Road Map to Mastery

Intervention in Mastery

Intervention in the Mastery Context (IMC)

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To benefit from the reduced subsidised cost please complete your booking before the end of spring term by send the service level agreement to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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We are delighted to offer an exciting opportunity of being involved, at a reduced price, in the new Intervention in a Mastery Context Programme. This is being facilitated and delivered through the South Yorkshire Maths Hub, Edge Hill University and St Ann's J & I School Rotherham. The first cohort of ten schools will be running next term and will be subsidised by the Maths Hub. 

This involves the teacher and TA, associated with the same class supporting each other to diagnose the mathematical difficulties that existed within their class and being taught how to best address the needs of their learners. The programme is not an intervention programme but rather focused training that explores the roles of both ‘keep up’ and ‘catch up’ interventions in the mastery context. The programme supports the development of a mastery approach to teaching mathematics and focuses on getting the pre-requisites in place for effective keep up intervention.

Target audience:  A Teacher and TA from Y3, 4 or 5 that requires additional support, advice and guidance on delivering a maths intervention programme to children below age related expectations via a Mastery approach (not suitable for NQTs).

Sessions will run as follows- VENUE: Rockingham Professional Development Centre, Roughwood Road, Rotherham, S

Tuesday16th May 2017-  Day 1

Tuesday 13th June 2017- Day 2

Wednesday 12th July 2017- Day 3

Cost of the programme is: £400 per school for 2 delegates (1x Teacher and 1x TA) for 3 days of training; including all course materials, delivery and refreshments. 








IMC is an Every Child Counts (ECC) programme to support schools, teachers and TAs in their development of Intervention in the Mastery Context (IMC). Many schools are beginning to adopt a mastery approach to teaching mathematics and for many of them this will require that they reappraise their approach to the ways in which they support their struggling learners.

What are its aims?

IMC provides a comprehensive professional development programme aimed at supporting schools, teachers and TAs at various stages of their adoption of a mastery approach to teaching mathematics to develop their approaches to intervention, both keep up and catch up. It seeks to establish the central connection for keep up intervention between the experience in the class lesson and in the intervention session.

How does it work?

The programme combines face to face training with structured in-school gap tasks, readings and activities and is always attended by at least two colleagues from each school, who then become learning partners. This is in response to the extensive body of research that indicates that the best PD happens in the classroom and is collaborative. It is a tried and tested ECC formula which is widely respected by heads, teachers and TAs alike.

The learning partners from each school attend three face to face days with around a month interval in between each. During the face to face days they will be introduced to new ideas through input, dialogue and discussion. Their gap tasks will then provide them with a structured opportunity to work together to try out these ideas in their own classroom or context before reviewing the outcomes with colleagues from other schools at the next face to face day.

The programme is designed to develop participants’ understanding of the nature and practice of teaching for mastery in mathematics with a particular reference to intervention and supporting struggling learners. It will focus in on five key strands which we will look at in some depth. They are:

    • Developing a mastery approach
    • Planning and managing interventions
    • Diagnostic assessment
    • Variation theory
  • Supporting fluency

The programme draws on the extensive experience gained by ECC since 2008 during which time well over 100,000 struggling learners have been helped to catch up with their peers. IMC is not only based on the lessons learned from successfully working with so many learners but also with the thousands of teachers and TAs who have received professional development from ECC.

Four trials have so far been run and in both cases the responses of the participants were extremely positive.

Some things participants have said. IMC…

enabled me to plan, teach and assess taking the children on small steps in their maths learning. It was a joy to see even the poorest learner getting excited about spotting patterns and using mathematical vocabulary to explain their understanding.’ Suzanne Carver, Y5 teacher, Holy Cross Catholic Primary

encouraged me to reflect on the ability of each individual child. It supported me to understand the importance of ‘small steps’ in lessons and in varying my questions. I really feel that it’ll have an impact on my practice!’ Jenny Roberts, Y5 Teacher, Chorley New Road

…enabled me to think carefully about the small steps needed for some learners to succeed and modify my practice to include these. It also helped me to plan tailored interventions for those children who need it.’ Daniel Whittaker, Teacher, St Austin’s Catholic Primary

…has supported me in understanding what mastery looks like in a class. It has encouraged me to change my teaching in class for the better. I have seen a vast improvement and enjoyment of maths with my class. It has given me the enthusiasm for teaching maths again.’ Amy McCormack, Y4 Teacher, St Mary’s Federation

Preparation tasks Day 1 - sessions Gap task Day 2 - sessions Gap task Day 3 – sessions


Guided reading on DA, mastery and variation

Reflection task

Reflect on own practice and set personal targets

  1. Introduction to mastery

Establishing common language, exploring models of mastery and the place of keep up and catch up intervention. Examine some key features of effective intervention management. Reflecting on NCETM Big Ideas of Mastery.

