One of Birmingham’s most-improved schools has been looking to the Far East in a bid to maintain top marks in maths.
Two maths teachers from St Alban's Academy in Highgate have been trying out new techniques in the classroom following a fact-finding visit to Singapore.
Singapore has shot up the international league tables in recent years thanks to a new approach to the teaching of maths, which sees schools using technology including MSN, Facebook and Twitter.
St Alban's Academy has also seen exam results soar, eight years after being threatened with closure, and has even been singled out for praise by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Teachers Dr Hassan Hassan and Misoon Ali took part in the study tour during the summer holidays, which took in visits to primary and secondary schools to observe lessons and get tips on best practice from principals and teaching staff.
Dr Hassan said: “Explanations of maths concepts are exceptionally clear and simple, often just a few words in a cartoon balloon, so pupils can read it easily.
“The Singaporean maths teams really make the mantra ‘no child left behind’ a reality.
“The use of MSN, Facebook and Twitter in one of the secondary schools offered great potential to enhance the teaching and learning of maths.
‘‘Students have opportunities to discover reason and communicate mathematics though this electronic medium.”
Students at St Alban's, which is sponsored by education organisation ARK, now study a programme called Maths Mastery, which sees Key Stage three pupils study fewer topics in greater depth.
The new approach comes as 82 per cent of students at St Alban's Academy achieved a grade A*-C in maths in this year’s GCSE results.
The percentage of students who achieved five or more A*-Cs including maths and English has since soared to 68 per cent, and the school was rated “outstanding” following an Ofsted inspection in October.