The Hwa Chong School-based Gifted Education programme, hosted by the iSpark Consortium, focuses on the total development of its students, placing steadfast emphasis on personal growth in the Moral, Intellectual, Physical, Social and Aesthetics aspects. We are committed to creating a learning environment that is challenging and engaging to gifted learners. A varied and enriched curriculum is planned and implemented, based on a constructivist and investigative approach. Experiential learning through interdisciplinary studies, individualized research studies, projects, and external activities like the Moot Parliament Programme, are the norm in iSpark. iSpark also hosts talent development programmes in the Humanities, Sciences and Mathematics, so that each student is academically stretched to his fullest potential.
In addition, we are resolute in providing an equally enriching and meaningful affective education for iSpark students. Thus, the elements of caring, critical and creative thinking permeate in all curricula and programmes. Students have ample opportunities to develop their leadership talents through various leadership training programmes, and are also given opportunities to work with the community through the Community Involvement Programme and Service Learning.
Ultimately, our vision is to see iSpark students graduate as fully developed, confident and caring individuals ready to take on service and leadership roles in both local and global communities.
When I first joined the iSpark Consortium in Secondary 1, I was inspired by the feeling of camaraderie, care, and mutual support present amongst not just the students, but also with the teachers. I knew that the iSpark Consortium was going to be a place where I could further my interests both within and beyond academics, a place where I could be stretched to maximise my potential, and a place I could call ‘home’. Indeed, after 4 years in the Consortium, I can confidently say that the iSpark Consortium has provided me with countless opportunities to ignite my spark for learning, leading and giving back to the community.
Be it developing eco-friendly, low-cost alternatives to purifying water; devising solutions to remove herbicide efficiently, or discovering novel methods of improving UV protection, students in the Science and Mathematics Talent Programme (SMTP) make their mark not only on the national stage, but also at prestigious international science fairs and mathematics tournaments. These include but are not limited to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the International Stockholm Junior Water Prize, and the International Mathematical and various Science Olympiads. Indeed, this is because the SMTP, catered to gifted and high-achieving Upper Secondary students, is a programme that:
SMTP students also have opportunities to experience the rigour of Science Mentorship Programmes with the Gifted Education Branch, as they pursue scientific research under the guidance of experts in various fields. This is complemented by students’ convenient and immediate access to state-of-the-art laboratories in Hwa Chong’s Science Research Centre, the first to be established by any school in Singapore. Ultimately, the Hwa Chong SMTP is one with a difference, moulding students to become future leaders who possess values of research integrity, as well as innovation and empathy through solving real-world problems in the community.
The Hwa Chong Science and Mathematics Talent Programme (SMTP) has offered me numerous opportunities to sharpen my aptitude in both disciplines, whether through competitions like the Singapore Junior Biology Olympiad or the Research Paper component of the programme, which involves us in rigorous experimentation and discovery in an area of interest. Because of my teachers' nurturing mentorship and the similar interests that my classmates and I share, I have been able to pursue my passions to the fullest. Yet, the SMTP does not confine me to just specialising in its domains. I am also given the space to continue exploring other areas like the humanities and public speaking, serving as the Deputy Secretary-General of our school's Model ASEAN Summit and being the Chairman of the Hwa Chong Debate team. SMTP has certainly enhanced my Hwa Chong life!.
Each year, the Humanities Programme (HP) attracts top talents who are curious thinkers, avid readers, and persuasive communicators. Through the study of the three Humanities subjects—Geography, History, and Literature—students are able to appreciate complex global issues from multiple perspectives. Interdisciplinary modules, involving the Humanities, Languages, Mathematics, and Sciences, are also a key feature of our curriculum. Through these authentic projects, students appreciate the resonance between disciplines, as well as the constructive potential of harnessing differences. Beyond the classroom, learning comes alive for our HP students when they work in senior-junior teams to organise integrated activities, such as symposiums, mock conferences, field studies, and drama, among others. Many of our HP students go on to flourish in top universities around the world, with half of Hwa Chong’s President’s Scholars coming from the Humanities Programme alone. Moreover, our HP students and alumni alike are actively involved in Service Learning projects which uplift the community.
We are proud of our HP students—past and present—who embody our vision of being engaged citizens of the world, and empathetic leaders of Singapore.
