Years 7-11 Coherence Work Group

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. The project was previously known as Challenging Topics at GCSE, but its name has been amended to more accurately reflect the work undertaken as well as to convey the importance of curriculum coherence.


What is involved?

The 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 are the benefits?

Participants and their departments 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
  • identify misconceptions and plan a series of lessons to support students in the topic area
  • use and evaluate appropriate pedagogies to teach the topic area
  • work with their departments to unpick and analyse topics to inform collaborative planning and development of schemes of work.


What are the expectations?

Schools must be able to commit to the full academic year’s programme. This involves the workshop support across the academic year, as well as classroom and school-based activity.


The wider context

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 students develop deep knowledge, understanding and confidence, and are well prepared for progression to post-16 education. This project can offer an entry point into developing teaching for mastery approaches, or could support a particular focus for a department already involved in the teaching for mastery programme.


Who can apply?

Participants should be secondary school teachers of GCSE Maths. Individuals or ideally pairs of teachers from a department participate, with an expectation that they will work with other members of their department at appropriate points. Schools that have participated in previous years may do so again, as developments often take place over time.


What is the cost?

The Years 7-11 Coherence project is fully funded by the Maths Hubs Programme so is free to participating schools.


Who will be leading this Work Group?

Lucy Brown


Where and when?

The sessions will be held at Beauchamp College, Ridge Way, Oadby, Leicestershire, LE2 5TP

  • Monday 5th December 2022- 9.30am-3.30pm
  • Tuesday 17th January 2023 - 1pm- 4pm
  • Thursday 23rd March 2023  - 12pm-3pm
  • Wednesday 28th June 2023 - 9.30am-3.30pm



This Work Group has now started and we are no longer accepting applications, however if you would like to express an interest in our 2023/24 Work Group, please complete our expression of interest form