The Maths Mastery approach was first developed in 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.
Catherine Duthie, who is spearheading the introduction of the Singapore method at Woodlands 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 has found that British school children made more progress in maths when teachers used Singapore-style methods.
The technique 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, in a bid that they think mathematically rather than memorise and apply 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.