Getting ready for the new GCSE Mathematics course

In the summer of 2017 young mathematicians around the country will be assessed according to the new GCSE syllabus. I wonder how their teachers will be getting ready for the new GCSE mathematics course and for the students, what lies in wait. In this blog I am going to show how I can help teachers prepare their students for this challenge.

Some of the changes include Foundation students being expected to solve problems involving simultaneous equations and use trigonometry in right-angled-triangles. Higher students are expected to work with geometric and recurrence sequences, inverse and composite functions and use differentiation to find an instantaneous rate of change.

Changes to the specification

Getting ready for the new GCSE Mathematics course

I do wonder how they’ll┬ácope with these challenges but I wonder more about how prepared their teachers and subject leaders are. The changes are massive, not just in content but in expectations and depth of understanding. With this curriculum there are new terms to learn to help us explore and identify the infinite connections within not just maths but also how the mathematics we teach can be applied across other subjects.

Check out the long term plans for the higher and foundation courses.


I believe we need a plan that is based on pedagogy and our experiences in the classroom. Not one which simply lists the learning objectives but structures and presents them in a way that reflects the beauty of our subject. Mathematics is a continuous subject, what is true in year 1 is essential to understanding what is true in year 11. I would like to share with you my topic based scheme of work for the new foundation and higher curricula. It is based solely on the concept of mathematics being taught in a way to create pace and challenge in every single lesson by addressing these key points.

  • What are the main learning points and key mathematical concepts of every topic?
  • What are likely to be the common misconceptions?
  • What vocabulary is needed to fully access and model the mathematical concepts accurately?
  • How can we support those who struggle and challenge the most able?
  • How can we link one topic to another and explore the links between the two?
  • How can we use our interactive whiteboards more effectively to teach conceptually not by rote?

Getting ready for the new GCSE Mathematics course

These schemes of work are designed to help teachers break down a topic into a series of lessons. The end of one lesson is recapped and built on at the start of the next so students see the progress they are making not at the end of term but in every single class. Learning objectives are differentiated for every lesson so teachers have the time to examine the materials without getting bogged down writing lesson plans or finding one activity for the less able and a different one for the gifted.

Getting ready for the new GCSE Mathematics course

It is not my intention here to write an advertisement for the products I sell but to share my resources and expertise with the rest of the world. The schemes of work themselves are freely available and contain direct links to lots of interactive Geogebra resources as well as assessment demonstrations and proofs on YouTube. They can be copied and freely edited to suit your needs. The paid for schemes simply contain all the teaching and learning materials listed in the resources section and are available by clicking the links.

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