Distinguishing Excellence

From zero to HERO - 2011 J2 PRC scholar to complete his perfect score of 7As with GP going from D to A in J2, Sec 4 student L1R5 30pts in July 07 to 9 in O levels 07 with A2 in EL, P6 student from 38/95 to 58/95 for Paper 2 Booklet B in Term 1 2009, P5 student from C  in P4 SA2 to A* in 2008!!

English Language & Literature enrichment programmes by Mrs Nora de Silva- Yuan

Interested parents and students can SMS me at 81386011

  • 2014 English Enrichment Classes
  • Sec Literature Unseen Poetry Programmes 

English Enrichment Classes 2014 & 2015

10 weekly, ongoing English enrichment lessons per term (largely following the Singapore school terms); 
12 per class; fee $569

Venue: 20 Kramat Lane, United House, 05-02 
(near Dhoby Ghaut & Somerset MRT stations, behind Le Meridien Hotel, next to Hotel Grand Central) 

To enrol in 2015 classes, please SMS 81386011 for more information.


Term 4 Schedule of English enrichment classes 
(all one and a half hrs per lesson)







(double year J2 prog)





English Language
(double year Sec 4 prog)






English Language
(double year Sec 2 prog)





(double year P6 prog)





Note that 

  • Primary 5 pupils can join the PSLE English enrichment class
  • Sec 1 students can join the CORE SEC EL prog
  • Sec 3/IP Yr 3 students can join the Upper Sec English enrichment class
  • JC 1 students can join the General Paper class

as there are 2 distinct full-yr General Paper, O Level/IP Yr 4, Sec 2 (pre-streaming) and PSLE programmes.  

For available places, 
SMS 81386011

I offer..
Specially developed English enrichment programmes

  • JC General Paper
  • Upper Sec EL, Lower Sec EL for O levels or Integrated Programme on the A level pathway
  • Lit Unseen Poetry, Lit Unseen Prose, Studying Shakepeare & Studying Set Texts, modular programmes for Secondary Literature & IB Language Arts
  • PSLE English Language

I used to offer...(but am unable to now)
One-to-one English enrichment lessons 

  • Error analysis & exam coaching for students with special needs or hybrid conditions (usually post-intervention, eg. a dyslexia specialist might refer a gifted but dyslexic student)
  • Study skills, learning styles profiling and self-motivation strategies
  • Guidance and coaching on specific Literature  & Language Arts Individualised Project Work (IPW) for "O", "A" levels, SATs (Scholastic Achievement Tests) or International Baccalaureate
For information on available places, SMS (+65) 81386011  Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm
with info on -

  • School level
  • Subject: General Paper/ English Language / English Literature/ Language Arts/ Language & Literature
  • Exam pathway: GCE A levels/ GCE O levels/ IB (International Baccalaureate)/ GSCE/ IGCSE/ PSLE/ Others
  • Lesson format: Enrichment class/ One-to-one corrective (post-intervention upon referrals from specialists)


For first-time overseas enquiries, pls send a query.

Sec Literature Unseen Poetry

Understanding Different Forms of Poetry 

Tackling Unseen Poetry 

Focus: identifying and recognizing different forms of poetry  & answering Lit Unseen Poetry questions 

6 three-hourly sessions (12 lessons of one and a half hours each), 

$622.80, max 12 students 

Venue: same as above

One-to-one Error Analysis and Exam Coaching 

for students in both mainstream, "O" level, IGCSE,  Integrated Programme Language Arts leading to "A" levels as well as the International Baccalaureate. 

The following are some of the schools (international as well as local) that my students come from: 

United World College (SIN)

ST Paul's Prep (UK)


Anglo- Chinese School (Independent)

Raffles Institution

Hwa Chong Institution

Raffles Girls' School

Temasek Junior College

Catholic Junior College

YishunJunior College

Anderson Junior College

Jurong Junior College

School of the Arts (SOTA) 

School of Science and Technology 

Victoria School

Crescent Girls' School

Cedar Girls' School

Tanjong Katong Secondary

Singapore Chinese Girls' School

Methodist Girls' School

St Joseph's Institution Independent

St Joseph's Institution International

St Gabriel's Sec School 

Presbyterian High School 

Rosyth School

Ai Tong School

Nanhua Primary

Nanyang Primary

St Nicholas Girls'

Tampines Primary

St Anthony's Primary

CHIJ (Toa Payoh)

Anglo-Chinese School Junior

Anglo-Chinese School Primary

St Joseph's Institution Junior

 and many, many more not mentioned here.


