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SEC 1 ENGLISH JUMP START PROGRAMME

As parents, we heave a sigh of relief after our children clear PSLE and get posted to Secondary school.

However, this relief can be short-lived as it gives way to anxiety for students who find Secondary 1 work different, difficult and disconcerting.

Common questions our Sec 1 students and their parents grapple with

❓ How is the English exam format different in Sec 1?
❓ If I did well in PSLE English, will I be able to do the same for Sec 1?
❓ Or worse, if I did poorly in PSLE English, will I struggle even more in Sec 1?
❓ Should I wait till Sec 2 or 3 to start English tuition?

The truth is

Whether your child has done well for PSLE or not, getting the hang of Secondary O Level English is going to be challenging. Almost every written component of the Sec 1 English exam is different from PSLE.

Some parents feel that Sec 1 is a suitable time to give students a year to relax.

However, these parents soon regret their decision. Unfortunately, we discovered that Sec 1 is not time to relax yet. Students who manage Sec 1 and 2 English well will be more successful in handling the rigour of Sec 3 and Sec 4 workload, which will involve more complex topics in other subjects. We believe that it is critical to make the transition to O Levels steady and stress-free, and our methods definitely help.

Message from our Founder

Dr Daniel Chua

Founder and Director

Greetings, parents! I’m Dr. Daniel Chua, a former Head of Department in the Ministry of Education (MOE), an experienced PSLE exam marker, and a former lecturer at the National Institute of Education (NIE).

During my tenure as an MOE teacher, I had the privilege of instructing highly talented students from the Primary Gifted Education Programme (GEP). However, I also recognised that many of my non-GEP students possessed remarkable but untapped potential.

To address this, I decided to impart some of the critical thinking skills typically taught in the GEP to all my students. To my great satisfaction, these skills enabled them to significantly enhance their English grades.

This forms the foundation of our Critical Reading & Writing (CRW) strategy. My team and I employ a ‘gifted’ approach in teaching students of all proficiency levels, ensuring that they too can excel in the subject.

Our Teaching Team

We take 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 programmes.

At Cognitus Academy, our teachers are the heart and soul of our English programmes. We take great care in selecting our educators, and they go through an intensive 3-month training programme to build their teaching skills.

Our curriculum and teaching methods are always evolving to keep up with changes in the education system. This transformation is led by our curriculum team, which includes ex-MOE teachers, Heads of Department, Senior Teachers, and our experienced Cognitus instructors.

With years of experience in bridging the P6-to-S1 gap

Cognitus Academy has designed an intensive and effective course to help your child jump start Sec 1 English.

In 9 sessions, your child will learn

✅ The major differences between Pri 6 and Sec 1

✅ Simple and effective steps to scoring distinction for Editing. We will impart tips and practical steps that students can apply to score for this section.

✅ Structured approaches to plan and score for Situational Writing. Students will learn the requirements for writing emails, letters, reports, speeches and newsletters.

✅ Critical reading and writing strategies for answering Visual Text, Narrative and Non-narrative Comprehension. Students will learn and practise how to answer direct, inferential and evaluative questions, as well as learning the application of the Elements of Thoughts in this section.

✅ Fool-proof method to achieve high marks for Summary. Students will practise strategies to write a good summary.

✅ Give students an insight into the more complex Secondary Listening Comprehension and Oral.

Introducing our Critical Reading and Writing (CRW) Strategy for English

In our Secondary English programme, we focus on building essential skills at every step of the way. Starting with the basics of paraphrasing and identifying main ideas, we create a strong foundation for success in exams.

As we progress to the more advanced levels of critical reading, like analysing and evaluating text logic, your child becomes uniquely equipped for excellence in the O Level English exams. It's these skills that truly set our Cognitus students apart!"

Let's dive into more details below!

Hear What Satisfied Parents Have To Say

How we apply the CRW strategy in our lessons

Our CRW strategy gives precise guidance on how students can score for English Paper 1 and Paper 2.

Paper 1

Editing
The 10-mark editing section can be a breeze for some students but a bit challenging for others, especially if your child isn't yet familiar with all the grammar rules (such as Subject Verb Agreement, Tenses, Prepositions, Word Forms, Connectors)

Our approach involves teaching students to spot different rules and apply them to the passage's context. Once they identify an error, we guide them to find just the right words to replace it.

Situational Writing
In the Situational Writing task, your child will engage with various genres, such as Email (Formal and Informal), Letter (Formal and Informal), Reports, News articles, Speeches, and more.

Our dedicated teachers help students analyse questions and expand on their points using the PAC checklist (Purpose, Audience, Context). We also provide guidance on the specific formats required for each genre and support improvements based on personalised feedback.

