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. 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. You can find out more information on the NCETM website.

Applications for 2022/23 are now closed. To register your interest for 23/24 please email

Information on each of our current specialists is below: 

Denise Heaton

Primary Mastery Specialist, Developing & 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.

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.

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

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 Halpin

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.