We seek to cultivate in students a lifelong passion for the Humanities subjects through Inquiry Based Learning that leverages on the use of ICT. We also seek to equip students with critical and analytical skills to be future ready and self-directed learners.
Humanities: Teaching and Learning
In Clementi Town Secondary School, we believe that our teachers’ main role in class is to be facilitators in our students’ pursuit for content and conceptual understanding. Our lessons are centered on the main pedagogical approach of Inquiry Based Learning, where our Clementeens become co-constructors of the knowledge covered in class by engaging in discussions and studying authentic and relevant sources. Coupled with the use of relevant ICT tools which connect our Clementeens to the world out there, we aim to develop critical learners and future-ready Clementeens by bringing education beyond the confines of the classroom.
Social Studies: Entrepreneurship Programme for Sec 3 Normal Technical Social Studies
The Humanities Department conceptualized an experiential learning entrepreneurship programme for Secondary 3NT students. This programme focuses on learning to be student-centered, purposeful and informal. Students were given the opportunity to apply their learning from Humanities lessons (Social Studies and Elements of Business Skills) through the planning and executing of a student-run business. Furthermore, as the programme links to the school’s VIA program, students were given the opportunity to reflect and enforce on certain character values such as empathy and compassion. As the students prepare to run a Bazaar at the end of Term 3, Teachers serve not as content deliverers but as facilitators for students to grasp concepts through the act of doing.
We believe strongly that the provision of an authentic learning environment incorporating meaningful learning experiences will enhance and make the learning of Financial Literacy more palatable to meet the interests, profile and needs of our Secondary 3NT Pupils.
History: Historical Investigations
To enhance our Clementeens’ learning, Secondary 1 and 2 Clementeens were given the opportunity to embark on historical investigations that revolved around the concept of conflict. Over the years, our Secondary Two Clementeens were given the opportunity to embark on customized trails around key World War II sites such as Kranji War Memorial and Fort Factory. In 2019, Clementeens were given the opportunity to explore Fort Siloso as part of their Historical Investigations. They were able to learn more about Singapore’s darkest moments through the trails which our department teachers have specially crafted for them. Given the current COVID situation, our teachers tapped on online platforms and created an online trail that mimicked the actual journey that they would have taken had they been able to embark on a physical trail. This helps to ensure that learning continues to be vibrant and engaging despite the current limitations that we face.
Geography: Geographical InvestigationsOur choice of Geographical Investigation approach is by offering students choices in fieldwork. This form of inquiry-based learning allows students to engage proactively in their own investigation where the role of the teacher is of a facilitator in the classroom and at the field. Students were given the autonomy to decide on their hypothesis and were empowered to select their tools and methods of investigation. Figure 1 shows the GI process that the teachers had designed, aimed at driving students’ intrinsic learning motivation as they get to investigate an issue/ problem that interests them.
“People tell you what to do…then there is no freedom. We may not be interested in the tasks that the teachers have set for us to complete.” -- Ong Jing Hern, 4A1
“I like and enjoy the way we are doing our fieldwork. It is fun as we get to investigate what we want to know. We discussed and debated how to solve the problems we encounter during fieldwork.”
-- Crispus and Jun Jie, 4A1
“I like how we are given the freedom to choose what we can investigate. It’s fun! At least I know what I am doing and why and how we are doing it.”
- Student A, 3NA
The Singapore Footprints is a heritage trail based on the concept of an amazing race around prominent neighborhoods around Singapore which has evolved since 2006. It has in recent years, incorporated the use of Smart phones to leverage on ICT to engage and excite students in learning about the rich history and heritage of different locations in Singapore. Through these trails, students get to learn more about the rich history of neighborhoods like Clementi, Queenstown and Jurong.
Students will also get to understand the importance of conservation. From the sites visited, they will understand the possible constraints faced during conservation, and also how conservation involves not just simply the preservation of the building structure, but also reintegrating the site for current use to maintain its relevance. Through comprehending the process of conservation, it instills in students a sense of pride and commitment to their living environments and hopefully ignites in them a passion to be stewards of our heritage.
Immersion Trip to Liaoning, China, 2019
Last November, a group of selected Secondary 2 and 3 CTSS students went to Liaoning, China to deepen their understanding of the Humanities subjects while experiencing a different culture and learning beyond the classroom by visiting sites of Geographical and Historical significance. Our students went to visit a local Secondary school in Shenyang, which helped them to see how learning takes place in another country. Many of our students marveled at the discipline displayed by the students there as well as at the facilities in the school. We also had the opportunity to travel using the local High Speed Railway, which was a new experience for most of us.
Other places of interest that we visited were the Benxi Water Caves Museum, which contained rare dinosaur fossils and various precious crystals. We also visited the Dalian Coastal Geo-park, which is really a wonder of nature. There, students were able to see naturally formed geological structures in one of nature’s most scenic settings. We also had the rare privilege of getting as close to North Korea as we possibly could when we visited two sites; the Broken Bridge Site and the Hushan Great Wall
The Broken Bridge Site at the Yalu River in Dandong used to connect China to North Korea but was later damaged during the Korean War by United Nations troops. Today this Bridge is a living historical site where actual battles took place. The second site was the Hushan Great Wall where one side of the wall overlooks China and the other side overlooks North Korea. It was surreal to witness how starkly the two views contrasted.
Another site that left an indelible impression was the September 18th History Museum which commemorated the spirit shown by the Chinese people during the Second Sino-Japanese War and as a reminder of the atrocities that the people then had to suffer.