At The Perse School Singapore, we aim to give our pupils the best education. We follow the Cambridge syllabus in our numerous subjects, but when it comes to maths, we have seamlessly integrated principles from Singapore’s national mathematics curriculum. By using this highly-regarded method, your child can develop a strong foundation in maths.
What is Singapore Maths?
Singapore Maths is a distinctive teaching method that has been developed and refined over many years. The Singapore approach emphasises problem solving and abstract thinking. It isn’t merely about equations or rote memorisation, but about how to think mathematically.
To begin, Singapore Maths goes more in-depth compared to traditional maths approaches. It doesn’t rush over topics, instead building understanding in a balanced, step-wise manner. This ensures that pupils grasp the maths concept in full before moving on to the next topic.
One of the most unique points of Singapore maths is the Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract approach (CPA).
Concrete Stage: The pupil uses physical objects or a hands-on style to visualise a problem.
Pictorial Stage: The pupil uses pictures and drawings to solve the problem.
Abstract Stage: The pupil uses numbers and symbols to solve the problem.
One example of the pictorial stage is the use of bar models, which are a major part of the Primary School Mathematics syllabus. These models aid the learner in fully visualising the problems, rather than relying on rote memory.
What Makes Singapore Maths Different?
So, what makes Singapore Maths different from other international maths pedagogies?
Traditionally, mathematics is taught with a focus on procedural learning. Procedural learning relies on memorising algorithms and forming set procedures to solve equations, rarely leading to a deeper understanding of the subject matter.
However, the Singapore Maths method emphasises the development of mental maths skills and understanding why mathematical concepts are solved in a particular way.
Visual Aids: One key feature of this method is the strong use of visual aids and activities, such as diagrams, model drawing, and number bonds, to explain complex numerical relationships. Instead of just providing equations, the use of these visual elements allows young pupils to conceptualise and understand them. This forms a strong foundation for maths skills that will remain with them throughout their education.
Heuristics: Another major difference is the cultivation of problem-solving tools. Traditional maths may make the mistake of providing problem-solving without specific tools. Singapore Maths relies on heuristics, which are specific methods that solve different types of questions. Pupils can choose from their toolbox when faced with a word problem and are encouraged to break the question down into digestible chunks by reading it thoroughly.
Integration: Singapore Maths also ensures that topics are integrated with one another. Instead of completely moving on from a topic, the Singapore Maths syllabus ensures that they’re revisited and built upon in subsequent grades, with the concepts applying to one another. This ensures that topics are never fully forgotten, and since pupils are taught the conceptual knowledge behind each concept, they’ll have an easier time remembering and understanding them when they reappear.
In conclusion, Singapore Maths stands out because of its unique method, concepts, and approach. It aims to create a deep, substantial understanding of maths, instead of producing surface-level knowledge that’s only used to pass test after test. This method is considered a benchmark in mathematics and has been adopted by several international schools, including us at The Perse School Singapore.
The Impact of Singapore Maths on International Pupils
The impact of Singapore Maths on pupils at international schools cannot be understated. Singapore consistently ranks highly in OECD’s Pisa global competence test, an international student assessment that measures the scores of pupils worldwide. 46% of pupils reached the highest measurements provided by the test, compared with an average of 14% among 27 other participating countries.
The benefits extend to overseas student populations as well. A 2015 study in the UK found that after a single year, the use of the Singapore Maths model method resulted in an improvement in academic performance. Another US school managed to gain a 14% increase over three years, after implementing it in 2015.
Pupils at our school have flourished under the Singapore Maths curriculum and method. We make sure to integrate the primary principles in the Cambridge curriculum and improve the problem-solving abilities of pupils. Pupils aren’t reliant on cramming formulas, but instead understand how to deduce them independently. This is a crucial step for their learning development and upcoming maths challenges.
How The Perse School Singapore Harnesses the Strength of Singapore Maths
As maths is a crucial subject around the world, implementing the most effective methods of teaching is important. At The Perse School Singapore, we effectively implement the Singapore Maths approach in our curriculum, equipping pupils with adequate skills to engage with challenging problems confidently and improve their overall learning outcomes.
We ensure that the CPA Approach is used in our maths curriculum, and we have a differentiated multi-modal learning method. The Singapore Maths method places emphasis on problem-solving and mental calculation skills, so we cultivate these abilities in our pupils. They’re encouraged to think critically and creatively, so they can become self-learners who develop a genuine love for learning.
While the benefits of the Singapore Maths method are vast, it doesn’t detract from the fact that each pupil is unique. Every pupil has a different learning pace and understanding capacity. This is where The Perse School Singapore stands out. With our smaller class sizes, we provide personalised and thorough teaching, making sure each pupil is given access to the learning opportunities they deserve. Our mission is to help all our pupils excel, not just in maths, but in all aspects of their academic journey.
A Holistic Curriculum at The Perse School Singapore
Singapore Maths is not just a buzzword to be tossed around. It’s a proven method for setting up pupils with a strong foundation in mathematics and a solid understanding of concepts. This approach that we’ve adopted is able to add value to your child’s education, and ensure they can solve maths problems with ease.