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The school's name 'Zhonghua' originated from the old name for 'Chung Hwa Girls' School' founded by a Chinese clan association in 1911 to provide a basic education for the children of the Chinese community. It was developed into a full school in 1951. The primary school site was at Niven Road and the secondary school site was at Bartley Road with the new name "Chung Hwa Girls' High School". It became a government-aided school in 1957. In 1962, to promote better school management, the classes at the two sites had separate principals.
In 1980, Chung Hua Girls' Primary School at Niven Road was closed down due to declining enrolment which was a consequence of parental demand for English-medium schools. However, Chung Hwa Girls' High School accepted its first intake of English-medium pupils. The School moved to Serangoon Avenue 4 in December 1986 and was renamed "Zhonghua Secondary School".
Zhonghua Primary School, based on the P101 design, was built next to the Zhonghua Secondary School at a cost of $4.6 million. It is equipped with all modern facilities. It is a government school which started functioning on 2 January 1987 as a single session. It was officially opened by Mr Goh Choon Kang, MP for Braddell Heights on 6 July 1989. The first principal, Mr Tan Eng Chai retired on 2 October 1989. Mdm Jenny Law, became its second Principal from 3 October 1989 to 15 December 1996. Mdm Zahara Yusoff took over as from 16 December 1996 to 15 December 2002. Mr Stephen Chua Tong Hee then took over 16 December 2002 to 15 December 2007. Mr Bucktha Seelan was next appointed Principal on 16 December 2007 and served the school until the end of 2014. The current Principal, Mdm Rostinah was appointed as Principal on 15 December 2014.
The school was extensively upgraded under PRIME which stands for Programme for Rebuilding and IMprovement of Existing schools between June 2000 and November 2001. The upgrading work has been successfully completed and the school is now equipped with facilities of the latest specifications.