Mathematical Thinking for GCSE

29/01/2019 to 29/01/2019 12.30 pm - 4.00 pm

Teachers or departments keen to address the reasoning and problem-solving challenges of the mathematics curriculum and its assessment at GCSE are encouraged to take part in this project. Work Groups will explore professional development activities focusing on practical and accessible classroom-based approaches. The activities themselves also offer a model for wider department engagement with professional development processes, and hence could provide the basis of an effective department improvement programme in this area.

The programme, which is free to attend, runs over 4 afternoons, 1pm – 4pm, with lunch available at 12.30pm.  29th January, 19th March, 30th April and 2nd July.

Who is this for?

All secondary maths departments and teachers wishing to begin or continue a programme of professional development to address the reasoning and problem-solving challenges of the mathematics GCSE. The approaches attempt to address not only the longer development of these skills across all teaching but also the needs of current KS4 pupils as they approach GCSE.

In order to maximise the wider impact of the professional development across the department, it is suggested, where possible, that each school sends two members of department, at least one of whom is experienced and has some leadership responsibility within the department.

Work Group activity

  • 4 x half day workshops spread over three terms
  • Gap tasks between the workshops will include Lesson Study, allowing wider department participation in the professional development.
  • As part of the professional development, there will be an evaluation process focussing on the impact of Work Group

Intended Outcomes

Participant teachers, and their departments:

  • will acquire a deeper understanding of the role of reasoning and problem solving in the mathematics curriculum, and how these skills are tested at GCSE
  • will broaden their repertoire of classroom approaches to support the development of pupil’s mathematical reasoning and problem-solving skills in all lessons
  • will understand how to plan for further improvement to embed and sustain progress in this area.
  • will begin to see pupils demonstrate increased confidence in reasoning and problem-solving while deepening their understanding of the mathematics content itself.

Expectations of participants and their schools

  • Schools will need to commit to the release of the same nominated teacher(s) for all four workshops and to support them in the gap tasks. This will include supporting wider staff and department engagement with a Lesson Study between each workshop.
  • The department will also support the participating teachers to summarise the impact of Work Group participation as part of the professional development and Work Group evaluation.

 If you’re interested, what next?

Book your place via

Or if you have any questions about the programme, please contact

You can download the programme flyer HERE

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