FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
About Our Teaching Programme
After more than ten years of refinement, our Critical Reading & Writing (CRW) Strategy has helped hundreds of students improve their English results by at least one grade, with several achieving Distinction (A and A*) for PSLE, O Levels and A Levels. The CRW Strategy is adapted from the Critical Thinking framework that is being used to teach students in the Gifted Education Programme (GEP). We have infused the essence of the Critical Thinking approach and created the CRW Strategy that has an impact on students’ Comprehension Open-ended, Comprehension Cloze Passage, Comprehension Short Answer Questions (SAQ) and Summary. The CRW Strategy also develops students’ writing ability, helping them in their Continuous Writing and General paper essays. We are proud to share our students’ essays with you in our Blog. For more information about the CRW Strategy, you can see Our Strategy, Primary English Programme, Secondary English Programme and General Paper Programme.
Cognitus Academy shares the same concern with the parents of all our students. We want the teachers teaching your child to be the best at what they do and demonstrate the professionalism befitting an educator. All Cognitus Academy teachers undergo a stringent interview process, rigorous training programme and aptitude tests before they are allowed to teach our students. All our teachers have completed university education with high achievements and have wealth of experience teaching English, including writing. Guided by Dr Daniel Chua, an NIE-trained ex-teacher and a former NIE lecturer himself, our teachers meet weekly for professional development and mentoring.
Not all our teachers are former MOE teachers. While we believe that the training and experience of a former school teacher can be invaluable, our observation has been that students taught by former school teachers may not always do well when it matters. Otherwise, parents would have sought their children’s school teachers for guidance. Armed with our strategy and teacher development programme, we believe that our team of teachers will help your child improve and excel.
Yes, we offer a 90-minute immersion session for students who are new to Cognitus Academy. We understand that parents need to know that our programmes can meet the needs of their children before they commit the time and resources at our centre. Therefore, we will arrange for an immersion session in one of our available class slots for new students to try out the teaching approach, lesson material and classroom environment before joining us. The teacher will conduct a brief diagnostic session with the student 15 minutes before the lesson. After the lesson, the teacher will conduct a 15-minute feedback session with the parent. Please note that the teacher may conduct these sessions over a phone call due to the teacher’s lesson schedule.
To fully benefit from the programme, students are strongly encouraged to attend lessons consistently. In the event that students are unable to attend a class due to school events or medical leave, we offer replacement lessons to be scheduled within the same lesson week. Students are allowed to join an existing class of the same level if there are available seats. Should your child be unable to attend a replacement lesson during the week, lesson materials will be passed to him/her in his/her next lesson. While Cognitus Academy will try our best to schedule a replacement lesson for our students, we regret that replacements classes are not guaranteed. We also seek your understanding that fees collected are not refundable because resources have been committed to provide the lesson for your child on the scheduled time.
We do not conduct lessons during gazetted Public Holidays because the centre will be closed.
We do, however, conduct lessons during MOE-designated School Holidays. Regular weekly lessons will continue during the 1-week holiday in March and September. During the 1-month holiday in June and December, we will be conducting our popular enrichment programmes and regular lessons, which are optional for students to attend.
Yes, Cognitus Academy offers online lessons. You may refer to our class schedule here.
We keep our class sizes small for conducive learning. Our maximum capacity for a class is 8 students for both physical and online lessons.
For Primary English lessons, Cognitus Academy conducts 90-minute lessons that are engaging, energetic and paced appropriately to maximise our students’ learning. After experimenting with different lesson durations, we conclude that a 90-minute session is optimal for primary school students because it gives them optimal concentration, helps them absorb the strategies and lessons taught and leaves them wanting for more at the end of every lesson. Students are expected to reinforce the lessons taught through homework assigned by teachers every week. A small class size also allows our teachers to fully focus on each student’s areas of weakness and give targeted support.
After a full 90 minutes of teacher engagement and teaching, students will need to complete part of their assignment as homework, which will take approximately 30-45 minutes. Our teachers value every minute of class time that we have with our students and would not want to use up precious teacher-student time for students to complete worksheets. We are aware that some centres require students to complete their worksheets during the lesson and mark the students work before the lesson ends. Students who struggle to catch up may eventually copy the answers from the teachers during correction time. Every child is different and learns at a different pace. Rushing through the lesson and practices may lead to missed opportunities to guide students according to their individual needs.
In addition to weekly lessons with our teachers, Cognitus Academy offers the following channels to help our students improve their English results.
– Our Blog pages feature study tips, exam techniques and model compositions to support our students and parents
– Our Parents’ Support Group on Facebook invites students and parents to ask challenging questions, which our teachers will reply
– Our teachers conduct weekly Cognitus Connect sessions online to meet with groups of students to answer their questions and revise strategies for comprehension and writing strategies.
– Our student online portal, Cognitus Online, provides supplementary materials, such as past exam papers, for students to practise before their exams.
– Free use of The Straits Times online account
– Our teachers hand-pick more than 200 titles for our Centre lhttps://cognitus.edu.sg/centre-library/ibrary, which exposes students to a range of genres and literature.
About Covid-19 Measures
Our students’ well-being is our highest priority. Therefore, we fully adhere with, and go beyond, safety measures stipulated by the Ministry of Education, such as
– Requiring all students and visitors to register entry and provide contact details
– Requiring all students and visitors to wear a face mask
– Checking all students and visitors for acute respiratory symptoms (e.g, fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, etc)
– Maintaining a minimum of 1 metre between every table
– Disinfect classrooms after every lesson
– Install air purifiers with UV-light for every classroom to reduce bacteria and viruses in the air
– Open centre doors and windows every 30 minutes
– Temporary closure of library
Students who are unable to attend lessons because of a Stay Home Notice or other reasons related to Covid-19 will be able to attend online lessons while serving their notice. While we will try our best to make necessary arrangements for these replacement lessons, the teacher conducting the online replacement lesson may not be the teacher in your child’s regular class.