North East Connected

Chinese maths experts help make the numbers add up for pupils

A CALCULATED approach to learning is paying huge dividends as maths teachers from across the world come together to share their expertise with numbers.

Primary school children showed off their new-found confidence and skills to 100 teachers from across the region after working with world-leading mathematics specialists from Shanghai.

Held at Carmel College, Darlington, the two-day maths event was hosted by The Archimedes North-East Maths Hub, showcasing the huge strides already made in teaching the subject thanks to an exchange partnership with Minhang Experimental Primary School, Shanghai.

Two Chinese teachers currently visiting the region exhibited their techniques before an audience of professionals, ranging from headteachers and senior maths leads to university tutors and newly qualified teachers.

Chinese maths specialist Wang Zhongyan and his colleague Zhu Wenjing spent two weeks in the run up to the conference working with pupils from West Park Academy, Darlington.

In a demonstration of their new skills, pupils staged hour-long lessons for delegates showing what they had learned from the Chinese teachers at their school, where they had been watched by up to 150 visitors.

Mr Wang said: “I was very impressed with the pupils and enjoyed teaching them greatly. They listened very carefully and wanted to understand each step.”

Archimedes NE Maths Hub lead Rose-Marie Rochester said: “Now in its fourth year, this has been a hugely successful project and is getting even more exciting.

“I was short-changed in a supermarket this week which showed me that we are not successfully embedding maths into people’s lives.

“I love maths and want it to be a positive experience for everyone so we don’t meet people who don’t like and can’t do maths.

“There is a revolution in maths that stems from teaching from a starting point of mastery. In West Park Academy pupils, we are already seeing a new type of learner. You could see when they entered the room they were beaming; we would not have seen that a few years ago.”

West Park Academy principal Sam Hirst said: “I was conscious that our children could calculate the answers but didn’t really understand the process. Being part of the hub has helped us and the children achieve greater understanding of maths.

“Our maths mastery specialist Amy Stokell heads up a network of six schools and has been to Shanghai. She is helping to develop maths around the region. The aim is that children really understand their maths and leave West Park fully prepared for their next stage of learning.”

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