Adrian Kuek ~ Dean

 

Special Powers

  • GEP Screening & Selection Test

  • English & Creative Writing

  • Science

  • Bonding with Young Learners

Story

Adrian has over a decade of experience in the education enrichment sector writing materials for and teaching Primary Level English and Science. In his capacity as curriculum writer and main trainer of the GEP preparatory programme, he has helped over 400 students gain admission into the Gifted Education Programme. 

Although Mathematics is not listed as one of his Special Powers, Adrian does not shy away from curricula that require complex manipulation of numbers, thanks to his decade-long stints in a boutique fund management firm and an investment bank. 

Besides slogging away at Joyous Learning, Adrian writes for a weekly education column on Yahoo! news.
 

Adrian is an ex-ASEAN Secondary, Pre-U & Undergraduate Scholar. "I was quite the nerd in my younger days," he admits. 

Irah Kader ~ Academy Manager

Special Powers

  • Mathematics

  • Efficiency

  • Open-heartedness

  • Infectious Cheerfulness & Optimism

Story

Don't let Irah's youthful, bubbly personality fool you. She's a veteran educator whose 15 years of experience spans MOE schools and enrichment centres. In addition to teaching, Irah has held the position of Vice Principal at an enrichment centre chain, presiding (or some say lording) over a team of more than 300 teachers.

 

"The key is in finding that sweet spot where the interests of students, their parents, teachers and the enrichment centre converge," Irah proclaims sagely. Not an easy task surely, but those who've worked with Irah will attest to the fact that she's one person who can do just that. 

 

An alumni of a Japanese book superstore chain, she is the go-to person for discounts on obscure books.

Dr Inderbir Sandhu ~ Gifted Education Consultant

 

Special Powers

  • Gifted Education

  • IQ Testing

  • Critical Thinking

  • Creative Thinking & Assessment

  • Positive Psychology

Story

Dr Sandhu holds a PhD in Psychology (Gifted Education) from the University of Cambridge, UK. She has been working with learners of high abilities since 1996. As an educator, she has taught at the University of Cambridge and University Putra Malaysia (UPM).

In her field of specialty (Gifted Education), Dr Sandhu has served in various capacities in institutions across the world. She is a former Vice-President and current advisor for the National Association for Gifted Children, Malaysia (NAGCM). Her illustrious resume as a Gifted Education advocate includes working with V-Campus (affiliated with Stanford University’s Education Program for Gifted Youth), Cambridge Alliance Centre, iGenius Singapore, and serving as a school psychologist at Raffles Girls’ Secondary School in Singapore.

At present, she teaches at the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) and manages an organisation that provides consultancy and assessment services to parents, students, educators, schools and corporate institutions in areas pertaining to giftedness, critical thinking, creativity and positive psychology.

This polyglot has been diagnosed as dyslexic and yet speaks English, Malay, Mandarin, Hindi, Bahasa Indonesia and Punjabi. It's like a model who says she eats all she wants but never gets fat. Not the best analogy perhaps, but we trust you get our point.

Tan Seok Bee ~ English Specialist

 Special Powers

  • Energetic & Focused 

  • Goes beyond Call of Duty

  • Wry sense of Humour

Story

How many English Language & Literature majors do you know also minored Chinese Studies & Literature? Well, now you know one - Mdm Seok Bee. With more than 20 years of experience in MOE schools, overseas schools and enrichment centres, Seok Bee is regarded as a master in the Tao of Teaching English. It's a fact acknowledged by parents of her students, who are known to request for her class when their children are promoted to the next level.

Nurturing children is not something she does only as a vocation. Rather, it is in her blood, having raised two children who were both in the Gifted Education Programme.

This English Specialist loves travelling and is a meticulous chronicler of her jaunts. You won't find her journal online though, for Seok Bee keeps an analogue travelogue – she finds pleasure in putting ink on paper! "I will be the last bastion of offline journaling!" steadfast Seok Bee declares.

 

Ligaya Ong ~ English Specialist

Special Powers

  • Inspiring Young Learners

  • All Forms of English Communication

  • General Knowledge

Story

Ligaya has been teaching English to primary and secondary students in MOE schools and enrichment centres for over two decades. She is the quintessential teacher's teacher - having served as mentor and trainer to younger teachers.

Says Ligaya, "I strive not only to impart the accurate use of the English language but to awake the joy of learning about a myriad of interests through books, articles, songs, poems, videos and movies. I hope by exposing students to the breadth and depth of the language, they would find their own voice and learn to communicate effectively via the written and spoken word."

Naturally, for one should expect nothing less from an English Language and English Applied Discourse major. 

