Teaching for mastery in maths

What is mastery?

The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) is working with maths experts across the country to develop a consistent understanding of the key principles behind maths mastery. At its core, a mastery approach rejects the idea that some children can’t do maths. It recognises that by nurturing positive attitudes and building confidence in mathematics, all children can achieve. Concepts are built in small, logical steps and are explored through clear mathematical structures and representations. Children are taught together as a whole class and the focus is on depth - not acceleration - so that all children have a chance to embed learning. Teaching is supported by high-quality resources which present the flow of lessons coherently and provide opportunities for plenty of intelligent practice.

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Free support and useful links

Looking for resources to support you in teaching for mastery?


Discover new Power Maths - Created in partnership with White Rose Maths and recommended by the DfE*




Find out how Abacus can support you in teaching for mastery and help inspire a genuine love of maths.

*Power Maths KS1 has been judged by the DfE panel to meet the core criteria for a high-quality textbook. Read more.    

Recent articles



Could a mastery approach help pupils with SEND make progress in Maths?

​As featured in Education for Everybody

When it comes to teaching maths, ‘mastery’ is the current buzzword, with more and more UK schools choosing to adopt this approach to drive a deeper understanding of maths and SEND subjects for all children. 

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Truths, Myths and Misconceptions About Maths Mastery

As featured in Teachwire

Tony Staneff, series editor of Power Maths, lifts the lid on five of the most common misconceptions around this much-discussed approach to maths.

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