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Humanities Curriculum Innovations

SSSnap – card game created by the department to allow the students to understand political cartoons better.

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Geography Blog - Our Education Minister, Mr Heng Swee Keat, mentioned in his opening speech in the Humanities Conference 2012 on the use of blogs as a curriculum innovation in the teaching of the Humanities.

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‘The Serangoon View’ ( is initiated by our Geography Unit. It provides various links to our curriculum topics and opened up our Geographical views beyond classrooms, through each link. 

Humanities Games

The Humanities Board Game was created to infuse the fun element into learning. The games allow students to apply critical thinking skills, revise and apply the knowledge they have learned and most importantly, have fun while learning. 

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The department believes in sending students for Humanities competitions so as to stretch their potential. 

National Stamp Collecting Competition

As a department effort, teachers and students work hand-in-hand to take part in the National Stamp Collecting Competition. This competition gave students opportunities to explore the culture and the history behind the stamps of different countries. Secondary Three students were identified and given the opportunity to learn more about concepts in the humanities as they explored ideas and crafted a narrative with the use of stamps and other philatelic materials. The students were exposed to a rich world outside of their usual classroom environment. As a result of both the students’ and teacher’s dedication, Serangoon Secondary School emerged the national champion of this competition for the third year!

2017: 2 Gold with Special Prize, 1 Silver with Special Prize and 2 Silver

2018: 3 Gold with Special Prize, 1 Gold and 1 Silver

2019: 2 Gold with Special Prize, 1 Gold, 1 Silver with Prize, 1 Silver

National Earthquake Competition

Organised by Singapore Polytechnic, School of Architecture and the Built Environment

4 of our Secondary Three students took part in the 10th National Earthquake Competition which was organised by Singapore Polytechnic School of Architecture and the Built Environment. The competition aimed to generate students’ interests on the importance of Civil Engineers in designing earthquake and earthquake disaster mitigation. 

The students had to design and fabricate models made of Medium Density Fibre timber strips and boards, glue and cotton string, strong and sturdy enough to withstand earthquake vibration simulated on a 2-Dimensional Earthquake Simulator. When the simulator was set into motion simulating earthquakes of different magnitudes, the models were shaken to find out which would be the strongest one to withstand these earthquake forces. This competition gave us the opportunity to work together with the Craft and Tech department on their construction and specification expertise of our model. Our participants received ‘Certificate of Participation’ for being able to design a sturdy model with the given materials that was able to survive a 5.5 magnitude earthquake on the simulator. 


Danylle Mendoza, Kimberly Ambrosio, Lee Kang Wei Samuel, Sapkitjakarn Techid (3I6, 2019)

Photos: Our participants hard at work to build their model.


Some of the models showcased by other schools.

NUS Geography Challenge 2019 – Semi finalists

Organised by Geography Department, National University of Singapore

NUS Geography Challenge is an annual national competition for all secondary schools in Singapore, organised by the Geography Department of National University of Singapore. 
The theme for NUS GC 2019 is “Singapore: The Journey of a Global City”.
4 of our selected Secondary 4 Geography students applied their strong passion and interest in Geography in this competition.

As part of the Creative Component, they designed an infographic entitled ‘Meaty Journey’, to showcase how meat skewers have evolved over time and across the globe.


‘Meaty Journey’: Our submission for Creative Component, that derived 945 ‘Likes’ on Facebook.

Serangoon Secondary School was selected as one of the 40 schools in Singapore to advance to the Semi-finals which is in form of a Geo-trail all over Singapore. The advancement was  based on the participants’ outstanding performance in the Preliminary Round, which took place in NUS itself. 

Participants: Ashley Ang, Nguyen Le My Anh, Daniel Goh, Foong Guang Wei (4N7, 2019)

War and Diplomacy Historical Card Game Competition

We have taken part in the yearly Humanities Card Game Competition called War and Diplomacy. In this card game, players have to take a side in WW2; they join either the Allies or the Axis powers. Players are supposed to conquer the other side and protect their allies at the same time. Throughout the game, players have a chance to either use diplomacy or engage in warfare to attack their enemies or protect themselves or their allies at the same time. The fun element of the game lies in the fact that your identity as a player is known only to you. This means that only you will know which side (Allies or Axis) you are on. You will then have to guess who your enemies and friends are. One wrong move and you could have killed your own ally and helped the enemy. Or one masterful stroke from you could very well see the scales tipped in favour of your team. There also lies the presence of neutral countries that you can co-opt to help you achieve victory. 

This is an exciting competition for students as they get to learn how to make decisions that historical figures themselves got to make. In 2018, when Serangoon took part, we managed to come in 3rd Place in the finals, making us number 3 among the whole of Singapore schools!

