Mastery Specialists 2

Each of the 35 Maths Hubs have appointed 4 Primary teachers to become Primary Mastery Specialists.

Mastery Specialists 1The 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

Mastery Specialists 3

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.”

Mastery Specialists 2Fly 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

TC 3

This project is being undertaken by Deb Harper at South Farnham School and Tom Collins at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Guildford.

Scope of project

To develop a primary mastery curriculum which will be accompanied by a variation document providing examples of how to extend students laterally.

  • Three strands:
    • Arrange the KS1 and KS2 primary curriculum objectives into a coherent and progressive mastery curriculum.
    • Identify which of these objectives can be taken out of numeracy and addressed in other topics
    • Create examples of variation to address these objectives and to allow teachers to extend students laterally (this does not need to be a full set of worksheets but key examples of different variations which can be shared and then further developed. More than one example may be needed for each variation to show how a variation can be progressed).


By November, an outline of the order of topics had been drafted for each Year group. Teachers had begun to create resources that encouraged depth of learning and developed fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills. At this stage, the White Rose Maths Hub Schemes of Learning were discovered!

Although it was nice to see that another Hub was thinking along the same lines as us, it quickly became clear that the resources that their projet was considerably further ahead than ours, and there was no point in duplicating work!

  • White Rose Maths Hub
  • Based in Halifax, Yorkshire
  • Trinity Teaching School alliance
  • Published FREE scheme of learning for KS1 and KS2
    • Mastery Curriculum Model
    • Fluency, reasoning and problem solving questions
    • Assessments

Is it important to register with the White Rose Hub to ensure you are notified when new materials are produced. This package is not yet complete and further assessments and resources will be available throughout the summer term.

The White Rose Schemes of Learning give Overviews for each Year Group which detail the number of weeks that should be spent on each topic. The example below shows the overview for Year 5.

Curriculum 2

curriculum 1There is further information within the Schemes of Learning which details the specific learning objectives that should be taught in each topic section. The example here shows the objectives that should be covered in the 5 week fraction topic that takes place in the Spring term of Year 5.

Though this is extremely useful as a starting point, many Primary teachers we have spoken to are struggling to understand how to structure lesson plans so that these fractions objectives fill 25 lessons.

Collaborative Working

In order to address the areas highlighted by teachers, we will be working in collaboration with the White Rose Hub to produce some supplementary resources. Deb and Tom are working on producing a lesson by lesson breakdown for each topic to give teachers a better indication of how much time should be spent on each objective and how the learning could be scaffolded.

curriculum 4

The White Rose Schemes of Learning also give some examples of questions and tasks which develop student’s fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills of each of the national curriculum statements.

Curriculum 3

curriculum 6The White Rose documents have been extremely well received by Primary teachers, but some have commented that they would find powerpoint resources beneficial so they can be used within lesson slides. Deb and Tom are planning on linking the powerpoint resources developed by teachers at South Farnham and St Joseph’s to selected learning objectives, providing additional lesson resources. Here are some examples of some additional fluency, reasoning and problem solving questions for one fractions objective.curriculum 7curriculum 8

Textbook Mapping

The final aspect of this collaborative project is the development of a textbook mapping document. This will enable teachers to see how their current textbooks can be used to fit with the White Rose Schemes of Learning. The aim is to link exercises in 3 main textbooks (Busy Ants, Inspire and Maths No Problem) to specific learning objectives.

curriculum 5

End Goal!

The aim is to work with the White Rose Maths Hub to produce a FREE fully resourced package that includes the following:

  • Mastery Schemes of Learning for KS1 and KS2
  • Lesson by lesson learning objectives for all topics
  • Mapping to popular text books for all topics
  • Bank of questions for each learning objective
  • PowerPoint resources with fluency, reasoning and problem solving questions for selected topics
  • Termly assessments

We hope that the supplementary resources will be available for the Autumn term by June 2016.

Click here to download the powerpoint from the spring conference Session 1 – Curriculum Design