Teaching for Mastery


Mastering maths means pupils of all ages 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’s been taught to enable pupils to move on to more advanced material.


Primary and secondary Teachers who train as Mastery Specialists are given a year’s intensive training in the principles of teaching for mastery, underpinned by its Five Big Ideas, and in professional development leadership. In the following year, they further develop teaching for mastery in their own schools. And they share the approach with neighbouring schools by leading Teaching for Mastery Work Groups.

Each year we seek to recruit expert primary and secondary school teachers to develop and work as Primary and Secondary Mastery Specialists.

There is also the opportunity to apply for Professional Development Lead (PD Lead) training through the NCETM with a view to working with the hub in the future.

If you would like to apply for 2022/23 please email mathshub@george-spencer.notts.sch.uk

The National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (NCETM) have identified The Five Big Ideas for teaching a mastery approach: 

  • Coherence
  • Variation
  • Fluency
  • Mathematical thinking
  • Representation and structure

This diagram shows a school’s journey towards mastery.

Debbie Morgan: Primary Teaching for Mastery

Find out more about Secondary Teaching for Mastery


The NCETM have worked with classroom-based teachers within the Maths Hubs Network to produce a range of Mastery Materials which help teachers develop a mastery approach in their classrooms.