Teaching for mastery is teaching that aims for deep and sustainable learning; learning that is rooted in an appreciation of the connectedness of mathematical ideas and based on an understanding of the underlying structures. It emphasises the need to go beyond being able to memorise facts and practise procedures and routines.
Such teaching requires us to ‘look through’ the national curriculum statements of content and descriptions of what students need to be able to do. We must discern what students need to be aware of and understand in order to do these things fluently. These materials therefore offer a more ‘fine-grained’ description of the key themes and big ideas of the curriculum by detailing:
- six broad mathematical themes
- a number of core concepts within each theme
- a set of ‘knowledge, skills and understanding’ statements within each core concept
- a collection of focused key ideas within each statement of knowledge, skills and understanding.
The materials are most effective when explored with colleagues. You will find them useful for collaborative professional development based around planning lessons, sequences of lessons and schemes of work. They allow for autonomy and flexibility. Some key ideas are extensively exemplified to demonstrate what planning for deep understanding might involve. Others are left for individual departments and teachers to work on, alongside existing material and schemes. If you wish to create your own guidance documents, similar to the ones found at the links below, you can use this downloadable template.
Please note that these materials are principally for professional development purposes. Unlike a textbook scheme they are not designed to be directly lifted and used as teaching materials. The materials can support teachers to develop their subject and pedagogical knowledge and so help to improve mathematics teaching in combination with other high-quality resources, such as textbooks.
For further guidance on the materials and how you might use them, please read this comprehensive introduction.
For an overview of the structure of the materials, you can download the complete breakdown of themes, core concepts, statements and key ideas. This is available as both a PDF and an editable spreadsheet. Both versions include a mapping to the national curriculum Key Stage 3 mathematics programme of study:
You can also find below support materials, in the form of guidance documents and explainer videos, for some of the most useful manipulatives and representations for Key Stage 3 maths. In addition, two new classroom-based videos provide ideas for how to use the materials as a stimulus for discussion amongst students.