FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

About BIG IDEAZ EDUCATION

1. Do you provide one-to-one tuition?

No, we do not offer one-to-one tuition. We specialise in teaching primary school students composition and creative writing. Our classes and workshops are conducted with a minimum of 3 students and a maximum of 7 students.

2. Are your teachers trained?

All our teachers (known as Writing Coaches) are either NIE-trained ex-MOE teachers with at least a few years of experience teaching in primary schools or experienced English tutors with relevant qualifications and proven track record of teaching primary school English composition writing.

Self-Paced Online Courses

3. What are the self-paced online courses you are offering?

We have 2 online composition writing courses for primary school student:

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.

The course content in each course are the same irrespective of your child’s school level.  For example, if a P4 and a P6 student were to sign up for the Writing Academy, they get to view the same video lessons and assignments.  The only difference would be the standard of marking by our writing coaches.  A P6’s work will be marked with an expectation of a higher standard compared to a P4’s work.

Do note that these are self-paced online courses and not ‘live’ online classes.  The students do not get to meet or interact with the writing coaches. The students watch the video lessons and complete their written assignments on their own and at their own pace. 

If you are looking for ‘live’ online classes, refer to FAQs 22 to 41 for more.

4. What are students expected to do in the self-paced 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.

5. What are the major topics covered in the self-paced 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.

6. What is the duration of the self-paced online course?

Each self-paced 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, 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.

7. Is my child able to access the past month(s) of video lessons/assignments if he/she is not able to catch up with the current month?

We understand during some busy months, your child may be preparing for examinations and will not have the time to work on the online course.  All the videos lessons together with assignments once released, are available to your child for as long as you stay subscribed.  So that means if your child intends to do catch up work during the school holidays, he/she can access the past month(s) of video lessons and submit any overdue assignments.  We accept any reasonable amount of completed assignments, like 4-5 assignments per week, from your child.

Do take note that assignments can only be submitted once.  However, video lessons will still be made available anytime for your child’s revision.

8. Will my child’s writing progress be tracked during the course?

Students are expected to write 11 full compositions for the Junior Writing Academy and 14 full compositions for the Writing Academy.  The first and last composition of each course will be graded by our writing coaches.  In between these, another 2-3 full compositions will be graded too. The intention is to allow you to track your child’s writing progress by providing you with milestone checks throughout the course period.

9. What are the fees for each course?  Is there any free trial? 

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 self-paced online courses?

We will be honest to state that self-paced online courses are NOT for every child, as different students have different learning styles.

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. My child is very good at writing.  Is the self-paced course suitable for him?

Our Junior Writing Academy and Writing Academy courses are structured in a way that covers the basic topics first before moving on to the more advanced topics over the months.  If your child is good at writing and scores consistently above 80% in composition marks, you might find the pace of the course too slow.

We recommend that you try the Write Now! programme instead, which is a composition marking service.  Your child probably just needs to write more and receive constructive feedback to hone his/her already good writing skills. You may refer to more on this below in FAQ no. 23 to 42.

12. What sets you apart from the other online courses or centres?

All compositions are marked by former MOE qualified teachers or teachers with experience in teaching creative writing. Students get to submit 2 drafts of each piece of a 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 ‘live’ composition writing 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 session is held online via zoom.

13. Am I expected as a parent to provide guidance to my child in his/her writing assignments?

You should let your child write on his/her own with all the mistakes in it as our writing coaches will comment and guide your child from there. There is no need to sanitise their work although you should encourage them to write legibly! In the second draft of the same assignment, your child will be required to do corrections on any spelling or grammar mistakes or wrong sentence structures etc. based on comments given. That’s how students get to learn and improve.

However, as this is a self-paced online course, parent’s involvement is definitely required in terms of facilitating your child and guiding them if they are not able to understand assignment questions etc.

14. I don’t have a printer or a scanner at home.  Can my child still take the online course?

Not a big problem.  Your child can write on a piece of foolscap paper and include basic information like the lesson number, assignment topic and question number etc. so that our writing coaches have some reference. For scanning of their completed assignments, you may download a free mobile app Adobe Scan or any equivalent app that can automatically convert pictures of your child’s assignment into one combined PDF file with just your phone camera.

15. Do you have examples of how your writing coaches would typically mark students’ English composition?

You may refer to this blog post Composition Marking Scheme for Primary School to know more – go to the second half of the post on what our writing coaches look for when marking students’ compositions.

