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DSA MASTERCLASSES

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Cognitus Academy is proud to organise the Junior Model United Nations (JMUN) and the Commonwealth Essay Competition Workshops!

Every year, countless Primary 6 students apply for their dream Integrated Programme (IP) Secondary School through Direct School Admission (DSA). Although the procedure is well-documented, the criteria for success is often opaque.

If your child wants to secure a place through DSA under the categories of English Language and Humanities, Cognitus Academy is here to help your child enhance his or her portfolio.

In addition, if you would like to expose your child to two of the most enriching and engaging programmes for Primary 4 to 6 students, you have come to the right place.

Junior Model United Model (JMUN) and DSA

Debating has been the traditional method for a DSA applicant to demonstrate oral and critical skills.

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✅ In the past decade, however, many top IP Secondary Schools and Junior Colleges have begun to lean towards the Model United Nations (MUN) to develop students’ abilities to conduct research, critically analyse global issues, prepare strong points of argument, debate and lead a team. ​

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✅ Through a simulation of the United Nations, these young delegates come up with solutions for the most pressing global issues in MUN Conferences.

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✅ Cognitus Academy has designed a Junior MUN programme that equips young learners with key knowledge and skills that will help them to be successful in MUN Conferences. In addition, a DSA applicant who possesses the unique skillset acquired through MUN will not only have a strong portfolio, but also be more prepared during the interview.

So what is JMUN at Cognitus Academy about? 🤔

The Junior Model United Nations (MUN) programme exposes students to pressing world issues like climate change, wars, poverty, technological disruptions and human injustices through a fun and engaging simulation of the UN Conference.

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Through JMUN, students also learn to

✅ Research a key topic
✅ Write position papers
✅ Deliver speeches
✅ Debate their point of view
✅ Negotiate a compromise

💫 At Cognitus Academy, we are strong advocates of making learning meaningful, to inspire students to achieve academic excellence and more! 💫

The exposure to different perspectives on real-life events nurtures young learners to form a rational and informed point of view through analytical skills and critical thinking!

About the Coach

The Junior Model United Nations (MUN) programme exposes students to pressing world issues like climate change, wars, poverty, technological disruptions and human injustices through a fun and engaging simulation of the UN Conference.

Dr Daniel Chua​

Founder and Director

Dr Daniel Chua is Executive Director and Head of Curriculum at Cognitus Academy. He was Assistant Professor of History at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), NTU. Now Adjunct Fellow at RSIS, Dr Chua continues to teach Masters students academic writing and Asian history. A published author and commentator of politics and history, Dr Chua has written three books and numerous articles published in local and international newspapers, including The Straits Times, Today, and The National Interest.

In 2018, Dr Chua was the keynote speaker for NTU MUN 2018, where he inaugurated the conference by outlining Singapore’s roadmap as the chair of ASEAN. In 2019, he was invited to address delegates of the Oxford MUN Conference about the impact of terrorism and technological disruption.

Don’t take our word for it!

See what our students who went through the Junior Model UN say

“It allowed me to learn more about the Model United Nations and increases the chances for my successful DSA application.”

Ailish Lim

Primary 6

“I learnt more about the UN and MUN.”

Tor Yu-Herng

Primary 6

"It helped me with research."

Alexis Chia-Thomas

Primary 5

“I learned about the UN and MUN.”

Benjamin Khoo

Primary 5

How your child will be nurtured through the JMUN programme

Over four sessions, our JMUN coach will introduce students to the world of the Model United Nations and guide them to acquire critical skills needed to achieve top awards in MUN Conference.

Here are the topics that your child will learn in the programme.

Session Topic
1
Introduction to the United Nations

- Format and Procedure

- Role of a UN delegate

- Writing Position Papers
2
Planning a Position Paper

- Research key issue in the designated council/committee

- Analyse your country’s interest and position on the key issue
3
Writing a Position Paper

- Research key issue in the designated council/committee

Writing an Opening Speech

- Plan and draft a clear, comprehensive and persuasive Position Paper
4
Presentation and Discussion

- Present your Position Paper to the conference of delegates

- Address all questions directed towards your Position Paper

2020 Schedule

Run Date & Time
1
Full - Closed for Registration
2
Full - Closed for Registration

*All schedules subject to changes

Commonwealth Essay Competition Workshop

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✅ The Commonwealth Essay Competition (Junior) workshop is designed to complement the Junior Model United Nations workshop to prepare Primary 5 and 6 students for application to Secondary Schools through Direct School Admission (DSA-Sec) under talents related to English and Humanities.

