In the Early Years children are taught by their class teachers. Throughout the Prep School the girls are taught by a subject specialist.
Throughout the school our teaching of mathematics is based on the Singapore maths method. Singapore developed a new way of teaching maths following their poor performance in international league tables in the early 1980’s. The Singapore Ministry of Education decided to take the best practice research findings from the West and applied them to the classroom with transformational results. Based on recommendations from notable experts, Singapore maths is an amalgamation of global ideas delivered as a highly-effective programme of teaching methods and resources. The effectiveness of this approach is demonstrated by Singapore’s position at the top of the international benchmarks such as TIMSS and PIRLS and explains why their programme is now used in over 40 countries.
The principles are based on a concrete – pictorial – abstract – cycle of learning. In our Early Years mathematical learning begins by playing with real objects, blocks or cut-out pictures, counting them and physically lining them up in a row. Through this approach children build confidence with the basic ideas of adding and taking away. There is then a second stage of drawing pictures representing the objects, only later do they gradually start to add numbers to their drawings. As the girls enter Key Stage 1 they move on from drawing pictures and just draw the boxes with numbers. This soon turns into the drawing of labelled bars which is the cornerstone for all Singapore maths work. It is these bar models that the girls then use throughout Key Stage 2 to solve mathematical problems. Singapore maths is a mastery approach to teaching and learning so the basic building blocks of mathematical knowledge and understanding must be secure before moving on. Although, seemingly a slow process to start with, by the time the girls reach year 6 this method will enable them to solve many problems aimed at GCSE level.