Our Founder, Mrs Nora de Silva (a.k.a. Mrs D), 1964 - 2019
A specialist English Language and English Literature teacher and curriculum developer with over 25 years of experience, Mrs D had the rare distinction of being one of the very few teachers who could claim to have taken many students from the Singapore (SEAB) PSLE English Language to the A-Level General Paper.
Over the years, Mrs D devised her time-tested lesson plans. Designed to hone foundational skills while providing insights on advanced exam strategies, the lessons also cover a range of content from enduring topics to fresh materials on current affairs.
Mrs D was a former Raffles Institution (RI) GEP teacher who
was involved in curriculum design in the pivotal first 10 years of Singapore's Gifted Education Programme (the precursor of Singapore's Integrated Programme)
was an English Language and Literature specialist
was familiar with the route to scholarship awards (even sifting out President's Scholars when they were only Sec 2!)
taught humanities scholars in a top JC, as well students from mainstream schools but with special needs (dyslexia, dyspraxia, Asperger's, expressive language disorder, specific language disability, to name a few),
converted erstwhile Maths-inclined students and computer geeks into published poets
transformed students from Chinese Language dominant family backgrounds into humanities scholars,
helped the lower secondary ACSI students make the cut to get into the International Baccalaureate programme
motivated Normal stream students to make the jump to Express stream
served as practicum trainer/examiner for professional courses for senior PSLE EL teachers
Mrs Rosie Smith
Mrs Rosie Smith teaches the IP & IB Programme for Year 3 onwards.
Mrs Smith’s philosophy in teaching has always been aimed at helping students become independent, effective learners with a sustained curiosity for knowledge and learning. She encourages her students to ASK to clarify; to ENGAGE in discourse to gather perspectives; to SHARE by voicing their thoughts and opinions, and ultimately arrive at an understanding of issues and concepts. As much as she views herself as a facilitator of their learning, she also believes there is much to learn from her students - their voice and perspectives are not ignored or over-ruled, and that they can and should be able to offer fresh perspectives and be open to discussions.
Mrs Smith joins us as an English Language Specialist with a wealth of experience, having previously taught English Language, Literature and Philosophy at Raffles Institution, Hwa Chong Institution and School of the Arts (SOTA). She also continues to serve as a Practicum Supervisor at NIE.
"Even if I never really showed it in class, you gave me the inspiration to want to speak out in my other classes...You were one of those teachers that brightened up the dullness of school life, there was never a time when i didn't learn anything from your classes. All in all i just wanted to say that you were the teacher I respected the most because of how much you taught me, and how you changed my character with all the little things you did and the remarks you made about me. I feel privileged to be able to have had you as my teacher."
- Joshua Lim, School of the Arts (SOTA)
Miss Woo Yan Yan
Miss Woo Yan Yan (Miss Woo) specialises in Mrs D's secondary level programme. Miss Woo hopes to develop her students' critical thinking skills by discussing current issues to ignite an 'explorer spirit', empowering students to navigate the wealth of information available around them. Ultimately, she believes this will help them broaden their perspectives of the world.
Miss Woo believes passion is one of the greatest sources of motivation to excel in the language. As such, she is a strong advocate of applying the latest pedagogical approaches meaningfully to encourage students to delve into issues they are passionate about. Miss Woo takes pride in watching her students blossom into confident individuals with a distinct voice in the language. Academically, Miss Woo was a self-directed learner and has always excelled in the English Language: she attained an A1 for the English Language paper in the O-Level examinations and an A for General Paper in the A-Levels.
Miss Woo graduated from the National Institute of Education (NIE) with a Bachelor's degree in Education (Arts) (Honours). She was also the recipient of a prestigious teaching scholarship to the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College (Massachusetts, US), sponsored by NTU/NIE.
"Miss Woo's lessons are fun and interesting. She is patient to explain on points which I do not understand at the beginning. The things that I learn are beyond what we learn in our school syllabus."
- Jovie Tan, Sec 1, Raffles Girls' School (2021)
Ms Nicole de Silva (a.k.a. Ms D)
Ms Nicole de Silva (Ms D) presently teaches all levels of Mrs D’s programme, including the Literature workshops.
Ms D attended Mrs D’s entire programme (from P5 to JC 2) in the very classroom her students gather in today. Her A* in English at PSLE and As for H1 General Paper & H2 English Literature at A’Level attests the effectiveness of Mrs D’s English Language programme (She was in the Integrated Programme and did not have to do the O’Levels!). She joined Mrs D’s English Enrichment in 2018.
She was a recipient of the National Arts Council Undergraduate Scholarship and graduated from University College London (UCL) with a degree in History of Art. A former art specialist, Ms D most recently contributed to the retrospective art book by second generation Singapore artist Goh Beng Kwan, launched at the National Gallery Singapore in August 2019. Ms D is also a volunteer and mentor with the Halogen Foundation and has been invited on several occasions to judge their student presentations as part of their NFTE Programme.
“The lessons were always interesting and Ms D gives extremely clear explanations and has a beautiful reading voice. I have no doubt that my success in General Paper was because of her guidance and heeding her advice. Additionally, she ensures the lesson content is current and applicable, while simultaneously being relatable and compassionate. I felt that she was always there for me 🙂”
- Juliana Seah, Victoria JC (2019), H1 General Paper A