Primary Teaching for Mastery Development Work Group

This programme is for schools who have a commitment to developing a teaching for mastery approach. Although the school’s participation involves two teachers attending events outside of the school and online, it is expected that these two teachers lead development across the whole school.



Since 2014, the NCETM and Maths Hubs have been working together to develop approaches to teaching for mastery within primary maths. This has been partly informed by the teaching of maths in high performing South East Asian jurisdictions. In the last six years the NCETM and Maths Hubs have recruited teachers to participate in a Mastery Specialists development programme. Once trained, Mastery Specialists work with other schools in Teaching for Mastery Work Groups.  



The Teaching for Mastery Work Groups

Each Work Group will be led by one of the Maths Hub’s Mastery Specialists and involve six or seven primary schools. During the year, they will work closely together to introduce and develop approaches to teaching for mastery. The Work Group activity will include:

  • Each school identifying two teachers to lead developments within their school
  • The two teachers working together with the Mastery Specialist and teachers from the other Work Group schools in regular Teacher Research Group (TRG) style meetings and through an online community
  • Each school receiving a termly support visit from the Mastery Specialist to observe teaching, support in-school TRGs, and work with the lead teachers and headteacher in developing an action plan for the school
  • The head teacher working with the Mastery Specialist and other members of the Maths Hub’s leadership team to develop whole school policies and structures to support teaching for mastery
  • The lead teachers, supported by the headteacher, working with colleagues to develop teaching for mastery approaches in the classroom, supported by professional development activity including Teacher Research Group methods
  • Following the first year, schools are expected to continue being part of the Work Group to firstly embed and then sustain a Teaching for Mastery approach across the whole school. These Work Groups will usually be led by the Mastery Specialist and will be supported by the Maths Hub to continue to work as a collaborative group that supports schools in their development of teaching for mastery.


What are the benefits?

Participating in the Work Group will provide the following benefits to participant schools:

  • High quality support for teacher professional development for the lead teachers, facilitated by the Mastery Specialist
  • Support for the headteacher in addressing leadership issues related to teaching for mastery from the Mastery Specialist and the Maths Hub’s leadership
  • Opportunity to work closely with other schools also developing teaching for mastery
  • No charge for participation and a grant of £1000 to help subsidise teacher release time


Who can apply?

The Work Groups are intended for schools that are already committed to using teaching for mastery approaches for primary maths. Schools should also have the capacity for engaging in significant development work during 2023/24.  


What are the expectations?

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

  • The lead teachers will participate in the regular cross-school Work Group meetings with the Mastery Specialist (half-days) and make changes to maths teaching in their own classroom initially and beyond by the end of the year
  • The lead teachers will receive a minimum of ten (combined) days’ release time for development work including the above meetings
  • The headteacher will meet with the Mastery Specialist and the Maths Hub’s leadership as well as working with the other Work Group school headteachers
  • The school will introduce teaching for mastery approaches across the school and establish TRG professional development models to support teacher development
  • The school will provide any reports required by the Maths Hub and participate in any evaluation processes required
  • The school will continue to collaborate with the schools in the Work Group for the year 2024/25 and beyond.



There is no charge to schools participating in the Work Group. Each school will receive a £1000 grant towards the cost of the required teacher release time.  


Want to find out more?

More information about Primary Teaching for Mastery Work Groups can be found on the NCETM website including commentary from Teachers and Head Teachers who have already been involved in the programme. 


We are no longer accepting applications for this Work Group, however if you would like to express an interest in our 2024/25 Work Group, please complete our expression of interest form linked below