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Social Studies as a subject, has come a long way. It became an examinable discipline at the O and N Levels from 2001. Altogether, a total of 41,000 students took the paper in 2015. Recently from January 2016, the assessment format of Social Studies has further evolved. From one similar to History with its lengthier (and more heavily weighted) essay questions, Social Studies has now embraced the ‘structured response questions’ (SRQs). The section retains the lower weightage of its predecessor at 15 marks. A significant change for Social Studies students is that now they are given information from which they analyse and argue their standpoint. This is in contrast to the greater focus on memory recall which underpinned essay requirements.

For both sections (Source-Based Case Study and SRQs) nevertheless, the ability to read with a critical eye and connect the dots remain firm in Social Studies. Classes at Kimiya Learning Place have thus been built on the foundation of reading mastery. These include reading strategies and identifying transition words or connectives. Further, the exposure to different material would provide a more in-depth understanding of Social Studies topics; and resultantly enable students to see the bigger picture. In tandem with skills refinement such as cartoon analysis, and varied practices, we aim to build the overall capacity of Social Studies students to tackle the unknown and to better prepare them for uncertainty – which arguably is a hallmark of this fast-moving and continually globalising world.

On a broader note, some of the above mentioned skills would be transferable across to other subjects. Notably, these would be English and History. We therefore invite you to join us in the development journey for long term intellectual growth!

About the Tutor
Mr Chen Weilun obtained his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the National University of Singapore (NUS). Other qualifications include the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment (ACTA) and a diploma in Anti-Money Laundering. In addition, Weilun has trained staff in customer service, processes and Information Technology (IT) systems. Further, he contributed to the development of Ministry of Education (MOE) trainee teachers.

With regards to teaching and tutoring, he previously taught History in a Junior College (JC). There he assisted his General Paper (GP) colleague with knowledge in political theory. His students have hailed from the Primary to the JC levels in the subjects of English, History and GP. Various topics interest Weilun – law, sports, literature, classical music, finance and ethics among others. Where possible he draws links between the different disciplines and subjects. Overall, he hopes to help students grow holistically over the long term.

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