Capstone Prep Education Center | Academic Enrichment
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Academic Enrichment

Critical thinking, logical analysis, problem solving, and effective communication are at the core of our curriculum. In our classes, students are challenged to take a stance, argue their opinions, lead discussions, and present with confidence and clarity.

Individualized Attention
  • Small classes ensure that students will receive attention requisite to their personal academic growth.
  • Lessons are tailored to both challenge individual students’ strengths while supporting and developing areas of weakness.
  • Students receive tangible feedback during and after each lesson to outline a clear path towards improvement.
Experienced, Engaging Teachers
  • Capstone instructors have graduated from Ivy League and Oxbridge universities, including MIT, Stanford, and Cambridge, bringing a wide breadth of professional and academic experience to the classroom.
  • Our teaching staff is made up of individuals who have previously worked in academia, law, business, consulting, and finance.
A Record of Acheivement
  • Instructors have experience working with hundreds of top Hong Kong local and international school students who go on to attend top boarding schools and universities around the world.
  • Our students consistently outperform their peers in top schools around Hong Kong in both local, regional, and international competitions.

WHY CHOOSE CAPSTONE

ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS

Capstone courses prepare students to analyze, argue, research, persuade, and present. Our students become not only innovative thinkers, but also adept communicators – an invaluable skill in an ever-evolving global market.

Aspiring Writers

G1-G6

The Aspiring Writers Program starts with the foundation of idea development and basic writing structures.  At each level, students practice the important steps pf the writing process.  As students progress in the program, they learn level-appropriate literary skills and techniques to hone their writing skills.  These skills are developed through reading and evaluating texts; teacher instruction and modelling; close attention to the writing process; and regular feedback on activities and assignments.

Course Highlights:

  • Students will work to master the writing process: brainstorming, outlining, writing, and revising.
  • Students will explore a variety of writing genres, learning to modify style and structure to suit a specific audience and purpose.
  • Students will develop excellent planning skills that map out the flow of ideas and arguments.
  • Students will enhance their writing with vocabulary and specific literary techniques such as alliteration, metaphor, and simile.

Perfect for:

  • Students who want to express their ideas and opinions in an organized and clear manner
  • Students who need guidance in systematically planning or editing their writing
  • Students who feel comfortable with creative writing but need to prepare for more persuasive and academic writing
  • Students who want to advance their writing with higher-level vocabulary and writing techniques

After the course, students will be able to:

  • Transition from creative writing to academic writing through a mastery of the writing process
  • Develop organizational structures and skills that will produce clear, powerful narratives and essays
  • Edit and refine their compositions outside of class
  • Express themselves with precision and clarity through a use of a wide vocabulary

Research, Analysis and Problem Solving (RAPS)

G3-G6

In this course, students will gain the necessary tools to recognize and access credible sources.  Students will be able to gather, collect data and information.  They will be able to evaluate and synthesize information from various sources to assist their analytical and problem solving skills.  Though case studies, students will be able to analyze successful and unsuccessful models to skillfully identify, conceptualize, apply, analyze, synthesize and evaluate information from a variety of media.  The goal of the course is to teach students how to empathize with and define problems in an ever-changing world.  It teaches them how to brainstorm, design, test, and re-test solution to those problems.

Course Highlights:

  • Students gain the ability to present themselves effectively and confidently.
  • Students bolster critical thinking skills by developing numerous ideas and examining them for faults.
  • Challenging source material and teacher guidance allows students to engage with difficult concepts.
  • Fun and engaging problem solving case studies based on real-world issues will expand students’ scope of knowledge and abilities.

