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Teaching for Mastery in Maths: Opportunities for Secondary Schools

Created on 25 May 2018 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 11 January 2019 by ncetm_administrator

Participating in a Maths Hub Secondary Teaching for Mastery Work Group

Heard about teaching for mastery? Looking for ways to strengthen your students' approach to the new GCSE? Wondering why your Y7s are stronger mathematicians this year?

During the 2019 spring term, the NCETM and Maths Hubs will be recruiting secondary schools to join a fully-funded professional development programme from September 2019. The programme is led by established Secondary Mastery Specialists, and will enable maths departments to introduce and embed a teaching for mastery approach. Watch our website and newsletters for more information.

Teacher with pupil

Already successful in thousands of primary schools, teaching for mastery promotes deep mathematical understanding and creates confident mathematicians. The national programme is led by a growing number of local Mastery Specialists, classroom-based teachers trained by the NCETM and Maths Hubs, with experience of developing teaching for mastery approaches in their own school.

This video gives an overview of the Mastery Specialists Programme and hears from some teachers involved in Work Groups.


Find out more

Teachers tell us about what involvement has meant for them and their students:

For me as a Mastery Specialist, it is rewarding to see the lessons students are now experiencing with teachers who are teaching for a deeper understanding.

“SLT and the leaders of my department have been completely supportive and trusting as I have introduced teaching for mastery in maths because they see the benefits it has for the students.

“I would say to senior leaders and headteachers whose maths departments are considering introducing teaching for mastery to go for it. When you hear the conversations students have in maths lessons, see their engagement and depth of understanding, and listen to them telling you about their experiences of learning maths, you will see why it is worth it.

Vicci Williamson, Maths teacher and Director of Research and Development, Hungerhill School, and Secondary Mastery Specialist, Yorkshire and the Humber Maths Hub

Martin: The open classroom experience with discussion before and after is an excellent model of professional development.

Rebecca: Seeing teaching for mastery in maths as part of an open classroom session was an informative and hands-on experience through which I gained knowledge of delivering differentiation and challenge through mastery.

Martin Willan, Second in Maths, Outwood Academy Easingwold, and Rebecca Smith, Lead teacher of maths, Kettlethorpe High School, both teachers involved in Work Groups

To anyone considering joining a Work Group, I could not recommend it enough. It is arguably the best continual professional development you can get.

"Participating teachers really appreciate the collaboration. Being able to discuss the theory, have time to implement it and then come back together to evaluate it, helps to embed it into our own practice. Being able to collaborate across schools is so valuable.

"Finding the time to begin with can be difficult but the long term benefits will outweigh this initial hurdle. Our students are more confident, articulate and engaged and the teachers in our department will now say that their planning time has actually reduced.

"Implementing teaching for mastery has been a huge success. The biggest difference in our department is the shift in culture of both our teachers and our students. Doing, discussing and engaging in mathematics has created a buzz in the classroom and in the office!

Megan Bailey, Maths Teacher i/c KS3 Maths, St Marylebone School, London, and Mastery Specialist, London Central and NW Maths Hub

It requires a bit of bravery to say actually, we’ve got to step away from old models and look at how we can facilitate this. A huge part of my role is to understand the context that schools are in and see how this fits into their lessons. I think the first thing is to get an understanding of what we mean by the term 'teaching for mastery', to remove the fear, to say 'teaching for mastery is this... and these are all the things you are already doing in your school

"I want teachers to gain an understanding of teaching for mastery and something they can go away and try...and pass their understanding on to their department.

Simon Petri, Secondary Mastery Specialist, working with Surrey Plus Maths Hub

We’re looking for anyone who is motivated, enthusiastic and has some capacity and is in a department who are open to making changes, but you don’t need to have done anything yet.

Frances Carr, Surrey Plus Maths Hub Lead, and a member of the national Maths Hub team coordinating the secondary school teaching for mastery project

Working with the Surrey Plus Mastery [Work Group] has given me the tools and confidence to develop mastery-style teaching in my own practice, as well as encouraging it throughout my department. The 'open lessons' provide inspiration by showing the strategies in real-life use. This allows for genuine developmental conversation afterwards, about the student responses as well as the teaching methods. My department are keen to keep collaborating in TRGs to share practice that develops deeper mathematical knowledge within our students.

Gabby Veglio, Head of Maths, The Kingston Academy, Surrey



Watch this space for information about applying to be a Mastery Specialist or to join a Work Group led by a Mastery Specialist.



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