(Originally known as Li Sing Primary School, which was on the premises of the Old Northcote Training College)
William Arthur Cornell
9A Bonham Road, Sai Ying Pun
Bonham Road Government Primary School is housed in the former premises of the Northcote Training College in Sai Ying Pun. In 1938, Governor Northcote formed a committee to review the training of teachers in Hong Kong. The committee recommended that a full-time training college for teachers should be established and shortly afterward, in September 1939, the government opened the Teachers’ Training College, housed temporarily in a converted building that had formerly been the Superindentendent’s Quarters of the Government Civil Hospital on Hospital Road. In April 1941, the Teachers’ Training College was renamed the Northcote Training College and moved to the Bonham Road Campus, which could accommodate 144 teachers-in-training and 60 pupils from local schools.
During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong (1941–1945), the Northcote Training College was taken by the Japanese Military Police as its headquarters. In 1962, the college moved to a larger campus on Sassoon Road and, in 1967, was renamed the Northcote College of Education. The Bonham Road campus was then occupied by the United College, one of the three founding colleges of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. After the United College moved to its current campus in Shatin in 1971, the Bonham Road campus was returned to the Northcote College of Education in 1973. In 1994, the government amalgamated five colleges—the Northcote College of Education, the Grantham College of Education, the Sir Robert Black College of Education, the Hong Kong Technical Teachers’ College, and the Institute of Language in Education—into the Hong Kong Institute of Education at a new campus in Tai Po. Since 2000, the Bonham Road campus has been the home of Li Sing Primary School, which later became the Bonham Road Government Primary School. In June 2020, the Antiquities and Monuments Office proposed the classification of the Bonham Road Government Primary School as a Grade 1 Historical Building.
The buildings on the Bonham Road campus were designed by William Arthur Cornell, who was temporarily attached to the Public Works Department at that time, in collaboration with T. H. Rowell, the first principal of the Northcote Training College. The campus consists of the main building and a caretaker’s quarters. The three-storied main building complies with the rules and regulations of the Board of Education, England. It employs an E-shaped plan, which has evolved over many years and been generally adopted for the design of schools and colleges in Britain and America. An example of the Streamline Modern style of architecture, the main building is functional in its design and has minimal ornamentation, with only simple curves and horizontal lines. The central portion of the main building includes an entrance hall, a staircase, locker rooms, changing rooms, common rooms, a staff room, and a tutorial room. The western wing contains a gymnasium, a laboratory, handicraft rooms, and an art and music room. The eastern wing houses lecture rooms, a library, a principal’s office, and a general office. The basement has air raid shelters.