Integrated Programme

The strength of Hwa Chong’s IP is in our ability to combine scholastic excellence with an outstanding range of opportunities beyond the classroom. Every Hwa Chong student receives a rigorous curriculum that emphasises leadership, character building, academic excellence, and creativity. 

The Hwa Chong Integrated Programme (IP) is designed by our own teachers who have years of experience teaching high ability students. Preliminary consultative work on our IP was done with help from a 34-member International Advisory Panel comprising 2 Nobel Laureates, distinguished professors from Harvard, Princeton and Cambridge as well as eminent industry captains.

Importantly, the school aims to provide a caring environment that is intellectually stimulating, secure, and joyful.

The seamless and broad-based 6-year IP is organised into 3 stages:

  • At Stage 1, students are exposed to a general curriculum that allows them to explore various fields of studies.
  • At Stage 2, students embark on a sustained and in-depth study of their chosen area of specialisation. The curriculum for the Sciences and Humanities will be broad-based at this point.
  • At Stage 3, students consolidate their knowledge and sit for the Cambridge GCE Advanced-Level Examinations. They are expected to be actively involved in outreach programmes and can initiate major research projects which could form the basis of their undergraduate studies.


Annually, there are over 200 different student-initiated service learning projects school-wide. Selected projects receive financial support from the Citibank Youth for Causes Fund and Campus ChangeMakers by NYC. These include promoting an appreciation of Chinese culture at the Singapore History Museum, conducting web design courses for underprivileged children at community centres, organising rainbow camps for the Salvation Army and creating online learning programmes for primary school students.

In addition, all Hwa Chong students are involved in different Community Involvement Projects conducted by their respective consortia and faculties throughout the year. They include painting one-room flats, fund-raising through collecting old newspapers, tutoring pupils from needy families as well as interacting with the dementia elderly and the intellectually disabled.

Holistic Education Model

The Hwa Chong Holistic Education Model is informed by Harvard Professor Howard Gardner’s 5 Minds for the Future (2008)It outlines the range of specific cognitive abilities that will be cultivated and sought after by the leaders of tomorrow. This provides the guiding principle for the development of Hwa Chong’s curriculum to foster cognitive capacities in three distinct but overlapping domains – Critical, Creative and Caring Thinking.  The Hwa Chong Holistic Education Model also seeks to foster Entrepreneurial Thinking, a quality that is especially crucial in an increasingly uncertain future.


1.Critical Thinking is aligned to Gardner’s Disciplined and Synthesising Minds. To develop the Disciplined Mind, students are given the opportunity to delve in and master major schools of thought in the Sciences, Mathematics, Social Sciences & Languages. This is accomplished through a range of research tasks and projects with internal and external expert mentors. The Synthesising Mind refers to the ability to integrate ideas from different disciplines or spheres into a coherent outcome and to communicate the core essence of that integration well. This is especially important in this era of interdisciplinary integration, where innovative solutions to novel problems are needed. Thus, Hwa Chong aims to nurture a new generation of critical thinkers and effective communicators, factors crucial for success in the 21st century. 


2.Creative Thinking is aligned to Gardner’s Creating Mind. It refers to the capacity to uncover potential issues, clarify questions and identify new phenomena/patterns. It entails going beyond existing paradigms and synthesis to propose innovative solutions or breakthroughs. These are the key building blocks to being innovative and enterprising. This is important as historical trends and past experiences are increasingly inapplicable to novel problems and modern phenomena. These novel ideas and fresh ways of thinking are the launchpad for us to break new grounds. 


3.Caring Thinking is aligned to Gardner’s Ethical and Respectful Minds and entails thinking with principles and empathy. These values are aligned with our core values of 己立立人,己达达人,and 饮水思源. The Ethical Mind strives to work and act consistently in accordance to a set of values that are excellent and altruistic. It involves merging one’s multiple roles at work and as a citizen, striving consistently to do good. The Respectful Mind responds empathetically and constructively to differences among different groups and individuals, striving consistently to collaborate for a win-win outcome [己立立人,己达达人]. It extends beyond tolerance and goes into understanding and acceptance. As a result, caring thinkers rely on their personal value systems to make sound and compassionate judgments. They are also clear about their roles in the personal and public spheres, between the wider community and society, with a clear understanding that every Hwa Chongian has the social responsibility and duty to serve the community and nation [饮水思源]. Hwa Chong aims to nurture 21st century leaders who have the moral courage to stand up for what is right, and are committed to society. 


4.Entrepreneurial Thinking involves getting students to adopt a positive and open mindset as they overcome challenges, consider possibilities, take decisive action and accept responsibility for outcomes. This is in line with the resilience and enterprising spirit of our Founding Fathers, Mr Tan Kah Kee and Dr Lee Kong Chian who made numerous selfless and significant contributions in the areas of entrepreneurship, philanthropy, social reform and education. Hence, the Hwa Chong student should possess an innate drive to improve, learn and take continuous action based on concrete data and outcomes. In keeping with the institution motto of 自强不息, Hwa Chongians should be unwavering and purposeful in their pursuit of excellence, be resilient in the face of adversity and be bold in the face of uncertainty. It is hoped that future generations of Hwa Chongians will lead in taking calculated risks while embracing the humility needed to learn from their mistakes. This will be source of novel insights, breakthroughs and innovations for Singapore in the years to come. 


5.Sports and Arts programmes are core components for the holistic development of the students. The Physical Education and Co-Curricular Activities programme provide students with the opportunities to participate in Sports, Uniformed Groups and a range of Clubs & Societies. These are vital in building character. Through this range of passion-driven and targeted activities beyond the classroom, students from different backgrounds interact and socialise in a multitude of meaningful ways. More importantly, they also learn to put the Institution’s values such as teamwork, excellence and resilience in practice. Exposure to the Arts enables students to develop their appreciation for the aesthetics, facilitating their understanding of the human condition across cultures, contexts and modes. This further facilitates the development of empathy, compassion and an appreciation of the human condition in every Hwa Chongian.


Gifted Education Programme

The Hwa Chong school-based Gifted Education programme, hosted by the iSpark Consortium, emphasises the student’s total development, which spans the moral, intellectual, physical, social and aesthetic realms. A varied curriculum and enrichment programme has been designed in accordance with a constructivitist and investigative approach.

In-class enrichment and curriculum differentiation, including interdisciplinary studies, leadership development and individualised research projects, are key features of this programme.

The iSpark Consortium also hosts talent development programmes within the Centre for Scholastic Excellence, so that each student is academically stretched to his fullest potential. In addition he receives an equally enriching and meaningful character education which encourages him to work with the community through the global community outreach and the service-learning initiative.


Sabbatical Programme

A unique feature of the Hwa Chong Integrated Programme, Hwa Chong Sabbatical Programme allows students from Sec. 1 to Sec. 4 to go on sabbatical courses for one week, from Term 1 to Term 2. The school organizes Sabbaticals with the aim of creating space for students to develop passion for what they do. During Sabbaticals, formal lessons are replaced by enrichment programmes.

There are various areas of programmes for students to select from each term, namely, Arts & Aesthetics, Chinese Studies, Humanities, English & Literature, Leadership, Technology, Science and Math, Camps and Student Exchange. All students are engaged in activities outside the classroom during term time to further broaden their educational experience. This allows them to explore their diverse interests and have fun all at once.

Students will bid for their sabbatical courses every term, using the i-ComP.