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'Teaching for Mastery' will you use the new NCETM assessment material?

Friday, 4 September 2015
Teaching for Mastery: questions, tasks and activities to support assessment?  is now available from NCETM for schools to use - and it is free. Anything with Mike Askew as part of the author team is worth a look at, and these are really useful pdf files for all Year 1- 6 teachers.

The introduction gives a good insight into the mastery approach and how the approach aims to help raise standards in mathematics. I don’t think anyone could argue with the basic idea of mastery – all children need a deep understanding of the mathematics they are learning - particularly as it is based on some of the original recommendations of the Cockcroft Report involving teaching for a depth of understanding. How this is achieved is obviously still open to debate... but not in this review!
The actual assessment material provides examples of activities to use with the whole class to help you assess whether they have mastered a particular concept, skill or procedure. Links are made to the relevant NC PoS with an outline of the ‘big idea’ behind these programmes of study – a useful section.
The Mastery activities are supplemented by Mastery with greater depth activities, which do exactly as they say. All the activities will be pretty familiar to primary teachers (which isn’t a bad thing), and they are nicely presented, including questions to ask and things to look out for when assessing depth of understanding.
I would definitely use and adapt these to support my assessment judgements – a well-written and accessible bank of assessment materials, they are sure to be popular.


The NCETM assessment material works well alongside the Broadbent Maths Tracker

NCETM tweet

For Broadbent Maths Menu users
These materials will be great to use alongside the AfL questions for each unit and the maths trackers. The teaching/assessing process will be:

  • Use the learning objectives and expected outcomes to make sure you have a very clear focus for the 2-week unit.

  • Plan to teach a balance of modeled methods, active learning, practice, problem solving and reasoning activities. Make the maths purposeful…!

  • ‚ÄčUse the AfL activities to gauge progress and intervene when necessary to sort out misconceptions or common errors.

  • Towards the end of a unit decide whether you want to spend longer on it to ensure understanding or leave it until the next time it is visited to move it on to the next step. You can look at the next time the topic is re-visited and put them together if necessary – be flexible.

  • Look at the expected outcomes and the Maths Tracker statements for the unit. Use and adapt the  NCETM Teaching for Mastery questions with the AfL activities to help make a judgement as to whether individuals have mastered the concept, skill or procedure. Record this on the Maths Tracker.

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