Teaching For Mastery

The Teaching for Mastery programme is one of the major priorities for Maths Hubs nationally. We want to lead and support schools and teachers to develop a deep and full understanding of the principles of teaching for mastery, so that they can embed the practice in their lessons. Mastery in maths is something that we want all pupils to acquire, and to continue acquiring throughout their school lives, and beyond. We believe that all children are capable mathematicians, given the chance, and as such can achieve. The key to mastery is depth rather than breadth to increase understanding, teaching new skills and concepts by building on what they already know and linking between different concepts to help them to develop mathematical fluency.

The National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (NCETM) have identified four main principles for teaching a mastery approach:

  • Variation
  • Fluency
  • Mathematical thinking
  • Representation and structure

Since 2014, the NCETM and Maths Hubs have been working together to develop approaches to teaching for mastery within primary mathematics. The Department for Education announced a 4 year primary programme in July 2016 backed by £41m funding. This is a voluntary programme made up of a range of projects and activities in which primary teachers and schools receive training, support and resources to help them experience, experiment and implement teaching for mastery approaches in maths lessons, and to develop leadership and professional learning approaches that support teachers and pupils in this pursuit. The programme includes but is not limited to – creating a group of mastery specialist primary teachers; teaching for mastery work groups; financial support for high quality teaching for mastery textbooks; and the China – England teacher exchange.


Primary Mastery Specialists

At East Midlands West, we have 19 primary mastery specialists.  We hoping to recruit more mastery specialists later in the academic year along with schools to take part in our Teaching for Mastery work groups in 2020/21.  Details will be posted here once available.  If you would like to register your interest in either of these programmes please contact mathshub@george-spencer.notts.sch.uk.

  • “Key Stage 2 SATS have improved from 40% at the expected level to 82%. Greater depth 1 child to 15 this year.”
    – (TfM School Headteacher, 2016-17)
  • “Our specialist was excellent and very knowledgeable. Her support has been invaluable in our journey towards implementing mastery maths. It was helpful to work with other schools in the group as we could discuss ideas that had worked in our own schools and share resources.”
    – (TfM School Primary Maths teacher)


Secondary Mastery Specialists

We also have 3 secondary mastery specialists working with 6 secondary schools on developing the mastery approach in their lessons and across their departments. We have a further 7 secondary mastery specialists who are completing their training with NCETM.   Further details about such opportunities will be available here when these are published.

RECRUITMENT WINDOW NOW OPEN for 2020/21 Cohort 5 Secondary Mastery Specialists

Following the success of the Secondary Mastery Specialist Programme thus far, Maths Hubs, working in conjunction with the NCETM, are now seeking applications from secondary schools that wish to nominate ‘lead teachers’ to take part in an important three-year professional development programme leading to the designation of Secondary Mastery Specialist. Schools nominating teachers for this role would be committed to the development of teaching for mastery in the lead teacher’s classroom, across their maths department and, later on, to facilitate and support the development of teaching for mastery in a small number of other interested secondary schools within their Maths Hub area. A short video explains this work.


Since 2014, Maths Hubs and the NCETM have been working together to develop approaches to teaching for mastery, a pedagogical approach which aims to develop a deep and connected understanding of maths for all learners, enabling them to enjoy maths, demonstrate high achievement (including in examinations), giving them a sound basis for future learning, and preparing them for their future employment. In the NCETM’s Mastery Magnified pages you will find case studies, interviews and podcasts with some of the secondary teachers we have been working with.

Almost 900 Primary Mastery Specialists have completed a development programme and are leading Work Groups involving other primary schools, whilst at secondary there are almost 500 Mastery Specialists participating in the programme, with some beginning to work with other schools. A number of them have shared some of their reflections on how they have developed practices within their own schools in a series of short videos. The government has committed substantial funding to support the expansion of teaching for mastery in the coming years and funding is now available to support the development of a fifth cohort of Secondary Mastery Specialists.

For more information about the Secondary Mastery Specialist programe and the application form please click here.


