Use this space to access past issues of our newsletter, or use the interesting links that we have provided to enhance your knowledge of this approach to teaching maths.

Interesting links regarding the Japanese abacus:




18 September 2018

Greetings, Fan of the Soroban

We are fresh off the plane from the land of sushi, samurai and soroban.

We had a wonderful time in Japan, where we learnt amazing new things about the wonderful gadget we all lovingly know as the abacus. We can’t wait to share those things with you!

But first, let’s chat about 30 September. As you know, we will be welcoming people from all over the country and the world, to join us for the international GAJSMA competition in Johannesburg. South Africans are nothing if not hospitable, so we hope to show the international competitors a good time before we kick their butts with the abacus!

Here are some important details around the competition:

08:30 We will be handing out Hall Passes for the registered contestants (competitors) at the OR Tambo Conference Centre at Birchwood Hotel.

08:55 We will settle the students with BrainGym so that they are ready to write their exams.

09:00 Exams begin promptly. At this point, we ask the parents to move away from the foyer so that there will be absolute silence in the hall. After the exam, parents (participants and guests) may enter the hall.

09:30 From about this time, we will provide entertainment in the form of an opening ceremony, as well as a video clip of SA, followed by a special guest speaker who is passionate about the abacus, and how he has used it to sharpen his genius mind, his school and his businesses.

12:00 We will break for lunch at this time.

13:00 The afternoon talent show and prize giving rounds out the rest of the day.

We know you will make us very proud as we tackle the task of showing off how much our brains have grown over the last year, and how our genius is blossoming this Spring. We look forward to seeing you all on the 30th.

Until then, soak up the gorgeous smells and sights, as we emerge from our wintry slumber!

With love,

The Abacus Maths Team

Newsletter, August 2018

Welcome to Women’s Month!

August is also the birthday month of one of our directors, Quinnette Brits.

Herewith a little news to make your day!

Bright kids shine at Maths competition

If Eskom was using bright kids to power lightbulbs all over the city, we’d probably never have load shedding!

Abacus Maths recently held its annual competition to determine who the top wunderkind is when it comes to using the abacus. Kids from all over Johannesburg came to attend the competition, which pitted students of the abacus against each other in a friendly sparring match. Learners from different age categories, all adept at using the abacus, used their brain power to compute complex Maths calculations.

The last girls and boys left standing will compete in the annual international competition, to take place on 30 September this year, which is being hosted by South Africa. The event is to be held near OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

The kiddies all had a blast at the regional champs held in Jo’burg recently. Keep an eye and ear out for updates on the international competition, also in Jozi, on 30 September.

Our wonderful Roodepoort team, with all the fabulous ladies who make up such an important part of what we do at Abacus Maths. Oh, and two amazing gents– maljanne onder die henne, LOL!  😀 

Say your domo arigato’s and konnichiwa’s! Japan here we come…

The best and brightest that our land in the sun has to offer will be winging their way to the land of the rising sun this week, as part of a contingent of local students who will be attending an international abacus training camp in Japan.

The abacus, the ancient counting device that predates the calculator by many thousands of years, is back in fashion as a powerful tool for growing the brain. Students who use it have become whizz kids at computing complex mathematical calculations in no time. The pick of the bunch are lucky enough to be attending the event in Japan, where the abacus is both celebrated and venerated as a simple and yet powerful device for turning students into geniuses – and not just in Maths.

“The abacus is actually an invention from the Middle East” says Quinnette Brits, one of the directors at Abacus Maths, an organisation which uses the abacus to grow children’s intelligence levels. “But after making its way to Japan from China in the 14th Century, the Japanese turned it into a super-tool for educating children on how to become Maths boffins. The Chinese got it from the Middle East via the famed Silk Road. Its use is commonplace in Japanese primary schools, and is very effective not just at making students goo at Maths, but also smart in other subjects. It explains why Japan is still at the forefront of innovations such as robotics, AR and VR,” she says.

Lucky learners, Jazlyn Ngwenya, Jean Claude Roux and Omphile Maeko, all from Abacus Maths, are among the kids who will be leaving on a jet plane for Tokyo this week. Even though it’s not Japanese, all we can say is, “Bon voyage!”

Sayonara! Abacus Maths directors, sisters and big-time pals Quinnette Brits (L) and Sharné Bresler (R) will be big in Japan as they learn more abacus skills to share with both highly valued franchisees and students back home.

