CNA ‘Regardless Of Grades’ Documentary

The Maths Lab was selected by Channel News Asia for a series of interviews to feature in their ‘Regardless Of Grades’ TV Documentary in 2024. The documentary series examines faultlines in the Singapore society, and this episode examines how differences in grades may manifest later on into gaps in our society. For this show, CNA wanted to learn how we conducted our classes (and in particular our Bootcamps), what our students experienced in our classes, and how our teachers envision the teaching methodology to change moving forward.

Filming Our 2023 Bootcamps

CNA chose to film one of our 2023 Bootcamps over the course of a week, showing insights into how the Bootcamp is conducted, and doing pre-Bootcamp and post-Bootcamp interviews with the students to see how much they benefit from it. The filming crew also interviewed several teachers to get their thoughts on the changing pedagogy of tuition classes. In particular, CNA wished to know how The Maths Lab selected our learning materials, how we engage the students during class, and of course, how well our students actually performed during the examinations.

Students Excited To Be On TV

After getting permission from all parents for the filming, the day of filming arrived and our students were excited ― it’s not everyday you get to be on national TV! There was a filming crew of 3: a cameraman, a lighting and sound guy, and an interviewer. Even though the room was large, it was a little squeezy once everyone fit in (we had not planned on a film crew coming down initially). Nonetheless, students took it in their stride and (tried their best to) pay attention to the class. A few students were selected for specialised interviews, while the rest were just content with being in the background.

Closing Thoughts

When CNA first approached us, we thought about it for awhile, and then decided that we would be happy to help CNA with their documentary. The CNA programme subject matter is innately relevant to what we do here ― that of preparing our kids for what the future might entail. The Maths Lab team also wanted to share Maths learning strategies that have worked well for us, so that both parents & educators alike may apply some of these strategies for their kids. All things considered, it was a very exciting and enriching experience, and we look forward to seeing our students on national TV when CNA airs the programme later this year !

Bootcamp Lunch Break

Student Interviews

For students brave enough to speak on camera, CNA also requested for parents’ permission to interview these students. We gave CNA a separate classroom for these interviews so that the lighting and microphone inputs could be adjusted properly. The selected students start off a little shy on camera, but the CNA interviewer was professional and friendly, and soon the students were answering and joking with the interviewer. The interviews also gave The Maths Lab team valuable insights on what the students felt about the classes, so we could tweak our future teaching to do better.

Mock Exam Session

Interactive Maths Games

We try hard to make the lesson as fun & as interesting as possible (this is harder than it sounds). The average student has a short attention span that needs to be “refreshed” about every 40 mins. We mitigate this by playing interactive maths games at intervals, getting students to pit their wits against each other to solve different types of Math puzzles. These mental breaks help ensure that our students remain somewhat engaged even throughout long & complicated lessons.

Sharing Our Teaching Strategies

The CNA filming provided a unique opportunity for us to showcase our innovative Maths teaching strategies for Primary 6 topics. Viewers will be able to see firsthand the dynamic and interactive methods we employ in our classes, and hopefully give parents some insight into how to make Math both engaging and accessible for their own kids!

How we do it : Model Drawing

Heuristic methods of problem solving do not have to be difficult, but kids have to learn it in a step-by-step, systematic manner. For eg, to learn model drawing effectively, we start at basics. First teaching students to draw simple models, and ensuring they grasp the core concepts of model drawing, before graduating to the more advanced concepts used to solve challenging exam questions.

PSLE Bootcamp @Farrer Rd Branch

End of Filming

The class filming and interviews are done. But CNA will continue to follow several of our students all the way to the end-of-year examinations, and even until they get their results the following year. We are hopeful and excited, that the program will allow us to follow our students’ learning journey even after they have graduated. And we very much look forward to seeing our students on TV soon!

Why is there a wide range of fees for tutors? 

The reason our tutor fees are so varied is because we have a wide range of teachers (all of whom specialise in teaching maths), but each teacher has their own unique set of qualifications and teaching experience levels. Generally, tuition fees for highly experienced & highly qualified teachers tend to be higher. Overall, there are (4) main factors that determine the fees of our teachers:

  • Student Improvement Rate
  • Experience Level of Tutor
  • Positive Parental Feedback
  • Academic Qualifications of Tutor

(1) Student Improvement

Students come for maths tuition primarily to master the subject matter & improve their grades. We understand this. And so every teacher has a specific responsibility towards improving each student’s grade in Maths. Teachers who are proficient at teaching, and whose students improve significantly, are more popular and command higher teaching fees.

(2) Experience Level

Teachers with more years of experience (particularly with MOE schools) usually have higher fees. Notwithstanding, all our teachers have a minimum of 5-years teaching experience. Teachers with more experience are not necessarily always better teachers, but overall, we do see a correlation between experience levels and their ability to teach well.

(3) Positive Parental Feedback

We regularly ask parents about the performance & teaching aptitude of our home tuition teachers. Often we ask if the teachers are (a) reliable, (b) punctual, and (c) pro-active in teaching & marking tasks. Teachers who are serious and professional in their tutoring work are reciprocated with higher salaries.

(4) Academic Qualifications

Our teaching team today comprises of teachers who are alumni from some of the top universities around the world. Many of our teachers were scholarship students themselves, and worked hard through to university graduation. Teachers with exceptional academic credentials and scholarship merits will have slightly higher fees rates.

Home Tuition Features

  • Students get highly individualised attention
  • A customised study plan
  • 1-to-1 students usually see significant results improvement
  • All tutors are university graduates (many are 1st Class Honours)
  • Lessons follow our Intensive syllabus plan
  • All learning materials are provided

Lesson Breakdown

Our lesson for home tuition follow our Intensive Syllabus plan, but are specifically prepared for the needs of an individual student. Our home tuition classes generally comprise (1) tutorials and (2) practice & feedback sessions. Tutorials are meant to introduce new topics, and provide students with an overall understand of the topic. Usually teachers go through class handouts and school notes with the student, coaching them in problem solving methods for that topic. Practice & feedback sessions are the backbone of our home tuition curriculum, where students, through practice and revision, grow to master the subject matter.

Curriculum Goals

Our broad-based goal is to help our students to outperform in the exams. Right from the first lesson, the teacher will ask for the student’s past exam papers to review. This is so we can come up with a study plan as soon as possible. Our home tuition programme is designed to initially help students obtain a thorough understanding of the topics & subject matter. And moving later towards improving their problem solving skills through practice & revision. Because our lessons are highly customised and attenuated to the specific needs of the student, our home tuition students generally improve faster than group-based tuition.

Schedule a Math Tuition Session. Call Us at 6475-0624, or Contact Us