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Learning Journeys

Learning Journey 2017

In 2017, students went on a Humanities Learning Journey on 23rd and 24th of February 2018, and on 26th October 2018. For the February Learning Journey, the Sec 1 students went to the National Museum and Fort Canning Park. The purpose of heading to the Museum was to collect sources for their Historical Investigation, as well as to develop an understanding on how the Singapore’s history is presented by the Museum. The journey to Fort Canning Park was to help students understand the British defences of Singapore during the colonial period so that they can better appreciate the need for a strong and capable defence in Singapore.

For the October Learning Journey, the Sec 2 students went to the Ford Motor Factory, Bukit Chandu, and the Kranji War Memorial. They went to these places to further develop their knowledge and understanding of the times leading up to the Japanese Occupation. Through this learning journey, the students were able to understand how harsh WW2 was for the people of Singapore and how they should not take Singapore’s safety and security for granted.

In 2017, the Sec 3 Express Pure History students also went on a Learning Journey on the 23rd of October. They went to the Ford Motor Factory and Fort Siloso. The purpose of going to these places was to help reconstruct the battle of Singapore for the students. Through this Learning Journey, the students were able to gain an understanding of the military history of Singapore. They were also able to further understand that history is not limited to their textbooks but that there also exists different types of history that they can uncover as junior historians.

Learning Journey 2018

In 2018, the Sec 1 students went to the Kranji War Memorial as part of their Humanities Learning Journey. The students have not been to this part of Singapore before, thus it was an eye opener for them. The purpose of this Learning Journey was for students to appreciate and understand about the harshness and realities of WW2 on Singapore. They also learnt that the reason why Singapore is safe today is due to the sacrifices and contributions of those who had lived before us. The students finally learnt that the British did spare significant efforts to defend Singapore.

While the Sec 1 students went to the Kranji War Memorial, the Sec 2 students went to Fort Siloso on the 25th of October 2018. They went to this location so as to learn about the military defence of Singapore. This was an opportunity for them to learn about the Japanese invasion beyond what their textbook taught them. It was a chance for them to step into an actual battle site of the British defence of Singapore. They were given a chance to evaluate why the defences were ineffective or otherwise.

Learning Journey 2019

On the 30th of May 2019, the Sec 2 Express students went on a Learning Journey to the Kok Fah Hydroponics farm. In the farm, they learnt about high tech farming methods that Singapore currently employs. This has been done to help overcome land shortages and feed its population at the same time. They also visited the Bukit Batok Hill to learn about the battles that the British fought with the invading Japanese forces there.

The Sec 2 Normal Academic students went on a Learning Journey to Fort Canning Park, to examine the historical battle site. They were able to study the powerful defences that the British had placed there to protect Singapore. Following that, the students went to the LTA Gallery to learn about public transportation in Singapore. They learnt on the future plans that would be set in place for public transportation in Singapore, such as RFID MRT fare gates and the new three door type buses.

On the 23rd and 24th of October, the Sec 1 Express and Normal Academic students went on a Learning Journey to the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. They were able to learn about the history of Singapore's nature. They studied about the various flora and fauna of Singapore's past. After that, the students proceeded on a Heritage Trail at Tiong Bahru that highlighted the rich history of the area and the conservation efforts. 

Learning Journey 2015
 Learning Journey 2013 | Learning Journey 2012 | Learning Journey 2011 

Humanities Publications

SG50 Booklet    


To mark SG50, the Humanities Department has published an SG50 Booklet for the school, and as a gift to the nation. The aim of the booklet is to provide readers with an appreciation of Singapore’s history through 50 years of nation building. It provides an account of a significant event that has occurred yearly from 1965-2015. Reading through the booklet, it is our hope that readers will develop a deeper sense of how Singapore has journeyed from tumultuous independence to become what it is today - a modern metropolis with international recognition and high standing in the world.

SG50 E-book

As a present from students from all our schools to Singapore for her 50th birthday, a commemorative e-book titled SG50 Reflections: Our HOpes &MEmories (HOME) has been officially launched by our President, Dr Tony Tan on 29 July 2015(Wednesday). The contents of the e-book comprise a diverse range of students’ works about people, places and events that feature six themes over a span of five decades.

Our school is proud to be part of the SG50 e-book project. The team of students that have created this section of the E-book was mentored and guided by the Humanities Department. The details of the E-book are as follows:

Theme : Memorable Spaces

Decade : 1975-1984

Topic : Creation of Hougang New Town

You may access our school’s contribution via the following link :


Our History curriculum reflects the vigor of the discipline of History. As an inquiry into the past, History seeks to offer an interpretation of a past event that corresponds as closely as possible to what happened. Through historical inquiry, students then pose questions about the present by engaging with the past and thus draw connections between both.

