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The ZHSS Humanities Department comprises of the Geography, History and Social Studies units.  Together, the department strives to impart theoretical knowledge while at the same time, promote critical thinking and inspire students to seek relevance in these subjects which they learn. 
In face of the rapidly changing world, the Humanities curriculum provides students with an opportunity to explore the benefits, challenges and interactions between the physical and human environments through the issues-based structure of the curriculum.  Students are exposed to a holistic mix of pedagogical approaches to suit the learning styles and abilities of each student.  In recent years, the inquiry approach has enabled students to embark on deep learning through questioning techniques, investigations, critical thinking, reasoning and reflecting about societal issues.  

Such inquiry approach is evident in the Humanities Department where learning is further enriched by bringing ‘lessons out of the classroom’ through the Geography Investigations, History Investigations and also the Social Studies Inquiry projects.  These projects require students to step out of their comfort zones in an attempt to address real world issues outside of the school compound.  Through the process, students pick up soft-skills by engaging in self-directed learning in research, practise collaborative learning in teams and employ the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in their projects.

The Geography, History and Social Studies units also engage in cross-unit sharings where teachers learn about the other units’ strategies of assessment and interesting pedagogies that can be adapted and modified to suit students’ learning in the respective subjects.  In addition, humanities teachers also engage in weekly Professional Learning Team (PLT) sessions to share teaching pedagogies and crafting learning resources collaboratively to ensure that the syllabuses can be made more accessible to students.   Recently, the department has embarked on different modes of assessment in order to monitor students’ learning more effectively.

To achieve holistic learning, students have actively participated in several subject related-activities and competitions.


  • Sec 1E & 1NA Geographical Investigation on water quality at Bishan Park
  • Sec 2E & 2NA Geography Investigation on housing estates
  • Sec 3E & 3NA Geography Investigation at East Coast Park and Orchard Road
  • A team of three Secondary 4 students participated in the NUS Geography Challenge 2017. Two participants won individual Gold awards while one participant won the individual Bronze award.



  • Sec 1E & 1NA  Field trip to Fort Canning
  • Sec 2E/2NA Field trip to the National Museum of Singapore
  • Nine Secondary 4 students participated in the War and Diplomacy Card Game Competition
  • Four Secondary 3 students participated in the inaugural History Challenge

Social Studies

  • Sec 3E Cohort visit to the Religious Rehabilitation Group
  • Sec 4E & 5N  Cohort visit to the Home Team Academy in collaboration with the CCE unit to commemorate Total Defence Day
  • Sec 4N visit to Civil Defence Gallery
  • Sec 3E Financial Literacy Workshop in collaboration with CCE/Post-exam Committee
  • One Sec 2NT & one Sec 4NT students represented the school in the SS NT FGD (Focus Group Discussion)
  • Five teams of 4 students participated in the National Stamp Competition


Department Signature Programmes

  • Fifteen students were nominated and represented the school and department for the Humanities Scholarship Tea Session with DD MOE/CPDD Humanities
  • Humanities department collaboration with the Talent Development Programme – in-house workshop on Information Literacy, Research and Public Speaking

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Sec 3 Learning Journey to the Religious Rehabilitation Group during post-exam activity

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Secondary 1 students conducting Geographical Investigation on Water Quality at the Potong Pasir Waterway