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The Shanghai Maths Project, Collins

The Shanghai Maths Project

Brook Primary School

Age Range

Since introducing The Shanghai Maths Project I’ve noticed that the children have a much greater depth in their understanding.

“What we found over time is that children that weren’t able to [do maths] now can and there’s even that feeling that they can do more. Since introducing The Shanghai Maths Project I’ve noticed that the children have a much greater depth in their understanding. They’ve transferred knowledge to long term memory and they’re able to talk about it in lots and lots of different contexts. It’s very different to what we saw previously. The use of vocabulary is astonishing, much more so in the early stages, year 1 and year 2, where the children now naturally use quite advanced shape vocabulary that children in year 5 are still just getting to grips with. When we first began the project in school it felt a little bit like a new pair of shoes… but we’ve stayed with it, we’ve done the training, we’ve done the sharing of practice and now there isn’t a member of staff who would change their mind and do anything else.” Jan Baker, Head Teacher

“So when we first started using The Shanghai Maths Project and we were doing the end of unit tests, we found that there were particular gaps and over the year we have watched the gaps decrease. Everything that you need is in the Teacher’s Guide because it is so descriptive and it goes through each detail and it allows the teacher to have the skills. They know what they’ve got to do before they’re teaching it and they have that understanding.” Marie Fellows, Deputy Head Teacher

“I think the general knowledge of the staff’s vocabulary towards mathematics has increased an awful lot which has then had an impact on the children as well, because The Shanghai Maths Project, right from the early beginnings in Year 1 outlines vocabulary as being really important. So it’s something that as a school we’ve focused on and we make sure that children know all the vocabulary for the four operations and shape work. We’re really trying to embed it as well which The Shanghai Maths Project encourages. I think there’s a buzz, even children who find it difficult within the classroom are so much more confident with their maths because they know they’ve got a good chance within The Shanghai Maths Project to work their way through it and they know that at the end they can do an enrichment or possibly an intervention if needed. So the confidence level throughout the school with maths is brilliant at the moment, it’s really high. Teachers have just become a lot more confident and a lot more fluent with their maths teaching. You are constantly developing because the units and the chapters give you all the information you need, like the background you need, the vocabulary you need to uplevel as well, so it’s constantly teaching you along the way.” Hannah Didlock, Maths Leader and Year 5 Teacher

“I think they’re fantastic, especially if you’re not so confident with your maths teaching. Its bullet pointed, it tells you the things that may come up as issues, it tells you the things you could say, and if you’re feeling quite confident with it you can think ‘well I know that, so we’ll just mention it quickly’. It gives you a step by step guide of what to teach and when to teach it basically, and all the steps link to the question you’re about to teach which is useful. The Teacher’s Guides have cut down on the staff’s planning times. Obviously, the lessons are there for you and in front of you so you can see it. The children go out for their 5 minute break and when they come back in, we’ve made a decision on who’s doing the enrichment and intervention. The intervention really does focus on the skills the children need to learn whereas the enrichment is uplevelling them that bit more and stretching their abilities which they love. If they do the enrichment the children are over the moon with the fact that they’re doing it. I think the skills we’ve given them definitely, and the depth we’ve given them, will enable them to succeed at secondary school as well and that’s what The Shanghai Maths Project has given us.” Hannah Didlock, Maths Leader and Year 5 Teacher

“At the start of each unit it says on the front page ‘resources required’ and it’s got a list of them so you know ‘I can get all that ready’. The intervention for the children who need that little bit of extra support has really helped them to feel like they can access this. It might be just recapping the teacher input again or going through it again and a lot of partner talk has worked really well for them. It gives them that time; they don’t feel like ‘Oh, well I didn’t get it the first time, so that’s it now’. In year 2 you’ve really seen their progress… and the impact is more depth of knowledge and you’ll really see the progress as they move up through the school. It’s got all the national curriculum content in it but it is ordered in a different way and it’s recapping your knowledge.”  Zoe Hill, Year 2 Teacher

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