16. Can I submit assignments for marking during the free-trial period?

Yes, you may submit one assignment for marking. Please submit the assignment early after the enrolment so that our writing coaches have enough time to mark it and return to you within the trial period. The free trial is meant for parents/students to try out the course and to see if the comments given by our writing coaches are helpful.

During the free-trial period, the first month of 2 video lessons/assignments (Junior Writing Academy) or 4 video lessons/assignments (Writing Academy) will be made available for your child to access.

17. Is there a particular date in the month that I must enrol my child for the self-paced online courses?

You can enrol your child for the self-paced online courses any day in the month. A new set of videos/assignments will be released to your child every 30 days based on your first payment date, after any free trial.

For example, if you enrol your child on the 10th of the month, after any free trial promotion (e.g. 7 days), your first deduction to your credit card will be made on the 17th of the same month. Thereafter, the monthly subscription fee will be made on the same date (17th) every month. A new set of videos/assignments would then be released to your child in conjunction with monthly payment.

18. Can I cancel the monthly subscription halfway through the course or even during the trial period?

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.  If it is canceled within the free trial period, you will not be charged at all.

19. Is it safe to make payment with my credit card details on your website? Do you accept other modes of payment? 

All credit card 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 Education does not hold any sensitive payment information.

We don’t offer any other modes of payment.  However, payment via ATM transfer or internet banking transfer may be accepted for a three-monthly payment (instead of the usual monthly payment).  Do contact us if you feel more at ease with non-credit card transactions.

20. My child is in P6 and has less than 1 year to complete the Writing Academy course. Are you able to open up all the video lessons/assignments at once?

Yes, we do offer the entire Writing Academy course for a lump-sum price package. With this, all lessons will be released at once when full payment is made.

If you wish to try out the Writing Academy course on monthly subscription fee for a few months first (that is highly recommended) before deciding to take on the entire package, that is possible too. This also applies to the Junior Writing Academy.  Just write to us and we will provide more details on the pricing.

21. Do you have other online programmes?

If you do not wish to enrol your child in any of our self-paced 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 our experienced and qualified English writing coaches mark and review your child’s compositions (PSLE composition format – suitable for P3 to P6 students). FOUR (4) pieces of composition topics will be marked and reviewed with this one-time payment.

If you wish to have compositions marked based on the composition topics of your choice, that is acceptable too.  You just need to make sure the composition topics and pictures are scanned together with your child’s work.

We accept situational writing topics too.

Writing Classes and Workshops

22. Do you conduct physical (onsite) classes or workshops?

Yes, we do. We conduct weekly composition writing classes. Please refer to our website for class schedules.

We also conduct various short-term creative writing workshops during the school holidays and on ad hoc basis.  Please refer to our website for an updated list of creative writing workshops.

23. Do you conduct ‘live’ online composition writing classes?

Yes, we do. We conduct weekly ‘live’ online lessons via Zoom. In these ‘live’ online classes, the students and writing coach get to interact as they would in a physical, onsite class. 

Kindly note that this ‘live’ online zoom class is different from the self-paced online courses (Writing Academy and Junior Writing Academy).

Please refer to our website for class schedules.

24. What is the difference between the weekly physical, onsite writing classes and the weekly ‘live’ writing classes via Zoom? 

Students in the physical, onsite writing classes are grouped based on their skills level whereas students attending the ‘live’ online classes via zoom are grouped based on their school level.

The ‘live’ online class via zoom might not be suitable for every student. To be able to learn effectively online, students should be in a room away from distractions. They have to ensure that they do not attempt to do something else during the lesson. Our writing coaches will check to ensure students are doing their work.  However, there is a limit to what our writing coaches can do if the child refuses to cooperate or switches off his/her video camera during the lesson.  If your child is easily distracted and cannot concentrate during the ‘live’ online lesson, the physical class might be more suitable for him/her.

During enrolment, parents can choose if they want their child to attend lessons fully on-site or fully online. There is no option for students to choose which lesson he/she wants to go on-site one week and then go online the following week. 

25. 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.

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.

26. Where are classes and workshops held?

Physical classes and workshops are held at Marine Parade.

27. When is the enrolment for your weekly classes?

Our weekly classes (both physical and ‘live’ online via Zoom) run for 11 weeks per term, 1.5 to 2 hrs per session each week.

