Teaching for mastery

Teaching for Mastery – The National Project

All children are capable mathematicians, with the correct learning environment, all children can achieve. This is the premise that a mastery approach to learning is based on. Mastery involves moving children through learning more slowly but with increasing understanding. The key is depth rather than breadth. Once a child has mastered a concept at a given point, they will then delve deeper into the concept, exploring it in different ways thus giving children the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding. New skills and concepts are taught by building on what they know already. This helps children see the links between different mathematical concepts and therefore children begin to develop mathematical fluency.


The National Project

The teach for mastery national project is now well into its third year. Nationally, the NCETM have trained 133 specialists and by the end of this academic year, the projection is a total of 280 specialists nationwide fully trained working with approximately 1700 schools. On a local level, the LNE Hub currently have 5 trained specialists each working with 7 schools this year from across our region. We have 7 specialists currently in their training year who will each begin working with 7 further schools in 2018/19. We have an ever-growing capacity to help drive forward the change for mastery across our primary schools.

The project is based on improving the teaching and learning of mathematics through teacher research groups (TRG’s). TRG’s are a form of CPD that takes place in the classroom. Research shows us that the most effective forms of CPD are those that take place in the classroom – the further removed from the classroom the CPD is, the least impact it will have on children’s learning. The schools taking part of the project will experience 6 TRG lessons over the course of the year, each one being taught by their maths specialist. The specialists will provide relevant reading and research for each work group school to engage with prior to the research lesson and they will facilitate a post-lesson discussion.

The NCETM have identified five main principles for teaching a mastery approach:




Mathematical thinking

Representation and structure

Each of these key principles will be explored, discussed and put into practice over the year. The work group schools will take their findings back into their own schools and begin to implement the approach according to their school’s needs.

If you would like any further information related to the mastery project, please contact Katie Bowles at the LNE Maths Hub: masterylead@lneastmathshub.org.uk