Since students' learning attitudes are deeply influenced by their parents' (see example at the top of this page), Mr. Phang's tuition is suitable only for the two following types of I.P. students:
1. Those whose parents think that "physics concepts are the same in all syllabuses".
2. Those whose parents think that "secondary school physics concepts are the same as 'A' level concepts, so my Sec 3 kid shall start learning 'A' level physics now".
Such as these Sec 3 students in Mr. Phang's A-Level H3 Physics Tuition class.
1. Wang Fanming RI (NMO Champion 2010); 2. Matthew Shi RI (SJPO Gold Medallist 2014/15); 3. Xavier Lim RI (SJPO Gold Medallist 2013); 4. Teddy Ong NUS High (SJPO Gold Medallist 2013/14/15); 5. Theodore Yoong HCI (SJPO Gold Medallist 2012)
While most I.P. Sec 3 and 4 students still attend Mr. Phang's Sec 3 and 4 physics tuition classes respectively, more Sec 1/2/3/4 I.P. students are now attending Mr. Phang's Sec 3/4 and JC1/2 tuition classes.
What types of students are able to handle 'accelerated' higher level physics classes? After doing a survey amongst his students of their PSLE scores, Mr. Phang observed that these I.P. students fall into the following categories:
PSLE Score Above 275 (or any score if aiming for a medal in the Singapore Junior Physics Olympiad (SJPO))
+ 3 Levels, e.g. Sec 1 attend Sec 4 physics tuition; Sec 2 attend JC1; Sec 3 attend JC2/H3 (Optional).
PSLE Score Between 265 and 275 (or any score for G.E.P / All NUS High students/ Students aiming for Raffles Academy (Physics R.A.) & Hwa Chong Science & Math Talent Programme (SMTP))
+ 2 Levels, e.g. Sec 1 attend Sec 3 physics tuition; Sec 2 attend Sec 4; Sec 3 attend JC1; Sec 4 attend JC2/H3 (Optional).
PSLE Score Between 250 and 265 (with A* in Maths and Science)
+ 1 Level, e.g. Sec 2 attend Sec 3 physics tuition; Sec 3 attend Sec 4; Sec 4 attend JC1; JC1 attend JC2/H3 (Optional).
This could be seen from the examples below.
A Family with Four Children
Mr. Phang had a valued client with four very brilliant children. The two elder daughters studied at NUS High while the two younger sons RI.
In 2005, the eldest daughter was in Sec 3 when she attended Mr. Phang's JC1 tuition class. Despite being two years younger, she could solve physics problems ahead of other students in the tuition class except her classmate from NUS High, who also happened to the top physics student in Singapore in her cohort (Straits Times - NUS High Tops Physics Contest).
In 2006, the second daughter was also in Sec 3 when she attended Mr. Phang's JC1 tuition class, together with some of her school mates.
In 2006, the third child was in Sec 2 when he attended Mr. Phang's Sec 3 class (Photos). Despite being one year younger, he could solve physics problems ahead of all other students in the tuition class except his junior from RI, who also happened to be the top physics student in Singapore in his cohort (Channel News Asia - Singapore Ranked First At International Physics Olympiad).
In 2008, the youngest son was in Sec 2 when he started with Mr. Phang's Sec 3 class. Despite being one year younger, he could solve physics problems ahead of all other students in the tuition class except the younger brother of Hongjie (2010 LKY Maths & Science Award Winner).
The younger brother of Hongjie was a 'giant' in his own right - Olympiad Gold Medalist 2011.
What could be the secret behind an elder brother receiving one of ten LKY Awards (Pre-University) 2010 while the younger brother one of twenty Olympiad Gold Medals 2011?
Unlikely to be NJC's IP training since they both joined NJC after their "O" levels. Unlikely to be Mr. Phang's "super-tutoring", although Mr. Phang would very much like to believe so.
What distinguishes branded schools like NJC and branded tutors like Mr. Phang, from the hoi polloi, is always their esteemed students (past, present and future) rather than anything within the brands themselves.
'Acceleration 1.5' refers to a Sec 4 student from HCI who found Mr. Phang's JC1 tuition class easy to follow but the JC2 tuition class a little too tough to manage, after trying out classes at both levels.
In the end, he decided to stick with the JC1 tuition class.
The wonderful thing about the I.P. is that students do not need to take the 'O' levels so they can choose to learn at any pace they are comfortable with.
Mr. Phang had another valued client who sent her two very brilliant children to his physics tuition classes.
The elder daughter attended Mr. Phang's Sec 4 tuition class in 2004. She was in the last batch of RGS students who took their G.C.E. 'O' levels, and graduated amongst the top of her cohort, appearing in the front page of the Straits Times. So did her younger brother for being the PSLE "first runner-up" in 2005 (that was before Singapore finally also succumbed to the tall poppy syndrome and implemented a media blackout on academic achievements).
Coincidentally, Mr. Phang was reading the front page of the Straits Times and thinking that the name of this boy looked familiar, when the phone rang.
He was entering RI in 2006 and his mother called to enquire about Mr. Phang's physics tuition class. Knowing the calibre of his elder sister, Mr. Phang suggested that he attend the Sec 3 physics tuition class.
Initially, both his mother and Mr. Phang were concerned whether a Sec 1 student who had just completed PSLE could cope with Sec 3 level knowledge. However, such concerns quickly proved unfounded as he regularly finished solving physics problems well ahead of the rest of the class, despite being two years younger.
When he was in Sec 4, he could cut through, like a hot knife through butter, top junior college questions, 'A' level special paper and even H3 physics (equivalent to university first year) questions. His team later made history as the first Singaporean champions at the International Physics Olympiad (Channel News Asia).
Mr. Phang had a Sec 4 student from NUS High who attended his JC2 tuition class in 2006.
Whenever Mr. Phang asked the class a question which the JC students could not answer, she would readily provide the answer. She also had a photographic memory and could remember verbatim everything Mr. Phang had said, including the number of times Mr. Phang had repeated the same concept.
Despite being only in Sec 4, she could cut through 'A' level special paper and top junior college questions like a chainsaw through butter.
This student later went on to make history in Singapore's traditionally male-dominated physics competition landscape (Straits Times - NUS High Tops Physics Contest).
Quintuple Jump and Concurrent Acceleration
In 2013, 4 Sec 2 students (1 from NUS High and 3 from RI) attended Mr. Phang's JC2 H3 class. That was a 5-level jump as H3 is equivalent to university first-year physics! In 2014 & 2015, 2 Sec 2 RI and 1 Sec 3 RGS student attended Mr. Phang's Sec 4 and JC1 classes concurrently; while a Sec 4 NJC and Sec 4 HCI student attended Mr. Phang's JC1 & JC2 classes concurrently.
But the pièce de résistance was still a Nanyang Primary student who attended Mr. Phang's Sec 3 & 4 classes concurrently so that he could join Mr. Phang's JC1 physics tuition class when he entered RI in 2015 after his PSLE.
Mr. Phang's A-Level class students seem to be getting younger and younger!