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Projects  >  Primary  >  Mastering Number at Reception and KS1


Supporting pupils to develop good number sense

This project aims to secure firm foundations in the development of good number sense for all children from Reception through to Year 1 and Year 2. The aim over time is that children will leave KS1 with fluency in calculation and a confidence and flexibility with number. Attention will be given to key knowledge and understanding needed in Reception classes, and progression through KS1 to support success in the future.


Who can take part?

Lead participants from Work Group schools will be three teachers – one each from Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 – known as Lead Teachers. Some support will also be given to subject leaders and headteachers. Where appropriate, Lead Teachers are expected to support the other teachers in their year group.


This programme is open to all schools that have not yet engaged with the Mastering Number Programme.

What is involved?

This programme focuses on the key knowledge and understanding needed in Reception classes, and progression through KS1. Participating schools will receive central training (online and face-to-face) and a wealth of pupil-facing resources.

The resources available provide teaching materials for four short sessions each week, aimed at developing children’s fluency and flexibility with number. Lead Teachers in schools will also contribute to an online community to share practice and engage in critical reflection.

In this video, Debbie Morgan, the NCETM’s Director for Primary, explains the rationale for the programme and how the abacus-like rekenrek can be used to help children develop confidence and fluency with number. Use of a rekenrek is one element of the Mastering Number Programme.

What will you learn?

  • Your pupils will develop and demonstrate good number sense

  • You will develop a secure understanding of how to build firm mathematical foundations

  • You will work to develop intentional teaching strategies focused on developing fluency in calculation and number sense for all children

  • You will develop understanding and use of appropriate manipulatives to support your teaching of mathematical structures

What is the cost?

The Mastering Number Programme is fully funded by the Maths Hubs Programme so is free to participating schools.

What should you do next?

The application window for schools to apply for the next cohort starting September 2024 has now closed. Contact the hub to be added to the waiting list. 

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