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Teaching maths the ‘Shanghai way’

PUBLISHED: 17:22 31 March 2015 | UPDATED: 17:22 31 March 2015

Left to right: Tracey Boanas, principal, Mr Jin Xiangjun, Ms Lin Lei and Christall Adams, year 3 subject leader

Left to right: Tracey Boanas, principal, Mr Jin Xiangjun, Ms Lin Lei and Christall Adams, year 3 subject leader

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The Harris Academy Primary has welcomed two teachers from China to help pupils and staff raise standards in maths by using their world-class approach.

The school in Mayflower Road is one of a handful of primaries across the country taking part in the Shanghai maths teacher exchange, a national project organised by the Department of Education.

The school is holding a maths open day on March 17 with guests including Nick Gibb, Minister for Education and some of his maths team, as well as Sir Dan Moynihan- CEO of Harris Federations schools and Debbie Morgan, primary director for maths from the National Centre in the Excellence of Teaching Mathematics(NCETM).

The day will enable visitors to take part in maths lessons as well as a question and answer session with the Chinese teachers.

Tracey Boanas, principal of Harris Academy Primary, said: “Following the two week visit to Shanghai in October to observe in situ the teachers in Shanghai Primary School, Harris Primary Academy is now hosting the two teachers for three weeks. They will teach across three classes the ‘Shanghai way’, which involves embedding key skills through skilful questioning and tackling misconceptions before they happen.

“We are very excited to be part of this National project being championed by Minister Nick Gibb to address the maths teaching in England. We have a lot to learn from our Chinese counterparts, but in turn they are keen to learn from us too. Christall Adams, our Year 3 class teacher and maths subject leader, is working closely alongside the two teachers in planning and observing the lessons.”

School reform minister Nick Gibb said about the scheme: “The Shanghai approach is proving a hit in those schools in the country where it’s been tried. Careful teaching of the traditional calculation methods and plenty of practice in class and as part of pupils’ homework are key to this success.”

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