Interesting to compare maths and what kids learn

(32 Posts)
mam29 Sun 28-Jul-13 22:25:32

Used this site in past for free maths questions but its follows national curriculum of loads of different countries.

We often read on mumsnet how some countries start later

or high up in world education ranking with singapore ranking highly.

It also has oz, new zealand, south africa, canada, usa and europe to compare.

Whats tricky is how their years line up with ours

are they learning more sooner or more later.

Had quick skim we seem to be covering similar stuff.

but much of what we learning in reception/year 1 seems to be what they learning in preschool or kindergarten.

I know in us their grade 1 is comparable with year2 level here as they do pre k then kindergarten for year 1.

Also made me wonder if maybe the start age we one of youngest does not matter if other countries doing more formal learning in preschool years before their primary years skews things a bit as we think later must be better.

Conteplating homeschooling and wondering which offers the best curriculum as assumed they be all pretty much the similar.

its just what they learn, when and where seems to differ.

mam29 Sun 28-Jul-13 22:31:25

Singapore meant to be top does not introduce fractions until primary 2 where as we cover it in uk years 1-2 and not sure if their primary 2 is actually comparable to year 3 or not.

This website covers primary and secondary and you can change the country flag at top and have a look and answer practice questions from other countries.

Like the way it set out in clear transparent way shame nothing smilar for english or science.

tricot39 Sun 28-Jul-13 22:52:56

marking place to look tomorrow.
thanks for posting

mam29 Sun 28-Jul-13 23:10:32

No worries just few discussions been we do too much too soon and education rankings so interesting see how it compares for every school year as would have thought with core subject like maths we all need to learn same thing and if uk learning less under national curriculum than why? hardly any maths happens in nursery or preschool here.

ClayDavis Mon 29-Jul-13 11:22:22

Marking place until later.

As a first thought, it can sometimes be a bit misleading to just look at the list of expectations in the syllabus. For example, the difference between UK maths and Singapore maths isn't so much in the criteria as the method behind how it is taught.

mrz Mon 29-Jul-13 12:02:48

Children are aged 8 in Primary 2 (Singapore)

mam29 Mon 29-Jul-13 14:55:48

Thanks mrs z just gove constantly brings up singapore as example of greatness.

Singapore have their won way of maths called singapore maths as lots american schools have adopted this method in some states..

In usa they atlk about singapore maths, saxon maths and miqon.

Over here we just have maths in schools nc and kumon which everyone seems to slate on mumsnet as learning by rote .

Also we discuss reguarly school starting age being too young but seems preshool and kindergarten in other countries where they start later cover quite a bit of maths before their primary years.

Apart from currency i guess no reason couldednt follow another country if more rigourous.

or some reason i know we say we come above usa in education rankings but they seem to do lots of maths and sciience in elementary school.

mrz Mon 29-Jul-13 15:03:37
mam29 Mon 29-Jul-13 17:58:52

Thanks mrs z looked at the my pals 2 series but thats from equiviant of year 2 here. The kindergarten series i think year 1 age 6 so thinking miht be bit challenging for recpetion year but tempted to try kindergarten book and see whats so special about it as all teh californian state schools are using it.

Im wondering how it compares with our national curriculum.
if we did the wrong countery would we end up ahead or behind of the uk curriculum?

will try and look at oz and usa in greater detail and europes pretty wide as thourght ost european countries did their own thing so france being very different to germany.

Ireland education always gets raved about and they not far from us.

curlew Mon 29-Jul-13 18:05:06

In my opinion, when somebody like Gove raves about another country's education,it usually means that it has a very traditional, lined up in rows teacher in front, talk and chalk system. I don't think they ever look much at what the kids are being taught, just at how it happens.

ClayDavis Mon 29-Jul-13 18:05:26

Singapore have their won way of maths called singapore maths as lots american schools have adopted this method in some states..

In usa they atlk about singapore maths, saxon maths and miqon.

Over here we just have maths in schools nc and kumon which everyone seems to slate on mumsnet as learning by rote

We do have commercial maths schemes over here as well- Abacus maths and Collins, for example. It's just that a system of textbooks, workbooks and teachers' guides isn't as widely used as it is in Singapore and the US.

Singapore maths, is really only known as Singapore maths outside of Singapore. Inside Singapore it's just the maths curriculum set by the government and the text books produced by a number of publishers to support that curriculum.

ClayDavis Mon 29-Jul-13 18:12:42

I have the kindergarten Book A. I'm not a massive fan of it. I do prefer My Pals.

The Kindergarten would do for reception, it starts with matching/sorting/finding the odd one out, then moves on to numbers to 5, then 10 etc. It assumes no previous maths knowledge.

mam29 Mon 29-Jul-13 18:17:00

I am not sure what the government want they want to cherry pick things from other countries to try make us better.

