A PRIMARY school in Effingham is taking inspiration from Asia to boost its students’ mathematical achievements.

Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser

The Singapore approach to maths is being introduced at St Lawrence Primary School this year

Singapore is one of the top performing countries in the world for maths and children from the country score highly at all ages in global league tables.

Schools in Singapore adopt a “mastery approach”. This means students must achieve a high level of expertise in a topic before moving on to learn more.

The country’s maths curriculum has a focus on learning through problem solving, and a heavy emphasis on using concrete materials to develop understanding of concepts.

Head teacher Vanessa Wallden said: “In the last 12 months there has been a programme of professional development at the school and our teachers are very skilled in building conceptual understanding of mathematics in line with the new National Curriculum.

“This approach fits exactly with our philosophy and will support children and teachers in raising standards even further. We see this as a very exciting development of our current practice that will ensure our children become really secure mathematicians.”

The school, which joined The Howard Partnership Trust in autumn last year, is aiming to incorporate the principles of the Singapore approach into teaching across all year groups.

Staff at the Lower Road school are also being given professional training in how to use the method. Alongside that, the children in Years 1, 2 and 3 are being provided with new “high-standard” textbooks to support their lessons.

The textbooks, from Maths No Problem, are based on the Singapore curriculum and are currently part of a national government backed trial in selected schools.

Mrs Wallden added: “We are just introducing the ideas to the children but they are already very excited about it.”

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