The Economics Unit in Hwa Chong comprises a team of dynamic professionals dedicated to the teaching of Economics as a life subject. Economics is not just a collection of facts but a unified approach to thinking about the world. The theory of Economics is an apparatus of the mind or a technique of thinking which helps us make rational decisions. With these requirements in mind, the Economics Unit provides a rigorous course to equip students with the skills necessary for economics awareness and competence. This course imparts both intellectual as well as citizenship training through a well-planned syllabus to promote understanding of the very processes and issues that affect their lives as citizens and students. In addition, Economics Exco was set up to expose students to a range of enriching experiences such as participation in nation-wide competitions, publication of newsletters and trips to overseas to EU and Universities for Summer Programmes. The greatest reward of this course is a better understanding of how the world works.
Geography is the study of Earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments…
bridging the social sciences with the natural sciences… and puts [the] understanding of social and physical processes within the context of places and regions… [Geography] helps us all to be more socially and environmentally sensitive, informed and responsible citizens…
Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)
The approach to Geography teaching and learning in Hwa Chong has evolved through the years due to the changing demands of the syllabus and the growing interest amongst the students in the subject. As Geography is an applied discipline, practicing geographers should be able to make direct contributions to society. Being highly dynamic, the subject constantly seeks to heighten our awareness of the world. It introduces the processes operative in physical and human geography and draws links to how these are relevant to the current social, economic, political and environmental situation. Hence, with these attributes in mind, the syllabus seeks to encourage students to:
1. be inspired by the splendour of natural environments and human ingenuity;
2. care for delicate ecosystems and understand the importance of environmentally sustainable lifestyles;
3. develop as global citizens, seek harmony and respect others in a culturally diverse world;
4. contribute responsibly towards the building of a robust and inclusive society; and
5. have the integrity to uphold ethical principles and be resilient in their pursuit for a better world.
These aims are achieved through the study of the main Themes in the H2 Geography syllabus:
Theme 1 : Tropical Environments
Theme 2 : Development, economy and the Environment
Theme 3 : Sustainable Development
Theme 4 : Geographical Investigation
At Hwa Chong, we also aim to develop students with a global perspective, imbued with the spirit of inquiry and empathy which would enable them to respond to on-going changes. Tutors actively integrate critical thinking and problem-solving skills into content learning. They facilitate experiential learning to promote creativity and make Geography come alive. IT is also employed to enhance learning. These emphases are in line with the Desired Outcomes of Education (DOE). Upon completion of their formal education, Geography students should emerge as a/an:
1. confident person who has a strong sense of right and wrong, is adaptable and resilient, knows himself/herself, is discerning in judgement, thinks independently and critically, and communicates effectively;
2. self-directed learner who questions, reflects, perseveres and takes responsibility for his/her own learning;
3. active contributor who is able to work effectively in teams, is innovative, exercises initiative, takes calculated risks and strives for excellence; and
4. concerned citizen who is rooted to Singapore, has a strong sense of civic responsibility, is informed about Singapore and the world, and takes an active part in bettering the lives of others around him/her.
One key area that has gained prominence is the adoption of fieldwork in the study of Geography. Local field studies and overseas field trips are conducted each year in connection with topics covered during the course. These are efforts made to address the requirements of the theme on Geographical Investigation. All students will embark on detailed studies of both physical and human phenomena such as flooding and activities involving transnational corporations.
The syllabus for H1 and H2 Geography can be found below:
H1 Geography syllabus
H2 Geography syllabus
In an era where national boundaries are fast disappearing in an increasingly globalised world, the need to understand the world around us has become more imperative. Towards this end, one key objective of the History Unit is to foster a keen interest among students in past and current affairs and understanding them with critical depth. Besides nurturing a passion for the subject, the Unit is also committed to developing critical thinking and analytical skills in our students. Students are encouraged to read widely and do independent research.
