Key Messages:

  • Small connected steps are easier to take.

  • Focusing on one key point each lesson allows for deep and sustainable learning.

  • Certain images, techniques and concepts are important pre-cursors to later ideas. Getting the sequencing of these right is an important skill in planning and teaching for mastery.

  • When introducing new ideas, it is important to make connections with earlier ones that have already been understood.

connected steps

Bank of Support

The NCETM have written some Teaching for Mastery Professional Development materials which break down learning into coherent small steps. The areas in the following three spines – Number, Addition and Subtraction Multiplication and Division Fractions
Small coherent steps in learning are evident in these video lessons produced by the NCETM when many pupils were not able to attend school. Many uses including with pupils or as professional development.

Small Steps

When is a small step in learning not small enough?

These small coherent learning steps have been taken from the NCETM curriculum prioritisation materials available through the NCETM website.

The NCETM term by term framework is really helpful to provide coherent and well sequenced learning for the primary maths curriculum.

Each year’s curriculum is mapped out in coherent steps and there are supplementary materials which are excellent including teacher guidance as well as teaching powerpoint slides.

Additional note: If your school is using a published scheme you may still find that there are some gaps in pupil learning and that this series of coherent small steps may be useful to further scaffold learning and teaching.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6