  1. Diagnostic assessment 1

Introduction to DA, principles, uses in mastery context including identifying learners needs and supporting detailed planning.

  1. Diagnostic assessment 2

Analysing video of DA, preparing for own DA

  1. Number sense

Introduction, establishing the importance of number sense


Guided reading on procedural variation


Jointly undertake DA with contrasting learners.. Discuss with learning partner.

  1. Review, Evaluate Discuss and Share (REDS)

Feedback on DA experiences

  1. Developing coherence and depth – varying examples

Breaking down the complexity of the curriculum using procedural variation. Assembling a coherent conceptual journey in detail. Identifying the hard points. The importance of planning small coherent steps both in the class and intervention contexts. Identifying struggling learners

  1. Developing coherence and depth -   varying problem and method

As session 2 plus: same method/ different problem, different method/ same problem, varying activity by degrees

  1. Managing intervention groups

Managing small groups/ individuals. School organisation. Questioning. Use of resources. The roles of keep up and catch up intervention

  1. Number sense

Addition/ subtraction: importance of place value, derivation of number facts, developing fluency


Guided reading on conceptual variation and the connective model


Develop work on procedural variation

Try out number sense task

  1. Review, Evaluate Discuss and Share (REDS)

Feedback on tasks and number sense activities

  1. Conceptual variation

Connective model, concept/ non-concept, same/ different, generalisation

  1. Helping learners to access concepts

The role of representation and structure in helping learners to access concepts. Supporting areas of arithmetic. The use of conceptual variation to support procedural variation.

  1. Managing the curriculum

Designing a curriculum of tiny, manageable steps. Difficulties that learners experience/ decision making before and after keep up sessions. The importance of communication.

  1. Number sense

Multiplication/ division: importance of place value, derivation of number facts, developing fluency



Maths Mastery

Although the Maths Hub provides support and training through the Roadmap and the national mentorship programmes, one of the national strategic partners is Mathematics Mastery and they too offer a programme of development that schools can buy into.

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We’re on the lookout for primary schools who are committed to transforming maths education to join our partnership.

As we have a limited number of spaces for our 2017/18 cohort, we want to make sure that you’re equipped with as much information as possible to explore this opportunity before considering whether it’s right for your school.

Why do we exist? Our vision is for every child to enjoy and succeed in mathematics, regardless of background.

Mathematics Mastery is an award-winning professional development programme for teachers and we work closely with schools to embed an internationally recognised mastery approach to maths teaching.

Our key principles underpin everything we do: having high expectations and a growth mindset for every child, supported by a ‘depth before breadth’ approach to learning.

Our programme provides:

-             A mastery curriculum aligned to the 2014 National Curriculum

-             Classroom resources which support professional development

-             Development training for teachers and senior leaders

-             Specialist support and school visits from a dedicated Development Lead

-             Collaborative events and workshops

-             A suite of assessment tools

Keen to find out more?

We recommend signing up for a free Information Session to give you an overview of how the programme works in practice and answer any questions you may have. We hold information session sas well as many online webinars if you can’t attend in person.

Ready to apply? Email your school details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will send you an online application form.

We look forward to working with you soon.

Best wishes,

The Mathematics Mastery team



Supporting SEND pupils in mastery

This work group will be looking at ways SEND pupils are impacted by Teaching for Mastery methods & pedagogy.

This follows a scoping research project completed in 2015/6. Participants will continue to explore the implications and impact of teaching for mastery as well as liaise with colleagues both locally and nationally to look at ways of ensuring SEND students are taken into account in the developing strategies for teaching mathematics.

Please see the summary report of work done last year. To engage in this year's work, feel free to contact Magdalene at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


How do pupils with SEND learn maths when teachers use a mastery approach?

