Hartlepool youngsters showcase their maths skills Shanghai-style

Pupils from Eldon Grove Academy, Hartlepool, take part in a maths master'class with exchange teachers from Shanghai.
Pupils from Eldon Grove Academy, Hartlepool, take part in a maths master'class with exchange teachers from Shanghai.

Number crunching students have been showcasing their skills with a masterclass in mathematics Shanghai-style.

Year 6 pupils from Eldon Grove Academy, Hartlepool, demonstrated their flair for fractions at an open classroom event under the expert tuition of teachers Huang Wei-yi of the Shanghai Huangpu Luwan No1 Central Primary School and Peng Yu-yun of the First Central Primary School of Jingan District, China.

Our students have done a marvelllous job

Julie Deville

The live lesson, watched by dozens of headteachers from across the North East at Hartlepool College of Further Education, was the culmination of a primary maths global exchange programme.

The Archimedes North-East Maths Hub aims to raise achievements in maths by learning from experts in Shanghai, where teaching methods are considered some of the most effective in the world.

Eldon Gove Academy primary maths specialist Valda Varadinek-Skelton spent two weeks in Shanghai with fellow maths specialist Natalie Ruddell, of Cotsford Junior School, Horden, absorbing Chinese teaching methods, which secure their students a global position at the top of the class.

Mrs Varadinek-Skelton said: “The Chinese strategy for maths involves mastering knowledge of numbers and embedding it in the curriculum from a very young age.

“They ensure the highest quality of resources and teaching underpin everything within the foundation of understanding.

“It’s not just about learning for the test, it’s about the depth of learning and really being able to understand and link mathematical concepts.

“While in Shanghai we got to see some fantastic maths lessons, but the exchange programme is not just about replicating the Chinese way of teaching it is about bringing the best ideas to our school and adapting them to our own teaching methods for our own students.”

The five ‘big ideas’ which Eldon Grove Academy will be including in their maths curriculum following their visit to Shanghai will include:

Knowing the facts – learning the basics including times tables for fast recall;

Helping pupils create a mental image of maths;

Encouraging deeper thinking;

Connecting mathematical learning;

Problem solving.

Executive headteacher of Eldon Grove Academy, Julie Deville, said: “Our students have done a marvellous job today and taken on all aspects of the Shanghai teaching methods including standing to give answers, speaking in complex mathematical sentences and adapting to a faster pace of learning.

“At Eldon Grove Academy we are passionate about giving our pupils the best education possible which means that we strive to secure every pupil in our academy every possible opportunity to develop their learning.”