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Rochdale children get world-leading Maths lessons from China
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24th January 2019

Rochdale students are getting a taste of world-leading South Asian Mastery for Maths this week, with two specialist teachers from China taking up residence in town.

Huini Ye and Yan Li are working with 60 students at the Kentmere Primary Academy, to provide the Shanghai Maths teaching as part of a long term programme organised with the Alliance for Learning Maths Hub programme and funded by the Department of Education.

They are living and working in Rochdale for two weeks, teaching 60 students across year 2 and year 6.

Their teachings follow a Kentmere research visit to Shanghai last year and mean hundreds of local children will benefit from the ‘Teaching for Mastery’ programme – as their lessons are also observed by teachers from neighbouring schools in the area. The government has invested £45m to boost England’s performance in maths with this programme which is being led by maths hubs – 35 school-led centres of excellence in maths teaching.

The investment was announced following international tests that revealed that the percentage of 15-year-olds in Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong who were ‘functionally innumerate’ – unable to perform basic calculations – was more than 10 percentage points lower than in England.

Hannah Duffy, Assistant Headteacher and Maths Co-ordinator at Kentmere Academy, was one of the teachers who travelled to Shanghai in December. “It’s a very different way of teaching and is proven to work really well,” she says. “This is shorter lessons, more repetition, deeper understanding. We’re delighted to be involved in the programme.”

Ads Huini Ye: “The children are so friendly and keen to learn, it is a pleasure being here in Rochdale. There are structural and cultural differences, but the passion for learning is universal. It’s a great experience.”

Simon Mazumder of the Alliance for Learning Maths Hub concludes: “We are thrilled to be leading this in the Northwest and sharing these teachings with primary teachers across the region. The students love their new teachers and it really is a project from which everyone benefits.”

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