Woodlands School Great Warley is investing in the world-leading Maths Mastery programme – popularly known as “Singapore Maths” – for its pupils, and will be introducing the teaching method from September 2018.
The Maths Mastery approach was first developed by Singapore in the 1980s. Today, the republic is regarded as a world leader in education, and currently holds the no.1 spot in the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) worldwide rankings for student performance in maths.
The small, independent school in Essex prides itself on combining the best of traditional techniques with progressive ideas. Miss Catherine Duthie, who is spearheading the introduction of the Singapore method at the school, says “This initiative will be transformative for our pupils; by bringing the benefits of this proven, world class teaching method into our school, we are really investing in our children’s futures.”
Independent research conducted by the Oxford University Department of Education in recent years has found that British school children made more progress in maths when teachers used Singapore-style methods.
“Singapore Maths” focuses on problem solving skills, rather than mental arithmetic. Instead of learning equations to reach an answer, pupils are taught how the equation actually works, so that they learn to think mathematically as opposed to memorising and applying formulas they may not understand. Children use objects and pictures to grasp mathematical concepts before moving onto the more abstract concept of numbers and symbols, as part of a three-step learning process.
Mr David Bell, Head Teacher at Woodlands School Great Warley, commented: “We may be a small school, but we never stand still. “We are always looking for ways to enrich our offering in all areas of the curriculum. I know, from personal experience, that maths can be a difficult and unpopular topic; if only Singapore Maths was around when I was at school!”