The Oakridge Maths curriculum
At Oakridge, we have a whole-school maths programme which involves teaching for mastery within core mathematical skills. Our Maths curriculum is built upon the Singaporean approach to teaching mathematics which, using international comparison tables, has been proven to be highly effective – all the research evidence shows that children who are taught through the Singaporean 'maths mastery' approach learn faster than children who are not taught this way.
Programme Based On Established Theories
Singapore Maths is an amalgamation of global ideas delivered as a highly effective programme of teaching methods and resources. The approach is based on recommendations from notable experts such as Jerome Bruner, Richard Skemp, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky and Zoltan Dienes.
Bruner studied how children learned and put forward the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) approach to learning. Using this technique of a spiral curriculum, material is presented in a logical sequence. Initially a concept is enacted with ‘concrete’ materials, later it is represented by models (pictures) and then by abstract notation (such a plus or equals sign). These learning theories are the basis of the CPA approach which runs throughout our mathematics teaching at Oakridge. The spiral approach means that children re-visit concepts in many different ways in order to make incremental gains which lead to solid understanding and therefore ‘mastery’.
In addition, problem-solving is incorporated throughout our curriculum in order that children can develop confidence to:
- take risks
- ask questions and explore alternative solutions without fear of being wrong
- enjoy exploring and applying mathematical concepts to understand and solve problems
- explain their thinking and presenting their solutions to others in a variety of ways
- reason logically and creatively through discussion of mathematical ideas and concepts
- become fluent, flexible thinkers able to see and make connections
At Oakridge all staff are trained in this approach and have developed a deep understanding of how children best acquire mathematical skills. Each year, we hold a mathematics workshop for parents within the Foundation Stage in order that we outline how best to support your child in Maths using these principles.
Singapore Maths has produced a world-class level of achievement for many years. Singapore students scored first in the past three Trends in International Mathematics and Science Studies (TIMSS). These studies are conducted by the International Association for Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). Singapore’s 4th and 8th grade students scored top place for Mathematics in 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007.
The Department for Education, the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (NCETM), the National Curriculum Review Committee and OFSTED have all emphasised the pedagogy and heuristics developed in Singapore.
Oakridge Maths policy can be read here