Mastering Number

This project aims to secure firm foundations in additive relationships and the development of good number sense for all children from Reception through to Year 1 and Year 2.

The aim over time is that children will leave KS1 with fluency in calculation and a confidence and flexibility with number. Attention will be given to key knowledge and understanding needed in Reception classes and progression through KS1 to support progression in the future.

Teachers will work to develop intentional teaching strategies focused on developing fluency in calculation and number sense for all children. They will reflect with other colleagues on their own practice, and refine skills through support and challenge within a community.


What is involved?

Participating schools will nominate three teachers to be the lead participants in the Work Group – one teacher from each of the three year group. These lead participants will be supported by central training and a wealth of pupil-facing resources.

There is an expectation that schools will provide a daily teaching session for all children of 10 to 15 minutes, in addition to their normal maths lesson. Lead Teachers in schools will also contribute to an online community to share practice and engage in critical reflection.


What are the benefits?

Participants will:

  • develop skills in working in a professional learning community, reflecting with other colleagues on their own practice, and refining skills through support and challenge within a community
  • develop a secure understanding of how to build firm mathematical foundations with a stronger subject and pedagogical understanding for EYFS and KS1
  • work to develop intentional teaching strategies focused on developing fluency in calculation and number sense for ALL children
  • develop understanding and their use of appropriate manipulatives to support their teaching of mathematical structures.


What are the expectations?

Schools chosen to participate in the Work Group commit to the following expectations:

  • The school will introduce Mastering Number in all Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes, in addition to their daily maths lesson (which could be shortened as a result of participation in this Work Group or replace the maths session in Reception). Each teacher (Reception, Year 1, Year 2) will work with children at least 4 out of 5 days per week, using the Mastering Number Programme to develop children’s deep understanding and confidence of additive relationships. Lead Teachers in larger schools will lead planning and in school discussion/observation opportunities to support all teachers in understanding the teaching programme alongside the subject leader
  • Lead Teachers will be expected to contribute regularly to Local Online Work Group activity, led by the Work Group Lead, reflecting on the implementation and impact of the programme, led by the Work Group Lead from autumn term 2022 to summer term 2023.
  • Lead Teachers will engage in all online synchronous and asynchronous professional development, including three national live online sessions with the NCETM (in September/October 2022, January 2023, April 2023) and three local Work Group sessions (in the Autumn 2022, Spring 2023 and Summer 2023 terms).
  • The school will provide any feedback required by the Maths Hub and participate in any evaluation processes required
  • The school’s leadership team will ensure attendance at programme events and will support Lead Teachers in their development of the wider staff.


The wider context

These new Work Groups will complement the existing teaching for mastery Work Groups, and are designed to support schools wherever they may be on the mastery journey, either helping to sustain teaching for mastery or acting as a stimulus to engage with teaching for mastery. They will also specifically develop the knowledge and practice of Reception year practitioners to ensure that all children develop a secure foundation in mathematics and are well prepared for teaching for mastery in KS1.


Who can apply?

Lead participants from Work Group schools will be three teachers, one each from Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, with some support given to subject leaders and headteachers. This programme is open to all state-funded primary schools in England. If oversubscribed, priority for places will be given to schools with a high proportion of disadvantaged children.

N.B Schools that are on the Teaching for Mastery programme (or eligible to join a Sustaining Phase Work Group, having once participated in the Teaching for Mastery programme) are expected to prioritise these commitments unless they can demonstrate the capacity to do both.  Schools that have not yet engaged with the primary Teaching for Mastery programme are welcome to apply.


What is the cost?

Mastering Number is fully funded by the Maths Hubs Programme, so is free to participating schools.


Want to find out more?

More information about the Mastering Number Programme can be found on the NCETM Website. 


Applications for this Work Group are now closed for 2022/23 however are now open for 2023/24 until the 24th March 2023. Please follow the link below for further information