From Left: Straits Times article featuring the founders on 10 Sep 2017

From Left: Straits Times article featuring the founders on 10 Sep 2017

Curious Thoughts Academy is a registered Social Enterprise by Lydia Lok and Yao Shuohan, supported by Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise (raiSE). raiSE is a cross-sector collaboration between the Ministry of Social and Family Development, National Council of Social Service, Social Enterprise Association and Tote Board.

Lydia oversees the Jolly Phonics programme and Shuohan specialises in the Primary and Secondary curriculum based on the MOE syllabus. 


Lydia Lok

Teacher Lydia obtained a Bachelor of Social Science Degree (Honours) in Political Science (major) and English Language (minor) from the National University of Singapore in 2008. Many years ago, she left her job as a Government Policy Officer to teach Jolly Phonics to young children and has never looked back. Teacher Lydia is certified as a 3A Affiliate Trainer by the University of Melbourne for the Abecedarian approach (used by ECDA), and is also a certified Smalltalk practitioner and a professionally-certified Victoria Carlton Jolly Phonics teacher. She is also the author of two books- "Where is Dan?" and "Who is Koko?" which have been distributed to over 700 children and is used as a teaching aid in local primary schools. She has also appeared on Channel 8’s Morning Express, 93.8FM's Talking Books with Michelle Martin, The Straits Times and The New York Times Style Magazine (T Magazine).

Teacher Lydia believes in life-long learning and continuous professional development.


Yao Shuohan

Teacher Shuohan obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Honours) in History (major) and English Language (minor) from the National University of Singapore in 2008. He is NIE-trained and is a former teacher of Swiss Cottage Secondary, Riverside Secondary and St.Joseph's Institution. Teacher Shuohan is also a certified Smalltalk practitioner.

Teacher Shuohan has been teaching for 10 years and has a knack for making lessons comes alive through drama, stories and games. He now teaches English Language, English Literature, History and Social Studies. He is sought-after in Singapore for coaching ESL students who come to Singapore with a weak grasp of English, turning them into confident English speakers and writers. When he is not teaching, Teacher Shuohan loves an engaging round of boardgames as well as an evening of chilling with his fluffy Shetland Sheepdog Lemon. 


Khushbu Porwal

Teacher Khushbu (B.Sc, LLB, B.Ed, ECE) is an experienced educator with a decade of experience. She is passionate about training education professionals and students. As a certified Jolly Phonics trainer, she has successfully implemented training programmes across South Asia, especially in India and Indonesia. She has trained over 80 teachers/ parents and almost 375 students across South Asia.

She regularly adds new training techniques to her teaching repertoire so that students have access to best practice methodologies. Teacher Khushbu regularly participates in Jolly Phonics International Conferences, having represented Singapore and Indonesia at the last conference at London. 

Pearl Goh.jpg

Pearl Goh

Teacher Pearl (B.B.A, National University of Singapore) is our centre’s most well-loved teacher! With more than 8 years of teaching under her belt, she is a certified Jolly Phonics teacher, a certified Smalltalk practitioner, and a certified educator of right brain development. She is passionate about early childhood education and was formerly from Heguru Education, My First Skool and Little Skool House. 

Teacher Pearl enjoys playing and learning with children and she strongly believes that learning should be an enjoyable experience for all. She lives by one of her favourite quotes of all time: "If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn". Teacher Pearl believes that the foundation of a good education is understanding how each unique child learns and grows. Valuable learning can only be created when learning experiences are based on their learning styles. During her free time, Teacher Pearl loves to volunteer with children, or go on outdoor adventures! Diving and mountain climbing are her favourite hobbies.


Valerie Yee

Teacher Valerie is the latest addition to our Curious family! With a Bachelor Degree in Human Resource Management and a minor in Psychology from the Singapore University of Social Sciences, she is both a certified Jolly Phonics teacher and an experienced tutor.

Teacher Valerie is passionate about children’s development and believes that with a nurturing and listening environment, children will be able to unleash their endless potential! She enjoys spending time with children as they remind her to take the simplest joys in life. In her free time, Teacher Valerie also volunteers with special needs children and disadvantaged youths in Singapore and Cambodia. She believes that every child should have ample opportunities to learn regardless of their background. She has also worked with organisations like AWWA and Beyond Social Services. In recognition of Teacher Valerie’s volunteerism spirit and her efforts to empower children of all background, she was awarded the SUSS Spirit Award and Best Interactor Award.


Here's what our students and parents have to say about our teaching


Teacher Lydia is very passionate in teaching and the children have fun each week. The work, drawing and etc. takes time but I am engrossed in the lesson.
— Mum of students aged 7-12 yrs old
リディア先生は、子供の相手が本当に上手子です! 始めは、「僕は英語がわからない…」としぶしぶ参加した息子。そんな無表情で無言の息子にも、リディア先生は、いつも笑顔で声をかけてレッスンしてくれました。おかげで回を重ねるごとに息子の緊張が解けて、今では毎週レッスンを楽しみにするまで成長!!本当に良い先生です!ありがとう

Teacher Lydia is really good with children! During the beginning, my son was reluctant to attend the lesson as he said “I do not understand English…” Teacher Lydia was always smiling while teaching, even though my son was expressionless and quiet. Thanks to the repeated times, my son’s nervousness was removed and he enjoys the weekly lessons! She is really a good teacher! Thank you!
— Tomomi Sakai
日本ではなかなか習うことができないPhonics を一から丁寧に教えてくださいます。知らない単語が出てきても、読む手掛かりとなるので、長文にもチャレンジしやすくなります。子供たちの自信にもつながっています。

It is difficult to learn phonics in Japan but teacher Lydia teaches it meticulously. Even though there are unknown words, but because it becomes a clue to read, the challenge to read long sentences becomes easy. This leads to the children to have confidence.
In addition, through work, the children are able to learn English happily, and they are also able to take the lessons when they run out of concentration. Teacher Lydia is always smiling and is kind. I am thankful for her passionate teachings.
— Nakajima Tomohana’s mother
Learning under My Yao has been extremely enjoyable throughout the year. i have been taught by many teachers before but none have inspired me to work as hard as him. I know his lessons will be a guide for me in the future and his lessons will always be remembered and reflected upon.
— Tay Ye Da, former student
He always makes lessons fun and interactive for his students and still be able to teach necessary content within his limited time.
— Ly Peng, former student
I’ve always felt that Mr Yao was different from other teachers. He had a closer bond with us compared to other teachers as he made lessons more than “cramming” information into our brains. He is an interesting teacher!
— Joshua Boo, former student