The project

Mastery maths style teaching requires teaching in mixed ability groups. There was some concern raised as to whether the children with SEND would cope with this. An exploratory project was set up looking at several individuals, some with quite complex SEND, in a school which was confident in teaching in a mastery style. The project involved assessment, lesson observations in Y1 and Y5 and interviews with both the teachers and the children.


What helped

Language focus

Many of the children had language difficulties as part of their SEND, to understand and communicate using mathematical language. Specifically, the children were beginning to talk in full mathematical sentences and were able to explain their calculations using concrete materials or pictoral representations.

Teachers emphasised and explained specific vocabulary at the beginning of each lesson. They tried to speak in full sentences and many of the children began to copy this answering questions in full sentences out of habit, which meant that even if the children with language difficulties found it difficult to produce full sentences themselves, they were hearing them constantly.

The children were also encouraged to talk through their ideas with their peers. This sometimes worked brilliantly, with children exploring ideas, rejecting incorrect concepts with confidence and building on conceptual knowledge through explanations without the intervention of a teacher.


Concrete materials

The children were very happy using the concrete materials to both work out and explain their learning. All the children used the materials and so there wasn’t a stigma about those children who felt that they needed the materials. They facilitated good levels of talk around the classroom and allowed children to illustrate their thoughts. The concepts of place value in particular seemed to be stronger.



The children used a variety of equipment and were able to make choices about what they wanted to use. It was interesting that sometimes the teacher thought that a particular piece of equipment suited the problem but showed children several types of equipment and the children decided on something different, often giving reasons for their choice. “(with the bead string) you can see the tens and it’s like a number line.”

The children often found the variation in the questions difficult, but that simply illustrates how important it is.


Slow Pace

Some of the teachers were pleased that they could slow the pace right down and return to concepts that they felt that their class had not mastered. One teacher felt that the chidlren had been able to understand money because she had not introduced it as early as she normally would have and spent more time on place value with numbers to 100. However, there still was a certain amount of pressure to continue through the content, particularly when it was only a small number of children who hadn’t kept pace.


Building Confidence

Lack of confidence was a huge barrier for many of the children. Pre-learning seemed to be the most helpful for this as the children could anticipate what was going to be in the lesson and not panic at the first sign of something they didn’t know.

Finding a well-matched peer to work with was also really important as when the children were able to work through the problems they were able to reject incorrect ideas easily with no stigma. It can be more emotional to find that you are wrong with an adult.

The materials also gave the children confidence as they knew that they could access them when they were stuck and use them to explain their ideas rather than having to hold language in their heads.



The children were independent at selecting equipment and could often explain why they had chosen something. They were beginning to explain their thinking, although the younger ones found this difficult. They often had particular ideas about what was helpful or difficult in the lesson and this sometimes surprised the teachers.


Challenges and Questions

Whole class teaching

Sometimes the emphasis on whole class teaching meant that children with attention difficulties found it difficult to sit and listen for extended periods. This was particularly true of the younger children and the teachers found that some children needed to have much shorter periods where they were required to concentrate. It is worth mentioning that children do not start school until 6 or 7 in many parts of the world where this kind of maths teaching is popular and therefore the Y1 children were younger than that.



There was some debate as to the nature of the interventions given. Were they simply to make sure that the children understood that day’s lesson or were they meant to plug gaps in previous learning. This was particularly relevant for the older children as they had some significant gaps and misconceptions. Some children received pre and post teaching many times in a week and this is worth considering for the impact on the broad curriculum. It was also worth noting that this particular school did not reject more conventional and proven interventions such as 1st class @ number in order to plug gaps and address misconceptions.



There was little emphasis on recording calculations as the focus was on understanding concepts, but some children did not get enough practice at writing the numerals accurately, setting out calculations and being systematic.



Despite the emphasis on language in the teaching, the children still found the subtleties of mathematical language difficult, particularly when applied to every day problems. In fact, the variation in the questions which the children were asked to do illustrated the difficulties.

It was sometimes difficult to match children with a suitable peer to work with, particularly when the child was very quiet or shy and this was often where an adult would step in with pertinent questioning.



Both the children and the teachers were not used to providing context for the maths and so this was generally not done as well as the teachers would have liked. When the children were struggling slightly the teachers’ instincts were to go over the procedure rather than reset the context. As a result the children with SEND found it hard to connect learning and to see it’s application. Inventing or finding context for mathematical concepts that make sense to the children is challenging and time consuming, but is particularly important for those children who find it difficult to make connections.


