Secondary & General Paper
Chua Su Ann
Raffles Institution Alumni
Pursuing Law at SMU
As a previous student enrolled in the General Paper (GP) course with Creative Campus, I benefitted greatly from the short time I was there. Even though I only joined the class mid-way through the year, I was still able to gain a holistic view of GP as a subject, and was aided in thoroughly understanding the objectives to work towards when I was studying for it.
Ms Geraldine Chew was central in ameliorating my standard of writing – she was astute in identifying my areas for improvement, and worked patiently with me to address the problem areas comprehensively. She was also very invested in each individual student as well, taking extra time to stay back after the lessons to help anyone with any questions they might have had, and would even print extra resources for those interested in subjects that were touched on briefly during the lessons. Undoubtedly, Ms Chew was a big driving force behind the subsequent improvement in my GP grades.
I really appreciated the approach that was taken in discussing and exploring the various viewpoints on issues raised, rather than being spoon-fed facts to regurgitate in my essays. The class was never boring, and we would often be engaged in lively discussions. Despite having a long day before the GP lesson, I would never fall asleep as I truly found lessons to be both engaging and challenging; we were constantly encouraged to push the envelope when answering and not just state the obvious.
I also rather appreciate the structure of how we would cover the various examinable components, whereby we would do a different component every week. This created a more dynamic classroom environment where we would get to go through and learn more about the various components without having to rush through the various components – learning was not compromised in the interest of mindlessly squeezing in more practice. This is not to say that we did not have much to do during the lessons however; I truly learnt how to portion my time during the examinations as we were well-trained in finishing our papers in slightly less than the stipulated timing.
Essentially, the following is what I found to be the
Key Tenets to Acing GP
1. Personalised Feedback
What was incredibly useful was how, from the get-go, Ms Chew was able to help me effectively by going through my previous examination papers and practices before I started. Being extremely experienced, she was able to instantly pinpoint areas for improvement and I was able to work on these areas from the very first lesson. Subsequently, as my strengths and weaknesses shifted, Ms Chew would also pick up on new areas for me to work on and there was always a learning point to take home.
2. Stimulating Discussions
I really appreciated how we would engage in discussions regarding the topic at hand – by seeking out alternative viewpoints on the topics, I was well-trained in casting my net wider when it came to generating content points to discuss in the essay. The discussions also helped me to formulate better counterpoints and antitheses.
3. Wide Scope of Topics
As someone who rarely reads the newspaper, it was of great help to me that we would always start the lesson with a short section on interesting and educational videos. It was a refreshing way to kick-start the lesson while also receiving snippets of facts and data that I could use in my writing. In addition, we covered a wide range of topics such as society and culture, technology and the rat race and so on. I felt that the range paved the way for more stimulating discussions and truly gave us more space to innovate, rather than simply being made to memorise facts about science and technology.
4. Focused Time-trials
Being tasked to complete marked time-trials really helped to prepare me for the examinations as I did not receive much practice in school, and barely had much time out of lessons to practice on my own. Doing the practices in class helped immensely in honing my speed and sharpness of thinking. I used to waffle more when writing, and often ended up speeding through my points at the end when I realised that I was running out of time, leading to inconsistent essays. Thus, the practices in GP lessons really helped me learn how to monitor and allot my time more efficiently. I also benefitted greatly from how Ms Chew taught us to plan our essays beforehand as I often took too long to plan and decide on the question.
Raffles Institution Alumni
Pursuing Dentistry at NUS
During my time in JC, the subject that I dreaded the most was GP because it was a very broad subject — to do well, one needed extensive general knowledge, skills to tackle and dissect questions as well as a plethora of vocabulary. However, with the help of Ms Chew and Creative Campus, each of these fears was addressed.
Every week, all types of news would be emailed to us to keep us updated about both domestic and international affairs, thereby equipping us with more examples to use in essays and the AQ. During lessons, the discussions spearheaded by Ms Chew encouraged active discussion between all students, enabling me to share my own ideas and gain a fresh perspective on the topic at hand. With a more comprehensive understanding of the issues involved, I was able to formulate my own opinions and argue my stands more convincingly. The discussions also made lessons more engaging and the content and concepts easier to understand.
Ms Chew also provided us with one-on-one feedback, thereby addressing each of our needs to help us improve. Lastly, passages from each lesson were pitched at a level higher than that found in school, enabling me to learn new words as well as synonyms, aiding in my vocabulary expansion. It would be an understatement to say that Creative Campus helped me greatly in helping me achieve my A in GP for A levels.
Pursuing a Double Degree (Liberal Arts and Law), Yale-NUS
I studied at Creative Campus from the ages 14 -18 and my time at lessons here strongly developed my writing skills and broadened my understanding of current affairs and global issues.
I have benefitted from the essay writing lessons especially, as the patient guidance of my teachers have taught me to express myself cogently and coherently.
