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Primary teaching for mastery report

Five thousand schools engaging

Primary teaching for mastery report
  • Published: 11/10/2019

The NCETM has published a report into the progress and impact of the Teaching for Mastery Programme in primary schools since it began in 2015. By the end of the 2018/19 school year, more than 5,000 schools had participated in the programme—a figure due to rise to over 8,000 by summer 2020.

The report, based on work by a team comprising university researchers, independent mathematics consultants and teachers working inside the Maths Hubs Programme, indicates that the programme is having a positive impact at a number of levels.

The report’s summary says:

Teachers are becoming more knowledgeable about, and skilled at, their craft; classroom practice is changing in ways designed to help pupils develop deeper understanding; and there are also encouraging signs that pupils are learning maths more securely. 

Evidence is also quoted from Ofsted reports where inspections of schools in the programme noted particular strengths in teacher subject knowledge and pupil performance in lessons.  

Researchers also identified areas where challenges remain. These include finding ways to ensure that schools embed teaching for mastery practices for the long term, and providing continuing support for teachers to improve same-day intervention strategies, and the application of what is called variation theory—a key component of teaching for mastery.

The report sketches possible routes for schools taking part in the programme. There are two possible entry points. The first, for schools needing to strengthen systems and teacher subject expertise, is to join a Mastery Readiness Programme. The second, for schools already secure in their mathematical leadership and performance, is to join a Teaching for Mastery Work Group. At time of writing, some Maths Hubs still have places in both these areas for 2019/20. 

Read Report

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