Admissions & Studies
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.
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.
Art Elective Programme
The Art scene at Hwa Chong Institution has historically been graced by Singaporean greats. Pioneer artists Liu Kang, Chen Wen Hsi, and Lim Hak Tai, just to name a few, have all taught at the school. Today, their legacy lives on in our Art Elective Programme (AEP). The AEP nurtures talented, young artists into future cultural leaders, advocates and scholars who can contribute to the nation’s cultural capital in the areas of fine art, design and new media. AEP students are encouraged to pursue their passions and constantly innovate, developing their creative, conceptual and analytical thinking in the process. It is a journey that will expand their thinking, fuel imagination and transform the way they look at themselves and the world around them.
As part of their enriched learning experiences, they will participate collaboratively with AEP students from other AEP centres through customized workshops, visit art exhibitions, museums, and other well-known art shows, attend workshops held by current practicing artists and participate in AEP exhibitions.
These results culminate in the recognition that Hwa Chong AEP students are consistent frontrunners in prestigious competitions such as the UOB Painting of the Year award, as well as leading contenders in being conferred scholarships from the Media Development Authority, Urban Redevelopment Authority and other ministries.
Computing Talent Programme (CTP)
The Hwa Chong Computing Talent Programme (CTP) is tailored for students who have a burning passion for and the ability to take Infocomm as a specialisation at Secondary 3 and 4 levels. The core curriculum is designed with a focus on problem solving and computational thinking. Computational thinking is the thought process that involves formal reasoning, logical and algorithmic thinking and the formulation of a problem so thatcomputer based solutions become viable. There is also a strong focus on the use of the computer and associated applications. Students will have the opportunity to experience internships and attachments in local companies to gain first-hand experience in the work force and apply the range of programming skills they have learnt.
By having these elements, the CTP hopes to expose students to the environment, hardware, technology and related devices and peripherals so that they are prepared for the rigours inherent in the real world setting. This course is a progression from Infocomm at lower secondary level. More importantly, it serves to provide a foundation for further study in computing-related disciplines at post-secondary and tertiary levels.
Science & Mathematics Talent Programme (SMTP)
The Hwa Chong Science & Mathematics Talent Programme aims to provide an integrated, enriched and stimulating environment for high achieving Science / Mathematics learners. With numerous opportunities for passion-focused activities, higher level academic pursuits and other scholastic endeavours, the programme seeks to develop students who can think critically and communicate confidently. The Core Curriculum in SMTP is designed to broaden the learning experience, provide the right pace for high ability students and deepen learning through higher order thinking processes in all Science and Mathematics subjects. Distinctive pedagogies are used in the classrooms to develop students' skills in critical thinking, problem solving and inculcate independent and lifelong learning. Students will also be exposed to the Elective Curriculum, an extension curriculum that serves to excite, enhance and expose students to a wide variety of fields in Sciences, Mathematics and beyond. These elective modules, workshops and enrichment will be conducted by experts from the fields like professors from universities, established professionals and our in-house lecturers.
The Humanities Programme
As the first institution chosen by the Ministry of Education in 1980 for the HSP, Hwa Chong has established and maintained its position as a leading centre for successful applications to top universities around the world. One of the key sources of this success are the HSP tutors who are specialists in their fields and are also experienced in providing advice on university placement and scholarships. Through an informal yet rigorous teaching style, our tutors encourage open discussions and intellectual exploration beyond the confines of the syllabus so that individuals become independent and driven self-directed learners. Each year, our Scholars gain admission to top universities in the United Kingdom, the United States and around the world including France, Germany, Australia, Canada, Japan and China. To date, well over 400 alumni have graduated from Oxford and Cambridge alone. Closer to home, we see increased enrolments in Yale-NUS, NUS, SMU and NTU. Over half of the students gain scholarships to study overseas or in Singapore.