This ability to clearly express my thoughts and opinions has helped me gain acceptance into top-tier universities overseas.
Raffles Institution Alumni
Applying for Medicine at NUS
When I entered Year 5 in January 2014, General Paper was, at first, a perpetual stumbling block for me academically. A far cry from the English paper we had in Year 4, GP necessitated an amalgamation of argumentative skill and general knowledge that I simply was not used to.
However, I felt that the weekly lessons at Creative Campus under the tutelage of Ms Chew were a great boon, not only owing to the fact that I had an excellent avenue to hone my argumentative and comprehension skills, but also because Ms Chew always managed to expertly weave a vast array of content matter and discussions into her lessons, allowing me to gain a greater appreciation of the socio-political situation of the world today.
Ms Chew’s personalised feedback and guidance allowed me to pinpoint my flaws and areas of weakness, thus enabling me to become a more concise and focused writer. Eventually, after pulling my GP grade up from as low as a C during my Year 6 CT1 to an A in the A levels, I am sincerely thankful towards Ms Chew and Creative Campus for helping me clearing this hurdle that is General Paper and for the numerous skills and knowledge I have accumulated here.
Nicole Leong Shi Min
Pursuing a Law Degree at Singapore Management University
I am extremely thankful to Ms Chew and Mrs Yeo for their guidance and mentorship. They delivered engaging lessons and were attuned to the individual needs of their students.
They were also very supportive, giving me personalised feedback and ample encouragement. With their help, I am now able to communicate more concisely, clearly and hence, effectively.
This crucial skill has not only aided me in crafting better personal statements for university applications, but also puts me in good stead for future research and writing projects. It never occurred to me that having English tuition would be essential in helping my English grade. Creative Campus has helped me in so many ways. We cover a wide range of topics, ranging from literary classics to stimulating current news. Our speaking, writing and comprehension skills are honed. The best part is that everything is done in an interesting and different manner. Creative Campus has provided me with the environment to be a critical thinker. I have learnt to question other, probe deeper, formulate opinions and so many other important skills, which would help me later in life.
Thank you so much Ms Chew and Mrs Yeo!
Shek Khi Huin
Raffles Institution (Science) 2006 - 2011
Scholarship Recipient for Economics and Management at University of Oxford 2014 - 2017
Mrs Yeo has played a fundamental role in my development as a reader, writer and speaker. Not only did she aid in expanding my vocabulary, but she has sparked off my insatiable interest in language and written work. This interest has helped me to attain significant academic prowess and more importantly, enriched myself as I am better able to communicate with others, both in written and oral forms. Although many of my peers cringe at the prospect of tuition, Mrs Yeo’s ability to inject fun and laughter into the dullest of topics made me look forward to every class. Most importantly, she has instilled in me an interest in the world at large, a fundamental requirement for students taking the General Paper. Thank you Mrs Yeo, for the invaluable guidance.
Medical Student at the University of New South Wales 2011 - 2016
I had the privilege of being under Ms Geraldine Chew’s tutelage for close to 7 years. This wonderful teacher catalysed my transformation from an unmotivated and rebellious ten-year-old into the driven and goal-oriented individual I remain today. The opportunities I now enjoy must be credited – in no small part – to the sound foundation she painstakingly laid in my formative years of school.
Gifted with the ability to understand and connect with her pupils, she is not only able to pinpoint and remedy their weaknesses but – more importantly – also recognise and affirm them in their strengths. Any misgivings that students may harbour about English are rapidly whittled away and replaced by a genuine love for the subject. She invests a tremendous amount of effort into each individual student; grooming them into proactive, self-motivated learners in a fashion tailor-made to their needs. In essence, she arms every single one with that unique combination of conscientiousness and self confidence they need to maximise their potential and excel.
Ms Chew is the rare educator who transcends the role of English teacher to become friend, mentor and tactician; engaging students at their level and imparting a wealth of skills as well as strategies that are a boon to the study of language, other aspects of academia and life as a whole.
Hwa Chong Junior College (Humanities) 2009 - 2010
Law Graduate from University College London 2013 - 2016
Having been taught by Ms Chew for a year and a half, I have to say that I’ve never come across another educator able to inject as much passion and effort into the imparting of knowledge as she did in one of the most linguistically illuminating periods of my learning. She brings not only an impeccable ability to understand the unique hurdles to mastering English but also provides the means by which students find joy in learning. As one of countless students she has so diligently mentored over the years, I can safely say that when it comes to an education in English, this woman makes the difference.
Teng Bao Zhing
Raffles Girls' School 2006 - 2009
Raffles Institution (Science) 2010 - 2011
Pursuing Medicine at University of New South Wales 2012 - 2017
Lessons with Mrs Yeo were never run-of-the-mill. Engaging, lively and always enlightening, they were a goldmine of general knowledge, useful tips and essential skills for coping with examinations. She never failed to make each two-hour class different from previous weeks – spicing up what would otherwise be dry and uninteresting content in the hands of a less-experienced teacher.
