Our History


All Saints Secondary School is a part of the Anglican Diocese of Sabah. The development of Anglican Church schools was inspired by foreign settlers to provide education to their children. The Diocese also owns other secondary schools, primary schools and kindergartens in Sabah and also in West Malaysia.

Early Days

All Saints was built on 1 April 1903 as one of the earliest schools in Kota Kinabalu (Jesselton). Its humble beginning was in a borrowed government building that served as an office. The school was officially declared open by His Excellency Birch and Lady Birch on 22 December 1903 and it was named King Edward VII School after the reigning King of Great Britain.

King Edward VII School at that time, under the charge of Mr. Chai Ah Soon, was basically a one-man show, for he doubled as the headmaster and form teacher. It started with only about 30 students, all boys and mostly Chinese, and they were divided into five groups ranging from standard one to five. The students learned simple arithmetic, English grammar, reading, writing and Bible study. On 25 May 1905, the boys of the school were invited to participate in sports events organized by the police department. This marked the beginning of sports in the school.

Move to Karamunsing

As the principal and class teacher, Mr. Chai Ah Soon’s main concern was undoubtedly on the academics. But the school was multi-functional. It was also used to hold church services. Besides, meetings and social functions were held in King Edward VII School as it was difficult to find suitable premises in Jesselton for these purposes. Later, on 1 September 1909, King Edward VII School was moved to a land at Karamunsing, granted by the Court of Directors of the British North Borneo Company. The site of the school was moved to Karamunsing in 1910. The new school was built of wood, on stilts over the swamp.

The Birth of All Saints School

World War I (1914-1918) had a big impact on King Edward VII School. The government had to stop its financial assistance and parents were unable to pay for the schooling expenses. Thus, the School Board temporarily closed the school. On 1 February 1923, Rev. C.J. Collis reopened the school and renamed it as All Saints School, after the church where he served. He was the headmaster of the school then. In 1923, the 1st Jesselton (scout) Patrol was formed by Rev. C.J. Collis in All Saints School. Boarding facilities became available in All Saints on 1 May 1930. In December 1934, Cambridge University Local Examinations were held in All Saints School for the first time in Jesselton.

Move to Likas

During World War II (1939-1945), All Saints School had to be closed again. But it was reopened in 1947 and received many enrolments from other towns. In October 1947, All Saints’ School was registered as a primary school with secondary classes (19 students in secondary one and seven students in secondary two). In that same year, it was reopened as a co-educational school. In 1951, it reverted to boys-only. With the growing number of students, All Saints had to move again to a new location in Likas. In June 1953, the Governor of North Borneo, Sir Ralph Hone laid the foundation stone for building All Saints’ one-storey block. The building was officially declared open on the 1 July 1954 by Sir Roland Turnbull. By the year 1954, girls were admitted to the secondary classes that were previously monopolized by the boys. The boys’ hostel was built in 1955 and a second hostel was built in 1963 for a growing number of students from other parts of Sabah.


All Saints was the first school in Sabah to teach pure science for Form 4 and 5 in 1958 and also the first to have a pure science laboratory which is the Chemistry Lab.[6] In 1959, the Cambridge Local Examinations Committee granted the school ‘A’ status; this gave it the right to conduct its own practical examination in science. It was the first school in Sabah to attain this status. In 1962, Bridge class and Form 6 were introduced. All Saints was the first school to start the Form 6 Arts class.

Between 1958 and 1967, the school had better facilities like laboratories, a new double-storey Domestic Science Block, a classroom and a library.

Meanwhile, there was a growing demand for classrooms and facilities, as the enrolment of the school increased substantially each year.


On 15 August 1982, Mr. Teo Then Wah became principal of All Saints.[7] During his tenure, a new multi-purpose hall was envisioned. The ground-breaking ceremony was held on 28 August 1983 by Rev. Cannon E.C.W. Rusted, OBEMA. On the same day, the foundation stone of the new multipurpose hall was laid by Rt. Rev. Luke H.S. Chhoa. On 8 November 1986, the occupation certificate of the All Saints hall was handed to Rev. Canon Lee by the president of City Council of Kota Kinabalu, Datuk Peter D. Cheong. During Mr. Teo’s time in office, a five-storey block was built. Fund-raising activities for the building were initiated by the school’s alumni association. On 14 October 1992, the ground-breaking ceremony was officiated by Datuk Wilfred Bumburing. Datuk Rev. Bishop Yong Ping Chung laid the foundation stone for the new building. On the same day, Datuk Wilfred and Datuk Rev. Bishop Yong unveiled a plaque, to mark the start of construction work the building. The five-storey classroom block was completed in June 1995. It was named Wisma All Saints. It houses a staff room, a library on the top floor, a canteen on the ground floor and science laboratories on the first floor. The handling of the Occupation Certificate was held on 18 December 1995. Mr. Teo Then Wah retired on 10 September 2001; he was the longest-serving principal in All Saints’ history.

21st century

Mr. Ronnie Khoo became principal in 2001. Under his term, All Saints produced winners in many inter-school competitions such as the Sabah Inventors Exhibition, National Science Quiz and Inter-Schools Science Competitions. Mr. Khoo returned the school to its traditional past, reintroducing the school song and emphasizing English as the medium of conversation.

The School’s First Headmistress

The school’s first lady principal, Datin Lorna Mathews, served the school in 2003, when it celebrated its 100th anniversary. During her tenure the administration office and the staff rooms were renovated and expanded. She also developed the Form 6 Block, the workshop, the school archive, the conference room, the chapel, the new grandstand, the covered walkway and the installation of the closed-circuit television camera (CCTV). She upgraded all of the students’ and teachers’ washrooms, the classrooms, the floor tiling and improved the school landscape. In addition, she had initiated Form 6 Graduation Ceremony and made the Prefects Installation Ceremony a special function on its own.

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