Second wave of Mastery Specialists start development year

At the heart of the national Teaching for Mastery programme is a growing school-based cadre of experienced primary teachers who are becoming experts in the mix of classroom approaches consistent with pupils mastering maths. These are the Mastery Specialists developed through the Maths Hubs programme. The first cohort, of 140 (four in each Maths Hub) are each now leading colleagues in six local schools in a year-long project (we call this a Work Group) designed to help those schools to introduce mastery approaches in maths lessons themselves.

At the same time a second cohort of 140 has begun a development year, consisting of three two-day residential workshops, with gap-tasks and plenty of experience-sharing and networking in between.

Bespoke attended one of these regional workshops to get a flavour of what they’re doing and talk to some of the participants


A role-play activity

NCETM Director for Primary Debbie Morgan plays the role of the teacher encouraging the pupils to build subtraction number sentences from pictures of children getting out of cars. The Mastery Specialists step into the roles of pupils, to try to understand where the difficulties for children might lie. Interspersed with the role play is Debbie’s commentary on the purpose of each example chosen and each question asked. The focus is on teaching to expose structure, to understand what subtraction is, rather than on drilling procedural competence. To this end, the lesson proceeds in very small steps, teachers are encouraged to draw out children’s reasoning skills, making explicit what (in the story) each number represents and using precise mathematical language and full sentences.