How Your Child Can Significantly Improve Their Composition Grades and Achieve AL1!

Do you know that writing is a skill that takes a long time to develop?

Are you frustrated that short, intensive writing classes are not helping your P3 to P6 child become a strong writer?

Built on critical thinking strategies, Cognitus Academy’s Writing Programme produces strong results and lasting improvement through the Critical Reading and Writing (CRW) Strategy.

We have helped many students from schools islandwide!


Growth as a Writer and a Person

“The Writing Masterclass was brilliantly crafted and executed by the writing coaches. The teacher was able to very quickly pick up where my daughter’s strengths and weaknesses were to further extend her over a short period of time. My daughter was sufficiently challenged and truly enjoyed it.
Thank you so much for your infinite patience and attention in helping Kylie grow, both as a writer and also in her appreciation of good moral values. She has gained alot in knowing how to show more empathy towards the people around her after attending your class.”
Parent of Kylie Goh, Primary 4

Succinct yet Powerful

“The Primary Writing Programme is a succinct yet powerful course that has effectively equipped my child with critical strategies to plan and write his compositions with intriguing openings and compelling conclusions.
He thoroughly enjoyed his sessions with the teacher, who is an inspiring teacher. She is conscientious and gives effective feedback to elicit true learning. Bravo!”
Parent of Jayven Phua, Primary 6

If your child is aiming to score high marks for Paper 1 Composition...
here's what you need to know!

Students often face difficulties in developing story ideas and knowing how to express themselves creatively in writing. They may also make mistakes in grammar and punctuation.

The truth is, writing is a skill that takes prolonged practice to master. Your child may invest a lot of time practising essay writing skills, but the efforts do not always bear fruits.

Referring to model essays may help, but more often than not, memorising someone else’s compositions hampers students’ creative thinking and they are unable to produce their own exceptional compositions.

Countless parents have shared how our holiday Writing Jump Start Workshops have helped their children improve their compositions

After listening to comments on what we did right and can do differently, we have enhanced our successful short writing courses by crafting a year-long Regular Writing Programme (RWP) that not only drills students with powerful writing techniques, but also coaches them to apply the techniques to a wide range of composition topics.

Here's how it works

There are two components to this programme – the Writing Jump Start Programme and the Regular Writing Programme.

Writing Jump Start Workshop

Every new student who is interested to enrol in our Regular Writing Programme will have to attend the Writing Jump Start Workshop for four 1.5-hour sessions, usually over the school holidays.

This is the skills-intensive portion of the programme where students will learn the essential writing skills and techniques.

Regular Writing Programme

The Regular Writing Programme is the writing-intensive portion of the programme.

Here, students begin their journey of becoming better writers in weekly 1.5-hour sessions throughout the year. Students will apply the skills and techniques learnt in the Writing Jump Start Programme through continuous practice and perfect the way they write.

It is important for students to attend both skills- and writing-intensive programmes in order to achieve Writing Mastery and score AL1 in Continuous Writing.

Here’s what to expect in our Writing Jump Start Workshop

During these focused practices, our writing coaches will guide students through the following activities.

In just four sessions, your child will grasp effective strategies to craft outstanding compositions with rich, precise vocabulary and perfect grammar!

Writing is a powerful mode of expression and we take the responsibility of guiding your child seriously. Our methods and feedback given to students’ compositions are testament to the detailed attention and dedication we have towards your child’s learning.

