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Is your child at risk of doing badly for English?

Are you afraid that your child may not catch up after the Circuit Breaker?

Does your child perform better through online learning?

Why Choose Cognitus Online?

Students at Cognitus Academy tell us that they choose our engaging and
effective online lessons because of the following reasons.

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✅ Effective strategies that teach Critical Reading and Writing, maximising lesson time for your child's learning

During the 90 or 120-minute class, students will be able to interact with the teacher, participate in live discussions as well as be engaged through online quizzes.

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✅ Experienced and nurturing teachers to successfully guide your child to English mastery

Our team is passionate and experienced, with a proven track record. With us, you get value for money, but more importantly, value for your child’s precious time.

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✅ Efficient and user-friendly interface with access to our materials for student-driven independent learning

Ensuring the cyber safety of your child is of utmost importance to us. We have implemented security measures to ensure that all lessons are conducive for maximising learning online.

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✅ Quality education at the convenience of your own home

There is no place like home. Our students enjoy being able to save time on travelling and still benefit from our enriching online lesson.

Our Strategy

Using strategies taught to students in the Gifted Education Programme (GEP), our Primary and Secondary English programme is built upon years of experience teaching, designing curriculum, marking exams and designing assessment modes in schools. We can’t wait to share them with you!

Credits: This framework is an adaptation and synthesis of Paul and Elder’s theory on Critical Thinking, and books on Critical Reading and Critical Writing.

Critical Reading and Writing principles used in MOE’s Gifted Education Programme form the basis of Cognitus Academy’s English programmes.

Don’t worry. Although these strategies are taught to gifted students, our programmes are DOWN-TO-EARTH techniques that have helped students of all abilities improve and excel.

What do we cover through lessons on Cognitus Online?

Be it physical or online, we do not compromise on the quality of teaching and learning at Cognitus Academy. Our teachers deliver all online lessons in-step with physical lessons for both Primary and Secondary classes. Find out more about our popular Primary and Secondary Programme.

Primary English Programme

Our weekly lessons are divided into two parts. The first part brings world knowledge into the classroom while the second part develops our students' language skills.

PART 1: Connecting with the World

Current Issues
We extend our curriculum by using newspaper articles to expose students to current affairs.
Examples of current issues that we will go through with your child include the environment, technology, social trends, crimes, etc.
Identifying Main Idea
Our teachers will go through a newspaper article at the beginning of every lesson.
While going through the article, students will identify three main ideas of the article and summarise them in one or two sentences.
Students are then assigned a portion of the article to copy as homework. There are three objectives for this activity:


– Students will be able to emulate the accurate grammar that is used in these articles.


– This broadens their range of vocabulary that will be useful for their writing. We select articles which has content relevant to what students need to write for Continuous Writing.


– This also develops students’ ability to check their own work and avoid careless mistakes. Students can lose up to three marks in exams due to their careless mistakes. Therefore, checking their work develops an important discipline.

PART 2: Connecting with Language

Vocabulary is developed through reading. However, some students find it difficult to cultivate the habit of reading. Without knowing the meaning of some words tested in the exams, how should your child make the right decision and select the correct answer?
Here are some tried and tested strategies.
Every week, students are exposed to one of seven vocabulary elements:
– Roots of words (eg. aqua-, botan-)
– Prefixes (eg. anti-, dis-)
– Suffixes (eg. -tion, -sive)
– Compound Words (eg. ice cream, raindrop, long-haired)
Idioms (eg. A taste of your own medicine)
Phrasal Verbs (eg. act on, act up, aim at)
– Binomial Pairs (eg. all or nothing, bits and pieces)


Our teachers expose students to the meanings of numerous roots of words, prefixes and suffixes and help students deduce the meanings of words which contain them. This strategy equips students with the required tools to break up any new word they encounter and accurately deduce its meaning.
We also expose students to a wide range of binomial pairs, phrasal verbs, compound words and idioms. Since phrases in these categories have fixed meanings, exercises are crafted to help students learn these meanings and use the phrases in sentences accurately.
Synthesis & Transformation
This section is the ultimate test of a student’s grammatical competency. Students need to rewrite two short sentences as one without altering the original meaning of the two given sentences. They need to make a series of decisions on whether to change the position or word class of the provided words
There is no shortcut to mastering this section.
Our aim is for the students to get full exposure to the different types of questions and teach them the necessary grammar rules and conventions effectively.
We have studied all S&T questions and distilled them into the 12 most commonly tested question types:
– Relative Pronouns
– Conjunction of Time
– Quantity
– Cause and effect/Reason
– Choice
– Contrast
– Purpose
– Condition
– Voice
– Reordering Main Clause
– Subordinate Clause
– Reported Speech
– And others


