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Hello Finland!

Our mathematics leader, Mrs Johnson, has worked incredibly hard and has secured national funding for the next 2 years to continue to work with a School in Turku, Finland to improve mathematics standards. Finland is consistently ranked as one of the highest performance countries in mathematics and at Westfield both our teachers and our pupils are keen to learn more ways to deepen our understanding of mathematical concepts.

This was an initiative that started 4 years ago following a visit to Pansio school in Turku to work alongside Teija Laine, a maths specialist and observe the Finnish approach to teaching mathematics. Then, two years ago, Teija visited Westfield for a week where she observed how our teachers and pupils learn a variety of concepts, taught maths lessons using new resources and trained staff on how to use simple practical resources in a variety of ways.

As part of the continuing partnership between Westfield and Pansio School, two of our teachers (Phillippa Johnson and Tamsin Sawyer) went to Turku for one week at the end of last term. They had an amazing visit and experience temperatures ranging from -14 to -6 and even snow!

During the visit, they learnt a lot about the culture of Finnish people and the education system. They had the opportunity to observe mathematics teaching in a variety of classes ranging from ages 7-13 year olds, consider how they use practical maths resources to develop deeper understanding in real life contexts, teach a maths lesson using Finnish maths resources and work alongside the University of Turku to develop a maths program that can be used to support our National Curriculum. 

Phillippa commented “This whole experience is just the start of a long term relationship between our schools and so much about how maths is taught and the culture of our two countries has been explored. We have made international friends for life and the teachers and children at Westfield are very excited about the journey that lay ahead of us and what we can learn from each other.”