Quality and Innovation – The Way to Success
The Humanities Department in Seng Kang Secondary School believes that authentic learning and student engagement are the key to developing students for the 21st Century. Our collective aim is to create lessons that are relevant to the syllabus and yet are authentic. Thus, skills like Communication, Collaboration and Information Skills, and Civic Literacy, Global Awareness and Cross-Cultural Skills are continually interwoven into our curriculum.
To enrich students’ learning of the various humanities subjects across levels, the Humanities Department adopts a developmental structure for Humanities Investigation, the Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) way. The vehicle to develop these skills in students is through the IBL fieldwork/Investigation packages which provide teachers with the opportunity to align the Lower and Upper Secondary syllabus to facilitate greater depth of learning, subject mastery and progressive development of skills. These packages are used to introduce hypothesis creation and develop students’ skills and competencies, such as data-gathering skills in fieldwork and investigation, technical skills in using ICT apps, as well as social-emotional competencies.
To further enhance the students’ learning and enable them to learn Geography and History through more integrated and complementary perspectives, the Humanities teams have jointly developed and implemented our inaugural Integrated Humanities Learning Journey to Chinatown for the Secondary Two students taking the two subjects.
Support and Enrichment
Secondary 1 Geographical and Historical Investigation – Joint Learning Journey to the Marina Barrage and Ancient Civilisations Museum
The Secondary 1 students visited the Marina Barrage to learn about water quality in Singapore’s waterways as part of their Geographical Investigation. They had to observe their surroundings, sketch the human activities that would affect the quality of water in the river, as well as test the quality of water in the Marina Barrage. Through these activities, they learnt about Singapore’s efforts to ensure a stable and self-sustaining water supply. On the same day, the Secondary 1 students also went to the Asian Civilisations Museum, as an integral part of the Lower Secondary History curriculum; to give students the opportunity to analyse artefacts from the Tang shipwreck exhibition and understand the trade culture during the 7th to 14th. Through this experience, students came to better understand the significance of trade and the exchange of culture during in ancient Asia.
Secondary 2 Geographical and Historical Investigation – Integrated Humanities Learning Journey to Chinatown (Integrated Humanities learning through experiencing and appreciating the physical and social transformation of uniquely SG past, present and future)
For the Secondary 2 students, an inaugural Integrated Humanities Learning Journey to Chinatown was jointly developed by the Humanities teachers and implemented to make learning authentic and challenging for the students, and allow students to learn both Geography and History through a more integrated and complementary perspectives. Students conducted inquiry-based and sensory fieldwork to evaluate the concept of inclusive housing and developmental transformation in Chinatown. This Integrated LJ provided opportunities of sensory-based experiential learning for students to apply the fieldwork skills they had learnt in class to an authentic learning situation.
Students’ tasks included interviewing residents about the reasons why they choose to stay in the estate, and sensory fieldwork to discover the unique smells and sounds that may create a sense of belonging for the residents and field sketching of a landscape showing various types of housing in the area. These IBL tasks helped students to develop a geographical lens when observing and analysing their surroundings.
Adopting similar sensory-based concepts and interview skills, the Secondary 2 students also investigated Sago Street and Smith Street in Chinatown to learn more about the living conditions and economic activities of the people in the past and make comparisons with the present conditions. Students were tasked to observe the surroundings and also find out the information of the place and the changes it has undergone from the various information boards and shop owners and to create a video. Places that students were tasked to visit included the Chinatown Food Street, Nanyang Coffee House and Opera House Hotel.
Secondary 3 Humanities Investigation & Inquiry
Apart from the History Layered Curriculum research package on the topic of Hitler’s Rule and study of the weather and climate conditions as part of the Geographical investigations respectively, all the Secondary 3 Humanities students, in collaborative groups, also conducted Social Studies issue-based inquiry research to gain more in-depth understanding and better appreciation of the effects of immigration policy on Singapore’s diverse society.
Secondary 4 Geographical Investigation – The Civic District
In this inquiry-based project, the Secondary 4 students researched on the attractiveness of a local tourist destination when they visited the Civic and Cultural District as part of their Geographical Investigation on tourism in Singapore. Students were given the opportunity to explore the area and learn about its surroundings through the use of sensory fieldwork. They also conducted interviews with tourists and collected various types of data to support their investigation. Through their experience in the field, Geography came to life for them.