Frequently Asked Questions


Smart Brain UK is part of the Smart Brain international franchise network, which provides a mental maths and enrichment program for children ages 5 to 11. Franchisees operate their business from home and can conduct lessons in various venues such as halls, schools, pre-schools, holiday clubs and after-school clubs.

The soroban is a Japanese abacus which has been used for many centuries. It is a flat frame which has a bar running through it. The version used by Smart Brain has 17 columns, each with 5 beads on. There are 4 beads below the bar, and one bead above the bar.
During the first three months the child uses the soroban and says numbers out loud. They then stop reciting numbers but continue moving the beads. By the end of level 3 the child is taught to use only an imagined picture to solve problems, totally eliminating the physical use of soroban.
Mental visualisation is the key to the success of the Smart Brain technique. This mental process helps to improve both speed and accuracy. The teaching method devised by Smart Brain is easier and more efficient than conventional mental maths training, making the process of learning more satisfying for the child, further helping to build their confidence.
Yes. The programme had been designed to complement the national syllabus. Children will excel in mathematics, and the increase in concentration and sharpening of the mind will improve learning in all other subjects. But it should not to be confused with tutoring, our programme has been proven to help in the development of your child's brain. You just cannot tutor your way to better eduction and a better way of life. It comes from stimulating their mental maths capability and right brain development.
Three years (depending on age and ability). This comprises 10 terms of 12 weeks each.
In 2002, about 140 schools in the US used Singapore's approach to teaching and learning Mathematics. Singapore's strength in Maths and Science received worldwide recognition after ranking No. 1 amongst 38 countries in International Mathematics and Science Studies (in both 1995 and 1998). The soroban, which is used throughout primary schools in Singapore aids in promoting the development of mental calculation and has stimulated interest in the learning of mental maths in the western countries.
Children find it easier to understand numeric relationships if they are able to visualise objects. In this case the objects are the soroban and the movement of its beads. Being able to visualise an object whilst working on a problem is beneficial to a child not only for mathematical problems, but for any kind of thought process, especially memory and association. This skill will benefit the child in many aspects of their life, both academic and social.
"watch a demonstration of students performing the calculations on the abacus and mentally"
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demonstration video 1 demonstration video 2 demonstration video 3

Smart Brain teaches the child to use only one hand on the soroban. This ensure that confusion is avoided during complex mental calculations. Other providers use formulae in their teaching method. Advanced levels of Smart Brain teaching use "magic words" which are easy to assimilate and quick to recall. Smart Brain encourages children to participate in national and international maths competitions where their methods can be tested on problems set by other examiners. Instructors are accessible to parents and children alike and it is in their best interest to provide the best possible support to the child. Ultimately, the child will develop the self-confidence that will enable them to progress to higher maths levels in secondary school and to many other successes.
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