Under the Hwa Chong Integrated Humanities Framework, Years 1-2 constitute the Exploration phase where students offer both History and Geography. Upon Entering the Development Phase in Years 3-4, students may further develop their passion by offering History either as one of the Integrated Humanities Electives or HP History under the Humanities Programme @ High School. During the Consolidation phase of Years 5-6, students are expected to be independent learners within and outside the classroom. They are exposed to the rigours of the GCE ‘A’ Level curriculum which demands more in-depth and considered written responses.
In order to pursue our objectives, the Unit provides a myriad of opportunities for our students. Lectures are building blocks for knowledge acquisition while tutorials provide the platform for them to consolidate their knowledge and discuss issues. Students are also given opportunities to hone their examination techniques through term assignments, essay tests and examinations.
Of course, the subject is not just about tomes and the dreaded examinations. A wide spectrum of co-curricular activities is available to students to pursue their passion in the subject. These include the annual model UN Conferences and various competitions organised by local varsities such as the NUS Arts Quiz and NTU Current Affairs Quiz. Attending seminars on various topics of interest also help students stay in touch with the subject in the real world context. Volunteer opportunities in local museums are also open to our students.
In recent years, the Unit has taken students on overseas field trips to places of historical interest and significance. In 2005, students caught a glimpse of life after the fall of the Berlin Wall and end of the Cold War in a trip to Germany and Czech Republic. Last year, students visited the Cold War behemoth, the ex-Soviet Union in a whirlwind tour which took them to Moscow and St. Petersburg. More recently, History students visited the United States on an Integrated Humanities trip and caught a glimpse of what makes the world’s remaining superpower tick. This year, we made our way to Vietnam and were marvelled at the strides this communist country has made since the introduction of reforms in the late 1980s and the resilience that Vietnamese people displayed during the Vietnam War.
So, what are you waiting for? Get in here for an exciting journey through time and space.
English Language/General Paper
The goal of the English Language Programme at HCI is to develop independent thinkers who can see the connection between language study and its application to life. A holistic educational approach ensures that students are given the freedom to intellectually grasp these relationships and apply them to authentic tasks.
Adopting a multi-pronged approach, the Hwa Chong H1 General Paper curriculum comprises a broad variety of stimulating modules designed to develop all-round individuals. A theme-based reading and writing programme is offered at the College level, and the topics covered include the mass media, environment, science and technology, culture and tradition, politics and government, conflicts and violence, and citizenship in Singapore.
Knowledge & Inquiry (KI) is a multi-disciplinary H2 A-Level subject that explores the different fields of knowledge and applies various modes of inquiry to a range of issues and ideas. The subject aims to develop students’ ability to critically evaluate arguments and engage in independent research. Students can offer KI as a contrasting subject. As the 4th H2 subject, KI will be offered by students who are academically able to cope with 4 H2 subjects on top of other H1 subjects. KI is also taken in lieu of General Paper. In Hwa Chong, we are looking for bright students who are linguistically competent and have an inquiring mind. KI students are expected to read widely and they must be highly proficient in written English as well as independent learners.
Literature in English aims to develop in students an informed appreciation of literature and a love of reading. Students who read the subject would be equipped with literary skills to understand the nature and methods of literary study and analysis. The Literature in English programme in HCI, entails a rigorous study of the three main literary genres (Poetry, Prose, Drama), in-depth analysis of award-winning literary writers and their works, and an annual enrichment component.
H2 English Language and Linguistics (ELL) exposes students to a range of linguistic concepts and methods appropriate for the analysis and study of the English language, so as to understand the contexts in which the language operates, think about the issues and debates that surround its usage, and respond critically to them. Through the study of the English language, students will develop their competence as users of English. The H2 English Language and Linguistics (ELL) programme at HCI is seminar-styled, and focuses on mastering fundamental linguistic concepts before moving on to using these concepts to explore language issues related to wider societal concerns. Independent reading and essay writing are characteristic of the subject.
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 challenges ahead.
