Aesthetics and Applied Learning

All students attend a range of Aesthetics & Applied Learning (AAL) Programmes in the lower secondary levels. These programmes include Art, Dance, Food Studies, Maker and Music.

Students who demonstrate a strong interest and inclination towards Art and Music are welcome to apply to join the Art Elective Programme (AEP) or Higher Music Programme (HMP) from Secondary 1 as an additional subject. AEP and HMP are part of the Talent Development Programmes offered at the school. Selection for consideration into these programmes include a selection test and a portfolio interview (for art) and audition (for music). 

The AAL curriculum aims to develop in students a spirit of experimentation and exploration, as well as confidence in communication through the various forms of arts and applied learning platforms. The curriculum differs in breadth and scope in order to cater to varied needs and interests, focuses on student-centric pedagogy, and also develops students’ cross-cultural competencies.

Through these programmes, the school hopes to ensure a holistic development of a child in her 4 years in the school, creating a balance between academic and aesthetics pursuits in her education. 


The art curriculum in the lower secondary aims to develop visual thinkers through exposure to Art history, appreciation of art, creation of artworks, and the understanding and application of aesthetics. Through art, students are encouraged to respond with wonderment and awe; thinking interdependently, applying past knowledge to new situations, and develop the ability to take on various perspectives in different situations.  It encourages intellectual, emotional and social growth, developing creativity with an emphasis on flexibility, divergent thinking, fluency and imagination. Students will be exposed to a range of media and techniques including drawing and painting skills, experience of working on a design coursework over a sustained period to improve one’s design literacy and promote application in real-life situations.

Students who display an aptitude and enthusiasm for the subject at the end of Secondary 2 may opt for the Art Elective Programme (AEP) at upper secondary, subjected to a selection process.

Secondary 1 Art activities

Secondary 2 Art activities


Being a Special Assistance Programme (SAP) School, part of our mission is to preserve Chinese values and traditions. Chinese Dance is hence integrated into the lower secondary Appreciation of Chinese Culture programme. Students will be introduced to different Chinese dance styles and techniques, and better appreciate the Chinese culture and dance as a form of identity. The dance curriculum further aims to develop the Nanyang girl to be elegant, graceful, poised and confident. It is a way for self and/or group expression, and serves as a communicable tool between the performer and audience.

Group choreography and rehearsal during Secondary 1 Dance lessons

Food Studies

The curriculum is designed to empower students to be discerning consumers and mindful of good health through a nutritious diet, learning to optimise their resources of food and time to meet their nutritional needs for now and their future health status. The subject takes into consideration the equipping of knowledge, skills and attitudes required of students in the area of health and nutrition so that they are able to contribute to the future economy and social landscape of the nation. Through this learning, they would appreciate and develop an understanding of food, nutrition and trans-cultural awareness in the global context, and understand the importance of nutrition for long-term health benefits. By working individually and collaboratively, they learn about teamwork, acquire time management skills as well as understanding of food safety and hygiene practice. 

Students observe the process of a recipe preparation prior to their own execution of the dish during Food Studies lessons


All lower secondary students embark on a Maker Programme at NYGH where they are given opportunities to explore, experiment and to be engaged with different tools to design, make and problem-solve prototypes. Students are encouraged and empowered to be makers rather than consumers of things. Through the process of making and tinkering, it is hoped that students will become more aware of the designs of the world around them, understanding and recognizing the needs of others while they design and create prototypes that will improve the lives of others. Students acquire skills and confidence in handling tools that range from high-tech to non-tech tools.

Students at work in the school’s MakerSpace, taking ownership in designing, creating and making


The lower secondary music curriculum aims to enable students to express themselves confidently through music performance and creation, and develop in them an informed appreciation of a variety of musical cultures and styles. Students develop musical skills and understanding through active musical experiences and involvement in listening, performing, and creating processes individually and in groups. These include music-making in applied contexts such as songwriting, and a cappella singing. In the music classrooms, students are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas, and to be involved in musical decision-making. The discipline develops in students critical thinking skills, social awareness, moral and cultural values, all of which contribute to the holistic development of a child.

Secondary 1 students collaborate in mixed ensembles to create and perform their own musical arrangements

Secondary 2 students explore music in applied contexts such as songwriting with ukulele and music production with iPad GarageBand

Find out about our Aesthetics Talent Development

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