Our Mastery Specialists


Cohort 1 Primary Mastery Specialists

Tom Isherwood – Hillside Primary & Nursery School, NG15 6LW (http://www.hillsideprimary.com)


Cohort 2 Primary Mastery Specialists

Phil Herd – Rosslyn Park Primary & Nursery School, NG8 6DD (https://www.rosslyn.nottingham.sch.uk)

Alison Johnson – Dale Community Primary School, DE23 6NL (http://www.dale.derby.sch.uk)

Kath Lee – Fairfield Primary Academy, NG9 7HB (http://www.fairfieldprimaryacademy.co.uk)


Cohort 3 Primary Mastery Specialists

Paul Carpenter – Grampian Primary School, DE24 9LU (http://www.grampianprimary.org.uk)

Stuart Drayton – Beardall Fields Primary School, NG15 8HY (http://www.beardallfields.org.uk)

Helen Field – Pilsley CE Primary School, DE45 1UF (http://www.pilsleycofe.derbyshire.sch.uk)

Rebecca Vodden-Page – Barrow Hill Primary Academy, S43 2PG (http://www.barrowhillprimary.co.uk/public/barrowhill341.html.nc)

Nicola Waring – Radford Academy, NG7 3FL (http://www.radfordacademy.co.uk)

Nicol Winfield – Wyndham Primary Academy, DE24 0EP (http://www.wyndhamacademy.org)


Cohort 4 Primary Mastery Specialists

Asia Bibi – Rosehill Infant School, DE23 8FQ (http://www.rosehillinfants.co.uk)

Charlotte Bilsborrow – Hasland Junior School, S41 0LY (https://www.hasland-jun.derbyshire.sch.uk)

Lewis Horsley – Chetwynd Primary Academy, NG9 6FW (http://www.chetwyndprimaryacademy.co.uk)

Claire Reader – Cavendish Close Junior Academy, DE21 4RJ

Craig Tilstone – The Flying High Academy Ladybrook, NG19 6EW (http://www.flyinghighacademy.co.uk/)

Cohort 5 Primary Mastery Specialists

Sarah Allen – St John’s CE Primary School, DE56 1GY (https://www.stjohnsbelper.co.uk)

Jon Cripwell – Walter Evans CE Primary School, DE22 1EF (https://www.walterevans.derby.sch.uk/)

Jo Jilavu – Abercrombie Primary School, S41 7QE (https://www.abercrombie.derbyshire.sch.uk/)

Rachel Russell – Holmesdale Infant School, S18 2LR (https://www.holmesdale.derbyshire.sch.uk/)


Cohort 1 Secondary Mastery Specialists

Lucy Moss – George Spencer Academy, NG9 7EW, (http://www.george-spencer.notts.sch.uk)

Cohort 2 Secondary Mastery Specialists

Ashleigh Barlow – Tuxford Academy, NG22 0JH (http://www.tuxfordschool.com/)

Kevin Styles – Brookfield Community School, S40 3NS (http://www.brookfield.derbyshire.sch.uk/)

Shobha Tynan – Landau Forte College, DE1 2LF (https://landau-forte.org.uk/)


Cohort 3 Secondary Mastery Specialists

Andy Gell – South Wolds Academy, NG12 5FF (https://www.southwolds.co.uk)

Kat Morgan – Nova Education Trust, NG7 2TU (http://www.novaeducationtrust.net/)

Jermaine Palmer – Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy, DE7 5HS (http://www.oiea.co.uk)

Cohort 4 Secondary Mastery Specialists

Darren Blackwood – City of Derby Academy, DE24 3AR (http://www.cityofderbyacademy.org/)

Michelle Booth – Bluecoat Wollaton Academy, NG8 1EA (https://www.bluecoatwollaton.co.uk/)

Karen Miller – Arnold Hill Academy, Ng5 6NZ (http://www.arnoldhillacademy.co.uk/)

Amy Rouse – West Park Academy, DE21 7BT (https://www.westpark.derby.sch.uk/)

Primary Teaching for Mastery Open Mornings

As the teaching for mastery movement matures we have a number of schools in our region that are well underway in terms of the teaching and leadership of this area of the curriculum and celebrating positive impacts on pupil out comes and attitudes to learning mathematics.  On open mornings, some of these schools open their doors to welcome you to share their journey in developing a whole-school approach to ‘teaching for mastery in mathematics’.  More information about these open mornings can be found on our events pages.


Primary Mastery Open Morning Schools

Chetwynd Primary Academy, NG9 6FW (http://www.chetwyndprimaryacademy.co.uk)

Fairfield Primary Academy, NG9 7HB (http://www.fairfieldprimaryacademy.co.uk)

Mellers Primary School, NG7 3HJ (http://mellersprimary.co.uk)

Wyndham Primary Academy, DE24 0EP (http://www.wyndhamacademy.org)



East Meets West Report

The report summary below from Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham explores how the two East Midlands Mathematics Hubs are mediating teachers’ understanding of mathematics and mathematics education.  To do so the universities asked the following primary research question: How do the East Midlands Mathematics Hubs support teachers to develop the learning of mathematics through the two national priority projects – Singapore Textbook and Shanghai Teacher Exchange.

For more information about teaching for mastery, please click here for a summary of the key features.  You can find out more including case studies, lesson videos and teacher interviews, on the NCETM mastery pages.