Frequently Asked Questions
About BIG IDEAZ EDUCATION
1. Is this a tuition centre?
No. We are not a tuition centre.
We are an education service provider specialising in teaching Primary School English composition and creative writing through the following means:
1. Online courses
2. Free and paid writing resources
3. Weekly composition writing classes
4. Creative writing workshops (ad hoc and school holidays)
BIG IDEAZ Education is established in the year 2015.
2. Do you provide one-to-one tuition?
We are not a provider of tutoring services. Our classes / workshops encourage children to explore and learn ways to improve their writing skills. All classes / workshops are conducted with a minimum of 3 children and a maximum of 6 children.
3. If I am looking for a tutor, can I engage you to tutor my child at my home?
As mentioned above, we are not tutors. If you are looking for a private home tutor, you might want to contact a tuition agency.
4. Are your teachers trained?
All our teachers are NIE-trained ex-MOE teachers with at least a few years of experience teaching in primary schools.
5. What are the online courses you are offering?
We have 2 online composition writing courses for various primary school levels:
1) Writing Academy
This is a monthly subscription-based course for P4 to P6 students. Students learn to write compositions based on the PSLE format.
2) Junior Writing Academy
This is a monthly subscription-based course for P1 to P3 students. Students learn to write compositions based on 4 sequential pictures.
6. What are students expected to do in the online courses?
For the Writing Academy and Junior Writing Academy courses, students are expected to view video lessons, ranging from about 5 to 10 minutes. After each video lesson, students have to print out the assignment for that lesson and attempt it. Once completed, the assignments must be scanned (using a scanner or phone camera) and uploaded via the student’s dedicated login page. Assignments will then be marked and returned via email within 5 working days.
7. What are the major topics covered in the online courses?
The topics in the online courses include composition writing framework, using a variety of sentence structure and writing techniques. For a breakdown of the topics for each online course, please visit the course page.
8. What is the duration of the online course?
Each online course lasts about 11-12 months. That means the monthly release of 2 or 4 video lessons/assignments would all be made available by then.
As this is a self-paced course, not all students may be able to complete all the assignments by the 12th month. As long as the student stays subscribed, the access to the course and materials will remain.
To get the most benefit from the online courses, we strongly encourage every student to attempt and submit the assignments regularly so that they can complete the course within a year.
9. What are the fees for each course?
You may refer to our website for current fees as well as any free trial that may be offered from time to time.
10. Can my child learn effectively through online courses?
We are honest to state that different students have different learning styles, so the online course is NOT for every child.
However, it is suitable for:
* students who work well at home
* students who do not like or do not have time to travel to attend additional classes
* students who learn independently from videos and presentations
* students who need a structured programme to get them to write weekly at home
* parents who wish to learn more about lower primary and PSLE format composition and various writing techniques
11. What sets you apart from the other online courses or centres?
All compositions are marked by former MOE qualified teachers. Students get to submit 2 drafts of each piece of composition topic. Both drafts will be reviewed and marked by teachers. The second draft is a revised draft done by students based on teacher’s comments on their first drafts. Not all centres do that as it is time consuming for teachers to mark compositions. However, we believe that students are able to learn from their mistakes and improve their writing when they get to write a second draft. Drafting is a common practice among authors.
In addition, our Writing Academy students get to attend a FREE classroom lesson a month to reinforce their online learning. These complimentary sessions are on a first-come-first-served basis, with a maximum of 6 students per session. The class venue is at Tampines (Street 81) only.
12. Can I cancel the monthly subscription halfway through the course?
Absolutely. You can cancel the monthly subscription any time, on your own via your student dashboard and your credit card will not be charged thereafter.
13. Is it safe to make payment with my credit card details on your website?
All payments are handled by a third-party payment provider, Stripe on our secured website. Stripe is an established payment provider that provides software to accept payments. Stripe provides the technical, fraud prevention, and banking infrastructure required to operate on-line payment systems. Companies like Facebook and Grab use Stripe. BIG IDEAZ does not hold any payment information like credit card numbers and expiry dates at all.
14. Do you have other online programmes?
If you do not wish to enrol your child in any of our online courses but just want your child’s composition to be reviewed and marked by a qualified teacher, we offer a composition marking service called ‘Write Now!‘. This is not an online course. There are no course materials or lessons provided. It is a composition marking and review service, where a one-time payment is made to have a former MOE primary school teacher mark and review your child’s compositions (PSLE composition format – suitable for P4 to P6 students). FOUR (4) pieces of composition topics will be marked and reviewed with this one-time payment.
Writing Classes and Workshops
15. Do you conduct physical classes or workshops?
Yes, we do. We conduct weekly composition writing classes and various creative writing workshops during the school holidays and on ad hoc basis. Please refer to our website for class schedules.
16. What type of classes and workshops do you conduct?
All our classes and workshops are focused on developing English writing skills.
In our weekly composition writing classes, students learn writing a composition writing framework. They also learn vocabulary and writing techniques that they can apply in their school compositions.
In our creative writing workshops, children learn to write texts of various genres as spelt out in the MOE English Syllabus. Depending on the genre that children are learning for the workshop, activities such as art, science or others are being conducted.
