Each of the 35 Maths Hubs have appointed 4 Primary teachers to become Primary Mastery Specialists.
The Mastery Specialists have all attended 3 residential training courses, run by the NCETM, during which they spent time unpicking what ‘Mastery’ means and looks like in practice. They have not only received excellent training on Teaching for Mastery but have now spent almost a whole year developing their own practice in the classroom using the ‘5 big ideas’ shown below. Central to these 5 elements is promoting the importance of making connections, not just within a series of questions, but across topics in Maths.
In the Surrey Plus Maths Hub, the Mastery Specialists are:
- Jo Cullen – St Joseph’s Primary, Epsom
- Tom Collins – St Joseph’s Primary, Guildford
- Nicola Richards – Hook Junior School, Hook
- Katie Breese – Kenyngton Manor, Sunbury
Map: Blue stars shows the location of the 4 PMSTs, Red pins shows the location of the schools currently involved in TRGs
Each Mastery Specialist is currently running a set of TRG’s (Teacher Research Groups) with approx 12 teachers from 6 other schools. These meet once a half term and usually consist of:
1.Initial discussion of a lesson plan, specifically looking at pedagogy, questioning, variation etc.
2.Observe the learning in a lesson
3.Discussion of lesson afterwards, with emphasis on the learning observed.
These TRG’s have promoted discussion of key aspects of Teaching for Mastery, including: whole class teaching with no set differentiation/grouping; challenge through questioning and extension activities (depth not acceleration); access through pre-teach, practical resource and extra guidance.
The feedback from both participating teachers and the Mastery Specialists themselves has been extremely positive. Katie Breese, the Mastery Specialist based at Kenyngton Manor feels her teaching is still developing to include more aspects of Teaching for Mastery:
“I’ve been trying out mixed ability pairs to develop children’s discussion and reasoning – it’s made a difference already with their ability to explain their mathematical thinking.”
“The pace is much slower, and so now you can see the deeper understanding and connections being made, which before would have been skipped over.”
Fly the kite… and then reel them in.
This analogy has been used throughout the training received by the Primary Mastery Specialist Teachers. The idea is that you give students the opportunity to explore and develop their own ideas before pulling them back together to move forwards together as a class. For example, at the start of a lesson you might let the students explore a ‘real life’ problem that needs to be solved, give them time to develop their own ideas and then bring the class back together to teach them the skills they need to move forwards.
Click here to download the powerpoint from the spring conference Session 1 – Mastery Specialists