In Aug 1879 Fr Jose Pedro Santa Anna de Cunha of St Joseph’s Church started a school for poor parishioners. As a result, the St. Anna’s School with an enrolment of 6 students opened in Middle Road. In 1886, the school became known as St. Anthony’s Boys’ & Girls’ School.
In Nov 1894 St Anthony’s Girls School with 73 students was separated from the Boys’ School. The First Four Canossian sisters arrived to run the Portuguese Mission school, and there the poor and neglected found refuge. The younger girls attended school while the older ones learned sewing and embroidery.
In 1895, a boarding school and an orphanage were erected and a new building added.Miss Mary Lemon was the Head Teacher.
In 1906, the school became known as St. Anthony’s Convent.
In 1912, a new wing was added to the school.
In 1933, a chapel and new quarters for the nuns were completed, and in the subsequent year, the First Junior Cambridge Class was opened.
In 1937, a kindergarten was started to provide shelter and care for small children.During the war years, the school became a refuge for the homeless and the sick.
“During day air raids, we open the front door of the Convent to let in all the people
who have gathered on the road and they shelter under the staircase.
When the air raid is on we pray the Rosary all-together and recite the Sub Tuum.”
(The Chronicler of St. Anthony’s Convent)
In 1943, the Japanese military police took over the school and the sisters were placed under house arrest.
At the end of the war in 1945, the flat roof of the Convent was converted into a Dormitory (Baby Jesus Dormitory) to house the war orphans.
In 1947, the private school in the afternoon session became a charity school for the poor, over-aged and slower pupils.
In 1952, the wooden convent was demolished and a 5-storey building constructed in its place.The following year, the new school was officially opened.
In 1954, a Science Laboratory, a Domestic Science room, a Library, Art & Singing Rooms, 12 classrooms and a covered playground were added.
In 1970, the Primary and Secondary Schools were separated administratively.
In 1971, Pre-university classes were offered.
In 1972, the School was air-conditioned for a more conducive learning environment.
In 1982, our “Normal” Stream classes were opened in Honor of the Vision of the Canossian Order of providing for the disadvantaged.
In 1989, hearing-impaired students were admitted to St. Anthony’s Convent to facilitate their integration into society.
In 1991, our peer support Programme was started with the aim of helping our Secondary One pupils to adapt to Secondary School life.
In 1992, the Ground-Breaking Ceremony for our new home at 1600 Bedok North Ave 4 took place.
In 1993, our Fine Arts Programme was launched to cultivate an appreciation of the Arts.
In 1994, the Normal (Technical) students were also welcomed into the school.
In 1995, both the Primary and Secondary Schools of SAC moved into their new premises at Bedok North Avenue 4, leaving the congestion and noise problems of Middle Road behind.
In 1996, the School was Officially Opened.
In 1999, we recieved our first Sustained Achievement Award for Academic Value-Added, setting a standard that we have maintained in 2000, 2001 and 2002
In 2002, the School introduced a brand new uniform to commemorate its first year of being a Government-Aided Autonomous Girls’ School. The year 2002 ended with a watershed historical event of the handover of Stewardship of St. Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School to it’s first lay Principal in it’s 108 years of History.
Sr. Cecily Pavri, being the last Canossian nun to lead the School, handed over the reins of leadership to Mrs Jennifer Loh, the incumbent Vice-Principal, on 1st January 2003.