At its best, maths mastery teaching can be transformative. The children we teach in this way develop a deep, meaningful understanding of maths, a sense of wonder about numbers, and a secure confidence in their own abilities – why wouldn’t we want that for our classes? Headteachers certainly want it – not least because, when done well, mastery teaching leads to accelerated progress.
There’s a problem, though: mastery teaching is hard. To completely transform your maths teaching from the traditional three-part lesson to an enquiry based, child-led journey to understanding is a massive pedagogical shift that involves change at every stage of the teaching and learning process.
Primary teachers around the country can see the benefits of mastery teaching, but they’re desperate for support with delivering it in their own classrooms. And so educational publishers, responding to the needs of teachers, have developed schemes that promise a mastery approach – including planning, textbooks and assessments – all in one handy package. These schemes offer teachers a "pick up and teach" solution to mastery. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it might be.