“So, what’s the point of Humanities?”


In November The British School Yangon hosted its first STEAM digital design lab open evening which showcased the fantastic facilities and dedicated STEAM staff at the school. The event provided learners of all ages with engaging activities, allowing them to observe our universe through Virtual Reality, solve complex astronomical problems and even extract DNA (from an alien banana) among other things. There is no doubt that in an era of increasingly rapid technological innovation, young people will need the skills that STEAM education provides to thrive in the modern workplace.

At BSY we believe that STEAM is just one element of a much broader curriculum base.   Over the year we will be turning the spotlight on different aspects of our curriculum to show you how we transform learning now to build for our students’ future success.

What are the ‘Humanities’?

The definition of the ‘Humanities’ varies widely. Sometimes referred to as the ‘social sciences’ in the UK and broadly grouped within the ‘liberal arts’ in the US, The British Academy for Humanities & Social Sciences says;

“The humanities and social sciences teach us how people have created their world, and how they in turn are created by it.”

From a practical perspective, the Humanities domain can comprise subjects including; history, philosophy, anthropology, geography, philosophy, theology, politics, economics and even languages. At BSY we don’t attempt to teach all of these separately, but rather, we look for the unifying ideas, qualities and skills which Humanities subjects can engender in our students and then endeavour to address them in our broad curriculum offer, all the way from Year 1 to Year 12.

Why study Humanities subjects?

There are numerous answers to this question which can be broadly expressed in three key ideas.

  • They’re intrinsically interesting and enjoyable

Although education is often discussed in terms of the skills and qualities that employers look for, it is important not to forget that it can and should be intellectually stimulating in its own right. At BSY we want to help our students develop a deep love of learning which will stay with them throughout their lives, and humanities subjects definitely do that; just ask the Year 4s who have been learning about the ancient Egyptians.

To understand how humans have been shaped by and shape the world around them (and how we can avoid mistakes of the past)

Whether through the study of ancient civilizations in Year 4 or macroeconomics in the IGCSE, the study of Humanities subjects at BSY throws an important and critical light on many of the most fundamental aspects of human society and experience. Humanities subjects encourage students to ask big and sometimes difficult questions about the world around them and develop an understanding of why things are the way they are and even, how they could be improved. As Winston Churchill famously said; “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”

  • To develop valuable skills for an uncertain future

The challenges of an increasingly globalised and environmentally unstable world will demand young people who are adaptable and can rise to new and unpredictable challenges. Humanities education at BSY enables students to analyse and critically engage with new knowledge, collaborate with their peers and communicate their ideas effectively; skills which will undoubtedly be valuable in a broad range of contexts in the future.

Want to know more?

BSY is hosting its first ever Humanities open day on Saturday 14th March from 10:00 to 12:00. It will provide prospective families with the opportunity not only see the school, but also the chance to experience our fantastic facilities, great teachers and to meet some existing students to find out first hand why they love Humanities at BSY!

The event will take shape through a set of different humanities themed workshops based around the idea of travelling through time. It will include a range of activities to engage both students and parents alike.

Workshops on the morning will include:

  1. Accessorise, Classical style – Design your own jewellery! (based on Egyptian, Roman and Greek designs)
  2. Micro-architecture:  Build a Pyramid out of toothpicks or a sarcophagus from clay
  3. Battle tactics: Propulsion power:  medieval catapult construction
  4. Navigate the paths of time:  Orienteering challenge and Treasure Hunt
  5. A royal story:  uncovering the secrets of Myanmar’s  golden palaces

We hope to see you there!

To book your place email: [email protected]  or call +95 (0) 9795541805,

[This is a sponsored post]
Previous articleThe air we breathe: Q&A with Air Quality Yangon
Next articleSampan’s Supper Club 2: Food, fun & friends


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here