At the High School section, the Hwa Chong Humanities Programme (HP) attracts top talents who are curious thinkers, avid readers, and persuasive communicators. Through the study of the three Humanities subjects—Geography, History, and Literature—students are able to appreciate complex global issues from multiple perspectives. Interdisciplinary modules, involving the Humanities, Languages, Mathematics, and Sciences, are also a key feature of our curriculum. Through these authentic projects, students appreciate the resonance between disciplines, as well as the constructive potential of harnessing differences. Beyond the classroom, learning comes alive for our HP students when they work in senior-junior teams to organise integrated activities, such as symposia, mock conferences, field studies, and drama, among others. Beyond attaining academic excellence, our HP students and alumni alike are actively involved in service projects which uplift the community. We are proud of our HP students—past and present—who embody our vision of being engaged citizens of the world, and empathetic leaders of Singapore.
Bicultural Studies Programme
Hwa Chong Institution was one of the pioneer schools in Singapore to offer the Bicultural Studies Programme back in 2005. Students in the programme not only acquire an in-depth understanding of China-related topics, but also attend immersion trips that hone their bicultural sensibility and equip them with the necessary skills sets to traverse Chinese and Western cultures. The Bicultural Studies Programme (BSP) aims to produce a pipeline of future Singapore leaders who are not only effectively bilingual, but also possess cultural nous, allowing them to continue building bridges and forge opportunities for Singapore’s advancement on the global scene. Its curriculum anchors Hwa Chongians in the Singaporean Perspective, while developing their ability to develop cutting-edge insights on the relationships between China, the West and Southeast Asia. Students develop their thinking skills and capacities as they make connections between past and present global trends from the East and West.
The BSP curriculum in secondary school requires students to study Chinese history and contemporary Chinese society. After entering Junior College, while it is compulsory for BSP scholars selected at Secondary 3 entry point to study H2 China Studies in Chinese, non-BSP scholars can also choose to apply for the Bicultural Studies Programme at the Junior College entry point and study the subject. Students who study H2 China Studies in Chinese will study contemporary China’s economy, politics, society and diplomacy. They are also required to write a 4000-word Independent Study research paper on a China-related topic in Year 4 and JC2. Outstanding research papers from Year 4 students are conferred awards by MOE. In addition, the Ministry of Education also arranges Bicultural Studies Seminars for both secondary and JC students to participate every year.
Overall, the BSP curriculum aims to give students:
- A deepened understanding and appreciation of our local culture;
- An all-round knowledge and a multi-faceted understanding of China;
- A passion and life-long interest in the cultures of the East and West;
- Opportunities to become adept at bicultural knowledge and its relevant applications;
- A concrete mastery of 21st Century Competencies and a strong global outlook.
Chinese Language Elective Programme
Since its inception in 1990, the Chinese Language Elective Programme (CLEP) at Hwa Chong Institution has dedicated itself to nurturing the nation’s next generation of bilingual talents and cultural ambassadors, well-versed in the intricacies of the Chinese Language, Literature, and Culture. In 2020, we became one of the 9 schools in Singapore to offer CLEP to Upper Secondary students. Overall, the CLEP curriculum aims to:
- Nurture students into open-minded scholars of Chinese Literature;
- Provide guidance for their endeavours in the humanities under the Chinese Literary domain;
- Develop a generation of students with empathy, values and a dedication to bettering the human condition;
- Develop future leaders who are effectively bilingual with a strong global outlook.
English Language and Literature
The goal of the Hwa Chong English Language Programme is to develop independent thinkers, who can see the connection between language study and its application to life. An inquiry-based approach ensures that students are given the freedom to research widely; probe deeply; collaborate productively; and apply thoughtfully to authentic tasks. This is done through a theme-based reading and writing programme, comprising topics such as education, science and technology, leadership and governance, crime and punishment, culture, news and media, and citizenship in Singapore. The core modules span all the key components of linguistic skills that students must master, in order to thrive in the 21st century. Students are also given the opportunity to employ multi-modality to explore and present new knowledge through termly interdisciplinary research tasks. Where the core elements embody the rigour and breadth of the skills, knowledge, and concepts that students need to know, the research tasks offer students the opportunity to extend their learning beyond the English Language curriculum.