Concrete materials

Many of the children struggled to turn their mathematical knowledge with the objects into abstract thought. As one teacher said, “They’re still a bit concretey” meaning that they could do the problems and understand them, but only with the materials in front of them. They struggled with the visualisation in more abstract situations. The teacher was very clear that they should have the concrete materials available, while they still chose to use them, which is in line with mastery style teaching and more generally seen as good practice. However, this meant that calculations that they were able to do in class, they were not able to do in a more formal test situation.


Results and Progress

The children’s progress over the 7 months varied enormously from 2 months to 22months, so no conclusion can be made as to whether mastery style teaching was helpful for the children with SEND. Some of the children did make above average progress and ‘caught up’ their peers – some fell further behind. However, it didn’t seem as if teaching in this way was particularly detrimental for the SEND group. As is inevitable, some of the children’s difficulties were outside the scope of just one subject e.g. anxiety, language difficulties, medical issues, ASD etc. and these difficulties had an effect on their progress in maths, as well as in other subjects. It could be suggested that the children with less complex difficulties did better, but the situation was by no means clear cut.


What next?

This project looked at a very small number of pupils in just one school and so it would be helpful if it could be expanded to other pupils in a wide variety of schools focusing on the questions raised from this research. Some of these include:

What does differentiation look like when teaching mixed ability groups?

How can the principles of mastery style teaching support children with SEND in particular?

What intervention/catch up/pre-teaching/post teaching works?

How can we reduce barriers to learning in a mastery classroom?

In the next year, it is hoped that teachers from a variety of schools and year groups will work collaboratively to explore these questions further and find out what works, sharing good practice with our colleagues.

Magdalene Lake will be leading the workgroup for the South Yorkshire Maths Hub and if you would like to get involved then please contact her on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Mastery in the classroom?

What does mastery look like in the classroom?

An EXCITING OPPORTUNITY for School Leaders hosted by Learning Unlimited TSA

Many schools leaders are now convinced about the principles of a mastery curriculum in mathematics however they want to see it in practice and hear about it from a practical school leader’s perspective. St Thomas of Canterbury School was part of the DfE’s Shanghai Research Project and has been working with a group of schools across the country linked to Maths Hubs for around 18 months.  The school has implemented a mastery curriculum for mathematics and it is now in its second year. 

Format of Event

  • Introduction to the school’s approach to mastery.
  • For most of the morning, delegates will have opportunity to spend time in each class across school to see what teaching for mastery ‘looks like’.
  • Lunch provided by Bistro St Thomas.
  • In the afternoon, there will be a facilitated discussion with a Primary Maths Specialist and a presentation from Liam Colclough (Head of School) about how the school has introduced mastery, some of the challenges and what we have learnt from the journey.
  • An opportunity for practical questions about the reality of introducing mastery.  

Registration and coffee will be from 8.30am and the day will start at 9.00am and finish no later than 3.30pm.

This event will be repeated on the following dates, follow lniks to book.

Friday 7th October -  Link to book

10th January - Link to book

23rd March - Link to book

18 May - Link to book 

This amazing opportunity costs £80.00 +VAT per delegate and places are limited so book quickly.

For schools currently on the Roadmap to Mastery Programme in 2016/7, one place for a senior leader will be funded for one date.  

For further details contact Anita Bray

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Secondary Maths Teaching for Mastery


Secondary Teaching for Mastery

Lead Schools and Teaching for Mastery Specialists

Maths Hubs across the country, working in conjunction with the NCETM, are now in the process an important two-year professional development programme leading to the designation of Secondary Mathematics Teaching for Mastery Specialist.

Designated schools will be committing to developing Teaching for Mastery in their mathematics department and the lead teachers, who would initially lead this departmental development will later facilitate and support Teaching for Mastery in other interested secondary schools within their Maths Hub area.

In South Yorkshire there are six schools engaged in this national programme; High Storrs, Horizon Community College, Maltby & Notre Dame are all sponsored by SYMH, in addition Hungerhill and Netherwood are sponsored by Yorks & Humber and White Rose Maths Hubs respectively 

Teaching for Mastery: Developer Schools

Although the national training is only for a limited number of colleagues there is a cascaded programme available for all, a further 14 developer schools are accessing a series of three half day training sessions in the Spring & Summer term 0f 2017 to enable up to two colleagues from each school to start to access the national training and begin the process of development within their departments.