We will be covering a set of these 12 question types over the duration of one term (11 weeks), so your child will practise up to four rounds of practices in a full year.
Comprehension Cloze Passage
Many students find it difficult to score beyond 10 marks in this section and it is often the one section that students rarely get full marks in Paper 2.
However, there are four simple steps that you can take to make this seemingly impossible task a lot easier to manage.
– Read the entire passage once without attempting to fill in the blanks. This will give students a good overview of the text.
– After reading, students will give each paragraph a heading (CRW2: Identifying Main Idea). This will help them to focus on the key point in each paragraph. The context of the paragraph will trigger prior knowledge and bring some possible words into their minds.
– Think of a word that matches the context as perfectly as possible and fill in the blanks.
– After they are done, students will then need to look for clues and highlight the keywords that will help justify their answers for the blanks. This step will help students to check and confirm their answers. If they are unable to find a keyword, it means that their answer is incorrect.
Situational Writing
Situational Writing may appear to be more straightforward than Continuous Writing, but securing the full 15 marks is a feat few students can lay claim to.
Without going much into detail, Situational Writing tasks are generally categorised into two types – formal writing and informal writing.
Students will be taught the format of the different communication types, such as emails, letters, reports, etc.
Our teachers guide students to answer the question by following the PAC checklist:


– Purpose
– Audience
– Context


Our teachers will also follow the PSLE marking rubrics for assessing these assignments.
Continuous Writing
Continuous Writing is a major obstacle for most students because they do not know how to improve specific parts of their composition. Even if they know their weakness, they are unable to fix their particular problem in writing.
Our teachers guide students to conduct question analysis and picture analysis so that they are able to attempt the question confidently and begin planning. When planning, we equip our students with a framework of four plot elements which we recommend they incorporate in their writing. These plot elements help them plan stories that are heart-warming, suspenseful, of mischief or teach a moral value.
Our teachers inspire our students to write expressively by encouraging them to use the most vivid and precise verbs and adjectives. We emphasise the use of Show, Don’t Tell as a technique to present the story in the most compelling and convincing manner possible.
Our teachers will mark students’ first draft with detailed individualised feedback. This feedback is crucial in commending students for the good writing they have presented and for highlighting areas of improvement. After three drafts, students can improve from a low B to a high A while retaining their ideas in the story. Doing so encourages students to improve their work and leaves them with a piece they can be truly proud of.

A sneak peek at how we teach Lower Primary Composition

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel here.

Look at how we teach News Articles

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel here.

Secondary English Programme

Cognitus Academy’s Secondary English Programme is designed by our team of curriculum specialists led by Dr Daniel Chua.

  • 8 Elements of Thought
    Students are taught to dissect essay questions and analyse texts through the 8 Elements of Thought.

Credits: This diagram is taken from Paul and Elder’s theory on Critical Thinking.

✔ Purpose: What are the objectives of this text/essay/image?
✔ Question at issue: What is the issue of contention involved?
✔ Information: What type of data do I need to answer the question?
✔ Interpretation and Inference: How can the information be applied to the question?
✔ Concepts: What are the theories and concepts that I need to know?
✔ Assumptions: What are the underlying beliefs and assumptions of the question/text?
✔ Implications and Consequences: What will happen if my answer/proposal is implemented?
✔ Point-of-view: What are the different points-of-view relevant to this text/question? 
Our CRW strategy gives precise guidance on how students can score for English Paper 1 and Paper 2.


The 10-mark editing section might be a breeze for some students but a struggle for others, especially if students are not familiar with the grammar rules.
The good news is that being clear about grammar rules will lead to a good editing score.
We teach our students to identify different rules and apply them to the context of the passage.
Your child will be able to recognise these types of errors in the text:

– Subject Verb Agreement
– Tenses
– Prepositions
– Word Forms
– Connectors

Once they identify the error, students will find the right words to replace the error.
Situational Writing
Your child will encounter different types of genres in the Situational Writing task, including the following: 
– Email (Formal and Informal)
– Letter (Formal and Informal)
– Reports
– News articles
– Speeches, etc

Our teachers guide students to analyse the question and teach students to amplify their points by following the PAC checklist:

– Purpose
– Audience
– Context

Students are also guided on the different formats required for each genre and make improvements based on the teachers’ individualised feedback.
Continuous Writing
Continuous Writing requires students to write and essay according to one of the following genres:

– Personal Recount
– Descriptive Writing
– Discursive Writing
– Argumentative Writing

Our teachers adopt the 8 Elements of Thought and teach students to dissect essay questions.
Students are taught to do question analysis and use different brainstorming tools to generate key points for their essays.
Students are also taught skills in Substantive and Reflective Writing:

– Substantive writing helps students focus on the purpose of the writing task (e.g., to persuade, to entertain, to report, etc). Once students are clear about the objective of the writing assignment, they are able to focus their content to achieve the objectives. They will also be able to use the appropriate tone and vocabulary to meet their writing goals.


