Mathematical Thinking for GCSE and Beyond Work Group

This Work Group offers teachers and their departments high quality support to address the reasoning and problem-solving challenges of the mathematics curriculum and its assessment at GCSE. An increasing body of expertise and exemplification examples has built up over the years as part of this work which participation will give access to in order to stimulate further developments and collaborations.

intended outcomes

Participants of this Work Group will be reflecting more deeply on what constitutes thinking mathematically, specifically in years 7 to 11 with an eye to the demands of the new GCSE syllabus, and looking at how this can be helpful as pupils develop mathematical ideas. They will look at frameworks for thinking about what constitutes mathematical thinking, and how such frameworks might help in planning schemes of work and classroom activity.


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 students as they approach GCSE.

This Developing Mathematical Thinking Work Group is suitable for all mathematics teachers; teachers new to the group and teachers who have participated in previous Mathematics Thinking Work Groups (as the latter will have the opportunity to further develop the ideas from previous sessions).

what is involved?

1. Four day-long face-to-face workshop sessions on the following dates:

  • Friday 8 November 2019
  • Friday 13 December 2019
  • Friday 7 February 2020
  • Friday 27 March 2020

The face-to-face sessions will take place at George Spencer Academy, Toton, NG9 7JA


2. Gap tasks between the workshops will include Lesson Study, allowing wider departmental participation in the professional development.


3. As part of the professional development, there will be an evaluation process focussing on the impact of the Work Group.


  • Schools will need to commit to the release of the same nominated teacher(s) for all face-to-face workshops and to support them in the gap tasks.
  • Meeting time should be provided for the nominated teacher(s) to share with their wider department the new, useful learning and ideas arising from attending the Work Group
  • The department will also support the participating teachers to summarise the impact of their Work Group participation as part of the professional development and Work Group evaluation.


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

how to apply