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 About Us

AISS Humanities Department aims to develop students’ understanding of the past and the changing environments, emphasizing on the 21st century competencies that promote self-directed learning. In addition, it is also the department’s mission to empower teachers to deliver a learner-focused curriculum which is both engaging and rigorous to incite passion towards Humanities learning.

Through the use of a variety of pedagogies and assessments, we seek to promote critical thinking in our students as they are exposed to these subject disciplines: History, Geography, Social Studies, Principle of Accounts and Elements of Business Studies. To further enrich students’ learning experiences and to imbue the students with a global outlook, students will also be offered the opportunities to go for learning journeys and overseas trips.

To learn more about the programmes by the different Humanities subject disciplines, visit our AISS Humanities Wixsite here

To learn more about our Humanities student outreach, visit our AISS Humanities Instagram page here


Nurturing the Joy of Learning through Experiential Learning 

“Learning by doing” or experiential learning is one of the ways in which memorable learning experiences are created in AISS. 

In the Secondary 1 Geography curriculum, students learnt how different types of leaves adapt to their physical environment. Activating their sense of sight, touch, smell, students explore how leaves texture and characteristics help them to adapt in the tropical climate. These activities spark students curiosity to learn more about the rainforest and why this valuable ecosystem matters. 

As part of their Geographical Investigation, Secondary 2 students conducted an investigation to find out whether Yishun is a pedestrian-friendly town. This is in line with the Land Transport Authority’s ‘Walk-Cycle-Ride’ vision to develop an inclusive transport system where people can get around easily in a car-lite city. Students went into the ‘field’, taking photographs and completing a walkability survey to find out how comfortable, safe, and interesting the pedestrian paths in Yishun are. 

The investigation revealed that the majority of students concluded that Yishun is a pedestrian-friendly town as the pedestrian paths are lined with shelter to protect pedestrians from rain, and are at least 1.5 meters wide to allow wheelchair-bound pedestrians to move about safely. 

This investigation encouraged students to explore the environment surrounding the school, and better appreciate the walking infrastructure that makes their daily walking journey more comfortable, safe, and interesting. 

Developing Spatial Thinkers using Technology

The COVID-19 situation has posed limitations to group-based Geographical Fieldwork. However, this did not stop our students from engaging in meaningful activities that helped them visualize space. With the aid of technology and Geographical Information Systems (GIS), we brought the world into Geography classrooms. Equipped with iPads and interactive maps, students navigated different layers of information to learn about topics such as global water storages and the location of tropical rainforests around the world. Using Google Maps, students were also able to embark on virtual fieldtrips around the world. 

As part of their Geographical Investigation, Secondary 2 students also utilized GIS and digital maps to investigate what makes Chong Pang City special to its residents. Digital maps allowed students to learn about the age of HDB flats surrounding Chong Pang, and the range of facilities and amenities in Chong Pang City. Through student reflections and mental maps, students gained an enriched understanding of what makes Chong Pang City special to its residents. 

Watch how Sec 2 GI being featured in Esri Singapore User Conference 2020.

Read more here.

Humanities Trip to Yogyakarta, Indonesia 2019

During the June holiday break, the Humanities department conducted a 6-Day, 5 Night Learning Journey and cultural exchange programme to Yogyakarta, Indonesia for the Secondary Three Humanities students. The objective of the trip was to help students develop a greater appreciation towards Indonesian history and geography. 

The students visited cultural landmarks in Yogyakarta such as Borobudur Temple and Ratu Boko temple, which are classified as UNSECO heritage sites around the world. These locations filled the students with wonder as they were better able to appreciate the deep religious ties that the people had within their culture. In addition, visits to the Old Benteng Vredeburg Fortress museum also served to provide students with greater insight into the Colonial history of Indonesia for the students. Apart from historical insights, the trip also served to provide students with an experiential learning opportunity to discover the beauty and ferocity of mother nature as well. Through the use of jeeps, the students explored the various segments of Mount Merapi to learn more about the impact of volcanic activities upon the livelihood of people. Afterwhich, by taking a leap of faith, the students absailied into Jomblang cave and were amazed by the process of cave formations. Lastly, the students also immersed themselves into the cultural practices of the people by participating in rice planting activities and Batik making sessions. 

The students had great fun learning and exploring the sites in Yogyakarta. Through experiential learning, the students had gained a better understanding of the Humanities aspects of Indonesia and came back to Singapore with stronger ties among themselves and greater appreciation towards Singapore.

Secondary 1 Historical Project 2019

As part of the Historical Investigation (HI) weighted assessment, our Secondary 1 students spent an exciting afternoon visiting various field sites such as the Fort Canning Park, National Museum of Singapore and Maritime Experiential Museum at Resorts World Sentosa. The students had a hands-on learning experience as they were seen working hard while searching for suitable and relevant sources in these field sites to answer the Inquiry Question, "How were lives like in Singapore before 1819?" 

After the informative trip to the field sites, the students were tasked to come together in groups to collaboratively produce a mini museum exhibition that will help to answer the inquiry question that was posed to them. Keeping in mind the need to make use of recycled materials, the students tapped on their creativity as they display the sources that they have collected from their field sites visits.

Tolerating Ambiguity and Widening Perspectives through Historical Investigation (HI)

Students assume the role of judges as they were thrust into dilemmas in solving historical questions such as, “During the Japanese Occupation, were the Japanese always evil?” Their curiosities were sparked as they explored our local museums for answers. Our young historians were equipped with a balanced, inquisitive mind that would serve them well in making their own judgements in everyday life.