– Reflective writing involves developing students’ ability to evaluate their own writing by asking questions such as “How good is my writing?”, “How can I improve in my next draft?”, “How do I seek help?” etc.
Being reflective will transform how students write because they will always be trying to improve.
Our teachers will mark students’ first draft with detailed individualised feedback.
This feedback points out the strengths of their writing and highlight areas for improvement.
After three drafts, students can improve from a B to A grade, while retaining their ideas in the essay.
Doing so encourages students to improve their work and leaves them with a piece they can be truly proud of.


Visual Text Comprehension
Visual Text Comprehension may seem easy because of the lack of long passages. However, students may struggle to interpret posters, advertisements, brochures, webpages, etc.
Students are bombarded by visual stimulus every day, but may not fully appreciate the purpose and message of these visual stimuli.


MOE has decided to include visual text analysis as a part of the Secondary English syllabus for students to better understand the world around us.
So how can we do well for visual text analysis?
Through a structured analysis of the visual stimulus, our teachers guide students to identify the Purpose, Message and Audience in the text.

– Purpose requires students to identify the action that the visual stimulus would like the reader to take.
– Message refers to the reason why the reader should take action.
– Audience refers to the target group that are able to take the intended action.
After analysing the visual stimulus, our teachers impart answering techniques that will help students maximise their scores.
Narrative Text Comprehension
Applying Critical Reading techniques, our students are able to dive deep into the context of the narrative text. Our teachers will  dissect comprehension questions into the following types:
– Language Use
– Vocabulary
– Paraphrasing
– Inferential
– Sequencing

Under each question type, students are given the most effective strategies and techniques to meet all question requirements.
Non-Narrative Text Comprehension
Non-narrative texts require students to apply CRW 2, which is to identify the main ideas in each paragraph. After analysing the text, students will be able to understand the logic and intentions of the writer. Next, our students will be equipped to handle the most challenging questions under this section:

– Justifying a Point-of-View
– Writing a Summary

To justify a point-of-view, our teachers deploy the 8 Elements of Thought to help students identify key reasons to support the given opinion.
To write a comprehensive summary that fits into the 80-word limit, our students are taught to design critical questions to scan for key points in the passage.

Take a look at how we teach Visual Text Comprehension

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel here.

Termly Assessment

Our students come from a range of different schools with different academic cultures.

Do you know how your child compares with another student from a different school?

We conduct termly assessments for our students to assess their current progress and see where they stand relative to their classmates from different schools.

Our tests comprise of the most challenging questions from past year exams and will be able to diagnose students' weaknesses. From there, we will reinforce confusing grammar rules and exam strategies.

Excellent strategies requires excellent execution

Our team of experienced teachers and English specialists are well-versed in the CRW Strategy and are fully dedicated to help your child grow and improve.

Ms Nawirah Nordeen completed her degree in Psychology with Magna Cum Laude. Always passionate about teaching English and committed to her students, she has guided hundreds of students since she started teaching in 2012.

Ms Cheryl Wong teaches English at the Primary and Secondary level at Cognitus Academy. Her love for the language is evident in her excellent English results, scoring A* for English at PSLE, A1 at O Level, and A for General Paper at the A Level. Ms Wong’s passion for the language inspires her students to enjoy the language and excel in their English examinations.

Hear What Some of Our Parents and Students Say

Don't just take it from us!

boy (3)

Amazing and Effective Lessons

“The online lessons were so far so good. Teaching and everything else is amazing. They are effective.”
Roswell, Primary 4

Amazing and Effective Lessons

“Before he left for class he was actually whining quite bit. But I was surprised that he came back with positive feedback. He said he learned a few new phrases today that he can use for his compo. I will continue to practise with him. This exercise is just timely as he will have his composition exam in a week’s time.”
Parent of Zachary Lee
woman (2)

Passionate and Nurturing Teachers

“The Structured lessons helped Alyssa to target on her weaker areas. She managed to build her confidence and found lessons helpful and engaging. Kudos for Ms Shabbna’s nurturing approach & keeping me updated on her progress throughout the program.”
Parent of Alyssa Chew, Primary 6

Built Up Love for English

“Selene is more confident in writing and able to write much more than 120 words now! She understands 
 the fundamentals of a composition and slowly applying what she learnt. 
While Selene still needs to improve on the speed of getting into and off her climax, she is diligently finding ways to replace “tell” with “show don’t tell” phrases. 
After this course, I’m convinced that what they went through in school is inadequate and we made the right decision to send her to a creative writing course.”
Parent of Selene Goh, Primary 4

Guides and information about Cognitus Online

Thanks for taking time to read about Cognitus Online.

These are the underlying principles behind
some of the strategies taught to gifted kids.

We want mainstream students to also benefit from them
because we have seen how powerful they can be.

If you want your child to try out our Critical Reading and Writing strategies,
sign up using the form below.