The Science Department provides the skills, knowledge and platforms to enable students to develop scientific dispositions that support high-level research and understanding of natural phenomena. With a comprehensive programme that offers diversity while unifying core capacities to encourage curiosity, innovation and creativity, the Science curriculum aims to nurture tomorrow’s scientists, inventors and researchers for Singapore and beyond. Through subjects such as Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Computing and D&T (Design and Technology), and platforms such as the Science Leaders Academy and internships at high-end research facilities, a plethora of intellectual challenges are presented to students to extend their capabilities and interest in various scientific fields.
The six-year Biology curriculum in River Valley High School seeks to develop a scientific mind and disposition while addressing the broader questions of what life is and how life is sustained. Students will understand life at the cellular and molecular levels and make connections to how these micro-systems interact at the physiological and organismal levels. Emphasis is placed on the understanding and application of biological concepts and principles, stimulating interest in and demonstrating care for the local and global environment. Students who demonstrate interest in Biology are provided with opportunities to extend their learning through Biology Talent Class; research attachments with institutes of higher learning and healthcare sectors; and various enrichment programmes like Biology Olympiad and Biomedical Challenge. Through the variety of learning experiences, students will develop skills that will be of value in an increasingly complex and globalised world, be prepared for life science-related courses at university and, consequently, careers that are related to Biology.
Chemistry is the study of the structure, properties and transformation of matter. Students will learn how interactions of electrons, protons and neutrons can lead to a myriad of phenomena that impacts our daily lives. As a central science, Chemistry will encompass key elements of Physics concepts and principles as well as extend into applications in Biological systems. Students will learn how to traverse between macroscopic phenomena, sub-microscopic interactions and symbolic representations in order to develop a complete conceptual understanding of the Chemistry. A key tenet in the learning of Chemistry is centred around the use of models and representations to illustrate the chemical concepts. Practical sessions also provide an authentic context to see and relate Chemistry in real life. Beyond acquisition of a body of knowledge, the learning of Chemistry will include different Practices of Science, which will enable students to understand the nature of scientific knowledge, demonstrate science inquiry skills and relate Chemistry to society.
Computing studies in River Valley High School equip students with problem solving skills through development of computational thinking and computer science knowledge in the ever-changing world of emerging technologies. With alignment to the 21st century competencies and MOE computer education framework, junior high lessons are designed with emphasis on developing baseline competencies for ICT where students become ethical users and creators of technologies. For Senior High, students will understand the core concepts and practices of computer science which include algorithms, user interfaces, computer network, information database as well as system engineering. This prepares students for courses that are highly integrated with computation at university and encourages them to pursue careers that are highly relevant to the future of Singapore as a Smart Nation.
Physics develops in students the disciplinary thinking required to enlighten their curiosity and interest. Students undertake a wide variety of performance tasks, from investigative projects (such as designing a solar cooker or insulation for a cup of tea), to hands-on with laboratory apparatus, data loggers and video analysis of mechanics in action. They experience active learning structured throughout their six years with age-appropriate challenges, helping in their proximal and optimal development. In the first two years of experiencing Physics, students immerse in hands-on experiences with observable fun phenomena, from the basics of relating motion and forces, to looking at optical properties of lenses. Lessons are focused on building basic scientific techniques of measurement and analysis. From Years 3 to 6, students experience a progressive strengthening of fundamental concepts, investigative skills, deep analysis and problem solving, while being given opportunities to experience first-hand the applications of Physics and Engineering at the universities through workshops, seminars and research projects.
D&T education aims to nurture in our students a way of thinking and doing through designing and making. All students learn the design process which requires them to apply basic design and technology knowledge and design thinking skills. Students discuss their ideas, plans and progress with each other and work individually and in groups. Students also learn 3D-CAD software and handle simple hand tools and machines as well as 3D printers to help them realise their innovation ideas. All students also have opportunities to go through the Innovation Programme to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to view situations with empathy and in multiple perspectives so as to seek out and design innovating improvements to these situations. Through the process of design, the learner will also understand the need for cross disciplinary application and develop a set of attitudes that is critical for designing innovations.
Students who exhibit high potential are channeled to the Mathematics Leaders Academy and/or the Infinity Programme where they undergo rigorous training in the Singapore Mathematical Olympiad. They also participate in learning journey, workshops and research mentored by academics from institutes of higher learning. Mathematics Leaders also have the opportunities to lead in major events organised for primary schools and RV.
To extend mathematics learning, the department brings students overseas to better understand the function of numeracy and logical derivations in various sectors such as finance and high-tech industries. To create further opportunities for students who want to be challenged on a different platform, the department also runs a research-based modules for interested Year 4 students. After a few introductory lessons, these students embark on an independent research under the mentorship of their teachers.
The English Department is committed to nurturing students who are strong and confident communicators: individuals who are thinkers, leaders, and achievers with a global perspective. We want our students to achieve the competencies that will allow them to thrive in the 21st century: critical and inventive thinking; communication, collaboration and information skills; civic literacy, global awareness, and cross-cultural skills.
In this light, the English Department has implemented a range of programmes to support students in their learning. In Years 1 and 2, students are exposed to rich texts that build empathy and cross-cultural understanding; in Years 3 and 4, students are stretched through complex texts that demand intellectual rigour and close reading; in Years 5 and 6, students broaden their perspective of the world and take ownership of their learning. Students who choose to take Literature are given the opportunity to study texts in-depth, and so doing, gain an understanding of genre, style, and context.
The English Department is a team of dedicated teachers who work together to achieve the best outcomes for our students through a commitment to pedagogical excellence and reflective practice.
· P：Proficiency in Chinese and English（中英语表达能力）
· A：Appreciation of Chinese History, Culture and Values（华族历史文化鉴赏能力）
· C：Cross-Cultural Skills and Global Awareness（跨文化技能与环球意识）
The study of the humanities develops in students 21st century competencies, knowledge, skills and key dispositional traits to prepare for a dynamic and interconnected world. As an integral part of the RV holistic education, the humanities curriculum aims to inculcate in students the habit of reading critically to gain information about the changing socio-spatial environment at both the local and global levels. Armed with the tools of a social scientist, students will consider different viewpoints, make well-reasoned arguments to arrive at rational and considered decisions.
The Humanities Department offer plentiful opportunities to promote students’ active and engaged learning of the humanities through inquiry-based learning. Various local and overseas learning trips, and learning modules like Environmental Guardianship and Policies and Legislation are organised to help students engage with real-world issues. Students are engaged in organising national-level exhibitions and Model United Nations as well as cohort-wide programmes such as the Singapore Economy Challenge to understand different aspects of the Singapore economy and the rationale behind various economic policies adopted by the government.
The Physical Education (PE) Department aims to provide a 6-year integrated PE Programme through a PE syllabus that exposes students to a variety of games such as badminton, basketball, floorball, football, frisbee, gymnastics, softball, table tennis, tchoukball, tennis and wushu. Students also learn about strategies to lead a healthy lifestyle through the Food and Consumer Education module.
Students are also given opportunities to enrich their sporting experiences with key events such as the Healthy Lifestyle Month, Sports Carnival, Cohesion Hike, MOE-OBS Sec 3 Programme and Year 5 Growth and Empowerment Programme to complement the PE and Outdoor Education Programme in promoting a healthy and active lifestyle while building resilience and ruggedness in our students.