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Five Big Ideas in Teaching for Mastery | NCETM

Maths Curriculum Intent:

At Field Place, we work with the West Sussex ‘Maths Hub’ and partake in their ‘Embedding Mastery’ and ‘Mastering Number’ courses. This is an exciting programme, to enable all staff to adopt ‘teaching for mastery’ within their classrooms.  

As a school, we strive to make maths fun, purposeful and interesting for all children. We use White Rose and the NCETM documents to underpin our planning. We aim for every child to develop a sound understanding of maths, equipping them with the skills of calculation, reasoning and problem solving that they need in life beyond school.  

They will be given access to a variety of mathematical opportunities, which will enable them to make the connections in learning, develop and use new vocabulary and discuss their learning.  

By working across different representations of learning and using resources, we aim for our children to be confident mathematicians who are independent, inquisitive and not afraid to take risks. 

Teaching for Mastery: 

The majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace.... Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content…. those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on (NC 2014 p3). 

Core principles:

  • Mathematical success is possible for all
  • Intelligence is flexible and you can learn as much as you can
  • Topics to be taught in greater depth
  • Mistakes are an opportunity to develop
  • Alternative approaches and explanations are used if children find concepts tricky
  • Same day intervention is used for children to ‘keep up’, not ‘catch up’
  • Concrete, pictorial and abstract concepts are used to deepen learning
  • Children work in mixed groups (no defined abilities)
  • Children who are confident, will be challenged to go deeper with their learning


Please see our progression document and long-term plan overviews, to see the objectives taught in each year group.