Engagement in this FREE training is preparing schools to egage with the specialist mentor support available to schools in 2017/8.

Schools currently engaged in this programme are from across the region: Ash Hill, Balby Carr, Bents Green, Campsmount, Darton College, The Dearne ALC, Ecclesfield, Kirk Balk, Oakwood, Silverdale, Sir Thomas Wharton CC, Thrybergh, Wingfield & Winterhill.

Session 1 took place at the Source, Meadowhall on 2nd February 2017

Following the pre-reading - introduction to Teaching for Mastery: Questions, tasks & activities to support assessment & The essence of maths teaching for mastery document, discussions took place around "What is mastery?" and colleagues were reminded of the 5 big ideas used at primary. (See PPT)  Colleagues then compared two lessons looking for elements of these 5 big ideas within them. The first was a KS2 fractions lesson taught by a Chinese colleague on a recent exchange visit, the second taught locally was a KS4 compound interest lesson designed to try and include elements of mastery. 

The focus then shifted to one of the 5 big ideas, Representation & Structure.

A presentation was made focussing on algebraic & arithmetical structure, inviting teachers to consider making greater use of diagrammatical and iconic representations in their teaching to allow learners to focus and understand the underlying structure of the maths they are learning. (See PPT).

Additional reading you may be interested in to supplement this. 

Skemp: Relational & Instrumental Understanding

Hewitt: Approaching arithmetic algebraically


Primary Maths Teaching for Mastery Specialists Programme

We have now identified our cohort 3 specialists to undergo their training in 2017/8. We are now looking for schools who wish to work with the cohort 1 & 2 specialists. Application forms are now available. Click here.

Details of the programme have been posted on the NCETM website - see link


The primary mastery specialist programme began in 2015/6 but following an announcement in July 2016 by schools minister Nick Gibb the scope of this programme has increased dramatically.

Each hub began with four specialists and train four more each year and will continue this trend until 2020. Each specialist will mentor six or seven schools over the period of a year. The trainee specialists will focus on their school development for a year and then take on schools of their own to mentor.

This mentorship willl consist of Teacher Research Groups that involve the group visiting the specialist school collaboratively planning, observing and reflecting on the practices of teaching for mastery. Funding from the DfE via the maths hubs will contribute to the cover required for these TRGs to take place. 

A teacher research group is an ongoing vehicle for collaborative professional development within a school or across a group of schools with the specific prupose of supporting classroom practice, subject knowledge and professional practice of all the teachers involved.

Many schools have already begun to undertake teaching for mastery development within their schools and are encouraged to engage in the teacher research group strategy of development. To support this and the schools that have completed the year of mentoring with a specialists SYMH will be running a series of events as part of a new 2017/8 work group to support schools continue their development.

How does my school benefit from this?

Specailsts will receive national training to support their school and subsequently other local schools

TRG participating schools will work alongside specialists' schools in teacher research groups

SYMH will facilitate FREE training to cascade key elements of the national training to allow colleagues to develop teaching for mastery within their own schools

Non-participating schools can access the resource materials via this website and IRIS Connect to explore aspects of teaching for mastery

How can I engage with this work group?

Applications are now open to become a participating TRG school in the academic year 2017/8 . 

See information & application form - click here. - deadline 16th June


Cohort 1 Teaching for Mastery Specialists

Jon Brailey, Wath Central, Rotherham

Sarah Holman, Porter Croft, Sheffield

Vicki John-Lewis, Hayfield Lane, Doncaster


Cohort 2 Teaching for Mastery Specialists

Jodie Burgin, St John the Baptist, Barnsley

Michelle Knott, Wombwell Park Street, Barnsley

Gemma Briggs, St Anns, Rotherham

Paul Brannigan, Wath Victoria, Rotherham

Raajini Sritharan, St Thomas of Canterbury, Sheffield

2016/7 Teacher Research Group Schools

Mapplewell Primary, Barnsley
Prince Edward Primary, Sheffield
Saltersgate Junior School, Doncaster
Windmill Hill Primary, Sheffield
Wybourn Community Primary, Sheffield
Brunswick Community Primary, Sheffield
Greystones Primary, Sheffield
Hallam Primary, Sheffield
Oasis Academy, Sheffield
Watercliffe Meadow, Sheffield
Woodhouse West Primary, Sheffield
Hunningley Primary, Barnsley
John Harrison Primary, North Lincs
Norfol Community Primary, Sheffield
Thorne Green Top Primary, Doncaster
Worlaby Academy, N Lincs
Worsborough Bank End, Barnsley
E-Act Pathways Academy, Sheffield

