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An Overview of The Curriculum

The Humanities Curriculum at NUS High School aims to nurture our students into world-ready learners with humanitarian values.  Students will have an appreciation and sustained interest in the world around them.  They will also be adept at thinking critically and inventively, inspiring multiple and varied possibilities for the betterment of our community and society. 

The Department offers a choice of three subject disciplines – History, Geography and Economics. Students will gain an introduction to the three independent disciplines during the Foundation Years by means of an Integrated Humanities course of study. They shall then have the option of pursuing either History, Geography or Economics during the Advancement and Specialisation Years.

The Curriculum Framework

The Humanities Curriculum Framework illustrates the essence and conceptualization of the Humanities programme as shown below.

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The core emphasis of the Humanities Curriculum is to nurture students into World Ready Learners with the following attributes:

  1. Critical and Inventive Thinking – the ability to analyse, evaluate and arrive at possible solutions to problems
  2. Multiple Perspectives  - Open-mindedness to different viewpoints and perspectives in making informed decisions and judgment
  3. Humanitarian Values – Desire to contribute to the betterment of society and mankind

These attributes that students will develop in the course of the Humanities programme contribute to their all-roundedness as individuals who will be ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century.  NUS High School Humanities Program incorporates and reinforces the skills and competencies that students will need to embrace as articulated in the MOE New Framework on the 21st Century Competencies.

Integrated Humanities

The Integrated Humanities curriculum serves to lay the foundation for the three Humanities disciplines taught by the Department. Concepts and skills fundamental to the respective disciplines are imparted to prepare students holistically to manage the subjects at higher levels. 

In Year 1, the first module focuses on the significance of cultures in shaping a society and influencing its identity, and students develop an understanding of fundamental economic concepts and systems. The Singapore Story of nation building - the trails and triumphs, and her arduous journey of economic, industrial and urban development, demographic transition and evolving challenges are covered in the second module.
The Year 2 module builds on the content of the previous modules.  Students develop a deeper understanding of leadership and governance in a country, and examine the role of the community and organizations at the local and regional scales.
In Year 3, students take a final module in Integrated Humanities which looks at global issues of economic competitiveness, international relations, and current challenges of environmental sustainability and terrorism.


The History curriculum at NUSH School aims to provide students with a broader worldview and a better understanding of present global trends and international relations through a contemporary study of regional and international developments in the twentieth century.  It highlights the importance of understanding and interpreting history in all its complexity – its people, events, developments and issues are explored in a historical context and examined from a range of perspectives. It enables students to better understand how the world they live in is shaped by the historical forces of the recent past.

The history curriculum adopts a multi-faceted approach, and is designed around knowledge that is enduring and are organised around key themes and concepts or the “Big Ideas” that will guide students’ thinking and the learning outcomes.  Constructivist teaching is emphasized which focuses on developing students to be active learners, as they engage in the learning to construct their own meanings.


The Geography curriculum is designed to manifest the dynamism of the subject as students study the interactions between man and the environment over time and space at the local, regional and global scales.  It integrates both physical and human geography, and provides for the acquisition of scientific and socio-economic methodologies. 

The curriculum focuses on the study and investigation of cause-effect relationships between man and the environment through the identification of trends and patterns, and the processes behind them.  This is followed by the subsequent investigation into the adaptations, measures and management strategies meant to cope and deal with these interactions. Through the use of relevant named examples and case studies, the curriculum ensures that the consideration of varied perspectives, ideas and views is inherent in the curriculum.  The Geography curriculum thus aims to develop in our students, the values and attitudes of responsible citizens of an increasingly interconnected world.  It will also strive to motivate them to reach a level of personal commitment to resolve the issues at different scales.


The study of Economics aims to provide students a broad understanding of national and international economic issues and challenges them to think critically through experiential learning and research.  It aims to challenge students to investigate the economic issues on strategies of firms, efficiency, market failure and macroeconomic developments in the regional and international economies. Students will examine real world case studies; provide economic insights and conduct research and explore alternatives to achieve key economic goals.

Economics as a social science will broaden students’ thinking as they examine human behaviour in response to changes and the way decisions are being made. Economics has a vital role to play in promoting international cooperation and mutual understanding because of its focus on global issues. To achieve this understanding, students will need to learn to consider economic theories, ideas, and events from the points of view of different stakeholders in the world economy.