Lucky learners! L to R, Omphile Maeko, Jazlyn Ngwenya and Jean Claude Roux are off to Japan to learn more about the abacus, that nifty little device that has turned them into human computers. They will be representing South Africa in Japan

Is your child a genius? Come find out…

The date is Saturday 4 August 2018. It’s a clear crisp late winter’s morning, and in your mind it’s a toss-up between a snuggle-in under the duvet, or a hearty breakfast at your favourite coffee shop. It’s neither.

Instead, this is the day to grow your child’s brain – and your own – at the Abacus Maths 7th Regional Championships, to be held at the Church of Christ, 115 CR Swart Drive in Sundowner, Johannesburg (just off Beyers Naudé Drive).

Abacus Maths is hosting the regional event, where children from all over Johannesburg will show off their prowess with the abacus. Just how many calculations can those smart little brains make in the limited time that they have – and can your older brain keep up?

The only way to find out is to attend and come expand that grey matter!

The event is open to anyone and has two 2-hour sessions: the competition between 7:30 and 9:30, and the prize giving between 13:00 and 15:00. Parents, grandparents, schoolteachers and principals are all encouraged to attend, to support their kids. In between, why not take the kids for a snack at Northgate, Cresta or Clearwater?

For those not based in Johannesburg, there will also be regional competitions held in Pretoria, Cape Town and the North-West.

Quinnette Brits, one of the directors of Abacus Maths, states that the event will help prepare South Africa for the international GAJSMA competition to be held later at the Birchwood Conference Centre on 30 September. “Our kids have consistently fared very well in international competitions, even where we compete with Japanese kids who grew up with the abacus tradition,” she says.

The competition spans several age categories and various levels of difficulty, and children will compete with each other. “We are not trying to create a pressured environment where children feel they need to compete,” says Quinnette, “but it is a lot of fun when kids jostle with each other in a light-hearted way. It’s like playing 30 Seconds with friends. In the end, every person is only competing against the person that they used to be, as we all grow into our better selves.”

“Our youngest contestants are 3 years of age. They compete in three different categories: Step-by-step, Numeracy and Japanese Abacus levels. This just confirms what we know already – children are like sponges and can absorb what we ‘feed’ them. The earlier we train them, the better it is for them!”

If your kid is a smartypants – and you’re one of those smartypants parents – we will see you there!

If you’d like to know more about your child’s genius and the abacus, please click here:



The Abacus Maths Team

December 2016 News Letter

Dear Parents

It is with great joy that we look back on a very successful 2016! Our students from Gr RR to Gr 7 have worked hard in class, at home and abroad.

Some highlights of 2016:

  • We had our first Abacus Training Boot Camp!
  • Our first regional championships- North West, Pretoria and Johannesburg (North, East, West and South)
  • Japan International training camp in August was a memorable event. JC Roux was able to attend and reap the benefits of it later on in the year.

jajma logo



  • Singapore 2016: Our wildest dreams could not prepare us for the successful championship results- parents, students and instructors were all over the moon!
  • The students eligible for Thailand 2016 have been announced. We are all looking forward to this stunning event! Get ready for the grading! See Facebook.


Abacus Maths News Letter December 2016

Important Information:

*Registration for 2017 has opened!

*Please go onto the website- choose your region, school and follow the prompts.

This way you can reserve your child’s spot for 2017.

* Classes will commence on Monday 16 January 2017.

*Please do not get rid of any current books your child has! We continue in 2017 and build on what was learnt in 2016!

We are very excited to introduce a special program for the 3 year olds- STEP-BY-STEP/ STAP-VIR-STAP. This is new for 2017 and we are looking forward to nurturing these young minds and hope to prepare the soil for our future mathematicians!

Newsletter December 2016

Important notice

All students received a report and certificate in the last two weeks of November.

Please check your child’s bag if you have not seen the report yet!

Please keep all current books for 2017!

All the level students are invited to register for this very special training camp.

See the invitation on the left.

We hope to register as many students possible for this very exciting and confidence building camp.

Do not delay to avoid disappointment!

