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Secondary Mastery

What is teaching for mastery?

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.

Effective teaching for mastery is underpinned by five big ideas. This is the diagram used to help bind these ideas together:















To find out more about what lies behind each idea, check out the NCETM website here.


How can I get involved?

The Teaching for Mastery Programme comprises a range of projects and activities at the heart of a Maths Hub's work. Below is the journey secondary schools will take when participating in this programme:

Stage 1: Development Work Groups

Secondary maths teachers whose schools want to introduce and embed Teaching for Mastery can nominate two teachers as Mastery Advocates. The two teachers will be part of a locally based group of teachers who meet regularly to develop professional knowledge and expertise, as well as receiving bespoke support from a Secondary Mastery Specialist who leads the Work Group. This model of professional development involves hands-on learning and peer-to-peer support. It is evidence-based and designed to support substantial long-term change. This opportunity is suitable for all maths teachers, from NQTs to heads of department, and requires the support of your headteacher. There is no charge for participation in this programme and schools receive £2,000 to go towards the cost of releasing the Mastery Advocates.

Stage 2: Embedding Mastery

This one-year programme focuses on two key areas:

  • Embedding a Teaching for Mastery approach in each classroom across the whole school.

  • Securing a whole school approach to sustained change in mathematics.

For Teaching for Mastery to become embedded in schools there is a need to provide continued support for headteachers, senior leadership teams and maths leads. Through practice-based professional development activities, focusing on the development of whole-school organisational structures and systems, subject knowledge and a shared understanding of Teaching for Mastery, schools will embed a consistent approach to Teaching for Mastery in every classroom supported by change to structures within the school. Each Work Group, led by a Secondary Mastery Specialist, supports a group schools who have already established a working relationship as part of a Development Work Group. There is no cost for participation in this programme.