Just hard to compare other curriculums as we all have different start dates and grade systems so doesnt quite match up to what we learn i guess we must all be learning same thing in maths but different stages.

mrz Mon 29-Jul-13 18:48:45

I think they forget that cultures and society are different in other countries and what works in one place won't necessarily work here.

ClayDavis Mon 29-Jul-13 21:29:19

That's so true,*mrz*. I doubt you'd hear many parents from any of the high performing Pacific rim countries telling their children not to worry about maths because they weren't very good at it at school either.

MrButtercat Tue 30-Jul-13 07:45:56

Or teachers in our case.hmm

ClayDavis Tue 30-Jul-13 08:47:24

My TA in mine. Not a brilliant message when the children are receiving the same message from home.

mrz Tue 30-Jul-13 09:03:23

I was thinking more of what a colleague was told by a child in his reception class ..."I don't have to do what you say. You're only a f***ing teacher!" What message is the child getting from home?

ClayDavis Tue 30-Jul-13 10:46:01

Fortunately not had that one. Although, I think, "Fuck off" accompanied by a kick in the shin has a similar meaning.

I suspect the children who aren't in school regularly and are missing a couple of days a fortnight or more are receiving a message that says education isn't important.

When you combine those issues with parents' and teachers' attitudes towards maths, some teachers lacking in confidence in their own maths skills and other issues, it becomes a lot more complicated that a set of aims and objectives written on paper.

I'm a huge fan of the Singapore maths method, but even if you transferred the whole method into UK schools, I don't think it would pick up the tail end of low achievers here in the same way it has in Singapore.

mam29 Tue 30-Jul-13 11:01:13

I think for many parents can be a weak dificult subject it as for me

also hindered by physics .

I was struck at ks1 how little maths they did.

in year r and year 1 at end of year a cpuple of paper workbooklets looked like comics and small exercise book came home really dident look like a huge amount.

I think literacy gets the most teaching hours.

Dd1 is quite hands on and struggled in year 1 at maths.

we did maths factor ad cbeebies games.

At new school husband attended a parents maths evening which discussed calculations policy and how they teach maths.
she ot to use numicon in very class not just as senco tool shes very hads ona nd reduced subsription of mathalteics but no maths homework until juniors.

Her old school gave maths homework year 1 and year 2 which made her tearful and she hated maths thankfully she says she quite enjoys it now and dont want to pass on my maths hangups to her.

With age and doing degree realised my maths wasent as bad as thourght i was , considered myself hopeless in school yet i can do long division, sums on paper, sums in my head even do some formulas.

I dont really think we use may textbooks at primary .
I remember using lots at seniors.

I resda a lot online how things done in other countries I only lived in uk and wales before it became so devolved.

I do wonder how wales r -year 2 is foundation how it differs.I know scotland start year later and dont have sats but dont know how their curriculum differs. My norther irish and southern irish freinds always moan english educations is just not as good and that the irish value education more,.

It does not help on many world rankings they lump uk in as one country,

I think pisa put uk at 26th.

I think sciences suffer similar fate to maths.

I often read people living on other countries saying ahh educations better here .

I wouldent want to replicate asia as think very diffrent culture and scandanvia also very different but we should be more comparable with

canada, usa, south afrrica, new zealand and oz and even europe.

Do all common wealth countries follow similar system to the british one or totally different.

International schools always seem to be british or american.

French freinds tell me france is very academic and strict.
germany seems to value vocational subjects more and does better at things like engineering which really needs a a bit of maths.

Then you get recent ofsted findings that its small rural and coastal towns doing worse than inner cities as a more multicultural mix means some parents regard education highly and as a way out.

I know in my senior school the best performing kids were with parents from other countries and they got outstanding gcse/alevel results.

Its odd how you see poor girls in pakistan fighing for education yet here its not valued or its not valued by all.

Every summer exam results time we keep being told its getting easier.

so I would say in terms of value how people perceive education in uk has slipped.

Why can small towns in uk see education as way out a way up?
many say well theres no jobs for them or unis too expensive whats the point.

I must admit glad I not got a child whos a school leaver now and always confused what change is coming next as a parent and why.

We not very well off. we dident buy a house at right time so wont have much to pass onto kids so for us most important thing we can do for our kids is ensure they get a good education, good schools, supportive at home and hope they reach their potential which gives them greatest amount options in the future.

Im no tiger mums. we have no grammers here.

but over summer hols my 7year old will read lots, do a couple maths workbooklets and maths online keep it fresh plus a few mini projects she likes learning about things last summer we did butterflies.

mam29 Tue 30-Jul-13 11:09:02

Thanks clay I think I will invest in kindergarten book then theres also some separate books on individual things like counting and shapes.
The way they look I think very appealing to kids and it works but starting at beginning building foundations lots of repetition before moving on to the next thing.