The Abacus Maths team

Register now for 2017

Asian Maths for Africa Newsletter 11 August 2016

On Saturday the 6th of August Abacus Maths held their 6th annual Abacus and Mental Maths competition. The exams were held at the Church of Christ in Bushill. There were 330 contestants from all over Gauteng and even some from Natal.
The winners of the regional championships now stand to get an opportunity to participate in the National AMSASA championship on 22 October to be held at Hoërskool Roodepoort.  At this event, the contestants will find out who will be eligible for the GASJMA (Global Association of Japanese mental Arithmetic championship) in 2017.
We are very proud of the 33 children that have proven their skills at the AMSASA competition in 2015. They will leave for Singapore and participate on October 2nd at the 2016 GASJMA Championship.
We wish to congratulate all the participants who showed up for the challenge. Your courage and determination are commendable. You show cased unimaginable growth in speed and accuracy.
We would also like to express our sincere gratitude for the support of the parents to both their children and the Abacus Maths program. Your work and effort and participation behind the scenes do not go unnoticed. We pray that your children’s future success will be a good return on your investment.


Newsletter: 18 March 2016

Newsletter: 18 March 2016

Dear parents, we have reached the end of term one and it seems to have flown by in the wink of an eye. Despite the very hectic past three months, we wish to keep you in the loop of what is coming up the rest of the year for the Abacus Maths Calendar.

Before we do this, we wish to encourage you to ensure that your child continues to practise on his/her abacus during the holiday.

pic1 Important dates: Please do add them to your calendar where applicable.

Term 2: Soroban Bootcamp: 25-28 June 2016
Term 3:
Regional Competition Saturday 6 August 2016
JAPAN ISDF (International grading camp)
Term 4:
GAJSMA International competition 2 October 2016
nd AMSASA National Abacus Competition on Saturday, 22 October 2016

pic2 TERM 2
Grading session 2:
30 April 2016 @ 10:15-11:15. This is for all the level students who plan to participate in Singapore GAJSMA challenge in 2016. Students who have not attended this first grading session are strongly advised to attend this one. The third grading will be at the bootcamp in June. (See details further on at the boot camp note)

Reports: Please note that we do hand out progress reports twice a year, but it will be done in June and November respectively.

pic6 TERM 3
regional championship will be held on 6 August 2016. Details will follow later in the year.The ISDF (International Friendship Soroban Traning Camp) – is also in August (14 August 2016 to 18 August)

The goal of this camp is to meet other passionate soroban students all over the world. It has been running since 2003. It is a great opportunity to learn about the Japanese culture. Details will follow later on.

pic2 Competitions 2016
Term 3: Gauteng Regional Competition Saturday 6 August 2016

Term 4: GAJSMA International competition 2 October 2016

2nd AMSASA National Abacus Competition on Saturday, 22 October 2016


 bootcamp-b We are also very excited to host our first Soroban “bootcamp”. It will be in Rustenburg from Saturday, 25 June 2016 to Tuesday, 28 June 2016. This is for all the Level students, Booking/registration is online on our website

The goal of the Soroban training camp is to further equip and train our students to improve their skills even more.

All students on a level may register for this camp. It promises to be an exciting and fruitful experience. All students must be registered online for the camp.

Parents who wish to attend the camp may contact Anita Potgieter (Marketing and Booking Co-ordinator) Cell: 072 289 7466 Fax: 086 572 7408 Direct: to make their reservations

jajma logo

Our second international competition is scheduled on Sunday, 2 October 2016, in Singapore. We are looking forward to taking some of our students to this prestigious event. Here is a glimpse of the city… The registration form will be sent out before the school closes. Singapore airlines are currently running a special on their flights!

 Singapore Singapore
Singapore Capital : Pulau Ujong – Once dismissed as bland and tasteless, Singapore has evolved into one of Southeast Asia’s most enjoyable cities. The capital has transformed into a soulful, diverse and rich city known for its fashion emporiums, dozens of parks, architectural legacy and absorbing cultural life. The food alone is enough to make Singapore a premier destination, but the city also draws visitors with its stylish nightlife, distinct neighborhoods, adventure activities, natural beauty and vibrant energy.

Saturday Centre

We do have a centre in Horison to accommodate students who cannot be accommodated at the school during the week. Venue: NG Church, Horison , Roodepoort: Corner Mouton and Andries bruyn streets. For enquiries contact 011 7604575 or mail
General: There are extra worksheets on the website which you may download. They can be used for quick mental maths and also for multiplication tables.

Please make use of them.

We are looking forward to term two. Please feel free to contact your child’s teacher should you have any queries. We also are able to make appointments on a Saturday should you wish to do so.

Enjoy the short break if you are fortunate enough to go away and travel safely!

The Abacus Maths Team