Early Years Mastery


Preparing early years children for schools engaged in teaching for mastery

Commencing in the autumn term of 2016 a work group will focus on developing practical ways to support schools and providers in adapting appropriate learning experiences and activities to prepare children for a teaching for mastery curriculum in key stage 1.

This work group is being led by SYMH's teaching for mastery specialist Vicki John-Lewis. To engage with this work group please email Vicki at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Progress of this workgroup will be published via SYMH's monthly e-newletter and on this website page.

A recent publication from the Fair Education Alliance has been brought to our attention by John Pearson -  Closing the attainment gap in maths: a study of good practice in early years and primary settings. - that makes interesting reading.

John Pearson is Early Years Rep for National Association for Maths Advisors and has worked with SYMH from its inception.

John Pearson of JMP Support Ltd is a holder of the NCETM CPD Standard and NCETM Professional Development Accredited Lead

Registered company number 8185918.

Phone 07960 167408

Please also see below for links to additional reading provided by John



Early Years Foundation Stage

Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Guidance

Early Years Outcomes

Baseline assessment information for schools

Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP)


Exemplification materials:


Shape, space and measures:

Data from EYFSP 2014-15

All Party Parliamentary Group for maths and numeracy
Direct link to 2015 report on early years maths and numeracy:

Government commissioned review

Independent Review of Mathematics Teaching in Early Years Settings and Primary Schools (Williams Report, 2008)


FOUNDATION YEARS – Government funded website providing news, updates and information about development in early years.

Case studies and information linked to mathematical development in the early years:

OFSTED resources to support those working in early years

Ofsted survey reports on early years provision:

2013 - Achieving and maintaining high quality early years provision – Getting it right first time (the importance of strong leadership)

2014 – Are you ready? Good practice in school readiness

2015 - Teaching and Play in the early years - A Balancing Act

Case studies: although not specifically related to mathematics, the following link has case studies detailing examples of good practice in early years:

 videos of good practice in early years:
Getting it right first time videos (x 6):

Teaching and play in the early years videos (x 4):‑and‑play‑in‑the‑early‑years‑a‑balancing‑act


  1. Advisory committee on maths education (acme)
    Article by Sue Gifford related to early years: Early years mathematics: how to create a nation of mathematics lovers?
  2. NRICH is a team of qualified teachers who are also practitioners in RICH mathematical thinking. NRICH offers advice and support to both learners and teachers of mathematics.
    Their website contains a wide range of resources for early years maths:
  3. National numeracy:
    Useful article on attitudes towards maths:

National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (NCETM)

Early years forum and discussion in ‘Communities’:

National Association of Maths Advisers (NAMA)
UK based professional association open to all seeking to improve mathematics education beyond their own organisation and includes advisers, consultants, lecturers, researchers and inspectors. Conferences and forum debate for members.

STEM Learning
Early years resources:



Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY)
Ideas to support the development of mathematics in the early years and link to resources to purchase:

National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA)
NDNA have funding to promote mathematics through a ‘Maths Champion’ scheme:
NDNA also offer on-line training on developing mathematical thinking in early childhood. Details can be found here:


Useful links to conference materials from 2015 Conference entitled ‘Re-connecting with maths’

Pre-School Learning Alliance
Resources to purchase and free training for members

Early Education
Resources, including free downloadable information sheet ‘Maths is Everywhere’, and learning outcomes document ‘Development Matters’, to support those working with young children.


Guide for parents about development of young children and what to expect at different ages:

 Useful resources / factsheets to share with parents


National Children’s Bureau:
Research document:


The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
International research into the effectiveness of practice in early years in different countries: of pedagogy in England:

British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics
Article by Sue Gifford (February 2015)

Institute of Education

Effective Pre-School, Primary & Secondary Education (EPPSE) Project – longitudinal study researching if early education has a lasting influence on children:


Maths teaching in Hungary

Warwick University:
‘Policy- to-practice contexts for early childhood mathematics in England’

Childhoods Today (University of Sheffield)
On-line journal for childhood studies

‘Positive and negative: an exploration of the impact of the personal dispositions of early years practitioners on their teaching mathematics to young children.’

