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Humanities Week


2016 saw many breakthroughs in the Humanities Department and the Humanities Week is no exception. We have actively gone to seek opportunities to provide our students with a glocal experience. What is ‘glocal’? It is an experience that reflects both local and global considerations.

AHS-Siow Miow Yew Inter-School British Parliamentary Debates Challenge 2016

We are into our 2nd year of organising the British Parliamentary (BP) debates Challenge. Last year we invited secondary schools and this year after our experience with hosting the 2015 World Schools Debating Championship, we extended our BP debates Challenge to international schools. The schools that participated in this highly engaging challenge were Tanglin Trust and the Australian International School against Anglican High School. The motion was, ‘This House will prioritise prioritise national security over individual freedoms’.  This assembly item and was spectated by 1300 students in the school’s main hall and judged by 3 independent adjudicators. 

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This is AHS’s 6th year partnering with PUB in providing an enriched learning experience for our students. AS per previous years, the AHS-PUB Siow Miow Yew Challenge was held in conjunction with World Water Day on 26 Feb 2016. Two representatives from every Sec 2 class were selected to compete. They had to sit through three mini challenges before deciding on the winning group. In the first and second challenges, groups had to answer questions related to Singapore and World Water Day. In the last challenge, the groups had to create a mini rain garden using various types of soils and plants where they were judged by the invited adjudicators from PUB. There was also audience involvement while waiting for the participants to construct their gardens. 

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Not everything was school-based. We brought our students out! How was life like for people in Chinatown before WW2? Our young and budding historians embarked on a journey to Chinatown to explore the hidden stories about Singapore’s past with our vendors. Over the 4 days of Humanities week, the entire Secondary One cohort headed down to Chinatown to investigate about the lives of the Chinese in Singapore. At the end of the project, they are tasked to write a historical narrative about the lives of a Chinese of their choice. This fieldtrip provided them with a visual and sensual experience of the roads and streets that their character walked through in the past. This experience seeks to enable the students to enhance the historical accuracy of their historical narrative as they exercise their imagination at the same time. 

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In order for our new historians in Secondary One to hone their research skills, we invited the National Library Board to conduct “The Young Historical Investigator” programme this year. This programme is specially tailored to help students acquire the necessary skills needed to discern the credibility of sources that they will find on the internet. Students also learnt how to use the resources on National Archives online in order to access primary resources for their Historical Investigation project. It was definitely a beneficial session for many of them!
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We have also brought in not one but two exhibitions during Humanities Week to allow our students to see how Singapore is vulnerable to events happening outside of our country.
Battle for Merger:
History came alive for many of our students when they visited the Battle for Merger exhibition. This exhibition highlights the 12 radio talks made by our late Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew. In the talks, he sought to expose the Communist’s agenda in Singapore and advocated the need for Singaporeans to support the PAP’s proposal on merger in the referendum ahead. Our students had a closed examination of the primary sources such as pro-communist newspaper articles and original notes and minutes penned by communist-linked leaders in Singapore. The exhibition allowed the students to experience this tumultuous time of Singapore’s history beyond what their textbooks can offer. 

Grassroots Roving Exhibition:
The Grassroots Roving Exhibition was featured at the concourse of our school this year! It highlighted the passion of our grassroots volunteers in the nation-building process of Singapore. With fixed and interactive panels, the exhibition sought to inspire our students to serve our community and nation with the same kind of passion as our pioneers did.