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The Mathematics programme in Pei Chun Public School spans across six years. Our curriculum follows the Primary Mathematics Syllabus conceptualized by MOE, Singapore. The curriculum emphasizes conceptual understanding, skill proficiencies and thinking skills in the teaching and learning of mathematics. Emphasis is also given to reasoning, applications, and use of technology such as the computer and iPad. Pupils will have opportunities to discover reason and communicate mathematics. They will engage in discussions and activities where they can explore possibilities and make connections.

The framework of the Mathematics Department shown above summarizes the essence of mathematics teaching, learning and assessment at Pei Chun. At the heart of the framework is mathematical problem solving which is dependent on the five inter-related components of Concepts, Skills, Processes, Attitudes and Metacognition.

The learning of mathematics involves the acquisition of concepts and skills, an understanding of the underlying mathematical thinking and the general strategies of problem solving. Making the learning fun and relevant goes a long way to inculcating positive attitude and appreciating mathematics as an important and powerful tool in everyday life.


Our philosophy of mathematics instruction goes beyond the teaching of mathematical knowledge and concepts per se. In educating pupils, we want them to make mathematical sense of the real world they live in and apply what they learn to solve real-life problems.

The teaching and learning approaches incorporate activity-based and learner-centred methodologies. Pei Chun adopts the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Research has shown that pupils learn mathematics more effectively when they see the connection between the Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract.

Mathematical problem solving is central to mathematics learning. It involves the acquisition and application of mathematics concepts and skills in a wide range of situations, including non-routine, open-ended and real-world problems. To become effective and efficient problem solvers, our pupils learn and apply George Pólya’s 4-stage approach to problem-solving.

To cater to the different learning needs of our pupils, the following activities and programmes are put in place:

  • Learning Support Mathematics (LSM) Programme for Primary 1 & 2
    • Academic Support for P1 – P6
    • Mathematics Olympiad for P3 – P6
    • Learn Your Tables Programme for P3
    • Pre-assembly and Step-up Programme for P6
    • Math SEED Day for P1 & P2
  • Use of ICT


Assessments are aligned to what pupils have learnt. Various modes of assessment such as pen-and-paper tests, performance tasks and journal writing are used to provide pupils opportunities to self-assess their learning and thinking process, to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses and what they can do to improve their learning. They provide feedback on pupils’ learning, their progress and allows for identification of misconceptions and areas for further instruction.

PSLE & the Use of Calculators (Primary 5 & 6)

Primary 5 and 6 pupils use the calculator when they learn mathematics.  The table below shows the PSLE examination format for Mathematics and Foundation Mathematics.  Calculators are allowed only in Paper 2

PSLE Mathematics (New Format since 2009)

There will be 2 papers taken in one sitting with a short break between the papers.

      Types of Questions    
Subject Paper Duration of paper Multiple-choice Short-answer Structured / Long-answer Sub-Total Total
Mathematics 1 Calculator not allowed 50 min Booklet A (20 m) 10 Qns x 1 m 5 Qns x 2 m Booklet B (20 m) 10 Qns x 1 m 5 Qns x 2 m N.A. 30 Qns (40 m) 48 Qn (100 m)
2 Calculator is allowed 1 h 40 min N.A. One Booklet (60 m) 18 Qns (60 m)
5 Qns x 2 m (10 m) 13 Qns 3 m, 4 m or 5 m (50 m)

PSLE Foundation Mathematics (New Format since 2009)

There will be 2 papers taken in one sitting with a short break between the papers.

      Types of Questions    
Subject Paper Duration of paper Multiple-choice Short-answer Structured Sub-Total Total
Foundation Mathematics 1 Calculator not allowed 1 h Booklet A (30 m) 10 Qns x 1 m 10 Qns x 2 m Booklet B (20 m) 10 Qns x 2 m N.A. 30 Qns (50 m) 48 Qn (100 m)
2 Calculator is allowed 1 h 15 min N.A. One Booklet (50 m) 18 Qns (50 m)
10 Qns x 2 m (20 m) 8 Qns 3 m, 4 m or 5 m (30 m)

Key: Qns = questions – m  =  mark(s) – N.A. = not applicable

School Examinations

There is no change in the marking of the different item types.

The calculator is a tool to help pupils with their computations.  Pupils are expected to show their thought processes through working steps.  For questions where method marks are awarded, pupils may lose these marks if no working is shown.  In Paper 2, pupils should show their working steps clearly even though the calculator is used to do the computations.  However, the computation itself e.g. of long multiplication or division is not expected to be shown as it would be done by the calculator.


With the use of calculators, pupils can focus on discovering patterns and making generalizations when performing computations for investigative activities.  More real-life problems with real-life numbers could be used.

Teaching & Learning

The introduction of calculators to the Mathematics curriculum aims to:

  •  widen the repertoire of teaching and learning approaches.
  • achieve a better balance between the emphasis on computational skills and problem solving skills.
  • help pupils, particularly those with difficulty learning Mathematics, develop greater confidence in doing Mathematics.

As Paper 1 is the non-calculator component, we will continue to place emphasis on basic numeracy skills, estimation and mental computational skills from Primary 1 to 6.

Which Calculator?

Only models approved by SEAB (Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board) will be allowed in the PSLE and school examinations ( The school is usingSharp scientific calculator (model: EL-W531S) for Primary 5 and 6.

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