The Literature in English Programme in HCI aims to develop in students a love for reading and a critical appreciation of Literature spanning different genres, time periods, and cultures. In particular, we encourage students to explore diverse voices, beyond the western-centric canon, including translated World Literature texts. Students who read the subject would be equipped with literary skills to understand the complex political, cultural, and social contexts as well as diverse methodologies of literary study and analysis. Adopting a differentiated approach to learning that goes beyond the classroom, the programme provides students with opportunities to experience Literature through activities like symposia, creative writing, project work, and independent study. Such activities not only expand students' horizons, but also help them explore the intersections, interactions, and interweaving of Literature, History and Sociology in a rich study of key themes and concepts. The Literature programme in HCI is challenging and rewarding in equal parts. If you are interested in exploring some of the “big questions” about life and the world, then this programme is bound to satisfy your curiosity!
As the world becomes increasingly more interconnected with rapid socio-economic, technological and political changes, the study of the Humanities equips our students with an understanding of their heritage, values and exceptional analytical skills to be well-rounded and globally aware citizens.
The teaching and learning of the Humanities features a wide variety of learning experiences designed to spark curiosity and the spirit of inquiry - where students demonstrate their ability to identify present and future challenges and to seek appropriate innovative solutions with a sense of respect, empathy and understanding.
Students have the opportunity to gain valuable experience in real-world learning by applying academic skills in their investigations, fieldwork and participation in local and overseas Model United Nations conferences.
The Hwa Chong Integrated Programme for Science is implemented across 6 years. Our integrated framework provides a dynamic learning environment for students with an aptitude and interest in Mathematics and Science. Special emphasis is placed on the mastery of fundamental knowledge and experimental skills. Our plan is to further integrate the Mathematics and Science disciplines to foster an appreciation of how they work together and form a whole.
In a tripartite collaboration with A*STAR and NTU, Hwa Chong also offers research electives based on the H3 module to encourage new and independent modes of learning and exploration. Each JC student is matched with a mentor depending on interest, and engages in collaborative research with leading scientists and researchers working on real-world scientific problems.
The aim of our Science programme is to broaden students' interests in Science by providing a stimulating environment that will enrich their basic Science training. Besides exposure to major advances in the life sciences and new technologies, students will be trained to think critically and independently.
The Hwa Chong Mathematics Department sees the subject as an excellent means for the development of an individual's intellectual ability in logical reasoning, spatial visualisation, and abstract thought. It is our belief that a strong foundation in Mathematics is crucial to the development of not only a highly skilled but scientifically- and technologically- competent workforce that can meet the challenges of the 21st century. From Years 1 to 4, we focus on developing students’ critical and creative skills and their ability to communicate and reason mathematically, through the use of an inquiry based approach with ICT infusion. We also foster a conducive environment that provides students with opportunities to use Mathematics in solving real-world problems and doing in-depth research in projects. In moving learning beyond the classroom, we hope to instill in students the spirit of perseverance and inquiry learning and an appreciation of the beauty and value of mathematics.
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” - Socrates
As a subject, the Thinking Programme nurtures all Lower Secondary students to think critically and creatively (with a consistent and overt emphasis on caring thinking) across disciplines and cultures. At Secondary One, students learn to analyse and evaluate existing tomes of knowledge with thinking frameworks like Design Thinking and Paul’s Wheel of Reasoning. They then critically explore and examine Eastern and Western philosophies in both the English and Chinese language at Secondary Two. Students inquire into the meaning of their own lives and identities, using ideas like the allegory of Plato’s cave and various Confucian concepts, and build on each other’s musings through dialogue. This opportunity to be immersed in cross cultural philosophical inquiry and connect perspectives from the East and West, is what gives the Hwa Chongian the cross-cultural disposition of a true, future leader.
The PE & CCA Department aims to prepare our young adults for the challenges ahead by cultivating lifelong recreational involvement, aesthetic appreciation, civics mindedness and leadership qualities in our students through the PE and CCA programs.
Our programmes serve to:
- Enhance students' learning process and performance
- Provide opportunities for developing values such as sportsmanship, celebrating victories, handling defeat graciously and building self-esteem
- Promote a healthy lifestyle among students by attaining balance physically, physiologically, emotionally, mentally and socially
Through our Sports For All Program, we aim to:
- Engage students in 1 or 2 sports which they can eventually play when they leave HCI.
