Primary Mastery Specialists

These teachers are recruited by the Maths Hub to receive training from NCETM and work together to develop their practice. After a year they then go on to run Work Groups.

Applications for 2021/22 are now closed. To register an interest for future opportunities please email

Information on each of our current specialists is below: 

Denise Heaton

Primary Mastery Specialist & Embedding Lead

I have been working in education for 18 years, having previously worked as a research scientist. My love for teaching maths began in the Year 6 classroom navigating ‘unit plans’ and interactive teaching programmes! The pinnacle of all the maths training I have enjoyed since then is undoubtedly my role as a Mastery Specialist. In 2008, I was part of the Maths Specialist Pilot Programme (MaST) and, following this, worked as an SLE for mathematics in my local authority. When the Maths Hubs were created, I was lucky enough to become a Cohort One Mastery Specialist and during my first year of that was part of the Shanghai exchange including providing a host school. I now work as the Teaching for Mastery Lead for the hub and provide support for all our specialists and their schools. Becoming a Primary Mastery Specialist has been the most incredible part of my teaching journey; it has been a privilege to work with so many passionate teachers who put deep, conceptual understanding of mathematics for children at the forefront of everything they do.

Karen Wall

Primary Mastery Specialist and Embedding Lead, Glazebury C of E School

I have always loved maths and, after completing a maths degree many years ago, I felt I was quite a confident mathematician. However, the fantastic training from the Maths Hub has challenged my own understanding of maths and how I teach others. The work with other schools has developed so much more than just maths content; closer links have been made across schools and pedagogy of mastery has led to developments across the curriculum, including a focus on precise language and depth through questioning. I believe all children can succeed in maths. Working with the Maths Hub is a fantastic opportunity to develop your own and others’ CPD.

Jennie Naylor

Primary Mastery Specialist, The Deans Primary School

The majority of my 10 years’ experience in the classroom has been spent in Upper Key Stage 2, but I have also spent time as a Specialist Intervention Teacher, working with children of all ages and gaining invaluable insight into maths learning throughout the primary phase. I have always had an interest in the teaching and learning of maths, fuelled mainly by my own lack of confidence in the subject when I was younger and a determination to find a better, more meaningful way to teach maths, in a way that promotes the ‘mastery for all’ belief. I was lucky enough to be recruited as a Mastery Specialist in 2015 and took our school on a successful mastery journey. I love working with schools in the TRGs. The role allows me to continuously develop and deepen my understanding of the principles of mastery, collaborate with, help and learn from colleagues, and ultimately improve outcomes for our children.

Laura Behan

Primary Mastery Specialist, Masefield Primary School, Bolton

Becoming part of the Mastery Specialist team at Turing NW has been a privilege. I strongly believe that children should have a solid understanding of mathematical structures, and teaching for mastery opens up the doors to exactly that. I have developed my own subject knowledge and pedagogy during my time on the programme, but most importantly I have seen the impact on the children in my class. They have enjoyed making connections across the different areas of the maths curriculum and representing their thinking with practical apparatus. Seeing the children’s enthusiasm as they explore maths in small accessible steps makes me enthusiastic about teaching. I look forward to sharing this experience with colleagues in my own school and across others.

Victoria Abraham

Primary Mastery Specialist, Yew Tree Primary School

I am fortunate to have worked in my school for over ten years now and have experience of teaching a variety of year groups, including a mixed age class. In my role as Maths Lead, I have enjoyed supporting staff to embed the mastery approach across the school and seeing the impact it has had on both children’s learning and their enthusiasm towards maths. Last year, I successfully led the Lesson Design project and have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with and support other schools on their mastery journey. As a Primary Mastery Specialist, I am excited that I have the chance to continue to develop the practice in my own school whilst supporting other schools and colleagues to embed mastery within their settings.

Rebecca Herbert

Primary Mastery Specialist, Tyntesfield Primary School

I am an experienced Upper KS2 teacher and completed my Primary Mastery Specialist training with Turing NW Maths Hub. This has given me an understanding of the principles of teaching for mastery, while working closely with other schools as part of a Teacher Research Group has enabled me to support other schools in training their staff and developing this approach. During a two week exchange to Shanghai in 2018, I was able to see how careful lesson design and the 5 Big Ideas can be used effectively to lead children to generalisations and help them to understand a concept deeply. It was a pleasure to welcome these teachers to my school in 2019, where they delivered lessons to our pupils on fractions and multiplication. I have enjoyed seeing an impact on the pupils I teach: children seeking out connections between topics and feeling empowered to try and apply their understanding to unfamiliar contexts.

