Settle Primary and Maths Mastery

We are currently part of a teacher research group, working closely with our local Maths Hub and mastery specialists to develop a 'mastery' maths curriculum based on the teaching of mathematics in high-performing countries such as Shanghai and Singapore. The initiative is being led my Miss Thompson as the maths subject leader, accompanied by Miss Wright who is leading developments in Key Stage One and the EYFS. As part of this work, teachers are taking part in lots of exciting opportunities, such as shared planning sessions with mastery specialists, external training courses and opportunities to observe each other in school and at other local specialist schools. This will be a gradual process to fully embed a full mastery approach across school. However, below you can see the five main ideas and principals that we are working towards.

Five Big Ideas in Teaching for Mastery

A central component in the NCETM/Maths Hubs programmes to develop Mastery Specialists has been discussion of Five Big Ideas, drawn from research evidence, underpinning teaching for mastery. This is the diagram used to help bind these ideas together:

A true understanding of these ideas will probably come about only after discussion with other teachers and by exploring how the ideas are reflected in day-to-day maths teaching, but here’s a flavour of what lies behind them:

Connecting new ideas to concepts that have already been understood, and ensuring that, once understood and mastered, new ideas are used again in next steps of learning, all steps being small steps

Representation and Structure
Representations used in lessons expose the mathematical structure being taught, the aim being that students can do the maths without recourse to the representation

Mathematical Thinking
If taught ideas are to be understood deeply, they must not merely be passively received but must be worked on by the student: thought about, reasoned with and discussed with others

Quick and efficient recall of facts and procedures and the flexibility to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics

Varying the way a concept is initially presented to students, by giving examples that display a concept as well as those that don’t display it. Also, carefully varying practice questions so that mechanical repetition is avoided, and thinking is encouraged.