In their own words
Our Maths — No Problem! journey
Once we made the decision to refresh our maths curriculum and to move away from standard schemes, we began working with a local state academy. We investigated the work of Goutard and Gattegno, exploring less familiar lines of mathematical development. In May 2015, while in the midst of this work, we attended a Maths — No Problem! seminar in London. We introduced the scheme in our school in September 2015 for Years 1 to 4.
The results were immediate, with former lower ability children improving enormously. No longer labelled as a “lower set,” they were able to both understand and contribute to lessons. Meanwhile, the systematic variation in the textbooks also pushed higher ability pupils.
The children nicknamed the scheme “chatty maths,” with lessons characterised by sharing ideas and methods with the caveat of “you have to listen to your friends, but you don’t have to necessarily agree with their ideas!”
Maths — No Problem! in our school
With Singapore maths entailing a fundamental shift in pedagogy, it was important that the whole school was up to speed and informed. We held a workshop for parents explaining the fundamentals and familiarising them with the workbooks and textbooks. An interactive workshop the following academic year allowed parents to visit and exercise their metacognition, try out bar modelling, work through problems with the CPA approach, and to use their number sense to tackle different calculations.
For the 2016-2017 academic year, we took the Maths — No Problem! approach a stage further. We made the move to establish our Maths Subject Leader as a non-class teacher with a roving brief and flexible timetable. This enabled them to share their expertise and support colleagues across all age groups in the Prep School.
Wellington Prep is a school committed to the principles and practices of Singapore maths. We are keen to work with other state and independent schools over the forthcoming years in developing this outstanding practice.