National numeracy:

The debate about a maths gene:

Ireland: National Curriculum and Assessment:








Roadmap to Mastery

The "Roadmap to Mastery" initiative is the South Yorkshire Maths Hub’s strategy for enabling schools the opportunity for all their staff to embark on a sustained programme of professional development to help support them in developing a "Teaching for Mastery" strategy towards Maths learning. The target is to enable all schools in the region to access the programme within the next four years and is being run in conjunction with the national initiative announced by Nick Gibb in 2016




Your choices after the year working with a specialist

next steps

How to access the "Roadmap" programme.

It is anticpated that the 5-day introductory programme for schools will be available to schools in 2017/8 in the followong areas: Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield & North Derbyshire. Full details of dates and how to book a aplace will be announced via the monthly e-newsletter and via this website.

For advice and support in accessing the most appropriate prgramme for your school contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will endeavour to contact you and if necessary visit you at a mutually convenient time to discuss your needs. There are two options for the introductory part of the programme and the 5-day induction for maths co-ordinators will now be available across the region. For those preferring the twilight model these will still be available from teaching schools, see below.

The introductory twilights of the programme can now be booked from participating Teaching Schools.

Barnsley TSA : To book email Holly Grimshaw This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. FLYER

Escafeld TSA : To book email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. FLYER

Hallam TSA : To book email Patricia Parish This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. FLYER

Learning Unlimited : To book email Anita Bray This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. FLYER

Partners in Learning

Schools can either contact their local TSA directly (see links above) or register expressions of interest to participate in the programme by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Rotherham's School Improvement Partnership is providing the programme for Rotherham's primary school's maths coordinators, for further details contact Georgina Brown This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Year 2 working with the specialists

Applications for the second year of the programme will genereally be made in Spring of each year and announcements of deadlines and application procedures will be made through the newsletters and via this website. Places are limited (approximately 80 in 2018/9) schools may email expressions of interest to Georgina Brown to ensure they get the latest updates and advice of how to apply.

Please note that one aspect of any selection criteria is the preparedness of a school to access the national programme. It is for this the introductory programme was developed and whilst not mandatory does help schools develop to a point where they can make the most of the "second" year.


Network meetings to support schools in this development are now being held 1/2 termly across the region. 

The Primary Maths Teaching for Mastery network meetings take place across the region, where possible each half term.These meetings are aimed at Maths coordinators engaged in the Roadmap to Mastery but all are welcome to meet with likeminded colleagues who wish to develop their schools Maths curriculum and pedagogy towards a Teaching for Mastery strategy.

Please contact the relevant facilitator if you wish to attend so they have an idea of numbers and can inform you the agenda and any changes to the published details. See mastery networking page


Embedding Teaching for Mastery


Associated work groups

Primary teaching for mastery specialists & teacher research groups

Secondary teaching for mastery

Secondary teaching for mastery wider Teacher Research Group school engagement

Roadmap to mastery programme

Self development of in-school Teacher Research Group strategy & lesson study

Early Years & Foundation stage mastery development

Supporting SEND pupils in Teaching for Mastery


Is "Teaching for Mastery" copying the Chinese?

Much has been made in the press of schools in England adopting a Shanghai appropach to teaching maths. Whilst maths hubs nationally are committed to support schools develop effective and aspirational teaching & learning strategies what is not being suggested is a simple "parachuting" of Chinese culture and pedagogy into our schools. However seeking to learn from the most succesful practitioners both nationally and internationaly would only be common sense and reflecting on both current practices and past research and how this can benefit our students should be a key responsibility for teachers.

What seems to have emerged and enthusiastically welcomed by teachers is a focus on developing pupils true understanding of the fundamental structures of maths. Knowing how to complete a mathematical technique is not enough but to know why it works and when it is appropriate to apply this technique and how this fits into the wider structure of maths reveals a much deeper understanding.