Effective Planning
“He who fails to plan, plans to fail.”
Does your child struggle to hit the word limit, lose track of their story or fail to answer the question at all? These are some common problems students face when they first start writing. If this is the case, there is a 99.9% chance that your child did not plan before writing. 
The first 15 – 20 minutes of any composition task are crucial for students to position themselves to write the best possible story. We understand how importance it is and teach students how to plan by breaking down the question and picture to conceive a riveting plot for their story. 
We introduce students to plot elements that they can incorporate in their story to differentiate their story from their peers’ stories. We provide students with a unique framework to plan their story to ensure a complex plot that is fully developed. These skills ensure that students are best situated to brainstorm a truly creative idea and enjoy the time spent writing.
With these skills, your child will:
✔ Perform a question analysis
✔ Perform a picture analysis
✔ Select and incorporate the best plot element
✔ Complete a plan effectively
✔ Ensure complexity and development of plot
Intriguing Introductions, Compelling Conclusions
Does your child always begin their stories with “It was a sunny morning”? Do they always end their stories by recounting a lesson learnt?
These do not show a child’s creativity and are unlikely to get them top marks. The marker will not only be marking your child’s composition, but hundreds of others. Therefore, your child has 15 seconds to grab the marker’s attention and entice them to read the story. A strong opening almost always means a strong composition.
We share techniques for an intriguing introduction that grabs the marker’s attention. Furthermore, we introduce techniques for writing a compelling conclusion so that your child ends their composition strongly, too. We will teach your child not to always fall back on a standard “lesson learnt” but to demonstrate that they are intelligent and reflective storytellers. 
With these skills, your child will:
✔ Understand the need to start and end strongly
✔ Be equipped with the requisite techniques
✔ Craft intriguing introductions
✔ Craft compelling conclusions
Setting the Scene, Show, Don't Tell
Does your child still tell what a place looks like and how a character is feeling? Does your child still struggle to show despite reminders from teachers and writing coaches?
Almost every school-going child has heard of “show, don’t tell” but most of them still struggle with this fundamental skill. There is a greater effect in showing your character’s face turning red, eyes growing wide and hands clenching into fists than simply telling me they are angry.
We take care to explain the narrative effects of setting the scene and employing expressive writing to students.
We guide students in using their five senses to craft descriptive, vivid phrases and tell their story compellingly.
In the same vein, we introduce them to simple strategies for setting the scene which informs the examiner of the story’s physical location and draws them into the storytelling world.
With these skills, your child will:
✔ Understand the need for highly expressive writing
✔ Have the beginning of a repertoire of descriptive phrases
✔ Employ descriptive phrases of their own
✔ Craft settings that are informative and exciting
✔ Write a wonderfully vivid story
Complex Characterisation
Do the characters in your child’s story seem one-dimensional? Are their appearances, thoughts and behaviours described in detail?
The characters in your child’s story must be as dynamic as possible to rope the reader into the story. Characters are, after all, a vehicle for the story to unfold. Whether your child writes a story in the first or third person, they must flesh out all characters.
We share our unique framework for characterisation which enables your child to flex their creative muscles and create a character (or two) who the reader can identify with. We discuss creating complex and realistic characters and the ways in which traits and quirks can be presented. Crucially, we teach your child the linguistic features and conventions of dialogue, which allow your child to include the character’s speech in their story.
With these skills, your child will:
✔ Create dynamic and creative characters
✔ Reveal characterisation through speech and behaviour
✔ Employ accurate linguistic features of dialogue
✔ Use dialogue accurately to further the plot

About our Regular Writing Programme

Recognising that each child is unique, we take pride in extending care and attention to each and every child’s learning and writing styles during each group session. The teacher will mark every writing exercise and draft , suggesting ways to improve on plot, character and language.

We do not mark to penalise but to gain clarity on where your child's strengths and areas for growth lie. In our detailed feedback, we either pose questions to prompt your child to reconsider their story ideas or suggest words and phrases to show your child how their ideas can be expressed more precisely. We firmly believe that writing is a journey and it is one that we will embark on with your child every step of the way. We view our feedback as an excellent opportunity to nurture your child's confidence in expressing themselves.

With this feedback, your child will:
✔ Recognise areas of strength and growth
✔ Improve content and expression through writing exercises and drafts
✔ Develop independence in proofreading work

The Regular Writing Programme (RWP) will cover the five themes that are commonly tested in the PSLE.

Values / Morals
Example: Showing Empathy
A Type Of Experience / Incident
Example: An Unforgettable Incident
An Event
Example: A Celebration, A Surprise
A Type Of Event
Example: A Memorable Celebration
Example: Overcoming A Fear

Example of student's composition with individualised feedback

Teacher notes the use of good techniques and corrects student's composition

Marks are given to students for them to assess on their improvements

Termly Assessment

In a 13-week term, students will write compositions in class every week. Three of the themes will be written under the close supervision of the teacher and will undergo a total of three drafts each.

Two of them will be written under exam conditions. These compositions will marked and scored by our qualified and experienced writing coaches, using a comprehensive rubric that details criteria regarding content and language. These compositions will be a good representation of whether students are able to put theory into practice well.

We are gratified to see students improve from 25 to 30, and eventually 35 out of 40 over three drafts. Armed with these strong compositions, your child will be better poised to apply the strengths in each composition in every composition examination.