Parents can register their children for our classes anytime during the term, subject to availability. The maximum number of students per class is 7.

If a class is full, interested students will be placed on a waitlist. We will contact you when there is a vacancy.

28. Are there breaks between terms?

There is a 1-week break between each term in March and September and between 1 to 3 weeks of break each in June and December. We try to coincide our term breaks with MOE gazetted school holidays. Fees are not charged during the term break.

29. How do I register my child for your classes and/or workshops?

For weekly classes (physical or ‘live’ online via zoom), please register via BIG IDEAZ Composition Writing Classes.

For school holiday and other ad hoc workshops, please register via BIG IDEAZ Creative Writing Workshops.

30. What are the fees for the weekly classes?

It depends on the child’s school level and duration. Fees are priced reasonably and competitively.

For the ‘live’ online classes via Zoom, please refer to the fees here.

For the onsite, physical classes at Marine Parade, please contact us for details on schedule and fees.

31. When do I have to pay after registration?

For the weekly classes (physical and ‘live’ online), fees are collected termly. Payment of fees for the 11 lessons is to be made usually 3 weeks before the start of each term.

32. Are deposits required during registration?

For the weekly classes (physical and ‘live’ online), we collect a nominal deposit if we are opening a new class. This is to ensure that parents are committed to sending their children to the new class once we have gathered a minimum number of 3 students. The deposit will be offset from the full payment of the term eventually. The deposit will be fully refunded if there are less than 3 students and the class has to be cancelled.

Other than that, we don’t collect deposits.

33. What is the requirement for withdrawal and any refund of fees?

For withdrawal, parents must inform Big Ideaz Education 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.

34. Will there be a make-up lesson if my child misses his/her scheduled lesson?

Please inform Big Ideaz Education administration or the writing coach in charge of your child’s class at least 3 days in advance if they wish to join other classes for make-up lessons.

Make-up lessons are only for valid reasons such as medical leave or school events.

35. 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.

36. I am keen to join the weekly classes but there is no more vacancy. Is there a waitlist?

Yes, you may register via the same link. There is an option to choose classes with a waitlist.

37. Do you offer a free trial for your weekly classes (physical and ‘live’ online via Zoom)?

We do not offer a free trial but we may offer a paid trial for 2 lessons. This is only provided for existing classes with vacancies. The slot is not secured after the trial and will be released on priority to parents who make full term payment.

38. Can overseas students subscribe to the online courses or enrol to the weekly ‘live’ online classes?

Yes! We do have students from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia and India who either subscribed to our self-paced online courses or attend the weekly ‘live’ online classes.

Others

39. What is the main difference between your self-paced online courses and weekly ‘live’ Zoom classes?

Our self-paced online courses (Junior Writing Academy and Writing Academy) are taught via pre-recorded video presentations. They are good for students who prefer to work from home and have the flexibility of time and venue to complete their lessons at their own pace. It is also great for parents who prefer a more hands-on approach in guiding their own children at home.

The self-paced online courses have worked well to help our students develop the discipline of writing regularly at home. Do note that there is no ‘live’ interaction with the writing coach.

For our weekly classes (physical and ‘live’ online via Zoom), students get to plan and write a full composition every 3 weeks. They are taught vocabulary and writing techniques that they can apply in their school compositions with the guidance of our writing coaches.

Students in our P5 and P6 classes are also taught Situational Writing (PSLE Format) once a month.

Topics for our weekly classes (physical and ‘live’ online) are similar to those in the self-paced online courses. However, the pace will be much slower as we have to consider the needs of everyone in the class and lessons are limited to 1.5 to 2 hours per week.

40. I am undecided if my child should attend the weekly ‘live’ classes or take the self-paced online courses. What should I do?

You can take advantage of the free/paid trial offered before you decide.

If you want to find out how our writing coaches review and mark students’ compositions, you might want to sign up for Write Now! which is a one-time payment for the marking of 4 composition topics.

If you find the review and feedback helpful, you can then enrol your child in the self-paced online courses (Junior Writing Academy and Writing Academy), which are based on a monthly subscription basis.

41. If I have other queries not addressed here, how can I reach you?

If you face some technical issues on our website, you may check our Troubleshooting page on some of the common issues faced by users.

For any other queries, you can contact us via email at admin@bigideaz.sg or send a WhatsApp message to 8663-6937 (click on the WhatsApp icon at the bottom of the screen). We’d be glad to address any questions you might have.