Terms like fluency and mastery on their own may be too easily misinterpreted either through misunderstanding or a cynical view, but the principles of the so called "Shanghai" or "Singaporean" methods of teaching maths are in line with Skemp's comparison of Instrumental and Relational Understanding written 40 years ago.

Maths hubs and the NCETM are using the term "Teaching for Mastery" to label this newly emerging set of principles and pedagogies which are a blend of "re-discovered" strategies (although I'm sure there are many professionals who would rightly claim they have been sticking to these principles for years) and successful East Asian practices. BUT it is teachers in England who will eventually determine what Teaching for Mastery becomes.

The South Yorkshire Maths Hub reflects the national view that teachers need to develop over time through professional reflection and collaboration. Not every school will develop at the same pace nor will they choose the same focus for development. Teachers and schools are the experts for the children in their care and leaders will no doubt be wary of wide ranging revolutionary change opting instead for evolutionary development. SYMH will endeavour to support schools make the most appropriate step for them and provide suitable options for self-development within a growing culture of collaboration.

To this end there are a number of programmes available for schools to access. These are featured on this website and highlighted in the monthly newsletters but for further information we encourage you to contact us to discuss your needs by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. We would also bring schools' attention to the articles and resources featured on the NCETM website some of which we have drawn upon to help exemplify current thinking in the article below.

Teaching for Mastery

Since mastery is what we want pupils to acquire (or go on acquiring), rather than teachers to demonstrate, we use the phrase ‘teaching for mastery’ to describe the range of elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering mathematics.

And mastering maths means acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. At any one point in a pupil’s journey through school, achieving mastery is taken to mean acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable him/her move on to more advanced material

The essential elements are contained in this paper published in June 2016. The essential elements NCETM June 2016

Developing and incorporating teaching for mastery into every day school practice is going to take time and the aim of SYMH is to enable schools to access ways in which this can be done from providing introductory presentations, programmes of develpoment for maths coordinators and facilitating the national programme of teaching for mastery specialists to mentor participating schools.

Part of these programmes are to introduce and look at in more depth five big ideas around teaching for mastery.

Five big ideas

5 bi ideas

Clearly in order to fully explore what these big ideas mean in the context of the classroom and every day school practice we encourage schools to engage in the professional development programmes being offered, but a summary of some of the aspects within these ideas are..

 5 coherence

5 F1

5 F2

5 RS1

5 RS2

5 V1

5 V2

5 V2

5 V3

5 MT1

5 MT2

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Intervention in Mastery

27-03-2017 Hits:253

Intervention in the Mastery Context (IMC) Click here for flyer To benefit from the reduced subsidised cost please complete your booking before the end of spring term by send the service level agreement...

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Maths Mastery

17-01-2017 Hits:288

Although the Maths Hub provides support and training through the Roadmap and the national mentorship programmes, one of the national strategic partners is Mathematics Mastery and they too offer a...

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Supporting SEND pupils in mastery

30-09-2016 Hits:586

This work group will be looking at ways SEND pupils are impacted by Teaching for Mastery methods & pedagogy. This follows a scoping research project completed in 2015/6. Participants will continue...

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Mastery in the classroom?

16-09-2016 Hits:407

What does mastery look like in the classroom? An EXCITING OPPORTUNITY for School Leaders hosted by Learning Unlimited TSA Many schools leaders are now convinced about the principles of a mastery...

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Secondary Maths Teaching for Mastery

17-08-2016 Hits:531

  Secondary Teaching for Mastery Lead Schools and Teaching for Mastery Specialists Maths Hubs across the country, working in conjunction with the NCETM, are now in the process an important two-year professional development...

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Primary Maths Teaching for Mastery Speci…

17-08-2016 Hits:660

We have now identified our cohort 3 specialists to undergo their training in 2017/8. We are now looking for schools who wish to work with the cohort 1 & 2...

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09-02-2016 Hits:1630

To some extent this presentation needs no further introduction. 

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Early Years Mastery

04-12-2015 Hits:3317

  Preparing early years children for schools engaged in teaching for mastery Commencing in the autumn term of 2016 a work group will focus on developing practical ways to support schools and...

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Roadmap to Mastery

19-08-2015 Hits:2871

The "Roadmap to Mastery" initiative is the South Yorkshire Maths Hub’s strategy for enabling schools the opportunity for all their staff to embark on a sustained programme of professional development to help support them in...

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