Anna Reynolds

Primary Mastery Specialist, Lower Kersal Primary School

Maths has always been a passion of mine and throughout my own education it was something that I loved. When I decided to become a teacher it saddened me to see how many teachers and children did not share in this passion and that for many maths was a pointless or frustrating subject. In 2015 I applied to work as part of a TRG and was inspired by the transformative impact that teaching for mastery can have on teaching, learning and mindsets in mathematics and was sold! Becoming a Mastery Specialist and having the chance to develop my own classroom practice, as well as seeing first-hand the positive impact on the children’s learning, was outstanding CPD. Now in my role of Deputy Headteacher and Mastery Specialist it is great to work alongside others to continue to develop and spread excellent practice for the benefit of all children.

Sarah Burnham

Primary Mastery Specialist, Well Green Primary School

I am delighted to join the Turing NW Maths Hub as a mastery specialist. I am an experienced KS2 teacher, having taught in Trafford for over ten years.

Currently, I am the Assistant Headteacher and Year 6 class teacher at Well Green Primary School and am really looking forward to the opportunity to work so closely with the other schools in the TRGS to develop mastery teaching further. I feel really fortunate to have this opportunity to develop my own practice and collaborate with other schools, having had such an inspiring experience with the mastery specialist training this year. I firmly believe that we are all life long learners and that sharing good practice for teaching mathematics enables us all to develop by learning from each other, to provide the best experiences for the children in our schools.

Jo Mallabar

Primary Mastery Specialist, St Mary's Catholic Voluntary Academy

Becoming a Mastery Specialist and joining the Turing NW Hub has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I currently teach in KS1 in a small primary school with mixed year group classes, however the majority of my teaching experience is in KS2. I first came across the mastery approach to teaching mathematics around 5 years ago, sharing it instantly with my school team. We loved the progressive steps and began restructuring and developing our curriculum around the 5 big ideas. The mastery training programme has developed my pedagogical understanding and subject knowledge immensely. In my mind, mastery is like a tree. If children are rushed through the content, moving on too quickly, the tree grows tall but thin and is easily knocked down when faced with something hard. Mastery affords children the time to explore their understanding in a wider, much richer way, developing strong roots that help to anchor their understanding and allow them to grow a solid and sturdy tree; one with many branches representing all the connections they have made with their other mathematical understanding. The ability to work alongside other schools and share their mastery journey is a great privilege and continually adds to my own understanding and development.

Kathryn Martin

Primary Mastery Specialist, River View Community Primary School

During my teacher training I discovered my passion for teaching mathematics. Maths was the subject that I dreaded the most at school; I struggled with confidence and I believed that I just couldn’t do maths. However, seeing how mathematical representations were used to explore the structure of maths and make connections during my training I began to realise that maths was something that everyone could be successful at. I was lucky enough to complete the Maths Specialist Teacher programme (MaST) and my MA in Teaching Primary Mathematics. The more that I learnt about teaching maths the more I wanted to find out. In 2017 I took part in a Teaching for Mastery Teacher Research Group; this was the most transformative experience of my teaching career. Not only did it expand my subject and pedagogical knowledge, but most importantly it had a huge impact on my class and the children in my school. The children’s enthusiasm for maths improved, their understanding deepened, and they were able to make connections between learning. Becoming part of the Turing NW Mastery Specialist team is such a privilege. I am looking forward to working alongside other schools and colleagues; sharing and developing good practice, to help children become confident, enthusiastic mathematicians who have deep conceptual knowledge.

Laura Tate

Primary Mastery Specialist, Beamont Collegiate Academy

Maths has always been a passion of mine. I have been lucky to have so many opportunities so far in my teaching career but becoming a Mastery Specialist last year was a real achievement. As a school, we worked hard on our Mastery Journey for a number of years and we are still working on this today. We have been lucky to be able to see the benefit it has had on so many children. I believe that all children have the right to succeed at school and it is our job to ensure they have those skills. They need to develop strong mathematical subject knowledge, reasoning and problem solving skills built on strong fluency and fact recall.

As well as being a Mastery Specialist I am also the Assistant Headteacher of a large two form entry school in a deprived area of Warrington. I am very excited to work with other schools so they get to experience that moment of benefit in adopting a mastery approach with their school.

Claire Kinch

Primary Mastery Specialist, Lewis Street Primary School

I have been teaching for just over 20 years and I became a Primary Mastery Specialist 2 years ago after being involved with the Maths Hubs and taking part in TRGs in the 2 years before that. The training has had a huge impact on my own teaching, the highlight of which was taking part in the China-England Exchange to Shanghai where coherent, small steps to learning allowed all the children to make connections in order to succeed – an approach which I firmly believe in. I have always had a passion for teaching Maths. I love the way there are different ways to solve problems and the creativity that this can inspire in all learners. The impact that mastery has had on the pupils I have worked with has been significant but their levels of engagement and resilience when faced with new concepts and problems has been amazing to see. In developing opportunities to share ideas and experiences with like-minded teachers, have professional discussions dedicated to mastery and to learn from each other as part of a work group is invaluable CPD for all involved. I am looking forward to continuing to develop my own and others’ practice through the Embedding phase.