Our Teaching Team

Cognitus Academy takes pride in helping our students achieve breakthroughs in their results.
We are able to do that because of the strong team that we have built to teach, organise and administer our robust English programmes.

Having been a teacher trainer at the National Institute of Education (NIE), Dr Daniel Chua has not only crafted a solid curriculum for our students, but also an effective training programme for our teachers.

At Cognitus Academy, teachers form the foundation of our English programmes. Prospective teachers are screened meticulously and undergo a rigorous 3-month training programme to develop core competencies of a teacher. Teaching interns also develop academic and philosophical roots in their pedagogy by studying the relevant materials in-depth and observing senior teachers in action before they enter the classrooms to teach.

After the completion of formal training, new teachers will continue to go through robust training and meet regularly to sharpen their problem-solving skills, explore innovative and effective curriculum for students, and refine teaching methods to enhance the students' mastery of the subject.

Our curriculum and pedagogy are continuously refined and updated in accordance with the changes in the education system by our curriculum team comprising of ex-MOE teachers, Heads of Department, Senior Teachers, PSLE markers and experienced Cognitus teachers. All the teachers hired by Cognitus Academy must minimally obtain a Bachelor's Degree in English Language, English Literature or other related subjects.

Hear from some of our students who have enjoyed writing with us!

woman (7)

Lost, Now Found

“She was lost on how to write a good compo before joining the class, but has a much better idea now.”
Parent of Ting En, Primary 3

Feedback for Improvement

“The teacher gives feedback on my compositions and tells me how I can improve on it.”
Mikaela Goh-Earwaker, Primary 6
boy (1)

Leaps and Bounds

“It helped me improve my composition by leaps and bounds. Ms Shabbna also helped me improve in me Situational Writing.”
Michael Grundlingh, Primary 6

Made the Right Decision

“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. 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
boy (4)

Key Strategies for Key Moments

“I managed to learn strategies which are useful for my PSLE composition. I learnt more about characterisation and about planning a plot.”
Lavan Ajai S/O Kumaran, Primary 6
girl (1)

Constructive Comments

I liked how I learnt new and different methods and techniques to improve different areas of my writing such as characterisation and setting the scene. I also found that the comments given were helpful and constructive.”
Sophie Chua, Primary 6

Here are some students' improvements in Composition after attending
our Writing Programme:

Wei Xin (Mee Toh School): 74% --> 87%

Takuya (Alexandra Primary): 49% -> 75%

Kenji (St. Joseph's Institution Junior): 55% -> 70%

Frequently Asked Questions

How does your programme benefit my child?
After more than ten years of refinement, our Critical Reading & Writing (CRW) Strategy has helped hundreds of students improve their English results by more than one grade, with several achieving Distinction (A and A*) for PSLE. The CRW Strategy is adapted from the Critical Thinking framework that is being used to teach students in the Gifted Education Programme (GEP). The CRW Strategy develops students’ writing ability, helping them in their Continuous Writing. 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.
How qualified are teachers at Cognitus Academy? Are they NIE-trained?
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 non-MOE school teachers do just as well when it matters most. Armed with our strategy and teacher development programme, we believe that our team of teachers will help your child improve and excel.
Do you offer a trial lesson for new students before they commit to termly lessons?
Yes, we offer an 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 their 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.
Do you offer replacement lessons if my child misses a lesson?
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. 
How many students are there in a class?
We keep our class sizes small for conducive learning. Our maximum capacity for a class is 10 students for both physical and online lessons.
Why are Primary English lessons 90 minutes long? Is it enough for my child to make improvements?
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.
What else is Cognitus Academy doing to enhance my child’s learning?
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 library, which exposes students to a range of genres and literature.

P4 to P6 RWP Schedule

📍 Goldhill Plaza

Programme Date and Time
Jump Start Programme
(4 sessions)
Run 28
12 Mar to 15 Mar
1pm – 2:30pm
Regular Writing Programme
3pm - 4:30pm
4pm - 5:30pm
11:15am - 12:45pm

*All schedules subject to changes. Classes are usually fully subscribed 1 month in advance. Sign up now to avoid disappointment.

Still can’t decide which English Programme to enrol in?

We understand that choosing the right English programme is an important decision because we have worked with hundreds of parents who are just as concerned as you about their child's English results. If you would like to discuss your needs with one of our English specialists, fill out the form below and we will be in touch with you.