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Standards soar with Singapore Maths

Trial cohort at Rushbrook Primary Academy see significant rise in those achieving age related expectations

Posted by Stephanie Broad | August 01, 2016 | Teaching

Rushbrook Primary Academy in Manchester, a member of Bright Futures Educational Trust, has already recorded marked improvements in maths among its pupils thanks to being one of the first cohorts in the country to trial Singapore Maths. 

After completing their first academic year using the method, the year two group trailing the approach have seen performance levels increase, with over 20% more children now achieving the expected level for their age.

Hew Ting Yuen, Head of School at Rushbrook Primary Academy, said: “In last year’s year two cohort, 42% of children received a level 2b or higher. If we base this year’s assessment on the old system (level 2b and higher), the results show that 64% are now achieving the expected level.  

“Not only this, but we are seeing children more engaged with the subject, and really enjoying their maths lessons, which for us is just as important as the results.”

The UK currently sits at 26th out of 34 developed countries for mathematical achievement among 15 year-olds. Rushbrook Primary Academy is among a number of schools now leading the way in the drive to push the UK further up the table by working to engage children in maths from an early age.  

Research released last year showed that children who were taught through the Singaporean approach learn faster than their classmates – making, on average, an extra month of progress in a calendar year. 

Singapore Maths concentrates on problem solving skills, allowing students to relate what they learn and to connect knowledge. It centres on the core competencies of visualisation, mental strategies and pattern recognition.  

Gary Handforth, Director of Primary Education at Bright Futures Educational Trust, added: “At Bright Futures we are always seeking new ways to improve educational outcomes for our students. Striving for excellence in maths is not something that should be restricted to those pupils that show an immediate flair for the subject. We have a culture in the UK where it has almost become acceptable to say ‘I’m no good at maths’, but we want to change this.  

“Singapore Maths is just one example of why there shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching and learning. The initial results at Rushbrook are extremely promising for the future as we look to roll this out more widely within the Trust.”

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