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Mastering number: a new programme for early primary pupils

A nationwide project for 2021/22 aimed at teachers and pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2

Mastering number: a new programme for early primary pupils
  • Published: 06/07/2021

This news item was first published in July 2021. If you are interested in taking part in the Mastering Number Programme in 2022, please visit our Mastering Number webpage and complete the expression of interest form at the foot of the page.

Places are still available in Mastering Number, a major new initiative from the NCETM and Maths Hubs. The year-long programme will run in thousands of primary schools from September. It is aimed at strengthening the understanding of number, and fluency with number facts, among children in the first three years of school.

There are places for up to 6,000 schools, and many have already been filled, but schools can still apply to their local Maths Hub. Mastering Number is wholly consistent with and complementary to the Primary Teaching for Mastery Programme, which has been running in more than 8,000 schools since 2016.

Lead teacher participants (teachers of Reception, Year 1 and Year 2) will receive training and resources equipping them to give their class a daily short ‘number sense’ session as part of scheduled maths teaching. The programme will last for the whole school year.

Over the year, children will use a range of materials and representations, including a small abacus-like piece of equipment called a rekenrek. These will be provided for schools.

Leading the programme is the NCETM’s Director for Primary Mathematics, Debbie Morgan.

‘The rekenrek looks like a simple piece of equipment, but it can be very powerful. Used by skilful, trained teachers it can help children move away from counting in ones to start doing basic mental calculations. We call this ‘number sense’, and research tells us that if children develop fluency and flexibility with number facts and relationships early on, they will make much more progress later, in both maths and other subjects.’

Teachers in the programme will join local, online communities, led and guided by a teacher or other expert from the local Maths Hub, and engage in regular discussion and experience-sharing as they, and their pupils, progress through the programme.

We've produced a flyer summarising the programme. Download it to share with colleagues in your own and other schools.

Learn more and apply

Visit our Mastering Number webpage where you can find out how to apply for this programme

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