Visit to Shanghai

Pauline Roberts, Assistant Headteacher at Sir John Talbot’s School in Whitchurch, recently embarked on a research trip to Shanghai in China. The main aim of her visit was to explore, in detail, how maths is taught in schools in Shanghai and begin to explore ways in which elements of the Shanghai teaching approach might be introduced in lessons in England. The trip follows a recently aired BBC documentary ‘Are our kids tough enough’, which featured a group of British students who were taught maths and science in the traditional Chinese way. When compared to those taught using the British style, the group who followed the Chinese style outperformed their peers by a staggering 10%.

Along with more than 60 English secondary school maths teacher, Mrs Roberts, who was representing The Marches Academy Trust, participated in the exchange, as part of a two-year research project. The project is run by the national Maths Hubs programme, coordinated by the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) and funded by the Department for Education (DfE).

In the first year of the project, school year 2014/2015, a similar exchange took place, between primary school teachers and their counterparts in Shanghai, with the aim of exploring ways in which new teaching approaches could be introduced in English schools to help students acquire mastery (deep understanding) of mathematics.

This year’s secondary exchange has similar aims, adjusted to the context of helping students in the first three years of secondary education to deepen their understanding of mathematics.

The party of teachers from English schools spent two weeks in Shanghai, during, with the Shanghai teachers returning, to teach alongside their English colleagues, in November.

Mrs Roberts, commented, “Shanghai is a vibrant and exciting city and I was made to feel very welcome at the two schools that I visited. Observations of the mathematics lessons were very informative about the mastery style of teaching for which Shanghai is renowned. I look forward to the welcoming the Chinese teachers when they visit Sir John Talbot’s School in November”.

She added, “I am excited and honoured to be part of such a prestigious and important project. It’s early days at the moment, but I hope in the longer term, I’ll be able to add new approaches to the way I teach maths for the benefit of my students.”

David O’Toole, Headteacher at Sir John Talbot’s School, commented, “It is crucial for the development of all our students that they become highly literate and numerate. Building on our very successful mathematics departments this project will enable us to explore different approaches to learning and teaching and to pick the best methods most suitable for our students. I am incredibly excited about the potential of this project and the impact it will have our students futures.”

Sarah Longville, Executive Headteacher of The Marches Academy Trust, added, “This is an excellent experience, which will enable students across the Trust to benefit from the latest methods of teaching Maths.”

Posted by marchesadmin on 28th September 2015, under Uncategorized

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