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ARCHIVED Japanese Abacus - Online Course for UK Teachers

Wednesday 20 September 2023 / 4:00pm
Japanese Abacus - Online Course for UK Teachers

Wednesday 20 September for 5 weeks (finishes Wednesday 18 October 2023).


Online via zoom

Booking Details
Open to teaching staff at UK schools only 
Free - Booking essential

Places are limited so early booking is advised. You may be placed on a waiting list if the course is oversubscribed. 

Book online here

Teachers at UK schools are invited to join our short online course (5 weeks, 30 minute sessions) from September 2023 to learn how to use soroban. 

The soroban, or Japanese abacus, is a great way to improve students' understanding of numbers and inject some fun and cross-cultural learning into regular numeracy or maths sessions. 


These free practical sessions give teachers the chance to practise fundamental soroban techniques in a friendly and relaxed environment. By the end of the course, attendees will be able to run introductory soroban sessions for their own students.

No previous knowledge of soroban is required and our loan soroban are free for schools to borrow.* 

*Schools must cover postage costs

Course Schedule and Contents

The course runs on Wednesdays at 4pm for 5 weeks from 20 September 2023. Each 30 minute session will be held on zoom and followed by an optional Q&A.  A short homework task will be set each week (expected time commitment 15-20 minutes) for attendees to practice the techniques learnt. 

Week 1
20 September 
Brief history of the soroban, basic movements of the beads (no regrouping) and place value
Week 2
27 September 
Introduction to regrouping on the soroban ("breaking down 10" techniques) and explaining the reason to students
Week 3
4 October 
Decimals and fractions and other regrouping techniques ("breaking down 5", other ways of carrying, etc.)
Week 4
11 October 
Multiplication & division techniques
Week 5
18 October 
Decimal system and summary (Optional extended session: discussion on when soroban can be a useful teaching tool during Maths lessons)



This course is for those currently teaching in UK schools (Early Years, Primary and Secondary) and are interested in introducing the soroban to their classes.

The course is designed for beginners. Those who want to refresh their skills and connect with other teachers are also welcome. 

Course Instructor 

The course is led by Tomoko Hoult a soroban (Japanese Abacus) teacher and advocate. Originally from Japan, she has been living in the UK since 2006 and has a professional background in banking, finance and technology. She founded the Wakamatsu Soroban club in 2017 and currently runs lunchtime soroban clubs at primary schools, in addition to private lessons. 

Tomoko is a member of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics and her article How the Soroban Can Help Children Understand the Decimal System appeared in the ATM Journal’s issue ‘Visualisation’ in September 2020. 

Please email with any enquiries.

Booking Info

  • To be eligible to attend, participants must currently hold a teaching position within the UK.

  • You should receive an automated email from the Japan Society to let you know that your booking request has been registered. Please note that your booking is pending while we check your details and you will receive a further email once your booking is confirmed.

  • If you don't receive any confirmation emails, please check your spam folder or email