The Humanities Programme (HP) has enriched my Hwa Chong journey far beyond my expectations. Instead of treating the Humanities as individual subjects, we are guided to understand it as a whole. This is facilitated through multi-disciplinary tasks and projects that challenge us to connect the dots across many fields. Apart from all the academic knowledge and skills, what is HP without understanding ‘humanity’? HP has shaped me into someone who thinks deeply about the many disenfranchised groups in today's society, instilling in me a passion to serve the community.
The Bicultural Studies Programme (BSP) aims to produce a pipeline of future Singapore leaders who are not only effectively bilingual, but also possess cultural nous, allowing them to continue building bridges and forge opportunities for Singapore’s advancement on the global scene. Its curriculum anchors Hwa Chongians in the Singaporean Perspective, while developing their ability to form cutting-edge insights on the relationships between China, the West and Southeast Asia. Students develop their thinking skills and capacities as they make connections between past and present global trends from the East and West.
Overall, the BSP curriculum aims to give students:
To me, the Bicultural Studies Programme (BSP) has been extremely fruitful, exposing me to new perspectives and constantly challenging me to view the world through different lenses. Various BSP events such as the Asian Youth Chinese Forum and BSP Symposium have given me unique opportunities to organise events and draw insights from local and foreign experts. Additionally, through my immersion in China last year, I was able to witness what I had learnt in class manifest in reality. Above all, the BSP has taught me to be culturally sensitive and open-minded, which I think is crucial as we navigate the shifting sands of today’s world.
Since its inception in 1990, the Chinese Language Elective Programme (CLEP) at Hwa Chong Institution has dedicated itself to nurturing the nation’s next generation of bilingual talents and cultural ambassadors, well-versed in the intricacies of the Chinese Language, Literature, and Culture. In 2020, we became one of the 9 schools in Singapore to offer CLEP to Upper Secondary students.
Overall, the CLEP curriculum aims to:
The Art scene at Hwa Chong Institution has historically been graced by Singaporean greats. Pioneer artists Liu Kang, Chen Wen Hsi, and Lim Hak Tai, just to name a few, have all taught at the school. Today, their legacy lives on in our Art Elective Programme (AEP). The AEP nurtures talented, young artists into future cultural leaders, advocates and scholars who can contribute to the nation’s cultural capital in the areas of fine art, design and new media. AEP students are encouraged to pursue their passions and constantly innovate, developing their creative, conceptual and analytical thinking in the process.
These results culminate in the recognition that Hwa Chong AEP students are consistent frontrunners in prestigious competitions such as the UOB Painting of the Year award, as well as leading contenders in being conferred scholarships from the Media Development Authority and other ministries.
I decided to join the Art Elective Programme (AEP) because of my passion for Art, and after being in the programme for over a year, I have gained a deeper sense of appreciation for the subject. This is because the AEP is a platform that exposes me to a wide variety of Art media. This happens especially through opportunities to visit museums and attend workshops to both learn and appreciate all forms of Art. These expand my vision as to what I can do with my creativity, from using traditional graphite on paper, to experimenting with more modern media such as digital design and animation.
The Malay Special Programme (MSP) contributes to Hwa Chong students’ cross-cultural leadership and perspectives in multiple ways. Firstly, it ensures that every Hwa Chong student will graduate with basic proficiency in Malay. This is because all Hwa Chongians learn the language, as well as the accompanying Malay culture and customs, at Secondary Two. Secondly, students interested in pursuing the Malay language further can study it as a Third Language with our in-house cikgus. It is an experience that goes beyond the classroom, as MSP students are accorded with a myriad of opportunities for sustained, meaningful interaction with the language and culture. These include Scrabble challenges, cultural immersions, oratorical competitions, and chances to lead the MSP student community in inter-school activities that enable them to share their love for the language.
The Malay Special Programme (MSP) has been an enriching experience. I find it useful to be equipped with the skill of understanding the Malay Language; it has certainly allowed me to converse with my Malay-speaking friends and understand many instances of the language in my daily life. We are also taught about Malay culture, customs, and practices, and one of the ways in which we celebrate and promote understanding of these elements is, for instance, our annual event, MSP Day, that the MSP students organise for the school. Ultimately, it has been both fun and fulfilling to be in MSP.