England has lagged behind the performance of others, as measured by international studies such as the Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Results from the TIMSS report in 2016 for eight year olds showed that while England has risen to its highest point in these rankings for 20 years for mathematics, the gap between the lowest performing and the highest performing children remains too wide. There is also a widening gap between the performance of boys and girls. Performance in the PISA tests for 15 year olds show that while pupils in the United Kingdom achieve above the OECD average for science and reading, performance in mathematics is around average, and has remained stable since 2006. This article explores how the Mathematics Mastery programme, developed to overcome the difficulties faced by many children in developing a secure understanding of mathematical concepts, can improve outcomes in mathematics while supporting lower attainers and reducing the attainment gap.
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