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Maths Hub Challenging Topics at GCSE

Maths Hubs Network Collaborative Projects 2019/2020

Challenging Topics at GCSE

A series of 3 afternoon sessions for secondary maths teachers and heads of departments


What will these sessions provide?

Feedback from teachers and GCSE exam analysis indicates there are key areas of the curriculum that students continue to find challenging. This Work Group will explore effective ways of teaching some of these topics, both to address the immediate needs of the incoming KS4 students, but also, crucially, taking a longer-term view by considering development in KS3.


The aim will be to get to grips with all the underpinning content of a topic, exploring misconceptions and effective pedagogical approaches for each element. The approaches also contribute towards the development of a generic process which departments could use as a ‘toolkit’ to lead the improvement of teaching and learning in any identified area of the curriculum students find challenging. 


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


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.
  • deepen their understanding and classroom practice in relation to teaching and learning styles most appropriate to effective learning in the particular topic area.
  • have a department model for improving the teaching and learning and curriculum provision for any area of the curriculum their students find challenging.
  • enable their students to 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.


2020 dates

  • Session 1:     Tuesday 7th January           2pm-5pm
  • Session 2:     Tuesday 11th February        2pm-5pm
  • Session 3:     Friday 13th March              2pm-5pm

All sessions take place at Pioneer Teaching School Alliance based at Harrison Primary School, Fareham, PO16 7EQ

The wider context

The Maths Hubs Network, across England, works on national projects by running local collaborative work groups of teachers around national maths education priority areas. One such priority is to improve the subject knowledge of all adults in maths classrooms.  These work groups use a common evaluation process, which collectively provides a body of evidence on the project’s outcomes. Participation in this work group will contribute to the delegates’ own professional learning and that of their colleagues, as well as contributing to the improvement of maths education at a national level.


Cost and booking - Free of charge

Please note that a charge of £100 per participant for non-attendance without prior notice will be applied.

Places are limited, book now to avoid disappointment.
Email  or call 01329 239584



  • Attend all 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 your maths department, as appropriate, to develop the teaching of the challenging topic.
  • Contribute to Work Group evaluation processes.
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