Second wave of Shanghai teachers arrive to teach maths in English primary schools

Thirty teachers from Shanghai have arrived in the UK to spend three weeks teaching maths lessons in primary schools across England. This is the second group of teachers from the Chinese city to visit during this school year, as part of one of the projects undertaken within the Maths Hubs programme which began work last September.

The programme, funded by the Department for Education (DfE) and coordinated by the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) has seen the creation of 34 hubs, spread across England, each led by a school or college with a record of high achievement in maths teaching and local system leadership.

The Shanghai teachers now here will, from Wednesday 25 February, be working in 25 different schools across 17 Maths Hub areas.

They will give maths lessons to classes in the English schools using exactly the teaching approach followed across primary schools in Shanghai. This has contributed to Shanghai school pupils performing in international tests at levels that currently lead the world.

The Shanghai approach, which exemplifies what’s known as teaching for mastery, entails, among other things, keeping the whole class together on the same material, effective use of high quality textbooks, and communicating the expectation that all pupils will achieve to a high standard.

Charlie Stripp, Director of the NCETM said:

 

‘I am thrilled by the success of the teacher exchange so far. When the first wave of Shanghai teachers taught in English schools in November, it was immensely encouraging to see how willingly pupils adapted to being taught maths by a teacher from China, and the enthusiastic way in which the English teachers engaged with their Shanghai counterparts, and, as a result, began to change their practice.

 

‘Even more encouraging, though, are the early signs we are seeing that this exposure to Shanghai teaching methods is helping primary school children develop a deeper understanding of the structure of maths and how numbers fit together-- something that will be of invaluable benefit as they journey through school and life.

 

'We are determined, over time, to help all English schools benefit from this valuable exercise.’