Mathematical Thinking for GCSE Work Group 2020-2021

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.


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.

what is involved?

For this Workgroup there will be three face-to-face full day workshops to develop ideas for rethinking classroom practice. These will be practical planning opportunities, where we will be developing tasks for taking back to schools in between sessions. The aim is to trial new approaches and ideas in your own classroom and to support colleagues in your department.


You 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. You will look at frameworks for thinking about what constitutes mathematical thinking, and how such frameworks might help you in planning schemes of work and classroom activity.

With colleagues in your department and with other participants you will develop resources and teacher guidance notes for looking at how to support your learners to develop their critical mathematical thinking skills.  You will also be able to consider and support some of the additional demands that this places upon both teachers and learners


To be held at George Spencer Academy, Arthur Mee Road, Stapleford, Nottingham, NG9 7JA

  • Monday 18th January 2021
  • Monday 1st March 2021
  • Friday 23rd April 2021


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

Please complete this form to reserve a place on this Work Group.


The ongoing impact of the coronavirus 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 coronavirus related disruption and the central maths subject matter of each project.