Hungary – Primary Maths

Insights into Hungary’s success with teaching primary maths The Hungarian approach to primary maths teaching has informed much of English thinking in this area, and Hungarian pupils come high in the international rankings. Shot on location in Hungary, this programme shows the methods used by Hungarian teachers to teach maths to pupils from age 6 to 10.

Pupils absorb mathematical concepts at an early age by manipulating objects, using visual models, and developing mental maths techniques. Written methods are introduced when pupils have a solid grasp of the mathematical processes they represent, which means that pupils don’t start writing ‘sums’ until about a year later than UK pupils do. There are no national tests or league tables. The approach appears to be formal ‘teaching from the front’, but the lessons are lively, logically structured and all pupils are involved. During their training, the teachers receive a thorough grounding in the maths they need to know and the methods they should use to teach it effectively.

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