In summary, PW teaches students about:
- public presentation
At Hwa Chong, the philosophy of art education is to encourage students to develop their creative identity. The Art Elective Programme (AEP) is offered to selected students demonstrating a talent for the Visual Arts and prepares them in art appreciation, theory of art (Theory) and in practice (Studio) over the span of two years. The course develops students not only for practical aspects of art production but also a theoretical and critical understanding of the context of its making. AEP Students will take H2 Art and H3 Art.
As the first institution chosen by the Ministry of Education for the Humanities Scholarship Programme Hwa Chong has established and maintained its position as a leading centre for successful applications to top universities around the world.
Since the Programme’s inception in 1981 more than 300 alumni have graduated from Oxford and Cambridge alone, and in recent years an impressive record of admissions has been built up with the Ivy League institutions of the USA as well.
Undoubtedly, the source of this success lies with the Programme’s tutors who are not only unrivalled in their specialist subject skills but also in the university placement and scholarship advice that they have to offer.
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 continual and inquiry learning and an appreciation of the beauty and value of mathematics.
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.
Computing / Infocomm Studies
H2 Computing is designed with a focus on the disciplinarity of the subject that largely evolves around problem solving and computational thinking. It serves to provide a foundation for further study in computing-related disciplines and fields involving computer technologies and applications.
As a subject in the curriculum, H2 Computing also creates opportunities for students to develop 21st Century competencies through the way students learn. These include focusing on computational thinking, project management skills, and an understanding of the ethical issues associated with the use of information communications technology.
Computing students are expected to participate in computing seminars and learning journeys as part of and an extension of their learning. These aim to provide students with the latest and exciting developments in the Information communications industry and computing fields, and seek to expand students’ learning and imagination about the possibilities in Computing.
The PE & CCA Department aims to empower our young adults for the challenges ahead by providing a holistic education that encompasses health, social and mental wellbeing, engagement in lifelong learning, aesthetic appreciation, civic-mindedness and leadership development through its programs.
Our programs serve to:
1. Enhance students’ learning process and performance;
2. Inculcate good values to our students through Character, Moral and Citizenship Education.
3. Inspire the students to reach their full potential during the National School Games, Singapore Youth Festival Arts Presentation and Celebrations, as well as other Co-Curricular Activities and competitions.
4. Promote healthy lifestyle and physical activity among students via the Sports For All Program.
5. Promote Arts appreciation among students via the Arts For All Program.
6. Inculcate the Olympic values of Friendship, Respect, and Excellence in all students.
a) PE Programs
Students will be furnished with the knowledge and skills in fitness management, sports and games, and health management. These are achieved via activities like dance, badminton, basketball, floorball, golf, handball, netball, soccer, softball, squash, swimming, table tennis, tennis, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, and outdoor education etc. Students will be able to apply the skills they learnt when participating in various intra-school sports events.
b) Leadership and enrichment courses
The CCA committee will plan and organise various CCA leaders training program and enrichment courses to equip our students with relevant skills to be effective and resilient leaders.
c) Intra school tournaments
The PE & CCA Department seeks to provide all students with the opportunity to compete and excel in sports. Events such as Track and Field Meet, Sports Education Program, and the Festival of Sports (FOS) are held annually to meet the objectives of promoting healthy lifestyle activities and enhancing our Hwa Chong family spirit.
Literature in English
With our seamless 6-year Integrated Programme, the Literature course in Hwa Chong covers 3 major phases: the Sec 1 & 2 Exploration phase; Sec 3 & 4 Development phase, and the JC1 & 2 Consolidation phase. In each phase, students are exposed to a wide variety of texts, genre exposition, and diverse methodologies.
Adopting a differentiated approach to learning that goes beyond the classroom, the course provides students with opportunities to experience Literature through activities like symposiums, debates, mock conferences, field studies, project work, independent study and drama. Such activities not only expand students’ horizons, but also help them look at issues from a broader perspective, apply knowledge, and contest the arbitrary divisions that separate subjects.</b>