The revised Upper Secondary History syllabus aligns the value of History learning with the aims of the Desired Outcomes of Education by developing in students the qualities of a history learner through engaging students actively in historical inquiry so as to develop them into confident, self-directed, critical and reflective thinkers. Through the process of conducting Historical Investigation in the Lower Secondary syllabus, students have actively been involved in the discipline of History,as well as conducting historical inquiry. 

Historical Investigation

As part of their History education, students had to go through a Historical Investigation (HI). For their HI, students were tasked to design an End Product that would answer certain investigative questions. Their End Product would be to write a piece of historical fiction based on the sources that they have gathered. In their historical fiction, students are supposed to either write about the lives of teenagers during colonial Singapore or during the Japanese Occupation period.

Click on the following links to view samples of their work:

1NA HI Sample
2Exp HI Sample


The Lower Secondary Geography syllabus enables students to acquire the knowledge and skills to understand aspects of physical and human geography. They learn to explain geographical phenomena, environmental and social issues in different places and cultures. Students become aware of the appropriate values and attitudes required to ensure sustainability of our resources, country and the planet Earth. The inquiry based approach teaches the students to ask critical questions and think reflectively on the management of current issues such as water resources and traffic congestion in Singapore.

Upper Secondary Geography emphasises the integration of physical and human environments. It also focuses on the interconnectedness among groups of people, and between people and their environment. The Geography student can expect to acquire the skills of gathering and analysing information, and an enquiring mind to seek answers to issues affecting our lives and the world we live in. Geography students are prepared for their roles as informed citizens in the 21st century. Geographers make informed judgements and sound decisions through the analysis, synthesis and evaluation of geographical information.

Geographical Investigation


Students conduct Geographical Investigation at the lower secondary level to investigate geographical issues. They will analyze the investigation question, plan their research, gather and select data, analyze data and finally arrive at their own conclusions regarding the issue. Through this process, they will learn to evaluate and communicate their findings through the use of an info-graph. In Secondary 1, they will look at the concept of "water quality" before moving on to exploring the concept of "inclusive housing". These two concepts expose students to a wide variety of investigative methods and bring the real world into the classroom for them.

Humanities Engagement Programme

Humanities Engagement Week 2020

This year’s Humanities Engagement Week had to be shifted online given the circumstances of COVID-19. The Humanities Department collaborated with Music to extend our lower secondary students’ understanding of Humanities beyond the textbook and show how it is very much present even in a seemingly unrelated discipline. With the upper secondary students, the activity showed how information and skills learnt in History, Geography and Social Studies can be weaved together, showing that Humanities subjects are not mutually exclusive of one another.

We used the Escape Room and Quiz strategies to get our students' participation in the activities. With these strategies, students would have to be self-directed and resourceful to find information that are relevant to the activities.

Through these activities, our students were exposed, had experienced and were educated on various aspects of Humanities. The engagement week allowed our students to experience humanities not as separate subjects but one discipline. This further educated our students that humanities can be all encompassing and is present in various aspects of the Singaporean society.



Humanities Awareness Week 2019

Humanities Awareness Week 2019

The Humanities Awareness Week- ‘In Search of Us’ was conducted in school to raise students’ awareness on how Humanities is relevant in our daily lives.
A programme that targeted mainly Sec 1 to 3 students, it was one of the ways to get our students to get ‘Exposure’, enable ‘Exploration’ and to acquire ‘Education’ on Humanities subjects. 

One of the highlights was organising our very own Humanities Amazing Race for our lower secondary students.

The Secondary 3 students had the opportunity to make a trip down to Fort Canning for The Singapore Bicentennial Experience that celebrates Singapore’s 700-year history. From Singapore to Singaporeans: The Bicentennial Experience was brought alive by a multi-sensory exhibition that showcases key moments in Singapore since 1299. 
The trip was intended for our Secondary 3 students who study Elective History and Geography to learn about Singapore’s momentous evolution beyond the classroom experience.


Humanities Department
Head of Department:
Christopher Tan (History/SS)
Subject Head: Sabrina Teo (Geography) 
School Staff Developer:Jeff Mak Ka Fai (SS) 
Members:Cheryl Lau (Geog/Lit) 
 Daniel Fung (History/SS) 
 Gloria Lim (SS/EL)
 Goh Ling Pin (Geo/EL)
 Michael Francis Chow (Hist/Geo) 
 Ng Xuemin (Hist/Math) 
 Nur Ashirah (Geo/EL)
 Timothy Liew (Geog/SS) 
 Timotty Tay (Hist/SS)
 Yee Liang Chien Matt (SS/EL) 
 Charlene Lim (EL/SS) 
 Jasmine Chan (FCE/Geo)
 Lim Pei Yee (EL/SS) 
 Sheryl Lim (EL/Geo)
 Siti Sufiana (EL/SS)