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Ignite Academic Brilliance: Your Journey to A1 in Secondary English Starts Here

Master Critical Skills and Elevate Your English to O Level Excellence!

If you're navigating the challenges of your child's secondary education, you're not alone. As they progress to higher levels, English demands intensify, and concerns about academic performance can surface.

In the journey through secondary education, many parents face a common pain point — witnessing their child grapple with English complexities. The shift to upper secondary brings new challenges like intricate literary analysis, nuanced writing, and diverse text comprehension. Parents often express worry about how these challenges can impact their child's grades and overall confidence.

Our programme is crafted to address these common pain points. We acknowledge diverse learning styles, customising lessons to suit your child's strengths and fortify areas needing improvement. Our focus goes beyond fundamentals, honing advanced skills like critical reading, essay structuring, and effective communication.

Choosing our programme isn't just a commitment to academic excellence; it's an investment in your child's overall growth and confidence. Let's work together to pave the way for success in secondary English education! 🚀

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.

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!

8 Elements of Thought

In the 4 levels of Critical Reading, paraphrasing and identifying main ideas are foundational skills for doing well in Secondary English exams.

Credits: This diagram is taken from Paul and Elder’s theory on Critical Thinking.

Students are taught to dissect essay questions and analyse texts through the 8 Elements of Thought.

✔️ Purpose: What are the objectives of this text/essay/image?
✔️ Question at issue: What is the issue of contention involved?
✔️ Information: What type of data do I need to answer the question?
✔️ Interpretation and Inference: How can the information be applied to the question?
✔️ Concepts: What are the theories and concepts that I need to know?
✔️ Assumptions: What are the underlying beliefs and assumptions of the question/text?
✔️ Implications and Consequences: What will happen if my answer/proposal is implemented?
✔️ Point-of-view: What are the different points-of-view relevant to this text/question?

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.

360-degree Framework to Super-charge your Child's Academic Journey

Weekly Lessons

Weekly lessons provide guidance and teaching of crucial skills and concepts that will enhance your child’s learning of English.

Through weekly practices and homework assignments, your child will develop mastery and fluency in all important areas of learning.

Timely Detailed Feedback

After every lesson, teachers will send lesson updates through email, informing parents about key topics covered and homework that needs to be submitted. Teachers will also update parents about students' progress and highlight areas that students can make significant improvements in.

Holiday Boosters

We have a range of additional programmes designed to supplement weekly lessons in order to maximise learning time during school holidays.

Our Holiday Programmes include:
- Sec 1 English Jump Start

Introducing Cognitus Plus

Cognitus Online

Efficient and user-friendly interface with access to our repository of past year school exam papers for student-driven independent learning.

Cognitus YouTube

Uncover instructional films pertinent to your child's needs and encourage them to engage in self-directed learning. 

WhatsApp Support

Parents will be able to keep in touch with our teachers should there be any enquiries anytime.

Additional Materials

We also feature our Students' Works, publish Blog Articles and have a Centre Library for students to browse throuhg our collection of books for reading.

You may wonder, how do we fit in so many topics into 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.

Week Component Comprehension Language
1
Situational Writing – Informal email
Editing
2
Visual Text Comprehension, Narrative Comprehension
Grammar, Vocabulary
3
Continuous Writing – Personal Recount
Editing
4
Visual Text Comprehension, Non-Narrative Comprehension
Grammar, Vocabulary
5
Situational Writing – Formal email
Editing
6
Visual Text Comprehension, Narrative Comprehension
Grammar, Vocabulary
7
Class Test Paper 2
8
Class Test Paper 1
9
Visual Text Comprehension, Non-Narrative Comprehension
Grammar, Vocabulary
10
Continuous Writing – Descriptive Writing
Editing
11
Visual Text Comprehension, Narrative Comprehension
Grammar, Vocabulary
12
Situational Writing - Speeches

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

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.

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.