Secondary Teaching for 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 Year Support and Embedding and Sustaining Work Groups

The Secondary Teaching for Mastery Embedding Year Support programme is available for those departments who have already participated in a Secondary Teaching for Mastery Development Work Group and are working to embed their work on teaching for mastery. The Mastery Advocates (designated previously in the Development Work Group) will work closely with their assigned Mastery Specialist to help them embed teaching for mastery approaches across the whole department. The focus will be on constructing or refining a coherent development plan and supporting and leading the whole department in realising the aims of that development plan.


The school will also be part of a Secondary Teaching for Mastery Embedding and Sustaining Work Group with other schools who are working to develop principles and practices which enable them to sustain their developments over the long term. Each department, supported by their Mastery Advocates, will work on their action plan and develop collaborative ways of working which support their CPD. All Work Group participants will also benefit from the expertise and experiences of the group of departments represented. Mastery Advocates will meet regularly throughout the year and the content of the various departments’ development plans will be the stimulus for how joint work will be devised and undertaken.

For details on how to get your school started on their mastery journey, please contact us.

© 2019 Abacus North West Maths Hub

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