Si San Public School was founded in 1937 to provide Chinese medium education to the children in Chong Pang Village (originally known as Westhill Village), Sembawang District. The school adopted Si San (西山) as her name, which is a direct translation of “West Hill”.
Westhill Village was located at the twelfth milestone at Seletar opposite the Sembawang Aerodrome. It was named by the government as Chong Pang Village in 1956 as a tribute to Mr Lim Chong Pang. Mr Lim Chong Pang was a businessman who served as a member of the Rural Board from 1929 to 1938.
The school was closed during the Japanese Occupation from 1942 to 1945. Si San Public School reopened in 1947 to allow the young children and youths to rejoin the school and continue their education. To accommodate the growing enrolment, there was a need to expand the school and recruit more teachers.
A board of directors for Si San Public School was then formalized, with Mr Lim Chong Pang as its honorary director. Despite having little, the community rallied together to contribute to the expansion of the school. Mr Lim Chong Pang also played his part by contributing a piece of land for the school’s expansion. A groundbreaking ceremony, officiated by a renowned calligrapher, 杨草仙, was held on 9 September 1950.
In the late 1960s, the demand for education increases, another fund raising was organized and it received overwhelming support from the community. An additional block was built with Lim Toh Road separating it from the old building. Some facilities such as staff room and classroom were converted from attap roofing to cement facilities.
Negotiations began with the Ministry of Education to convert Si San Public school to a government school. In consideration of the benefits and advantages for the community, the management committee gave their support and effected the conversion. In May 1984, Si San Public School became Si San Primary School and English became the medium of instruction. While many other village schools had to close down due to development of rural areas, Si San transformed into a modern school. In 1986, the government acquired the plot of land where Si San Primary School was located and the school was relocated to the current site. The school took on the Hanyu Pinyin appellation: Xishan, and was officially renamed Xishan Primary School.
In 1986, Xishan Primary School started to offer Chinese, Malay and Tamil as second languages. Previously, only Chinese pupils studied in the school. With the shift to Yishun New Town, pupils of several races made up the school population. Xishan Primary School played a key role in bringing pupils of different races together. On 11 November 1988, Xishan Primary School was officially declared open.
Since the founding of the school, the community spirit of giving and emphasis on the importance of education have remained strong and distinctive. From its inception in 1937, the school has been led by a total of 12 principals, working hand in hand with its dedicated staff to continually do the best for each cohort of students.
In 2017, the school completed its PERI upgrading, which saw the addition of a new indoor sports hall. The school also commemorated its 80th anniversary that year. Moving forward, the school will endeavour to cherish, celebrate and continue with the same community spirit of giving that has propelled the school towards excellence.