Mastery in mathematics means deep, sustainable learning. When we talk about children mastering a particular concept or topic, we mean they are secure enough in their understanding of it to be able to move on and build on what’s gone before.
‘Teaching for Mastery’ describes the elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chance of mastering mathematics. The approach was developed by the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematicshas (NCETM) drawing on international research, including that carried out in high-performing East- and South-East Asian jurisdictions such as Shanghai, Japan and Singapore. Features which underpin the approach include:
- Believing that all pupils can achieve in mathematics;
- Keeping the whole class together and differentiating through the support and intervention provided;
- Spending longer on the teaching of key topics;
- Fostering deep conceptual knowledge alongside procedural fluency.
More information about mastery, including ‘The Essence of Teaching for Mastery’ (a one-page paper from 2016) can be found here and below is a video of the NCETM’s Primary Director Debbie Morgan explaining Mastery.
There are two starting point’s to the mastery programme. Mastery Readiness Work Groups and Teaching for Mastery Development Work Groups. 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: collaborative training and bespoke support, available in 2020/21, which provides a stepping stone to take schools into the Teaching for Mastery Programme in 2021/22 and beyond.
Hundreds of schools have successfully taken part in Mastery Readiness to date and continue to develop their approach with the support of trained specialists at their Maths Hub.
Learn more about the support we can offer you and your school on your journey towards Teaching for Mastery here.
Debbie Morgan introduces Primary Maths Teaching for Mastery