April 2023 Engaging with Enigma Primary Focus

Top Tip

Create an Environment of Mathematical Talk

Mathematical talk is a great strategy for pupils to develop not only their communication skills but also to develop an understanding of mathematical concepts; it enables them to reason mathematically.

To ensure that mathematical talk is impactful, pupils need to be scaffolded using strategies such as: ‘Think-Pair-Share,’ ‘My Turn, your turn,’ and ‘say it again better.’ Pupils also need to be given precise mathematical vocabulary to support their chains of reasoning and form generalisations.

Precision in vocabulary gives pupils a door to the world of being a mathematician. Establishing mathematical vocabulary as a whole school approach will support consistency and familiarity for the pupils so they can confidently articulate their mathematical thoughts.

Whilst pupils are engaging in talk mathematically, it provides an opportunity for the practitioner to eavesdrop and consider any misconceptions that need to be unpicked as well as providing an insight into pupils’ conceptual understanding.



Taster Teaching for Mastery Work Group Sessions

Our six Cohot 8 specialists enjoyed their second two day residential where they had the opportunity to visit a local school to see Teaching for Mastery in action. They also developed their understanding of the 5 Big ideas with a particular focus on multiplicative reasoning.

As part of their training, they are hosting a taster Work Group session for schools who are not currently engaged in the Teaching for Mastery programme. This will enable schools to see what Enigma hub can offer and to see live learning in action. The sessions will be taking place in May, in the last two weeks of the Spring 1 term.

If you are interested in getting in involved, or know a school that may be interested, then please do get in contact so that we can reserve you a space.

Professional Development

Teaching for Mastery – Developing Work Group

Teaching for Mastery Developing Workgroup have been considering the variation and the role this plays in our classrooms, when considering a teaching for mastery approach.

To ensure that pupils really understand a concept, they need to understand what it isn’t – this can be done by considering 2 questions: “What is it?” “What isn’t it?”

Not only do pupils need to understand what it is and isn’t, they need to understand what it is through both standard and non-standard examples, this eliminates any possible misconceptions such as:



Reflecting on the session, participants of the workgroup identified that pupils would:
Be able to generalise and better apply their knowledge,”
“Have a deeper understanding for concepts,”
“Be able to challenge their own misconceptions,”
“Be able to see the concept in a variety of ways that would support a deeper understanding for new ideas presented to them.”

Are you interested in professional development opportunities for 2023/24?

Click here and select one of the many Work Groups/Programmes we have to offer
(including Teaching for Mastery).



The Enigma maths site has some great resources to support teaching for mastery in the classroom; one area of the website focuses on representation and structure.

Further down the page, there are some examples of ‘Thinking Boards’ which can be used with primary pupils. Thinking boards develop understanding of mathematical structure linked to concepts, as well as drawing attention to the connection between representations, pictures, symbols and stories.


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