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Mathematical Thinking at GCSE

The Mathematical Thinking for GCSE project is for secondary maths teachers looking for practical and theoretical elements to address their students’ GCSE attainment.
The stated aims of the KS4 Programme of Study are that, through working on the content, students should develop mathematical fluency, mathematical reasoning and problem solving. While mathematical thinking is a key feature of all of these, the focus of this Work Group is to support teachers in developing their understanding of mathematical thinking as it relates to problem-solving and reasoning, using practical task types to explore what it means for students to get better at mathematical thinking and what this looks like in the classroom.

What is involved?

Exam boards often note that, when students come to GCSE exams, AO2 and AO3 are frequently poorly addressed. This Work Group is designed to:

* offer teachers support so that they are better equipped to help all students develop their mathematical thinking, ultimately preparing them for the challenges of the GCSE and beyond

* support teachers in understanding and using participation in a Work Group as the basis of collaborative continued professional development for themselves and within their department.

There will be four Work Group meetings with school-based tasks for participants to complete and reflect upon between each meeting. Days One and Four are full days (or equivalent), with Days Two and Three each taking 0.5 days.

Who can apply?

This for teachers of KS4 who want to further develop their pedagogical and theoretical understanding of developing mathematical thinking, and practical classroom strategies to explore these ideas. Participants will be expected to begin to lead developments from the Work Group in their own department and so should have the opportunity and authority to do this effectively. Teachers who have already engaged with the Work Group might like to continue with the structure to explore further and think more deeply about supporting mathematical thinking in the classroom.

Intended Outcomes

Participants and their schools will:
  • increase their experience and understanding of the role of reasoning and problem-solving in the curriculum
  • understand how these are tested at GCSE
  • understand effective collaborative approaches to embed developments department-wide
  • demonstrate improved confidence in planning and leading lessons that support deep mathematical thinking
  • consider next steps for further deepening, developing and reviewing mathematical thinking

COVID-19 Recovery

Many positive lessons were learnt from online collaboration during Maths Hub activity in 2020-21.  These will be built upon in 2021-22.  As the impact of the pandemic hopefully recedes, the result for Maths Hub work will be a blend of face-to-face activities and frequent online collaboration.


Thu 9th December: full day

Wed 19th January: afternoon

Tue 19th April: full day

Wed 15th June: afternoon.

The venue will be Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, 89 Addison Rd, London W14 8BZ

Please see a one-page flyer here. 

Expression of Interest form is here.

If you are interested in booking a place, please email

*The London Central and West Maths Hub reserves the right to charge a £75 fee for non-attendance to the sessions or for cancellations to any of the sessions with less than 1 week’s notice.