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Department Overview

Anchoring on the department’s core belief that Humanities is the window to the soul of humanity, we aim to develop a community of passionate learners of the Humanities who are critical thinkers and responsible global citizens. 

The department consciously bring about the exploration process in Humanities through learning through inquiry. By exploring the interaction processes between people and their environment, and the past, present and future, we hope to ignite the passion for the Humanities and allow our YTzens to acquire skills, values and knowledge and also explore, appreciate and understand human experiences and the world. Besides impacting skills and knowledge, it is also the belief of the department that the Humanities education in YTSS plays an important role in educating YTzens to be responsible and concerned citizens who understand the various issues, constraints and challenges that Singapore faces and are prepared to contribute and participate actively and sensibly in the community and society.

The department's approach to achieve the desired outcomes:

A Student-Centred Approach
  • This approach comprises of Teaching for Understanding (TfU) and Inquiry-based approach as well as the Skilful Teacher Framework to guide the teaching and learning process of the Humanities. Using pedagogical approaches like groupwork, deliberation, and flip classroom, the students are encouraged to be actively involved in their learning whereby they are required to ask questions, challenge assumptions, develop their own hypothesis and conclusions as well as be ready to defend their opinions and judgements with well-research data, information and evidences.

Experiential Learning
  • The teaching and learning of the Humanities should also take place beyond the confines of the classroom and textbooks. To bring the learning of the Humanities alive, the department believes in learning journey such as local and overseas fieldtrips as well as fieldworks. Such learning journey and fieldworks help to generate interest, curiosity and makes students highly involved in their own learning. This will help to enhance their acquisition of skills as well as understanding of knowledge and concepts. Experiential Learning also includes cross-cultural learning that will allow the YTzens to acquire cross-cultural literacies and competencies. Lastly, by sending YTzens to participate in competitions organised by the school or external organisations, authentic opportunities are provided for application of skills and knowledge as well as acquisition of new knowledge and attributes like teamwork.

Skills and Values
  • Through the teaching and learning of the Humanities, values as well as skills and competencies are infused and taught in order to ensure that the YTzens are grounded in sound values and equipped with cognitive, information processing, communicative skills as well as various competencies such as the 21st century competencies in order to be confident leaders, active citizens and global thinkers.

  • The various knowledge, concepts, skills and values must be taught and learnt in a progressive and developmental manner and this must be aligned to a clear process of assessment.

S2ED Framework: A department-based curriculum framework that encapsulates the above-mentioned approaches.


The S2ED Framework will provide the guiding approaches and principles to the teaching and learning processes in the department so as to stay true to the various disciplines of the Humanities.

The four to five years’ learning process in Humanities is facilitated through the multitudes of carefully- planned experiences. It is a journey of discovery via experiential learning, inquiry process, research and investigations which further develop the talent of YTzens, ignite their passion in the discipline of Humanities and instil an appreciation of the relevance of History, Geography and Social Studies in real-life contexts.

Mission and Vision 

A Community of Passionate Learners of the Humanities who are Critical Thinkers and Responsible Global Citizens

Key Programs / Enrichment for students

                               External Competitions:                                                                                                                      
AnnualNUS Geography Challenge Participation 
Raffles Model United Nations Conference
Secondary 1 Humanities Alive
                               Internal Key Events:                                                                                                                          
Secondary 1 Historical Investigation at the Singapore River
Secondary 2 Heritage Trail

AnnualSecondary 2 Geographical Investigation at the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital Participation 
Annual Secondary 3 Pure Geography Coastal Fieldwork at East Coast ParkParticipation 
AnnualSecondary 4  Geography Tourism Fieldwork at ChinatownParticipation 
Annual Lower Secondary Talent Development Program
'Just Follow Law' 

Special Mention

The Humanities subjects explore the interaction processes between people and their environment; the past and the present. Integral to this exploration process is learning through inquiry, a common pedagogy in all new humanities syllabuses. The department believes in making the Humanities come alive through authentic learning experiences and learning journeys, to spark curiosity and interest in our students for Humanities subjects. The department also continue with the implementation of Geographical and Historical Investigation at the Lower Secondary level and Upper Secondary Social Studies Issue Investigation and Geographical Fieldwork.

Geographical Investigation 

In the Geographical Investigations, students have to engage in authentic real life experiences and interactions in Singapore, analyse the data obtained and form clear conclusions. For the Secondary 1, the Geography Unit brought the students to the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital Yishun Pond to engage in water testing. As for the Secondary 2 , the Geography Unit witnessed the final stages of weeks-long preparation for the Geographical Investigation of Yishun estate by Secondary Two students from both the Express and Normal Academic streams. Students implemented interviewing skills learnt and developed in the classrooms, and displayed commendable objectivity in ensuring that they collected data from Yishun residents regarding their favourite places. Popular sites such as the Golden Village Cinema building, the MRT station, Yishun Hill and the HDB blocks within Palm Springs Estate were explored by the students, under supervision of all the Geography teachers. Data collected through questionnaire surveys, annotated photographs and observations were then analysed and presented in the form of reports and reflections. Upper secondary students also got a chance to do tourism related fieldwork by interviewing tourists at Chinatown and understanding geographical features at East Coast Park.

Historical Investigation 

In Historical Investigations, students explore a range of authentic sources to glean perspectives of the lives of people in the past and infer on life old Singapore. Students also navigate through various historical sites in Singapore and encounter authentic learning experiences which help them connect with their learning. For the Secondary Ones, the Humanities Department innovated from the original Historical Investigation project and came up with a Singapore River Trail for the Secondary Ones. Leveraging on linking the past with the present, the student went on a learning journey at the Singapore River to answer the inquiry question “Is the Singapore River a river of life?” For the Secondary Two Historical Investigation inquiry, the students took on the challenge of answering the inquiry question on “Did the Japanese Occupation bring changes to the lives of teenagers?” by leveraging on technology and ICT, the students first learnt about how the Japanese Occupation changed the lives of the people and shaped their views towards Singapore. They then dug deeper into the experiences of teenagers during the Japanese Occupation and how their lives changed during that period. This was achieved through individual independent research on oral history by listening to first-hand accounts from war survivors and looking at other primary and secondary sources like reports, photographs and official documents to make valid interpretations and inferences. The students then come together as groups to identify and locate the relevant information needed for the inquiry question. This culminated into their final product which is a creative video on their re-enactment of their conclusion.

Secondary Three Social Studies Issue Investigation 

The Upper Secondary SS Issue Investigation is a form of learning underpinned by inquiry which are: question-driven and evidence-based, and involves reflection and knowledge construction. The department focused on using ICT as a scaffold form of instruction for the students to encourage independent and self directed learning. Active teaching and Learning are done through the use of ICT tools and students are expected to collate and present their findings through the use of ICT.