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"A Morning Walk along Singapore River" • 

Genius Hive Pre-school


Genius Hive Pre-school is set in the Central Business District (CBD) area of Singapore which included places that reflect Singapore’s rich history and culture. As part of our National Day celebrations and an effort to build up children’s national identity as Singaporeans, we brought children for a morning walk around the pre-school to provide them with authentic learning experiences that aimed to increase children’s understanding of the history and culture of Singapore.


This experience integrated the learning areas of Aesthetics & Creative Expression and Discovery of the World where children were given opportunities to:

    • Observe the various sculptures and fixtures in the areas surrounding the Singapore River 
    • Talk about what they think and how they feel about these sculptures and fixtures 
    • Compare the sights and scenes of Singapore in the past and in the present through observations of sculptures, fixtures and their immediate environment 

Pre-trip Activity

Before the walk, we planned to find out children’s prior knowledge about Singapore and its history. We were able to do so through a discussion and sharing of personal experiences. The following listed some of the prompts we used to facilitate the discussion:

    • What do you know about Singapore? 
    • How is it different from other countries you have visited? 
    • What are some landmarks in Singapore that you have seen or visited? 
    • Do you think these landmarks were around a long time ago? 
    • Singapore is going to turn 52 years old this year. How do you think Singapore looked like many years ago? How did you know? Why do you say so?

Main Activity

After a discussion to invite children’s interest about Singapore’s history and to ascertain children’s prior knowledge, we set off to the Singapore River. 

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Children observed the sculpture titled 'Progress and Advancement' at Raffles Place. 
As children walked around the sculpture to look at the engravings on it, 
they learned how Singapore has progressed and advanced from a 
small fishing village to a "city with tall buildings and offices".

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Children got to know more about the function of Singapore River in the past. 
They learned that it used to be a place where goods were delivered by boats 
and transported onto bullock carts by coolies who “didn’t have money to even buy clothes”.

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Children spotted something interesting on this sculpture. 
They discovered that the abacus was used in the past for calculation, 
“for rich people to count their money”.

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We also took a closer look at the signage at the Cavenagh Bridge. We realised that cattle and horses were not allowed to cross this bridge! The children wondered “Then how would the cows carrying lots of rice carry it across the river?” With the help of the zoom function on the camera, we were able to learn about the person whom the bridge was named after. 

We carried on walking in search of the famous Singapore landmarks. Following the signs, we made our way to the Merlion Park where we saw the Singapore skyline and various landmarks like Marina Bay Sands, Fullerton Hotel and the Esplanade. We sat in the shade to draw what we observed of present-day Singapore. As a closure, pictures taken during the walk were shown to the children back in the classroom so as to let them recall and reflect on their learning experiences in the form of a picture talk activity. 

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The children enjoyed the morning walk which allowed them to learn more about Singapore as they explored the neighbourhood. 

Resources for teachers:

Contributed by: Gan Gek Teng, Principal 
Genius Hive Pre-school