The my pals looks good but guessing thats more age 7 level not 4 or 5.

Does the singapore method allow much use or maths manipulatives?

Is kumon like singapore?

The ixl if say followed singapore would it be the same as in their textbooks and be harder than the uk version.

so if we started doing singapore then dd2 got s school place would she be ahead in maths?

just seems odd how usa seem to be adopting it

ClayDavis Tue 30-Jul-13 11:36:26

IME maths and literacy do get a similar amount of teaching time. I think more stuff tend to get written down in literacy though. A lot of the most important and effective early maths experiences and activities are practical and there might be very little written work in the early stages. I can understand why that might make it look like not much is taught. Although, I know you have had problems with you old school in the past so I can't speak for them. They may not have been doing much maths.

I have no experience of Oz or New Zealand but have taught in the US. I think from a cultural and societal point of view they face a lot of the same issues that we do. I'm not sure they deal with it better or that their system leads to better quality education. Certainly my cousin had lots of gaps in her knowledge when she moved from the US system to the UK system at 13.

mam29 Tue 30-Jul-13 11:44:58

Thanks clay yes I appreciate dss old school we had issues with and that wasent representative of other schools as new school has been fab and got her least enjoying maths.

just at end of year seemed so little on paper as when you look on ixl by year says how many skills required to cover each year group 100-200 things a year.

I thought teahers time in uk is dictated so they had to do so many hours on numeracy and literacy at expense of others subjects.

1hour of pe was pretty dimsmal.

Its just sitting it all in I guess. as dds days always starts with phonics, literacy. sertain topics on set days so re and sciince once a week.
litercacy and numeracy daily.

I dont think shes covered much music in year2

by time you factor in assemblies, breaks and lunches actual work time is probably not a huge amount of time.

ClayDavis Tue 30-Jul-13 11:48:57

X posts. The singapore system allows for a lot of use for manipulatives. It's basically based on the idea that you introduce concepts in a 'concrete' way i.e. using manipulatives. You then move onto having those ideas represented pictorially and then in an abstract way i.e. using numbers. There's a bit more to it than that but that's it in a nutshell.

My pals starts at P1 which is the age equivalent of Yr2. The P1 curriculum assumes no previous knowledge so it starts from counting to 10 at the beginning of the year and moves on to addition and subtraction within 100 by the second half of it. It's probably a bit much for reception but the UK suppliers are suggesting using P1 with year 1.

mam29 Tue 30-Jul-13 12:01:54

It sound really good and might be good to introduce basics for my 4 year old . Did think with 7year old be too conflicting with what shes learnt in school already.

Are you using it in your school?

its was just matching up ages that i wasent sure about as kindergarten means age 6 in most countries.

mrz Tue 30-Jul-13 12:06:16
ClayDavis Tue 30-Jul-13 12:18:51

I'm not still teaching so haven't used it in school. I have used it one to one to back up what was being taught in school for a child who was struggling and to extend a more able child. I don't know if msz uses it. I think she might uses bits of it or ideas from it.

mam29 Tue 30-Jul-13 12:26:42

ahh so it would be ok for my 7year old going into year 3 but maybe start of at my pals 1 for her and kinder for 4year old

Mrs z that site looks good lots free stuff.

do you use this in class. or are yo fee to use a mix of resources to teach foundation/keystage 1 maths?

mrz Tue 30-Jul-13 12:30:31

I'm free to use a mix but we do use Big Maths (think of it as a short daily mental warm up )

I use the Mathematics Enrichment Programme. It's free on their website, both student pages for printing and basic lesson plans though the workbooks can be bought direct from them (£3 for primary workbooks, two for a full year maths, far easier than fighting printers to ensure the measuring sections are accurate).

This is their primary scheme of work. Very systematic, step-by-step with lots of manipulatives and making with pictures in the first couple of years.

That website's obviously commercial and only has basic framework for national curriculums - obviously not all of Europe has the same (most have their national curriculums available online, I've read a few), not even all of the UK has the same as it is a devolved matter and in the States the requirements can vary from town to town even with the new Common Core standards (moving around the States a lot as a child made maths very difficult). Wouldn't rely on it to give an idea of national standards, that's just looking like a sales gimmick rather than an accurate representation.

mam29 Wed 31-Jul-13 13:36:25

The pisa rankings of last study but some time ago wonder if we improved.

puts canada, new zealand and oz higher than usa or uk,

south africa does not appear.

Did some extra digging on ixl and yes they do break it down

so they have welsh, english , scottish and nothern ireland so have no idea why uk judged as one country,

In wales if foundation stage is entire infants r to year 2 do they do less maths than english schools do?

mrz Wed 31-Jul-13 14:31:00

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