Perfect for:

  • Students who love to discuss ideas
  • Students who always want their opinion to be heard but lack the substance and structure to really make their opinions impactful
  • Students who may be very logical but lack the tools to share their logic and ideas with others

After the course, students will be able to:

  • Transfer their critical thinking abilities to other academic disciplines
  • Present and communicate their ideas clearly and confidently
  • Broaden their perspectives and have greater insights that will lead to unique ideas and arguments

Public Speaking and Debate

G3-G6

Capstone’s Public Speaking and Debate program uses the activities of speech and debate to train student to both see the world with a critical eye and then speak eloquently and persuasively. By setting debates within relevant global and philosophical contexts, students not only learn more about the world and gain increased confidence and critical thinking skills, but also become prepared to attend debate competitions if they choose to do that in the future. Lower levels of the program are intended to train students’ processing abilities and get them accustomed  to the practice of debating; meanwhile, higher levels of the program train students to ensure their debates are consistently well-delivered and compellingly structured within common competitive debate formats.

Course Highlights:

  • Students will receive exposure to the British Parliamentary debating format, currently the world’s most prestigious debating style.
  • A lively environment conducive to both rhetorical presentation and topical research

Perfect for:

  • Students who want to improve their confidence in public speaking or improve their spontaneous logical reasoning skills
  • Students who have thoughts and opinions about the world and are looking for an outlet to speak up and be heard
  • Students are interested in debating competitively in the future
  • After the course, students will be able to:

    • Articulate ideas with confidence and poise on different topics
    • Employ creative and effective ways to express their thoughts and defend their ideas

    Academic Writing

    G7-G9

    Academic Writing improves students’ mastery of the four main writing genres secondary students encounter at school: persuasive, descriptive, expository, and fiction. Students will develop the tools necessary to research and write essays that are well-organized, clear, and persuasive, and will learn how to use descriptive techniques skillfully to create powerful written images. Students will be challenged with texts that require them to exercise their critical thinking and employ careful analysis to come to their conclusions. In addition to giving students the skills they need to master the four genres, lessons will emphasize the importance of effective planning, editing, and revising.

    ACADEMIC WRITING I

    Course Highlights:

    Appropriately-paced lessons to simultaneously build English language as well as expose students to the various writing genres.

    Perfect for students who:

    • Struggle to comprehend and use English
    • Wish to develop strong fundamentals in various genres of writing

    After one year, students will be able to:

    • Write and speak more fluently in English
    • Write confidently within the four genres
    • Move up a level to the Academic Writing II program

    ACADEMIC WRITING II

    Course Highlights:

    Exposure to different genres that strengthens students’ overall academic proficiency, while practicing all aspects of the writing process.

    Perfect for students who:

    • Struggle to comprehend and use English
    • Wish to develop strong fundamentals in various genres of writing

    After one year, students will be able to:

    • Write and speak more fluently in English
    • Write confidently within the four genres
    • Move up a level to the Academic Writing II program

    ACADEMIC WRITING III

    Course Highlights:

    Appropriately-paced lessons to build English language and critical thinking skills, in addition to world knowledge and current events awareness.

    Perfect for students who:

    • Struggle to use English to express themselves
    • Want to develop their own writing style

    After one year, students will be able to:

    • Organize their ideas creatively and to the best effect
    • Employ the writing process consistently
    • Tackle challenging upper-Secondary writing

    Foundations of Argumentation, Speech, and Thought (FAST)

    G7-G9

    Foundations of Argumentation, Speech, and Thought course introduces students to foundation-level critical thinking and presentation skills. Students will gain useful world knowledge and hone their analytical abilities by applying them to Capstone-created case studies and authentic sources such as The New York Times and the BBC. In addition to gaining analytical abilities, students will apply those skills to an oral presentation at the end of the lesson. Students who have completed our FAST program are positioned to confidently participate in more discussion-heavy school classes, progress into the world of debate or delve deeper into critical thinking with our RRAPS or Mentorship programs.

    FAST (Grade 7-9)

    Course Highlights:

    Continued growth of students’ overall academic proficiency through challenging exercises and assignments that teach advanced techniques.

