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Humanities

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Introduction

The BDS Humanities Department believes that all our students have the capacity to hold the world in their hands.  

In line with the school's Teaching and Learning Framework, we seek to nurture creative and critical thinkers with the skills to excel in the 21st Century world, the heart to empathise with our fellow man, and the spirit to appreciate our diverse heritage and environment.
 
Student Outcomes

  • A BDS Humanities Pupil will be able to acquire the following:
  • Skills
    • Think critically about various issues from different perspectives. 
    • Critically examine and analyse different sources of information to construct clear explanations and make informed judgments.      
    • Clearly and confidently communicate their ideas through a variety of means.       
    • Acquire, manage and use different types of information effectively. 
  • Knowledge
    • Develop an understanding of important concepts related to History, Geography and Social Studies. 
    • Have an informed awareness about current issues relevant to Singapore, the region, and the world. 
  • Values and Attitudes
    • Be able to empathise with multiple perspectives while formulating their own independent ideas.
    • Be able to embrace and respect diversities in modern day societies. 
    • Be comfortable with complexity and ambiguity,and is resilient when faced with challenges. 
    • Be appreciative of the inter-connectedness of the world around them. 
    • Be curious about the world around them. 
    • Be motivated to meaningfully contribute to bettering the lives of others around them.

Approach & Pedagogy

  • Inquiry-Based Learning approach to investigating issues 
    • (Historical Inquiry/Geographical Inquiry/Issues Investigation)       
  • Differentiated Teaching and Learning with banded student groups      
  • Assessment for Learning (AfL) approach to formative assessment       
  • Collaborative Learning       
  • Experiential Learning through interactive, interdisciplinary Learning Journeys      
  • Application and relevance to real-world, authentic case studies

Subjects under the Humanities Department:

  • Social Studies
  • History Elective
  • Geography Elective 
  • Core Geography

Assessment Criteria

Note 1: The below criteria for the Lower Secondary are only for the Semestral Assessments (SA) which students take at mid-year and at year-end. Overall, students will be holistically assessed and their final grade will take into consideration Continual Assessments (Graded assignments, common tests) and Historical/Geographical Investigations.

Note 2: The below criteria for the Upper Secondary are for the national examinations which students take in their graduating year. Before that, students will be holistically assessed on their performance in their Continual Assessments (Graded assignments, common tests) and Historical/Geographical/Issue Investigations, and Semestral Assessments. 

Lower Secondary Geography (Modular)

Level

Papers

Duration

Content/Skills

Total Marks

Sec 1 Exp and NA

SA 1

1h 15 min

Section A: Map Skills and Basic Techniques (12/7m)

 

Exp: 40m

NA: 35m

Section B: Structured Questions-Tropical Rainforest and Water (28m)

 

Sec 2 Exp and NA

SA 2

1h 45 min

Section A: Map Skills and Basic Techniques (25m)

 

Exp: 60m

NA: 60m

Section B: Structured Questions- Housing and Floods (35m)

 


Lower Secondary History (Modular)

Level

Papers

Duration

Content/Skills

Total Marks

Sec 1

 

 

Continual Assessment (Historical Investigation, Common Tests, Class Graded Assignments)

 

Sec 2

SA 1

1h 45 min

Section A: Source-Based Case Study

45m

Section B: Structured Essay Questions

Upper Secondary Geography Elective

Level

Papers

Duration

Content/Skills

Sec 3-4 Exp/ Sec 5N

Sec 3: 2272

 

Sec 4: 2267/02

1h 40min

Section A: Geographical Investigation (13m)

 

Section B: Structured Questions- Global Tourism/Variable Weather and Climate (12m)

 

Section C: Structured Questions- Living with Tectonic Hazards/ Food Resources (25m)

Sec 3-4 NA

Sec 3: 2175

 


Sec 4: 2120/02

1h 40 min

Section A: Geographical Investigation (13m)

 

Section B: Structured Questions- Global Tourism (12m)

 

Section C: Structured Questions- Living with Tectonic Hazards/ Variable Weather and Climate (25m)


Upper Secondary History Elective

Level

Papers

Duration

Content/Skills

Total Marks

Sec 3-4 Exp/ Sec 5N

Sec 3: 2273

 

Sec 4: 2267/03

1h 40min

Section A: Source-Based Case Study (30m)

 

50m

Section B: Structured Essay Questions (25m)

Sec 3-4 NA

Sec 3: 2176

 

Sec 4:

2120/03

1h 40 min

Section A: Source-Based Case Study (30m)

 

50m

Section B: Structured Essay Questions (25m)


Core Geography (2236)

Level

Papers

Duration

Content/Skills

Marks

Sec 3-4 Exp

1

1h 40min

Section A: Geographical Investigations (25m)

50m

Section B: Structured Questions- Coasts/Global Tourism (25m)

2

1h 30min

Section A: Structured Questions- Variable Weather and Climate/ Living with Tectonic Hazards (25m)

50m

Section B: Structured Questions- Food Resources/ Health and Diseases (25m)


Social Studies

Level

Papers*

Duration

Content/Skills

Total Marks

Sec 3-4 Exp

2267/01

1h 45min

Section A: Source-Based Case Study (35m)

 

50m

Section B: Structured Response Questions (15m)

Sec 3-4 NA

2120/01

1h 45min

Section A: Source-Based Case Study (35m)

 

50m

Section B: Structured Response Questions (15m)

Sec 5N

2204/01**

1h 45min

Section A: Source-Based Case Study (35m)

 

50m

Section B: Structured Response Questions (15m)


* Exam codes will be changed in 2018.
 ** Last year of exam in 2017.

For more information, refer to the link below.

Tips for Parents

1. It is important to inculcate a curiosity in the world around them. Where possible, encourage your children to read the news (whether in hardcopy or via their mobile devices), watch the news or simply draw their attention to things which are happening in Singapore and the world. This will be especially useful because they will need to quote real life examples in their answers for Social Studies.

2. Develop their critical thinking skills from an early age by asking them questions, instead of giving them answers. Ask “Why” questions to encourage higher order thinking. Engage their opinions on issues, and allow them the opportunity to support their own opinions.

3. Encourage them to ask questions about things they see, hear and experience.

4. Don’t copy mindlessly, write thoughtfully.

5. It is no longer enough to memorise facts for the Humanities. Students need to be able to use and apply the facts they have learnt to construct an answer which addresses the question. This requires flexibility of mind, logic and reasoning.

6. Students need to revise on their own in order to internalise concepts which can be quite complicated. If they do not revise, or seek help from teachers to clarify if they do not understand, it can be hard to catch up.

We look forward to working closely with you in order to help our children to cultivate a keen interest in the world, to develop good intellectual habits to excel in the discipline, and to grow a deep sense of values which will keep them grounded in the world today.