Wigan teacher set for Shanghai exchange

The Shanghai skyline
The Shanghai skyline

A Wigan teacher is preparing to jet off to Asia as part of a prestigious educational exchange scheme.

Doug Pitts, who teaches mathematics among other subjects at Newfold Community Primary School in Orrell, has been selected to take part in the project with a partner school in Shanghai.

Mr Pitts

Mr Pitts

Mr Pitts will be one of approximately 100 expert mathematicians from schools across England to take part in the scheme, called the Maths Hub Programme.

The purpose of the exchange is to develop further the understanding and implementation of approaches to teaching maths in Mr Pitts’s school, and in local partner schools he will be working with during the school year 2018/19.

The Chinese city of Shanghai is rated as having among the best maths results anywhere in the world with its primary school teachers undergoing years of specialist training and thereafter focusing only on that subject in the classroom.

Mr Pitts’s visit is one element of the Teaching for Mastery Programme, run by the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) in conjunction with the Maths Hubs Programme, and funded by the Department for Education.

Funding for the four-year programme, initially amounting to £41m, was launched in July 2016.

The group of teachers, all of whom have completed training as Mastery Specialists in a programme run by the NCETM and Maths Hubs, will be visiting Shanghai in late November and early December 2018, and hosting their partner teachers from Shanghai in English schools in January 2019.

There are 35 Maths Hubs, spread across England, each led by a school with a record of high achievement in maths, and of supporting improvements in maths teaching and learning in neighbouring schools.

This is the fifth teacher exchange with schools in Shanghai since the Maths Hubs Programme was launched in autumn 2014.

Headteacher Phil Edge said “The exchange is a fantastic opportunity to study from other education systems, enhance professional knowledge and enrich the learning opportunities we provide not only for Newfold’s children, but young people across the North West.”

For more information, see www.mathshubs.org.uk or contact steve.mccormack@ncetm.org.uk