Mathematics Education in Moscow secondary schools

Mathematics in Moscow international schools

Teaching of mathematics in Moscow international schools

Here I am going to tell you some facts about Math teaching in Russian prestigious schools.

Common facts

In secondary school curriculum is usually not so hard as in most of traditional Russian schools, though there is a larger range of topics (here you can see the list). But most of problems can be solved in one-two operations.

Still, everything changes in high school. Tasks become much harder. IB and A-level math exams include 70% of material that in Russian programme is learnt only during university course. So a diligent school leaver knows more than a typical Russian freshman. By the way the same can be said about other subjects.

Math teachers in Moscow international schools

Staff turnover often takes place. Usually teachers stay only for several years, and sometimes – even for one-year practice, as it is a challenging task to have a Russian teaching experience, but to stay here for a long time is not so typical for foreigners. It means teachers have to demonstrate good practice results, and sometimes they simplify the curriculum so that most of the students could pass the final test. Certainly, it has nothing to do with the last years of education when there are international exams to be passed.

Math in certain schools, brief review

AAS (Anglo-American school of Moscow)

Students study 12 years at AAS. In other schools it usually takes 13 years to finish education.

Teachers: Mrs. Ridley (Middle school). Her favorite phrase: “I cannot read your mind, show me your work!”. Mr. Long (Middle school), Richard K.,Mr. Garret.


Teachers: Mr. Peters и Mr. Kingshort.

Usually all students are divided into groups according to their Math level. There are commonly 3-4 groups depending on the number of students. Quite a frequent problem is that it is next to impossible to move to a higher level group during the school year. Educational system is not that much flexible.

Math at CIS

This school had two campuses in Moscow. An interesting point about it is that here a student can get a Russian secondary school certificate.

European gymnasium

In this school students study for 11 years. At high school students either take IB programme or prepare for Unified State Exam. Several years ago math classes for IB were in Russian.



Changing schools: from a Russian school with a considerable math curriculum to an international school

If your child had explicit math knowledge before school changing then tasks and topics in new school can be too easy for them. Sometimes students stop solving even easy problems because of boredom. So they lose all the motivation that is hard to be renewed in high school.

If a student leaves a decent school where they were taught by a proficient teacher (e.g. Lycee №1535, Lycee №1568, School№179, etc.) they have to forget about participation at school Olympiads even if they used to take part in competitions in their previous school. There is no way they could be allowed to participate in Russian contests, as far as international schools “are not involved into Russian school system of education”.

What can be done

  1. to participate in international online Olympiads;
  2. to pass SSAT every year as a way of training (in AAS it is passed two times a year, but these tasks are not exactly of Olympiad level);
  3. to learn advanced topics with a private tutor.

Last updated: 02-03-2019.