Our Department Vision
A dynamic team who have a passion for engaging in life-long learning and who grow our students.
Our Department Mission
To equip students with the right values as well as critical thinking and communication skills so as to enable them to become contributory citizens with global perspective.
In line with our school’s aim of developing GYSS students to be leaders, thinkers and advocates as well as our department mission of developing our students to become contributory citizens with global perspective, the Humanities department provides our students with different platforms and an enriching learning experience. Some examples are the Humanities Learning Week, our Historical and Geographical Investigation projects, Issue-Investigation cum VIA project, Overseas Learning Journey and our Talent Development Programme. We believe that through these activities, our students would gain substantial experience, hone their thinking skills, uncover personal aptitude, develop the right values and confidence and be motivated to excel.
Engage through ICT
The Humanities teachers engage the students in the learning process by harnessing the use of ICT. For example, the Lower Sec Geography teachers facilitated students’ understanding of the river system concept and its implication on humans and environment through the use of Augmented Reality platform. Such platform allows students to interact between the augmented reality of the river and the immediate physical environment in the classroom. Likewise, in the teaching of Social Studies, teachers leverage on the use of Vodcast to get students to explore societal concerns such as the existence of Stereotyping in our society and its implication. Through this mode, students are encouraged to voice their opinions and suggestions on how such stereotyping could be de-bunked.
Engage thro’ Experiential Learning
In making the learning of Geography a more authentic experience, students were given the opportunities to embark on fieldwork studies at Singapore River, Bishan Neighbourhood and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. However, when the Covid pandemic hit us, we could no longer do so but we are not about to deprive our students from learning.
To work around them being unable to interview international tourists due to Covid, students embark on an inquiry learning of Tourism through a 360 virtual learning experience of Marina Bay-Singapore River. Meanwhile our Secondary 3 students embarked on a Geographical Investigation in GYSS school compound to understand the microclimates within the school. Harnessing deductive learning, students used a specific weather instrument to assist them in their investigation and produced a video to demonstrate how the instrument was used.
Issue Investigation- Values in Action Project 2021
The Social Studies and Values in Action (VIA) teams came together to provide an authentic learning experience for our Secondary 3E and 3NA students. The students learnt about the needs of their beneficiaries – migrant workers, the elderly, and the disabled – through interviews and data gathering. At the end of their investigation, the students conducted a Value-In-Action project to meet the needs of their beneficiaries.
Our Sec 3 students interviewing a migrant worker as part of their investigation into their needs.
‘From this SS-VIA project investigating on Migrant workers, I have learnt about the working conditions of migrant workers and their day to day lives. I feel sympathetic towards them and have learnt to appreciate them more. Moreover, I have learnt the value of teamwork and what it is like to do something meaningful and help people. It is a great feeling.’ - 3E1 students
1) Humanities Week 2021 : Uncolour the world
Sec 4-5 Amazing Humanities Race
Reinforcing the skills and content covered across the Humanities subjects including POA and EBS through engaging activities like crossword puzzles and mix-and-match on Decktoys, and even a chapteh match!
Sec 3-5 CPF Financial Literacy
Through a Financial Literacy workshop and a game application, our upper secondary learnt about financial planning skills and how CPF can be useful for their future. The workshop also provided an insight into government initiatives that help to bridge differences by ensuring that all its citizens, regardless of race, religion and socio-economic status, have the ability to pay for their medical bills, housing, education and retirement.
2) EU @ GYSS
We partnered with European Union (EU) representatives for a second edition of the 'EU at Your School' project.
Though it was conducted virtually, our students still had a great time interacting with Mr Hubbe, and learning more about the rich and diverse cultures of Europe.
3) Ethics Olympiad Competition 2021
Is it acceptable to lie if you believe it to be true? This was one of the many ethical questions our two teams of Secondary 2 and 3 students had to deliberate on as they prepared for the Ethics Olympiad.
The Ethics Olympiad is based on a US competition called an Ethics Bowl, where students engage with each other and students from other schools on interesting and relevant cases.
As our students prepared themselves for the Ethics Olympiad through a series of workshops, online trainings and even a mock session with Woodgrove Secondary School, they were given an opportunity to develop skills in critical thinking, collaboration and communication. They learnt to work as a team to respond to questions while building and critiquing their own and others' arguments.
Both our participating teams received honourable mentions by the judges for their display of Ethics Olympiad values such as Respect. One of our teams was also given the Silver Award, as recognition for their impressive dialogues with other schools.
My initial impression of Ethics Olympiad was that it was just about debating and nothing more. However, as we prepared for the Ethics Olympiad, I found that it was more challenging as it required a lot of thinking deeply about each case study we were given. I have benefitted from my experience here as I can apply things learnt from Ethics Olympiad to what I am doing in school, such as coming up with clear arguments. -Denise Chan, 2E4
4) NUS Geography Challenge
Through participating in this challenge, students embarked on independent learning. The theme was “Singapore: The Journey of a Global City.” The theme is on Development, focusing on the local and global changes in different spheres such as social, political and economic and how it has impacted Singaporeans across the dimensions of space and time. Through this theme, students are educated and enlightened on the development of Singapore and its standing on the global stage while encouraging them to think of opportunities and solutions for the problems that lie ahead for the nation in an ever-changing world.
Kaden Lim (3E1), Keaven Toni Woo (3E1), Dzaqy Bin Faizal (3E3) and Kiirthanah Sarfoji (3E2) - our 4 participants in the NUS Geography Challenge 2021.
5) Virtual Learning Journey 2021
Our Secondary 3 students participated in a virtual learning journey to 3 countries – Japan, the Americas and Germany.
It was a meaningful 3 days experience where they learnt about the formation of Hot Springs and tourism at Beppu Hell Valley and had an intimate interview with a Japanese War survivor. The highlight of the Japanese virtual learning journey was the interactions with the students at Nagano Yoshida High School. It was an enriching experience to learn more about their culture and school life there.