    Perfect for students who:

    • Hope to improve their analytical, deductive, and creative thinking
    • Wish to widen their world knowledge in a comfortable environment
    • Are looking to add more compelling structure and substance to their arguments
    • Need practice with public speaking and would like to gain more confidence

    In this course, students will

    • Encounter increasingly complex situations and scenarios to analyze
    • Learn to see issues through various perspectives by considering stakeholders
    • Get training on important presentation skills and practice those skills regular
    • Develop confidence with both prepared and impromptu speeches

    Research, Rhetoric, Analysis and Problem-Solving (RRAPS)

    G7-G9

    Research, Rhetoric, Analysis and Problem-Solving will continue to have students tackle increasingly complex topics. With a heavy discussion component, the course will build on students’ critical reading/media analysis, argument-formation, public speaking, and problem-solving. Course content comes from a wide range of sources, including media outlets such as The Guardian, technical papers, and Capstone-created case studies. After processing, questioning, and analyzing complex information, students in this course are then expected to synthesize, critique, and present their thoughts on what they have learned within various contexts, such as mock trials, boardroom meetings, town hall meetings, debates, and formal presentations.

    RRAPS G7-9

    Course Highlights:

    Continued growth of students’ overall academic proficiency through challenging exercises and assignments that teach advanced techniques.

    Perfect for students who:

    • Want to expand their knowledge of current events and real-world issues
    • Have some good ideas but struggle to articulate these ideas
    • Wish to strengthen their reading and argumentation skills
    • Hope to broaden their approach to problem solving

    In this course, students will:

    • Gain a greater understanding of political, economic, or cultural current events and historical issues
    • Learn to speak confidently, clearly, and convincingly in front of an audience
    • Create logical arguments and apply them in their presentations
    • Analyze any given situation from a variety of perspectives and practice selecting appropriate speech methods to address their audience appropriately

    Public Speaking & Debate

    G7-12

    Capstone’s Public Speaking & Debate is designed to equip students with the necessary skills to thrive in this context, with the intent to engage their listeners with strong rhetoric and critical thinking. Through a focus on debate, students learn more about salient issues, develop their analytical abilities, and gain greater confidence and fluency when presenting. The lower levels of the program focus on giving students the necessary critical thinking skills while getting them accustomed to debate within Capstone’s format. At the intermediate levels of the program, students learn specialized debating skills within standard competitive debate formats. Capstone’s upper-level debate program is a premier training course for debate and public speaking.

    PSD I – INTRODUCTORY

    Course highlights:

    Experiential learning through simulated scenarios where students advocate for affected stakeholders thus practicing their logic and rhetoric skills.

    Perfect for students who:

    • SWould like a better understanding of global events and important contemporary issues
    • Have thoughts and opinions about the world and are looking for an outlet to speak up and be heard
    • Want to hone their competitive spirit by engaging in the exciting world of competitive debate

    In this course, students will:

    • Learn about complex current issues and evaluate them independently
    • Practice basic speech structures to present on any topic persuasively
    • Respond critically and competently to a peer’s arguments
    • Gain exposure to basic debate terminology and concepts

    PSD II – INTERMEDIATE

    Course highlights:

    Specialized exercises in logic rhetoric and competitive argumentation to foster further growth in speaking and confidence.

    Perfect for students who:

    • Would like a better understanding of global events and important contemporary issues
    • Have thoughts and opinions about the world and are looking for an outlet to speak up and be heard
    • Want to hone their competitive spirit by engaging in the exciting world of competitive debate

    In this course, students will:

    • Continue their education on important global issues and apply various perspectives in understanding them
    • Gain exposure to standard competitive debate formats, including British Parliamentary and World Schools (3-v-3)
    • Learn important debate terminology and concepts in greater depth
    • Rebut the other team’s arguments by consistently and accurately identifying the flaws in them

    PSD III – ADVANCED

    Course highlights:

    Deep discussion and grilling of issues that are used to develop strategic reasoning for the upper levels of competitive debating.