Tabulation of my 2011
A level graduands'
General Paper results

Kept a small batch in 2011 in anticipation of this year's cohort of JC1s following on from Sec 4 2011/  The tally is 1 7As, 2 5As, 1 4As, 2 3As, 1 AAB, 1 3Bs.  General paper: 3As, 2Bs, 2Cs and 1E

The 7 As is my China-born student Liu Yang Yang who did an improbable Da Vinci Sci-Art combination and went from a D to an A in GP and counts among his As an A in Art (which includes Art Criticism, no less!).  2 of the GP As were failing or near passes in GP mid-year in Year 2.  The C & E were very late entrants to reading and the E acknowledged but never resolved the problem of having a blind spot for grammatical errors (health issues also took a toll on the J2 year).  As I predicted, scores below C are usually traceable to a Sec EL writing curve that ended with only O level narrative writing skills.  So you can see why I start worrying about General Paper in my Secondary programme.
I am beyond grateful for my daughter's 5As in Art, Literature and Economics (this last thanks to Mrs Stella Neo, the Economics specialist who shares my unit). She and Joel Teo of Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) who scored a perfect 7 for every subject in his 2011 International Baccalaureate exam credit my Lit Unseen Poetry they did in Secondary 2 with giving them a headstart and an enduring advantage in Literature/Language Arts.  Another GP A came from Clement Loh who had to struggle with figuring out the demands of General Paper after having dropped Knowledge and Inquiry in JC2.  

Tabulation of my 2008 PSLE graduands' T-scores

I had 25 PSLE 2008 students.  Most of them came from the mainstream (ie, non-GEP) and they were mid-Bs and high Cs at the end of their P5 year.  A good third had been consistently comfortable As.  How did they fare in the end?

What were the traits and behaviours that led to high T-scores?

Out of the number who followed my on-going programme, the trait that most clearly led to an A star in English was diligent reflection and reading.  I have a reputation for not offering homework but being huge on recommended readings and working on thinking and writing skills, so some of my quietest students (contrary to expectation) have done very well because they have obviously ruminated on what's been taught and travelled as far as I have suggested in terms of their reading journeys!

PSLE students who did well got past their personal likes and dislikes for subjects to hunker down to work on their weaknesses.  They chose teachers and tutors based on more mature assessments of what constituted effective teaching.  But boys did have a setback.  More boys than girls at the upper primary levels had built a habit of gaming (computer) and for some, a computer game ALWAYS took precedence over a good read.  Reading offers less immediate gratification, involves engaging different and sometimes less direct thought pathways.  Computer gaming can be very addictive because it is hugely competitive and interactive while reading and academic study can be a very solitary experience.

Many girls, however childish and immature they may seem to be at the onset of the P6 year, are able to think about what they should do to secure a place in their future school.  This is not to say that most boys are not able to do the same but they are less able to keep to their professed goals because the next computer game is so rivetting.  The boys who got the A stars wanted it badly, worked on their writing and editing skills, and had penmanship that would have made any girl proud.

What contributed to a low T-score?

7 students got A stars, 16 got As and the 2 of my students who were D-ish at P5 year-end got Bs.  No one went any lower.

Those who had very worrying T-scores were those who might have allowed other subjects to trend to Bs and Cs.  The Maths "B" is an especially costly one, because (and I say this intuitively based on anecdotal evidence) because so many candidates practise their way through it that most students score well for Maths.

Can a candidate go from C to A star in EL a year?

Very unlikely, though I have nursed many from C to As because 

  • firstly, a school year is fraught with activities and many students never get down to reading texts beyond the school curriculum
  • secondly, the final dash from A to A star is only achievable with a heightened language sensibility (cultivated through refined reading choices) plus very disciplined exam strategies 
  • and finally, parents are honed in a quick-fix culture to value volume of work (that is, assessment papers done) and study tips over critical thinking and genuine learning.

Which candidates get Bs in EL?

Those who start serious reading too late, say in April of their P6 year and those who cannot prise themselves away from computer games.

There may be writing strategies and comprehension skills that one can learn but in the end, there are no shortcuts.  For Maths, nothing can take the place of practice; 

for EL  having adequate, varied and rich reading experiences is key.