Years 7-11 Coherence: approaches to key topics - Online 1315-1600

Tuesday 7 December, Tuesday 25 January, Monday 7 March, Tuesday 26 April, Monday 13 June Online

This project focuses on participant teachers working together to analyse, deconstruct and trace through the curriculum a selected key topic area, developing insight into effective teaching approaches, and considering the implications for longer term curriculum design for coherence. 

Feedback from teachers, along with GCSE exam analysis, indicates there are key areas of the curriculum that students find challenging. While teachers will need to address students’ short term conceptual difficulties with regard to such topics, there is also the recognition that these issues are often rooted in earlier learning, and this forms a key focus for these Work Groups.

These Work Groups address strategic goals relevant to secondary schools, specifically: supporting schools to address the challenges of teaching GCSE Mathematics so that all pupils develop deep knowledge, understanding and confidence, and are well prepared for progression to post-16 education.



Who will be leading the group?

Vanessa Brown

Vanessa is an experienced NCETM Accredited PD Lead and had led the Challenging Topics Work Group over the past four years.

Who is it for?

A teacher or teachers from a department participate, with an expectation that they will work with other members of their department at appropriate points. This approach helps cultivate a collaborative culture.

What are the intended outcomes?

Pupil outcomes

  • pupils will gain a deeper understanding of the topic area and the underlying maths
  • pupils will develop a more connected understanding of the curriculum
  • pupil engagement and attitude in the topic area will improve.

Departmental policies and approaches

  • participants will work with their departments to unpick and analyse topics to inform collaborative planning and development of schemes of work
  • this work will impact upon departmental policy regarding curriculum and pedagogy
  • through the modelling of best practice in improvement planning, subject leadership will be supported and impacted.

Practice development

Participants will:

  • identify misconceptions and plan a series of lessons to support pupils in the topic area
  • use and evaluate appropriate pedagogies to teach the topic area, informed by teaching for mastery approaches.

Professional learning

Participants will:

  • develop a deeper insight into the maths that underpins learning in a challenging topic, through unpicking and analysing the topic
  • develop a deeper insight into the key issues and misconceptions behind the topic
  • deepen their own subject knowledge and awareness of connections within the curriculum
  • alongside their colleagues in school, consider appropriate pedagogies for the topic.


What will it involve?

Local Work Group design will follow a workshop – school-based work cycle, consisting of several workshops followed in each case by specific school-based work. Workshops will provide opportunities for teachers to identify and analyse a key topic area, to work collaboratively to develop pedagogical approaches to it, and to evaluate and discuss after teaching.


What is the cost?