The early chapters of St. Anthony’s Convent, came to be written when Fr. Jose Pedro Santa Anna de Cunha, decided to start a school for the children of his poor parishioners, on August 1st 1879. The school, a small house in Middle Road, was called St. Anna’s School.
The first teachers were Misses C.M.E. Buccanan, Margaret Dias and Mary Ann Rugguly. Then, in 1881, Fr Nicholas Pinto, the new director of the school, decided to build a larger building within the church compound, along Middle Road. On Feburary 23rd 1886, the new building was named “St Anthony’s Boys’s and Girls’ School.” The school still educated girls and boys together.
In November 1893, the boys were separated from the girls; this marked the birth of St. Anthony’s Boys’s and St. Anthony’s Girls’ Schools.
A new beginning for the school came about in 1894. On December 11th 1894, the first four Canossian sisters; Mother Theresa Rossi, Mother Justina Sequeirs, Mother Matilda Rodrigues and Mother Harietta Rossini arrived in SIngapore to take over the girls’ school. The school grew and with the aid from the Portuguese Mission, and subsidies from the government and private sectors, a new wing was added in 1899.
In 1928, a new building comprising twelve spacious rooms was added on. There were other extensions of the school. In 1953, an imposing edifice of five stories replaced the old part of the convent. Finally in 1971, administration of the Primary and Secondary schools, was separated and the schools were named St. Anthony’s Convent Primary School and St. Anthony’s Convent Secondary School. Finally, in 1995, the schools moved into their spanking new premises at Bedok North Avenue 4. At the same time, the schools were renamed as ST. ANTHONY’S CANOSSIAN PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL.
What started as a small project to educate a few poor children, has since grown and developed greatly. In 1995, the enrolment of pupils was increased. With better facilities, new programmes continue to be introduced to provide quality education and skills necessary for the pupils to meet challenges for the future.