Primary Teaching for Mastery

What is Primary Teaching for Mastery?

Since 2014, the NCETM and Maths Hubs have been working together to develop approaches to Teaching for Mastery within primary mathematics. This has been partly informed by the teaching of mathematics in high performing South East Asian jurisdictions. Mastering maths means pupils acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. The phrase 'teaching for mastery' describes the elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering maths. Achieving mastery means acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that has been taught to enable pupils to move on to more advanced material. Once a school has completed its first year in the Primary Teaching for Mastery Programme the school will then move onto the next phases, the Primary Embedding and Sustaining Programme.

But not all schools, for a variety of reasons, are able to move into a formal development programme in one leap. That is why the Mastery Readiness Programme has been developed.

The five big ideas 

One main component within the programme which has been formed from research evidence by mastery specialists are the five big ideas. These components are shown on the diagram to the left.

A full break down of each component can be found on the NCETM website

Schools will receive £1000 to contribute towards release for two teachers on a half termly basis!

The programme will involve:

  • Each school identifying two teachers to lead developments within their school

  • The two teachers working together with the Mastery Specialist and teachers from the other Work Group schools 

  • Each school receiving a termly support visit from the Mastery Specialist to observe teaching, support in-school TRGs, and work with the lead teachers and head teacher in developing an action plan for the school

  • The head teacher working with the Mastery Specialist and other Maths Hub’s leadership to develop whole school policies and structures to support teaching for mastery

  • The lead teachers, supported by the head teacher, working with colleagues to develop teaching for mastery approaches in the classroom, supported by professional development activity including Teacher Research Group methods

More information about the Primary Teaching for Mastery Programme and its impact can be found in the NCETM’s Primary Teaching for Mastery progress report published in July 2019.

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