like this as it was our first major design project outside school, where we get to design new school uniforms for the next generation of students."
The pair said that while it was a challenge juggling the project with their own school commitments, they were honoured to be involved.
They came up with seven prototypes.
Mrs Lim said: "We gave ourselves some time to complete the design of the uniform as we didn't want to rush things and we wanted everyone to be involved in the process.
"The whole school voted for their favourite colour and design, with the final design being confirmed based on the majority of votes."
As everyone had a say in the design, both parents and pupils of the school were happy with the end result.
Ernest's mother, Mrs Serene Tay, 28, a research coordinator, said: "Two years ago, when we (parents) found out that our children were going to wear the PE attire every day to school, we were okay with it as we understand that it'll be more comfortable.
"But we're also open to the fact that the school decided to have a school uniform and it's great that they involved everyone in the design process."
She added: "I like the colour and design of the uniform as it's different and striking from other school uniforms."
Teo Zhi Ling, a Primary 3 pupil, said: "I like how the uniform is as comfortable as our PE attire.
"The skort (a pair of shorts with a fabric panel resembling a skirt covering the front) is my favourite part of the uniform."
Ernest had a more practical reason for liking the design.
He said with a smile: "Since the colour is dark, no one can see if the uniform is dirty."
The whole school voted for their favourite colour and design, with the final design being confirmed based on the majority of votes.
- Mrs Jacinta Lim, principal of West Spring Primary School