top of page

Mastering Number at Reception and KS1

Supporting pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 to develop good number sense.

This project aims to secure firm foundations in the development of good number sense for all children from Reception through to Year 1 and Year 2. The aim over time is that children will leave KS1 with fluency in calculation and a confidence and flexibility with number. Attention will be given to key knowledge and understanding needed in Reception classes, and progression through KS1 to support success in the future.

Who can take part?

Lead participants from Work Group schools will be three teachers, one each from Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, with some support given to subject leaders and headteachers. This programme is open to all state-funded primary schools in England. 

This programme and its Work Groups are open to all schools that have not yet engaged with the Mastering Number Programme.

What is involved?

This programme focuses on the key knowledge and understanding needed in Reception classes, and progression through KS1. Participating schools will receive central training (online and face-to-face) and a wealth of pupil-facing resources.


There is an expectation that schools will provide a daily teaching session for all children of 10 to 15 minutes, in addition to their normal maths lesson. Lead Teachers in schools will also contribute to an online community to share practice and engage in critical reflection.

In this video, Debbie Morgan, the NCETM’s Director for Primary,
explains the rationale for the programme and how the abacus-like
rekenrek can be used to help children develop confidence and fluency
with number. 
 Use of a rekenrek is just one element of the Mastering
Number Programme.

What will you learn?

  • Your pupils will be able to clearly communicate their mathematical ideas

  • You will develop a secure understanding of how to build firm mathematical foundations

  • You will work to develop intentional teaching strategies focused on developing fluency in calculation and number sense for all children

  • You will develop understanding and use of appropriate manipulatives to support your
    teaching of mathematical structures

What is the cost?

The Mastering Number Programme is fully funded by the Maths Hubs Programme so is free to participating schools. Whilst digital rekenreks are freely available online, schools taking part in the September start cohort of this programme may wish to consider purchasing class sets of physical rekenreks for Year 1 and Year 2 prior to the start of the programme.

bottom of page