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✅ Crafted with the aim of eliciting your child’s voice and guiding them to pen a powerful personal story, your child will complete this workshop with an essay which will be submitted to the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition, an internationally-renowned writing competition.

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✅ Your child will be instructed on how to use language and the different elements of story-telling to craft a powerful narrative. This workshop will see your child working industriously to draft an essay that best reveals their emotional maturity.

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✅ By the end of the workshop, your child will have an essay ready for submission to the Royal Commonwealth Society’s competition. Your child would have also found their voice, emerging as a thoughtful, opinionated and confident story-teller.

About the Coach

An English Language and English Literature tutor since 2013, Ms Shabbna Feroz Khan
dedicates herself to honing and nurturing her students’ individual voices.

Ms Shabbna Feroz Khan

Education Consultant / Teacher

Having excelled in the English Language and humanities in her formal education, Ms Shabbna has participated and placed in numerous writing and debating competitions herself. In 2008, she was selected to participate in the highly competitive Readers’ Digest-Pilot Pen Competition and emerged second Runner-up in the Junior Category. With this experience, she is well-suited to guide students through the rigour of crafting outstanding creative writing.

Her background in Philosophy and English Literature moulded her pedagogy of Socratic questioning and encouraging independent thinking. As a result, she values and encourages critical reading and writing.

She thinks of each student as Bob the Builder. To her, each student comes equipped with a unique set of knowledge and tools. She works with each builder diligently to enrich that knowledge and enhance those tools. Never discrediting a student’s contributions, she is sensitive, patient and respectful. She toils with each builder until the creation is complete.

These are what parents say about our writing coach, Ms Shabbna.

“Hi Miss Shabbna, thanks for your patience and great support during the course.
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.”

Mother of Selene Leong

Primary 4

“Hi Shabbna, I just wish we found you earlier 🙂 Very pleased with Michael’s progress in a month! He seems more confident in his composition and short story writing. Thank you for helping him get some structure and tips on how he can improve in the four weeks he had before the exam. Also, Michael now loves to read idioms daily and makes sure he uses them in day to day activities as well as composition.”

Mother of Michael Grundlingh

Primary 6

“He thoroughly enjoyed his sessions with Ms Shabbna, who is an inspiring teacher. She is conscientious and gives effective feedback to elicit true learning. Bravo!”

Mother of Jayven Phua

Primary 6

Achievement of students

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We would like to congratulate Tor Yu-Herng, a Primary 6 student of Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School and a Cognitus Academy student since 2018, for emerging a Gold Award Finalist in the Junior Category of the Commonwealth Essay Competition 2020.

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We would also like to congratulate Jane Loke, a Primary 5 student of Methodist Girls School, for clinching the Gold Award in the Junior Category of the Commonwealth Essay Competition 2020.

Writing Samples

These are some screenshots showing our students’ works and how our coach, Ms Shabbna, guided them:

Ms Shabbna explains a Primary 5’s student exemplary use of assonance, explains the literary device to her and commends her for her sophisticated writing.
Ms Shabbna asks the student thought-provoking questions to encourage her to apply the assigned readings to the setting of their poem while offering constructive suggestions.

How your child will be nurtured through the workshop

Over four sessions, students will dive into the world of the Commonwealth Essay Writing competition and acquire an acute understanding of the criteria needed to emerge a Winner or Runner-up, or secure a
Gold, Silver, or Bronze Award in their respective category.

Here’s what we will cover in the four lessons.

Lesson Workshop Content
1
- Background of the competition

- Analysis of winning entries

- Discussion of articles on chosen topic
2
- Elements of story-telling

- Use and effects of language features

- Composition of first draft
3
- Effective openings and endings

- Composition of second draft
4
- Composition of final draft

- Formatting and submission details
Follow up and submission
- 20-minute individual consultation on final draft

2021 Schedule

Run Date & Time
1
8/1, 15/1, 22/1, 29/1
Fridays, 7:00pm to 8:30pm
2
23/3, 9/4, 16/4, 23/4
Fridays, 7:00pm to 8:30pm
20-min Consultation
(Online)
TBC

*All schedules subject to changes

Thanks for taking time to read about our DSA programme.

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’re ready to help your child take the first strong step towards DSA application,
sign up using the form below.