“Although we had a task to complete, HI was fun and a stress reliever for me as I enjoyed the robust interaction that I had with my classmates in the museum, selecting the most reliable and relevant information to answer the inquiry question.”– Madesh, 2E3

Outdoor Learning through a Geographical Lens

“Hypothesis”, “Data Representation” and “Evaluation” – these are some of the buzzwords used by our AI Thinkers during Geographical Investigation (GI). Students conduct a variety of investigations, from studying deposition patterns at Sembawang Beach to recording temperature patterns within the school. GI allows the textbooks to come alive! Our Secondary 1 students, for example, were pushed to not just collect water quality data at Yishun Pond, but to analyse the data, justify reasons for it, and even suggest innovative solutions to promote a sustainable environment. The goal is to create AI thinkers that have observant eyes and critical minds.

Humanities Overseas Trip

The Humanities department conducts overseas trips regularly to allow for authentic learning and for students to see the world through the Humanities lens. These overseas trips also make Humanities come alive for the students.

For example, a group of Secondary 3 Express and Normal Academic students went on a trip to Bali in June 2016. The objectives of the trip was to allow students to:

        1. Experience and learn about Balinese culture and history
        2. Inquire, understand and share the impact of tourism on Bali to the school through interviewing both locals and tourists. 

Visiting Bali was something new to most of the students and they had the opportunity to explore Balinese culture and the role of tourism through different activities in the trip. For instance, they visited the Uluwatu Temple which is the most spectacular temple on the island located on the cliff, and enjoyed the traditional Kecak Dance Performance which involved a combination of different Balinese dances. These activities helped the students to better appreciate the natural beauty of Bali and to see how culture and history could be preserved and used as a means to promote tourism. As part of the trip, the students also visited Rumah Desa where they went into padi fields to try ploughing the fields using cows and transplanting young padi seedlings from the nursery to another field. This has allowed students to experience how labour-intensive traditional agriculture is as well as to appreciate the hard work put in by farmers to produce food. Not only that, students also got to explore the effects of transnational terrorism on Bali by visiting the site of the Bali blasts in addition to getting first-hand accounts of how the Bali blasts have affected the locals. 

Through this experience, students gained deeper insights on the harm of transnationalism as well to appreciate the resilience shown by ordinary Balinese when faced with such a crisis. The Bali trip ended with a visit to a local vocational school - SMK 5. At SMK 5, the students had the chance to interact with Balinese students of their age, performed a dance item for them, watch more traditional dances put up by the Balinese students and explore how tourism impacted education in Bali as seen in the way SMK 5 prepared students to work in the tourist industry in the future. In sum, the students enjoyed the Bali trip and they have gained a greater understanding of the island through the Humanities lens.

Humanities Challenge

Humanities Challenge is a yearly event conducted as part of the SA2 post-exam activities for all the Secondary 1 Express and Normal Academic students. The rationale for Humanities Challenge involves increasing student engagement in the learning of Humanities as well as providing a platform for students to apply the Humanities knowledge that they have acquired beyond the classroom and examinations.

For the 2018 Humanities Challenge, the Humanities teachers have thoughtfully planned and put together fun-filled activities to ignite the passion for Humanities in our students.

At the History booth, Hitler’s Story: His Story, students worked together as a team to complete a crossword puzzle on general history before they competed to interpret various political cartoons on Hitler. This is not all as there was also the screening of a short cartoon clip which focuses on Hitler and his rule in Germany. On the other hand, the Geography Jiakkoppi booth saw students eagerly trying to showcase their knowledge of the world geography through a quiz. 

Using recycled materials such as bottles and biscuits tins, the Social Studies team of teachers simulated the Rohingyas refugee camps so that students were able to gain a more authentic experience of how the living conditions are like for the refugees. After exploring the refugee camps, the students were seen enthusiastically participating in the Humanities version of “Who Wants to Be The Millionaire” - Who wants to be the king of refugee? where students attempted to answer questions regarding the Rohingya crisis.

Last but not least, the Secondary 1 students were also exposed to the new subject discipline of Principles of Accounts as they visited the POA 101 booth. The students first had a crash course on the basics of Principles of Accounts before having a hands-on activity to classify items into their respective categories such as liabilities, expenses and income. 

All in all, through all the games, students were able to discover their interests in the different Humanities subjects and many also realised that the learning of Humanities is not that mundane and arduous.

7th Inter-School War & Diplomacy History Card Challenge 2018

Who says History is boring? History can be fun! This competition was the perfect platform for students to have fun as they dressed up in the historical character of their choice! Exercising great sportsmanship, our students took on the role of World War Two leaders to make tactical decisions to save their country. In the process, they gained better awareness of the decisions and actions of different groups in different time and places.

8th ASEAN Quiz

It was two months of hard work for our Secondary 4 students. However, when asked if they would do it all over again, all of them agreed despite the many hours of research. With Singapore taking up the chairmanship of ASEAN and leading the milestone celebrations beyond ASEAN’s 50th anniversary, the school sent three teams to participate in the 8th ASEAN Quiz (National) held at NIE-NTU campus. They competed with 66 other teams to reach the semi-finals, alongside schools like Raffles Institution and Dunman High School. Through their participation, students were inspired to play an active role in fostering economic and people-to-people ties, reinforcing our sense of togetherness and strengthening our ASEAN identity.

Organisation Chart

Mr Syed Faisal (HOD / Humanities)
Mr Siva Balan (HOD/ CCE) 
Mdm Jasvin Kaur (SH/ Geography)
Mr Teo Chee Siong (ST/ POA)
Ms Doris Lee (ST/ Geography)
Mdm Tay Liling 
Ms Chow Cai Wen 
Miss Theresa Ong 
Ms Farhanah 
Ms Nurul Aqilah
Mr Chong Wensheng 
Miss Lui Ying Jie 
Mr Tan Wei Hong