Continuous Writing
Continuous Writing demands students to craft an essay in genres like Personal Recount, Descriptive Writing, Discursive Writing, and Argumentative Writing.

Our teachers incorporate the 8 Elements of Thought, guiding students to dissect essay questions. We teach them question analysis and introduce various brainstorming tools to generate key points for their essays.

Additionally, students gain skills in Substantive and Reflective Writing:

➡️ Substantive writing hones in on the purpose of the task, helping students focus their content to meet objectives and use the appropriate tone and vocabulary.

➡️ Reflective writing develops the ability to evaluate their own work, asking questions like "How good is my writing?" or "How can I improve?" Being reflective transforms how they write, fostering a continual desire for improvement.

Our teachers provide detailed individualised feedback on the first draft. This not only points out the strengths but also highlights areas for improvement. After revising, students often see their grade improve from a B to an A, all while maintaining the essence of their essay. This process encourages ongoing improvement, leaving them with a piece of work they can truly be proud of.

Icons made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com

Paper 2

Visual Text Comprehension
Visual Text Comprehension might seem straightforward due to the absence of long passages, but interpreting posters, advertisements, brochures, and webpages can be a challenge.

Recognising this, MOE has included visual text analysis in the Secondary English syllabus to enhance students' understanding of the world around them.

Our teachers, through a structured approach, guide students to identify the Purpose, Message, and Audience in the text.
➡️ Purpose: Students learn to identify the action the visual stimulus aims to prompt.
➡️ Message: They understand the reason why the reader should take that action.
➡️ Audience: Recognising the target group able to take the intended action.

After analysing the visual stimulus, our teachers provide answering techniques to help students maximise their scores.

Narrative Text Comprehension
Students gain self-knowledge and develop the ability to question and evaluate their own writing.

Taking everything into consideration, we have refined and crafted our Writing Programme to help guide your child in applying these techniques in their Composition.

We bring students through 3 drafts of writing for each Composition topic, where our teachers will comment on the different aspects. As the students incorporate these feedback into their 2nd and 3rd draft, they will see the improvements made by earning more marks than the subsequent draft.

Non-Narrative Text Comprehension
Understanding non-narrative texts involves applying CRW to identify main ideas in each paragraph. After this analysis, students comprehend the logic and intentions of the writer. They are then equipped to handle challenging questions like Justifying a Point-of-View and Writing a Summary.

To justify a point-of-view, our teachers deploy the 8 Elements of Thought to help students identify key reasons supporting the given opinion. For crafting a comprehensive summary within the 80-word limit, our students learn to design critical questions to scan for key points in the passage.

If you are ready...

📍 Goldhill Plaza

Run Programme Date and Time
Run 10
(CLOSED)
Secondary 1 English Jump Start for P6 students
Tuesdays
(24, 31 Oct, 7, 14 Nov)
7pm - 8:30pm
Run 11
(CLOSED)
Wednesdays
(25 Oct, 1, 8, 15 Nov)
5pm - 6:30pm
Run 12
(CLOSED)
Fridays
(27 Oct, 3, 10, 17 Nov)
7pm - 8:30pm
Run 13
(CLOSED)
Saturdays
(28 Oct, 4, 11, 18 Nov)
11:30am - 1pm

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

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?
We share 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 trial lesson 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 a trial lesson 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 we 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, around 10 for English and up to 20 for some Maths classes. The aim is to provide the best individualised support for students within a group. Our consistently good results are a testament to the effectiveness of our class sizes.
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 student online portal, Cognitus Online, provides supplementary materials, such as past exam papers, for students to practise before their exams.
– Our teachers hand-pick more than 200 titles for our Centre library, which exposes students to a range of genres and literature.
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 student online portal, Cognitus Online, provides supplementary materials, such as past exam papers, for students to practise before their exams.
– 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 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.

If you are ready...

📍 Goldhill Plaza

Run Programme Date and Time
Run 26
PSLE Intensive
Oral Workshop
8 Jun
1:30pm - 4:30pm
Run 27
15 Jun
1:30pm - 4:30pm
Run 28
27 Jul
1:30pm - 4:30pm
Run 29
3 Aug
1:30pm - 4:30pm
Run 30
10 Aug
1:30pm - 4:30pm

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

Run Programme Date and Time
Run 32
Synthesis and Transformation,
Compre Cloze, Compre OE
Situational Writing
28 May to 31 May
10:30am - 12:30pm
Run 33
4 Jun to 7 Jun
10:30am - 12:30pm
Run 34
11 Jun to 14 Jun
10:30am - 12:30pm

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