- Provide opportunities for students to gain an in-depth knowledge of 1 to 2 sports that they are interested in.
- Provide an avenue for students to engage in competition at inter-class and inter-cca level through internal competitions such as the SHAW League and FOSHA (Festival of Sports, Health and Arts)
CCAs or Co-Curricular Activities are also an integral part of every student’s life in Hwa Chong. We offer a wide range of CCAs over four main categories: Sports & Games, Performing Arts, Clubs & Societies and Uniformed Groups.
Various CCA activities aim to provide avenues for students to discover their interests and develop their talents. In time, we hope that the skills and lessons learnt will encourage all Hwa Chong students to lead a balanced and purposeful life, anchored in our values of 自强不息，饮水思源and Win-Win (己立立人，己达达人）.
The HCI Infocomm Programme is a 4-year programme aimed at broadening and deepening students’ understanding in the field of Info-Communications. It provides a seamless integration with Computing at Years 5 and 6. This programme develops important skills such as computational thinking and analytical thinking. These skill sets are essential when it comes to nurturing a pipeline of ICT talents for Singapore as Singapore gears towards a Smart Nation.
The lower secondary curriculum provides a broad-based education that lays the necessary foundation for subsequent rigours at upper secondary level. As a compulsory subject for lower secondary students, the termly modules expose the students to programming languages such as C++ and Python, Java scripting and Artificial Intelligence. Students with a deep interest, passion and ability can also choose to further study the subject of Computing at upper secondary level. Computing at Upper Secondary is designed to focus on the core aspect of problem solving. There is also a strong focus on the use of the computer and its associated applications. Hence, this subject exposes students to the hardware, technology and related devices and peripherals so that they are prepared for full challenges awaiting them in the real world setting.
A unique feature of the Hwa Chong Integrated Programme, the Hwa Chong Sabbatical Programme enables students from Sec. 1 to Sec. 4 to go on sabbatical courses for one week per term, in Term 1 and Term 2. The school organizes Sabbaticals with the aim of creating space for students to pursue their respective areas of passion. During the Sabbaticals, formal lessons are replaced by enrichment programmes.
There are various areas of programmes for students to select from each term, the broad categories comprise the following - Arts & Aesthetics, Chinese Studies, Humanities, English Language & Literature, Leadership, Technology, Science and Math, Leadership Camps and Student Exchanges. All students are engaged in a range of activities beyond the curriculum to further broaden their educational experiences. 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.
Project Work (PW) is a learning experience which aims to provide students with the opportunity to synthesise knowledge from various areas of learning, and critically and creatively apply it to real life situations. This process, which enhances students' knowledge and enables them to acquire skills like collaboration, communication and independent learning, prepares them for lifelong learning and the future challenges ahead.
Under the Project Work (PW) programme, students are able to work collaboratively on any area of interest, be it contribution to the community, conducting scientific, humanities or linguistic research and shedding light on an academic topic or solving a current societal issue and more. Students take charge of their learning from Secondary One, and embark on a year-long journey of imaginative and innovative inquiry with the guidance of teacher- or expert-mentors. Indeed, the PW programme often forms a springboard for Hwa Chongians’ stellar achievements on the national and international fronts, with projects obtaining recognition at highly competitive Future Problem Solving competitions, Intelligent Ironman Creativity Contests, International Science & Engineering Fairs and the Gifted Education Branch’s Humanities and Social Sciences Research Programme Symposium, to name a few.
Malay Special Programme
The Malay Special Programme (MSP) contributes to Hwa Chong students’ cross-cultural leadership and perspectives in multiple ways. Firstly, it ensures that every Hwa Chong student will graduate with basic proficiency in Malay. This is because all Hwa Chongians learn the language, as well as the accompanying Malay culture and customs, at Secondary Two. Secondly, students interested in pursuing the Malay language further can study it as a Third Language with our in-house cikgus. It is an experience that goes beyond the classroom, as MSP students are able to enjoy a myriad of opportunities for sustained, meaningful interaction with the language and culture. These include Scrabble challenges, cultural immersions, oratorical competitions, and chances to lead the MSP student community in inter-school activities that enable them to share their love for the language.