HOME > THE GYSS EXPERIENCE > Instructional Programmes > Humanities



Every student is an ambassador for Singapore.


To develop students to have a strong understanding of values which define the Singapore character & to be a global citizen.

Key Activities

In line with our school’s aim of developing GYSS students to be leaders, thinkers, and advocators, the Humanities department provides many opportunities for our students to become confident communicators and critical thinkers.  We provide different platforms and an enriching learning experience for our students through our Humanities Week, Experiential Learning programmes and exposure to competitions and dialogue sessions.  We believe that through these activities, our students would gain substantial experience, hone their thinking skills, uncover personal aptitude 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 the environment through the use of Augmented Reality platform.  Such a 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 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 debunked. 

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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. At each of these sites, students learned how to formulate and test their hypothesis, collect data and form conclusions. They also had the opportunity to interview residents and tourists and build on their communication skills.  Through such experiences, students get to understand that research and data collection requires ample time and effort as well as the skills to build an accurate and unbiased conclusion.  

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1) Humanities Week

The Humanities Department successfully embarked on its augural Humanities Week 2018 which was held from the 9th to 13th of July. The programme attempts to raise awareness among students as they explore the boundaries of the three subjects, Geography, History and Social Studies. Students from all levels are purposefully engaged in a series of learning activities that enhances conceptual knowledge, analytical skills, and critical thinking. For our energetic Lower Secondary Students, the Historical Board Game and the Geographical Upword Challenges are platforms that facilitate the solidification and application of concepts learned within the curriculum. To facilitate critical thinking for our matured Upper Secondary Students, the Internal Security Department (ISD) Exhibition, Commitment to Defence (C2D) and its associated talks garnered positive feedbacks as the rich learning exchanges facilitated depth of learning through real-world contexts. In bridging experiences over distance to Guangyang Secondary School, both teachers and students were well immersed among the various exhibitions held by the department. One such exhibition was the Vietnam Immersion Exhibition which captures human and environmental processes, increasing the awareness of our local viewers who are yet to experience it.  The students’ awareness was also heightened through the morning sharing carried out by the Humanities teachers, who successfully draw relevance of their learning to a real-world context.

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2) Humanities Overseas Learning Journey to Vietnam

The Humanities department organised our 5D4N Humanities Overseas Learning Journey to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, in 2017 and 2018.  The objective is to provide an opportunity for our students to harness important life-skills such as financial literacy, public speaking, teamwork, and ICT. It also serves to broaden students’ perspective towards how historical development shapes societal and environmental concerns today. With the application of Humanities skills and critical thinking skills of current issues facing the region and the world, students cultivate civic-mindedness and appreciation of Singapore through the encounters and interactions with the local people in Vietnam. Students journeyed through Ho Chi Minh using their Social Studies, Historical and Geographical lenses to appreciate the cultural and social aspects in the city. This trip also sees students having the opportunity to have a school immersion programme with a local Vietnam school and do their bit for charity for a local Vietnam orphanage.

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Do follow us at our Instagram or blog: Humanities Instagram and Humanities Blog 

3) NUS Geography Challenge

Through participating in this challenge, students embarked on independent learning. The theme for NUS GC 2018 was “A Secure Singapore: Managing Our Threats and Opportunities”. This focus on the theme of security is inherently geographical and covers a wealth of topics (e.g. economic security, food security, climate security). The increasingly interdependent and integrated world engenders greater volume of flows – people, goods and ideas – across national borders and this brings threats and opportunities, prompting a critical examination of the challenges and tensions faced by modern nation-states in ensuring their survival and progress.

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4) Prove it Contest

The annual competition is in conjunction with the S.U.R.E. campaign, an initiative by the National Library Board to promote the importance of information searching and discernment. In the current backdrop of information overload, this competition allows our Geographers to strengthen their analytical skills in checking for credibility and reliability. They also engaged in gathering of data, making good sense of what the sources present before exercising an impartial evaluation. This national platform inculcates awareness in our students on the importance of discernment in this information-rich society. 

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5) Raffles Policy Dialogue

This year’s theme was “Our Racial/Ethnic Policies – How [Singaporeans can] play their role in creating a more cohesive society”. Three speakers from different stakeholder groups were invited to provide more insight on how government policies regarding race have shaped, and continue to affect, Singapore and its people. This exposure to new perspectives deepens students' understandings about the importance of managing race relations in Singapore. Participants then discussed a specific policy in sub-teams comprising students from different schools, before harnessing teamwork and public speaking skills to present their conclusions to a larger group.

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