School holiday (ad hoc) workshops are either conducted within a day or over a few days. Themes of the school holiday and ad hoc workshops are usually announced a few weeks before the workshop commencement. Please refer to our website for an updated list of creative writing workshops.
17. Where are classes and workshops held?
Classes and workshops are held in our classroom at Tampines (Street 81) only. We do not have classes at any other locations. However, ad hoc workshops may be held in other locations, depending on activities and number of participants.
Please refer to our website for an updated list of workshops and venues.
18. When is the enrolment for your weekly classes?
Our weekly classes run for between 10-12 weeks per term, 1.5 hr per session each week. Parents can register their children for our classes before the start of each new term, subject to availability. There is a maximum of 6 students per class. If a class is full, interested students will be placed on a wait list. We will contact you when there is a vacancy.
19. Are there breaks between terms?
There is a 1-week break between each term in March and September and between 4 to 6 weeks of break each in June and December. We try to coincide our term breaks with MOE gazetted school holidays. Fees are not payable during the term break.
20. Compared to other centres, why are you having so many breaks?
We do know that most centres have their classes open year-round, save for 1 month of December holidays. They probably do that because they have high overhead expenses to maintain or they want to reach a certain profit target every month. At BIG IDEAZ, we believe that kids should be given enough breaks in between terms and so our lessons coincide with MOE gazetted school holidays as much as possible. We don’t believe in getting kids to attend lessons even during school holidays. Children have a life and they should do something else apart from attending lessons. We do know there are parents who prefer their children to attend lessons during school holidays but trust us (we are parents too!), children learn much better when given enough breaks. Does that mean less fees for us? Sure, but we are not in it for monetary benefits only.
21. How do I register my child for your classes and/or workshops?
For weekly classes, please register via BIG IDEAZ Composition Writing Classes.
For school holiday and other ad hoc workshops, please register via BIG IDEAZ Creative Writing Workshops.
22. How much is the fee for weekly classes and writing workshops (ad hoc)?
It depends on the child’s primary school level and duration. Fees are priced reasonably and competitively. You may refer to the various fees here.
23. When do I have to pay after registration?
For the weekly classes, fees are collected termly. Payment of fees for the 10-12 lessons are to be made usually 3 weeks before start of each term.
24. Are deposits required during registration?
For weekly workshops, we do collect a nominal deposit if we are opening a new class. This is to ensure that parents are committed to sending their children for the new class once we form a minimum number of 3 students. The deposit amount will be offset from the full payment of the term eventually. Deposit will be fully refunded if there are less than 3 students and the class has to be cancelled. We do not charge any registration fees.
25. What is the requirement for withdrawal and any refund of fees?
For withdrawal, parents must inform BIG IDEAZ administration or the teacher in charge of the child’s class at least ONE (1) month before the term ends. This is a fair practice so that we can plan and release the slot to other students in the new term. There shall be no refund of fees paid once students are enrolled for the term.
26. Will there be a make-up lesson if my child misses his/her scheduled lesson?
There are a few classes (of various levels) available throughout the week at the same venue. Parents are to inform BIG IDEAZ administration or the teacher in charge of the child’s class at least 3 days in advance if they wish to join other classes for make-up lesson.
27. Are there lessons on Public Holidays?
There are no lessons on all Public Holidays. Fees will not be collected if your child’s regular class falls on a Public Holiday.
28. I am keen to join the weekly classes but there is no more vacancy. Is there a wait list?
Yes, you may register via the same link. There is an option to choose classes with wait list.
29. Do you offer free trial for your weekly classes?
We do not offer free trial but we may offer a paid trial for 2 lessons. This is only provided for existing classes with vacancies. Slot is not secured after the trial and will be released on priority to parents who make full payment.
30. What is the main difference between your online courses and weekly classes?
Our online lessons are taught via pre-recorded PowerPoint presentations. They are good for students who prefer to work from home and have the flexibility of time and venue to complete their lessons. It is also great for parents who prefer a more hands-on approach in guiding their own children at home.
The online courses have worked well to help our students develop the discipline of writing regularly at home.
In our weekly composition writing classes, students plan and write a full composition every 2 weeks. They are taught vocabulary and writing techniques that they can apply in their school compositions.
Students in our P5 and P6 classes are also taught Situational Writing (PSLE Format) once a month.
Topics for our weekly classes are similar to those in the online courses. However, the pace will be much slower as we have to consider the needs of everyone in the class and students are limited to 1.5 hour per week for each lesson. The classroom lessons are recommended for students who are weak in writing and require hand-holding.
31. I am undecided if my child should attend the weekly classes or take the online courses. What should I do?
You can take advantage of the free/paid trial offered if you are unsure before you decide further. For online courses, you can also sign up for Write Now! which is a one-time payment for marking of 4 composition topics. From there, you or your child can get to know how our teachers review and mark students’ compositions. If you find the review and feedback helpful, you can then enrol your child in the Writing Academy which is an online monthly subscription service.
32. If I have other query not addressed here, how can I reach you?
You can contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or SMS to 9697-2726. We’d be glad to address any questions you might have.