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Here at Abacus, we follow the Singapore Maths approach. Through our involvement with Maths hubs, as well as first hand visits to schools in Singapore, we have written a unique curriculum which encourages mastery and fluency in Mathematics.

What is Mastery?

At Abacus we believe that all children benefit from deepening their conceptual understanding of mathematics. Children here are given the time to investigate and explore new mathematical concepts rather than accelerating through topics at a pre-determined pace. By affording children more time to cover key concepts in greater depth, they fully grasp new learning and become more flexible, independent mathematicians.


Children and adults can find maths difficult because it is abstract. The CPA approach helps children learn new ideas and build on their existing knowledge by introducing abstract concepts in a more familiar and tangible way.

C (Concrete)

Children are first introduced to a new concept or skill by acting it out with real objects such as cubes or counters.



P (Pictorial)

When children have had hands on experience they are ready to relate the problem to pictures or diagrams.



A (Abstract)

The most mysterious or abstract stage uses mathematical notation such as digits and symbols. We so easily jump to this last step but this can be very abstract without practical hands on experiences.

These three stages should run alongside each other as much as possible to provide ‘depth not breadth’ and make links between new and prior learning. An example (from our calculation policy) is provided below.

Growth Mindset

We believe that children’s abilities are not fixed but can be developed through practice, support, dedication and hard work. This belief encourages a love of learning and resilience that enables everyone to achieve and we are proud to champion this ethos in everything that we do at abacus.

What Can I do to Help my Child at Home?

Use real objects or represent number in pictures alongside digits and symbols wherever possible to enrich your child’s understanding.

Provide real life experiences of maths wherever possible such as handling change in the shop, talking about shapes in the environment, numbers on buses, phone numbers… Maths is all around us!

Find below a list of useful websites, many of which are free, others offer a free trial.