Sim Kian Ming ~ English, Mathematics & GEP Specialist

Special Powers

  • Curriculum Writing

  • Instinct & Insight

  • Spicing up the routine

Story

Having taught in an MOE school and worked as Editor in an educational publishing house, Kian Ming brings to bear the best of both worlds - teaching and curriculum design experience. It is this potent combination that enables him to design engaging curriculum that works in a classroom.

When asked about his curriculum design process, Kian Ming had this to say: "I approach curriculum design in a spontaneous and organic way. Oftentimes, I'm inspired when I'm not at my desk. Ideas pop up when I'm watching documentaries, reading the news or strolling purposefully down the supermarket aisle." Indeed, judging from his questions on volume - animals sharing water from a shriveling pond, efficient shapes for packaging foods - he's not joking.

On his off days, Kian Ming attends warehouse sales on books. He buys everything from The Colonial History of Sabah and Sarawak to the Adventures of the Mad Chinaman. Presumably, he reads them.

Stella Chai ~ Science & Maths Specialist

Special Powers

  • Science & Maths

  • Enthusiasm & Initiative

  • Warm-Heartedness

  • Connecting with Kids

Story

Stella has taught Primary as well as Secondary Maths and Science in MOE schools and enrichment centres for over 15 years. How does one become a specialist in 2 different subjects across multiple levels? Well, it's all in a day's work if you're a Science Degree and Post-Grad Mathematics Diploma holder, like Stella is. As HOD of Pupil Welfare in her previous school, Stella has developed a sensitivity towards the affective needs of children and the skills to address them.

Gregarious Stella likes to come up maths-based card tricks to entertain and amaze the young and old alike during family gatherings. Her students can look forward to learning a trick or two in her classes.

"I love visiting the Science Centre with my children. It's better than shopping at Orchard Road," so says Stella.

Marcus Goh ~ GEP, Writing & Maths Specialist

Special Powers

  • GEP Screening & Selection Test

  • English & Creative Writing

  • Transforming Transformers Toys

Story

An ex-GEP student from Raffles Institution and alumnus of Raffles Junior College,  Marcus Goh has been a specialist tutor and curriculum writer for English, Language Arts and Literature since 2005. Marcus is Adrian Kuek's co-trainer for GEP English, Mathematics and General Abiliity. He also co-writes a weekly education column on Yahoo! news with Adrian. 


On his GEP experience, Marcus professes, "GEP broadened my horizons. The rigorous curriculum stimulated my intellectual curiosity, and schooling with similarly motivated individuals imbued me with a strong work ethic, a trait that has served me well in life."

A professional writer who runs his own writing studio (Write-Handed), you will find the name Marcus Goh stamped on script-writing credits for such Channel 5 TV shows as Lion Moms, Crimewatch and Amazing Tales, as well as on Yahoo! movie reviews.

Marcus regularly spends mathematically optimised undisclosed sums of spare cash on collectible toys. He is arguably the largest private collector of Transformers toys in Singapore, a fact we're not sure we should be proud of.

Wilson Tam ~ Coding Specialist

Special Powers

  • Software & Hardware

  • Coding Curriculum Design

  • Geeky General Knowledge 

  • Youthful Energy & Enthusiasm

Story

He likes Java, but he doesn’t drink it. He adores Python, although he’s wary of reptiles. To him, C++ is a good thing if it’s not a grade. A programming polyglot, Wilson is conversant in these computer languages and more. Add on a set of enviable hardware skills and you have the quintessential techie who’ll tell you how the accelerometer works or why blockly coding is great for young learners (even when you’re not asking).

 

Having successfully exploited his two children as guinea pigs for his coding class experiments, Wilson is ready to share his love for coding and digital technology with young Singaporeans at large.

 

“The language of computers will be the business language of the future. We have to start them young if we’re serious about building a Smart Nation.” Wilson comes with 15 years of lab and field experience in a government spin-off research institute and an investment bank, so best to take him seriously.

Philipp Ziegler ~ Chess Specialist

Special Powers

  • Strategy

  • Analysis

  • Calculation

Story

Philipp is a tutor who is in charge of Kings and Queens. Yet, he is down-to-earth, soft-spoken and immensely personable.

For him, the 1500 year old sport of chess is the perfect game: clear rules, no unfair advantage for any player, no element of luck, no excuses. It is a game where success or failure lies solely in one's hands. The only thing that counts: can you outsmart your opponent? Philipp works with his students to improve their memory, concentration and creativity - key ingredients that help one succeed outside of the chess board as well.

An accredited FIDE Trainer qualification with a FIDE ELO rating of 2173 and 15 years of experience in teaching chess, Philipp is always on the lookout for the next protege to share his chess passion with. 

 

Philipp makes his pitch with a pun, "What are you waiting for? Make your move."

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