London South West Maths Hub

Work Groups

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Mastering Number
Reception, Year 1 and Year 2


Recruitment has closed. 


A large-scale nationwide programme for teachers of pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, designed to help children embed good number sense.


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Mastering Number is a new programme offered in 2021/22 by the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) and the Maths Hubs Network. It aims to develop solid number sense, including fluency and flexibility with number facts, which will have a lasting impact on future learning for all children. It also involves high quality professional development for teachers.
What is involved?
Lead teacher participants (teachers of Reception, Year 1 and Year 2) form local Work Groups of up to 40 schools, with each Work Group led by a teacher experienced in early maths, and in leading professional development in their Maths Hub area.
The core professional development programme is delivered by an experienced team from the NCETM, led by the NCETM’s Director of Primary Mathematics, Debbie Morgan. Lead teachers, the maths subject lead and the headteacher from each participant school engage in a range of online professional development, including three live sessions, across the academic year.
Teachers deliver a daily session of 10 to 15 minutes in addition to their daily maths lesson. Resources, including lesson plans, visual resources and practical equipment, are provided. Central to the programme is a small, abacus-like piece of equipment called a rekenrek, which will be provided for use by children in participating classes.
In this short video, Debbie Morgan, the NCETM’s Director for Primary, explains how the abacus-like rekenrek can be used to help children develop confidence and fluency with number. Use of a rekenrek is one element of the Mastering Number Programme, and participating schools will be provided with sets of the equipment free of charge.

Using an abacus-like rekenrek to help children develop confidence and fluency with number from NCETM on Vimeo.

  • High quality support for teacher professional development for the lead teachers, directed by the NCETM and facilitated by the local Maths Hub 
  • Supportive and collaborative online community facilitated by the Work Group Lead 
  • Resources provided, including coherent plans for the Mastering Number daily sessions 
  • Sets of the central physical resource: the abacus-like rekenrek