Supportive and encouraging, Mrs Yeo pushed us to reach our fullest potential, developing our strengths and yet, never failing to give us free rein when it came to content and expression. Her guidance and care left an indelible impact on my interest in the subject. To this day, she remains a teacher I will always admire and be grateful for.
Raffles Institution 2005 - 2010
Studying Pharmacy at National University of Singapore 2012 - 2016
The key thing I definitely remember is how Ms Chew’s classes always provide an environment for students to freely express their personal views on issues that persist in today’s society. The freedom to articulate, and explore various opinions, has made me become more confident of who I am.
These views broadened our perspectives and taught us to respect and see everyone as unique individuals. Lessons are often “two-way” where students play an active role in the direction of the class. This keeps lessons relevant and engaging. Thus, a genuine interest in the English language can be established.
Despite students having greater freedom in class, Ms Chew’s lessons are never aimless and never get out-of-hand. She has the ability to keep students focused and engaged in constructive brainstorms. If one is looking for a coach whose lessons remain beneficial beyond the O and A levels, and who helps one mature as a person, Ms Chew’s classes will definitely facilitate one’s growth.
Singapore Chinese Girls' School 2007 - 2010
Graduate of National University of Singapore
Ms Chew is a dedicated and motivated teacher who always takes time to painstakingly prepare her lessons ahead of time and provide students with extra materials to enhance our understanding of her lessons. A fun teacher, she uses an array of interactive ways–via music or videos– to conduct the lessons. Ms Chew is caring, yet firm, with her students, and this demeanour encourages her students to do our very best and realise our potential without causing us additional stress. Under her tutelage, students constantly improve by leaps and bounds, and more importantly, enjoy each of our lessons with Ms Chew. Ms Chew also enjoys sharing lessons outside the syllabus to broaden our knowledge and increase our interest. This proves especially useful when tackling more obscure issues in Literature. Ms Chew has definitely been an inspiration to me and will continue to be an asset and source of motivation to her students.
Graduate of Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts/ Royal College of Music with a Bachelors of Music (Hons).
Featured on The Straits Times as an up-and-coming composer on 17 June 2014
I remember looking forward to Mrs Yeo’s classes in my primary education days; every session was an enriching and enjoyable experience! She goes the extra mile to ensure that lessons were objective yet relevant for students like me who often struggled to understand key concepts in subjects.
Similarly, I appreciate Mrs Yeo’s guidance during a highly competitive secondary school environment. Most importantly, she made me understand that learning a subject was no longer just about applying models in exams but also having a deeper awareness of it in my daily life.
Mrs Yeo is an experienced educator with a BIG heart for her students and I am glad that she has made a positive difference in my learning journey.
- At Age 14, Raffles Girls' School
The lessons in Creative Campus have been an enriching experience for me. Not only are they fun but also effective as they reinforce structure and planning which help in essay writings. The lessons give an opportunity for students to freely express their personal views and opinions on issues discussed in class. Usually, there would be materials given on the issues brought up in class. These add to the fun element in lessons which would engage students in an interactive way.
- At Age 16, Singapore Chinese Girls' School
Creative Campus has helped me in my English and Literature. The wide range of materials and interactive learning style has allowed me to reinforce various literature and comprehension skills. Not only am I given comprehensions and essay homework that are highly relevant to the ‘O’ level exam style, the questions are more challenging, hence stretching our potential. Occasionally, we have presentations to hone our public speaking skills. The various world news discussed every week have also helped me understand many international issues in depth.
- At Age 16, Singapore Chinese Girls' School
I never thought of English tuition as especially important. To clarify, I understand the necessity of using English in society and how integral it is in communication. However, I never saw how English tuition would be something linked to excelling in the language. Like many students, English to me was something that did not need to be studied, or if you really were a mugger, you would read a storybook and that would be the end of it.
However, Creative Campus has taught me otherwise. Here, I have learnt the intricacies of English, that English is not just a bunch of flowery words and metaphors strung together like beads by connectors. The basis of English and not just English, but all languages, is understanding, and Creative Campus has taught me that better than any story book. Unlike school, the small, homely and extremely personal class, catered to my specific needs. This formal yet comfortable setting allowed me to relate to my classmates as well as give me the comfort to ask any questions, to answer them and learn as a whole.
Furthermore, Creative Campus utilises innovative and different methods to teach students, for example, through the use of videos to explain literary passages and the extent of emotion within them. As a teenager who revels in television and technology, the amalgamation of the two via the use of the media has helped me focus, picture and understand scenes and texts better than before.
In all, Creative Campus is well simply put, creative. It forces you to think outside the box and via interaction and action, learn more, understand more and feel more. It’s more than learning; it’s learning with latitude.