The Mastery Muddle

Primary school child

If you are feeling confused about how you should be teaching for mastery in your school then you are not alone! Many schools are experimenting. And whilst this is exciting, it can be equally daunting … ‘same day intervention’, ‘variation theory’, ‘CPA’, ‘bar modelling’, ‘conceptual fluency’, ‘two part lessons’ … the list goes on.

So what do we mean when we talk about teaching for mastery? At the heart of it, is high aspirations for everyone. It’s the belief that by nurturing positive attitudes and building confidence in mathematics, a deep and sustainable learning is achievable for all. Setting yourself up to teach for mastery requires some changes - for schools as a whole, and for individual classrooms too.

For pupils mastery is not just something that you achieve to get through the test at the end of key stage 2, but deep mathematical knowledge that lasts and can be built upon in future years.

NCETM, 2016

Help is at hand!

How you choose to organise your teaching to achieve mastery is completely up to you, as a school and as a professional. But here are some useful places to start:

For FREE support, tips and advice:

Visit our Teaching for Mastery webpage, which includes:

  • A link to a recording and FAQ sheet from one of the webinars I ran in September on ‘Teaching for mastery in maths in my school: Keeping the whole class together’.
  • Information on how to register your interest in free maths mastery workshops that we’re running this term.

There’s also a new video coming soon that we've produced with the NCETM to support you in understanding teaching for mastery, so watch this space.

For resources to support you to teach for mastery:

Looking for a maths programme to support you in teaching for mastery and inspire a genuine love of maths? Abacus is carefully crafted to do just this, and includes some brand new mastery tools too. Find out about Abacus.