Portsmouth ready to take the lead with Asian maths hub

Mary Rose Academy chosen as one of the 23 schools to launch initiative
Mary Rose Academy chosen as one of the 23 schools to launch initiative
Fellow student Bethany Toon, 17, with Bruce Wetherill, 25, at St Vincent College, Gosport  Picture: Neil Marshall (171028-16)

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HAVING a new maths hub in Portsmouth could help raise the profile of the city and boost employment, a headteacher has said.

The Mary Rose Academy has become one of 32 schools in the country to launch the hub as part of the government’s bid to match the standards achieved in countries such as Japan, Singapore and Shanghai.

The scheme is backed by £11m from the Department for Education. The hubs will implement an Asian-style approach to maths.

The centres will offer specialist subject teaching for primary schools in maths and other subjects, shared online lesson plans for teachers, daily maths lessons, homework and catch-up sessions.

There will also be instruction on maths techniques such as addition and subtraction, long multiplication and division and times tables.

The school was chosen as it is the leader of the Portsmouth Teaching Schools Alliance – a collection of schools in the city which aim to build on strengths in education in Portsmouth.

Alison Beane, principal of the school, said: ‘We are delighted that we have been chosen as one of the 32 hubs across the whole country.

‘Not only is it going to help us to raise standards in terms of maths right across the region but also it’s going to help raise the profile of Portsmouth as a whole.

‘If we can improve engagement and achievement in maths with both young people and adults then it’s going to offer up great employment opportunities.’

Hubs will develop programmes with academics from Shanghai Normal University and the UK’s National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Maths.

Later this year, 50 teachers from Shanghai will be embedded in the hubs to teach pupils and run masterclasses for teachers.

Lessons will be shared online.

Ms Beane added: ‘By working together and looking beyond the UK to Shanghai and the Netherlands, the idea is to transform maths education and to turn pupils’ views of what maths is around,to get them excited and engaged in maths.’

Education minister Elizabeth Truss said: ‘There is no reason why children in England cannot achieve the same standards in maths as those in Japan, Singapore and China.’