    Perfect for students who:

    • Would like a better understanding of global events and important contemporary issues
    • Have thoughts and opinions about the world and are looking for an outlet to speak up and be heard
    • Want to hone their competitive spirit by engaging in the exciting world of competitive debate

    In this course, students will:

    • Build on an extensive repertoire of ideas within the fields of economics, philosophy, political science, international relations, and more
    • Leverage experience to compete with confidence at the elimination round level and beyond at major debating competitions
    • Train using more advanced and nuanced debating strategies
    • Learn to perform well within the crucial areas of style, substance, and strategy

    Writing, Discussion, & Thinking (WDT)

    G10-G12

    Writing, Discussion, & Thinking (WDT) is designed to prepare students for both the academic rigor and discussion-driven learning environment of upper secondary school and university. WDT draws on elements from Capstone’s Academic Writing and Scholars courses to provide high school students with a comprehensive educational experience. Writing assignments contain heavy elements of independent research and demand initiative and an inquisitive approach. Students will revise and workshop their essays with both their teacher and their peers, and in doing so, will develop good habits of drafting and editing that are vital to success at university and beyond. Throughout the course, students will be expected and encouraged to raise questions, challenge opinions, as well as lead discussions of their own. All of this will be set within a lively, academic setting where students will engage intellectually with a wide range of carefully selected and challenging materials from the humanities and social sciences, including philosophy, ethics, and politics.

    Course Highlights:

    Assignments designed to improve students’ writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills through challenging and engaging content.

    Designed for students who:

    • Understand basic writing conventions but do not always employ these guidelines and techniques in their own writing
    • Present strong points but may lack clarity in verbal and written work
    • Make general claims that are not supported by relevant, compelling evidence
    • Need to develop more initiative and confidence to participate in class discussions

    After the course, students will:

    • Express ideas fluently and according to the conventions and requisites of different genres (persuasive, expository)
    • Think about critical issues holistically and, as a result, write in-depth analyses
    • Articulate complex ideas using contextual evidence to anchor their arguments
    • Steer class discussions and foster dialogue with peers

    Early Test Prep

    G7 – G9

    Early Test Prep is ideal for students seeking to guarantee long-term mastery of various secondary and boarding/preparatory school entrance exams. The course is designed to reinforce vocabulary acquisition and the relevant reading skills and strategies necessary to achieve a higher score on the reading and vocabulary sections of numerous standardized entrance exams including the SSAT, SAT, and ACT. Capstone’s Early Test Prep course utilizes custom-edited passages, vocabulary lists, and quizzes to ensure that students are learning at the right level and are achieving constant progress in their learning.

    SSAT Bootcamp

    G7 – G9

    Capstone’s SSAT Bootcamp will equip students with the fundamental skills and test-taking strategies needed to take the Upper Level SSAT. Students will learn the vocabulary, reading, and mathematics topics tested on the SSAT. As the SSAT is known for difficult vocabulary questions and wrong answer penalties, students will also learn how to answer test questions in a structured and educated way, practicing application of these techniques during in-class drills and homework assignments. By the end of the course, students will be able to walk in on test day with confidence, knowing exactly what to expect and how to perform to the best of their abilities.

    ACT/SAT Bootcamp

    G9 – G11

    This course will equip students with the fundamental skills and test-taking strategies needed to tackle the two most important standardized tests for US university admissions: the ACT and SAT. In the first half of the course, students will cover the grammar, reading, and math concepts tested on both the ACT and SAT, and learn the similarities and differences between the tests. In the second half of the course, students will be split into two streams based on their test preference (ACT or SAT) and learn topics and strategies specific to the test of their choice. Students can also opt for drop-in homework sessions with our test prep teachers for additional personalized attention and feedback. Classes will be taught with Capstone’s own ACT+SAT textbook and official ACT/SAT practice tests (materials included in course fee). By the end of the course, students will be able to walk in on test day with confidence, knowing exactly what to expect and how to perform to the best of their abilities.

    For questions and inquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact us.