North Hills Christian School adopts Singapore Math curriculum

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 24, 2015

North Hills Christian School’s mission statement is “equipping the hearts and minds of students to impact the world for Christ.” However, beginning this school year, a city nearly halfway around the world is having its own impact at the school. For the past year, the staff and faculty of NHCS have been busy preparing for the introduction of a math program referred to as Singapore Math.

Singapore Math refers to a methodology of teaching that emphasizes a conceptual approach to understanding math. The curriculum, first introduced to the United States in 1998, is based on techniques developed for the Singapore education system. According to the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), since the curriculum’s introduction, Singapore students have been at the top of world rankings in math. With encouraging results, Singapore Math is now being taught at many of the top private and public schools in the United States, including NHCS.

Singapore Math generally focuses on fewer topics but in much greater depth. Students don’t just learn how to solve for an answer; they learn the how and why of the method. There is an emphasis on mastery of mathematical concepts. The method is unique in the fact that the methods of teaching have been developed to enhance the learning experience for both visual and auditory learners. The primary approach is referred to as CPA: Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract. This methodology is a layered approach which allows students to build a solid foundation in a developmentally appropriate sequence. During the Concrete phase, students manipulate objects to gain a foundational understanding about what is being taught. At the Pictorial phase, the student moves to a drawn representation of the concept. Finally, the student is led to the Abstract phase, where problems are written out on paper using numbers and symbols. This approach allows students to understand the “why” before the “how.”

Maria Lowder, executive director of NHCS, states that, “We are very excited about the introduction of Singapore Math to NHCS and Salisbury. This is another foundational building block in the continuing push for excellence in our classical approach to education. The introduction of Singapore Math to the kindergarten through seventh grades will help our students master the mathematical concepts so important in today’s world.”

In order to help parents learn more about this program, NHCS hosted a number of informational events during the summer where the foundations of the program were shared. There will also be several opportunities throughout the year for parents to experience this math program first hand. Parents will become the students as they step back into the classroom to solve math problems using the CPA approach and model drawing.

To more about Singapore Math at or other programs at NHCS, contact Katie Campbell, director of recruitment and retention at or 704-636-3005, ext. 109.