Challenging Topics at GCSE Work Group

This Work Group focuses on teachers working together in workshops to unpick a challenging topic, developing insight into the associated difficulties and misconceptions to support teaching in the short term but also consider the implications for longer term curriculum design.

  • 22/01/2021 @George Spencer Academy, Arthur Lee Road, Stapleford, Nottingham, NG9 7JA
  • 24/02/2021 and 10/03/2021 @ Portland Conference Centre, NG8 4BW


  • Teachers will hone their ability to analyse what it is about certain topics that makes them more challenging, and be able to apply these analytical skills more widely in the curriculum.
  • They will deepen their understanding and classroom practice in relation to teaching and learning styles most appropriate to effective learning in the particular topic area.
  • Departments will have a model for improving the teaching and learning and curriculum provision for any area of the curriculum their students find challenging.
  • Students in the participant teachers’ classes will become more confident in their own skills and abilities, developing a deeper and more connected understanding of prior content, thus enabling them to better tackle the challenging topics.

who is this for?

Secondary school maths teachers and heads of department.


Each Work Group will explore a single GCSE topic in depth. Participation will require attendance at four workshops spread across the year and include gap tasks. Any work produced will be shared across the hubs, giving access to a range of challenging topics.

expectations of participants and their schools

  • Attend the Work Group sessions and carry out a series of follow-up tasks within their own classrooms related to teaching the challenging topic being explored.
  • Work with other members of their maths department, as appropriate, to develop the teaching of the challenging topic.
  • Contribute to Work Group evaluation processes.


The Work Group is offered free to all state-funded secondary schools in England.

COVID-19 Recovery

The ongoing impact of the corona virus outbreak and knock on effects on schools life remain uncertain. So, all Maths Hubs work will adapt to changing realities. There’s likely to be more live online collaboration, for example. In addition Work Groups content will address both schools recovery from corona virus related disruption and the central maths subject matter of each project.

If you are interested in participating in one of these work groups then please complete this form to apply for a place.