Raffles Humanities Programme

What Our Subject is About

The Raffles Humanities Programme (RHP) began in the 1980s, with then Raffles Junior College as one of the MOE Humanities Scholarship and Programme (HSP) centres. Today, we continue to attract MOE Humanities Scholars as well as Raffles Humanities students selected independently by Raffles Institution (RI) through an internal application and interview process. 

Teaching in the RHP caters to academically strong students who are independent learners.  HP classes are housed in a dedicated classroom compound with an attached lecture theatre and small study spaces. RHP classes attend customised lessons in the Humanities subjects of Literature and History while joining the rest of the mainstream cohort for lessons in other subjects to maintain a connection to the rest of the school. The RHP is also a holistic learning experience that extends beyond the A-Level classroom, where programmes, such as the Humanities Assembly, the Raffles Asia Programme, the Humanities Initiative and the Overseas Enrichment Programme, engage students in exploring independently various topics in greater depth.


What We Do To Develop Students' Interest/Abilities

All RHP students gather for a 1.5 hour Humanities Assembly every week, where they interact with guest speakers from diverse fields, many of whom are our own Humanities alumni. These sessions have also helped our students to be more confident and articulate in public settings. Speakers who visited us in 2019 include Mr Alex Au from Transient Workers Count, Mr Ng Choon Ping, guest director of the Singapore Repertory Theatre, and local poet Mr Theophilus Kwek.

The Raffles Asia Programme (RAP) is a student-directed, independent research project undertaken by every RHP student, on a topic of their choice connected with Asia.  Students are guided in research skills and academic writing, and supported by mentors who are experts in their fields of interest.  The RAP culminates in a student-run symposium, where every student will have the opportunity to present their research findings to an audience of their peers as well as to students and teachers from secondary schools and other HSP centres.

The Humanities Initiative is a whole programme community project, led by a student committee and undertaken by all students in the RHP.  The committee, which is elected yearly by the student body, independently sources for meaningful projects and partners, to which they can best contribute.

We run an annual Overseas Enrichment Programme (OEP) to Asia, and have been visiting Yunnan since 2018.  The focus of the OEP is on the political, educational and cultural landscapes of countries in Asia and their similarities and differences with Singapore. Students prepare for the OEP throughout the second half of the JC1 year, researching into each of the places they are to visit, and preparing for organisations and schools we will partner with.

While we are very proud of these programmes, we have unfortunately been unable to run it in 2020 and 2021.  However, we are keeping a close eye on the developing situation and will reintroduce these programmes as soon as we can.  

Throughout the year, students are also encouraged to attend a variety of performances and exhibitions, to take full advantage of Singapore’s increasingly vibrant cultural scene. Besides using the NAC Arts grant, where applicable, we also offer students subsidies to cultivate and encourage an interest in the arts. It is our hope to widen our students’ artistic tastes and give them the opportunity to attend the world-class performances available in Singapore. 



HP students participating in the OEP to Yunnan in 2019.


What Our Students Say

"To me, the Humanities Programme is a truly holistic and well-rounded journey, that upholds the highest standards of academic rigour while cultivating a deep and lasting interest for the Arts in students. RIHP tutors are intensely passionate and knowledgeable about their subjects, and our small-group, discussion-based tutorials challenged me to think analytically and creatively. HP also boasts a unique range of opportunities for extracurricular enrichment from the year-end overseas trip to weekly civics talks, which have broadened my world view and developed my appreciation for culture."
- Travis Tan Gene, 20A03A


"HP is more than just an academic programme––by the end of two years, your batch feels like a one big, fun family. I’ve met some of my closest friends in HP and I’ve been taught by tutors both passionate about what they teach and invested in our growth as people who care about the world. I’m going to miss all of it––the random break time debates about literally anything, the hilariously disastrous birthday surprises, panting up the many mountains on our trip to Yunnan. I went in wanting to learn about literature and history but I came out with so much more!"
- Wong Shao-yi, 20A01B


"Raffles HP has provided me with tremendous opportunities for growth - not solely in academic ability, but character too. I’ve been blessed with the best teachers and classmates here, and memories that I’ll treasure for life!"
- Ella Cheong, 20A01A


"Going into the humanities programme last year was daunting - I was very aware of the fact that the expectations placed on us would be high, both in terms of academics and in terms of character. Two years in J block have passed and although being in HP has been challenging, it has been just as intellectually stimulating. I’ve learnt a lot from the opportunities we have to hold discourse, both in proper classes and activities as well as in our own conversations among peers during breaks or after school. We’ve been given so many opportunities to look beyond ourselves and at the world around us – the Yunnan trip, in particular, let us experience new cultures and appreciate them.

All these experiences have been incredibly enriching and exciting, but after 2 years, what I’ve come to appreciate most about HP is the people I’ve met and the friendships I’ve formed. It may have been intimidating to meet so many amazing people at once last year, but over time I’ve found that J block has become something of a second home for me, and I’m really, really going to cherish the times we’ve had as a batch learning, growing, and deepening our passions for the humanities together. It also really helps that we’ve had incredible teachers who, apart from being fantastic at what they do, also take the time to get to know us and care for us. In summary, I’m extremely grateful for all the learning opportunities I’ve gotten here in Raffles HP - both in academics and in character, and for all the people who have made this journey so much more fun! Thank you RHP2020 :-)"
- Nellie Toh, 20A01A