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PRIMARY WEEKLY CLASSES

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

Our Strategy

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

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.

How we apply the CRW strategy in our lessons

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.
Language
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
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.

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.

You may wonder, how do we fit in so many topics into our lessons?

This is how a typical 11-week term at Cognitus Academy looks like:

Week Component
1
Situational Writing, Continuous Writing
2
S&T – Relative Pronouns and Conjunction of Time, Comprehension Cloze
3
Comprehension Open-ended, Visual Text Comprehension
4
S&T – Quantity and Cause-and-effect/Reason, Comprehension Cloze
5
Comprehension Open-ended, Visual Text Comprehension
6
Situational Writing, Continuous Writing
7
Termly Assessment
8
S&T – Choice, Condition and Contrast, Comprehension Cloze
9
Comprehension Open-ended, Visual Text Comprehension
10
S&T – Voice, Subordinate clause and Reported/Indirect Speech, Comprehension Cloze
11
Situational Writing, Continuous Writing

*Lesson schedule may change due to students’ school exam schedules.

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

Education Consultant / Teacher
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 Shabbna Feroz Khan

Education Consultant / Teacher
Ms Shabbna earned her degree from the National University of Singapore, majoring in philosophy with a minor in English Literature. Before that, she achieved a sterling academic record for English scoring A* for PSLE, A1 for O Levels and 7 out of 7 for IB English at Anglo-Chinese School (Independent).

So if you’re interested to help your child achieve significant improvement using our CRW Strategy,
we are offering a one-time 90-minute immersion session for your child.

Here’s what we’ll be covering in 90 minutes

✅ Students should email us their recent test papers in advance for our teachers to look through. A 15-minute pre-lesson diagnostic assessment will be scheduled with the student.

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✅ Experience our teachers’ lively and engaging classroom teaching, as they optimise student engagement and provide easily comprehensible instructions in our 90-minute immersion session.

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✅ Evaluation of the student’s learning in class will be given to parents after the immersion session.

Class Size

Due to our small class size of 8 students, we are left with very limited slots for our Primary 5 and 6 classes.
Once these classes are full, we will not be opening any new classes for this year.

The CRW Strategy develops critical thinking and takes time to master. Although some students see improvement right away, most will take 2-3 months to see results.

In order to help your child improve his/her English results as soon as possible, schedule an immersion session with us today!

Additional Support for Members of our Community

These are what a Cognitus student gets on top of these amazing lessons

Our Blog

Our Blog pages feature study tips, exam techniques and model compositions to support our students and parents.

Parents’ Support

Our Parents’ Support Group on Facebook invites students and parents to ask challenging questions, which our teachers will reply.

Cognitus Online

Our very own student portal, Cognitus Online, provides supplementary materials and past exam papers for students to practise before their exams.

Subscriptions

Our students have access to The Straits Times online and quality periodicals such as Time, National Geographic kids, BBC Earth, etc.

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Centre Library

Our teachers have hand-picked more than 200 titles for our centre library, which exposes students to a range of genres and literature.

Don’t take our word for it!

Hear what some of our parents have to say about our programme!

"Emily enjoys going for class every week. Dr Chua makes the learning process fun and interesting that Emily enjoys being taught by him, and always shares her positive experiences. Emily enjoys the company of the classmates in Cognitus and she is self-motivated to complete her assignment with quality to win a thumbs-up from her tutor."

Parent of Emily Hiu

Primary 6

"Thanks to Cognitus, I see the progress of my child. He has got his confidence on composition."

Parent of Takuya Udagawa

Primary 6

"Benjamin enjoys each lesson tremendously and finds that topics discussed during lessons have improved his general knowledge. He has also grown more confident."

Parent of Benjamin Shai

Primary 5

Good strategies will only be able to transform students' results if they are motivated

Your child may have been attending English tuition but has not been seeing improvement.

Why is that so?

The fact is, the lessons your child has been attending are not pitched according to his/her level of readiness.
If students are unable to grasp the lesson, forcing them to finish their English assignments demotivates them.
If the lessons are too simple, your child will be bored and unmotivated.

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At Cognitus Academy, our programme is crafted to MEET every child’s level of readiness and motivate them to achieve their FULL potential.

Through our own passion for the English language, our trained and experienced teachers ignite students’ LOVE and INTEREST in English.

We understand that students need to know 'why' before they ask the 'what' and 'how'.

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Therefore, we teach our young charges to set learning goals study plans and motivate them to work towards their targets.

Weekly lessons from newspaper articles also make the language come to life and encourage students to think broadly and critically about local and global issues.

Lower Primary English

Our structured Lower Primary programme for Primary 3 and 4 students develops
mastery and fluency in grammar, vocabulary and exam skills to build confidence in our pupils.

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Developing core strengths in young learner

Beginning from literacy and phonics, our programme stretches students’ ability to think about and learn English in a fun way.

Key Components
✔ Mastery of grammar
✔ Building vocabulary
✔ Exam skills
✔ Literacy and comprehension skills
✔ Phonics and oral skills
✔ Confidence in writing
 

Upper Primary English

For Upper Primary pupils, our proven strategies for improving English results,
ultimately achieving AL1, in PSLE English exams involve not only exam tips,
but also equip them with critical reading and writing skills to maximise their potential.

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Laying the foundation for PSLE AL1

Critical reading skills taught at Cognitus Academy have elevated students’ ability to read with understanding and score for sections such as Comprehension MCQ and Open-ended and Comprehension Cloze Passage.

Key Components
✔ Exam techniques for Comprehension Open-ended, Cloze Passage, Synthesis and Transformation and Situational Writing
✔ Precision in grammar conventions
✔ Appreciation and application of vocabulary
✔ Accuracy and consistency in reading comprehension
✔ Flair and creativity in written and oral communication
✔ Termly assessment designed to stretched students’ abilities

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 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.

  • 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 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.

  • Do you offer a trial lesson for new students before they commit to termly lessons?

    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.

  • 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. 

  • Do you offer online lessons?

    Yes, Cognitus Academy offers online lessons. You may refer to our class schedule here.

  • How many students are there in a class?

    We keep our class sizes small for conducive learning. Our maximum capacity for a class is 8 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.

  • Still can't decide?

    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 your 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.

    Thank you for taking time to read about our Primary programme.
    Hundreds of students have achieved massive improvements using our CRW Strategy.
    Your child should not miss out any longer on this opportunity to improve on his or her English.
    Try out a 90-minute immersion session with us by filling out the form below.