New Higher Tier GCSE Content Courses

In the light of GCSE reforms, there is new content at the Higher Tier which may be less familiar to many teachers. Additionally, one of the over-arching aims of the new curriculum is to increase the challenge to students by incorporating more problem-solving into examination questions. These courses have been developed as part of the FMSP Extension and Enrichment programme to support teachers in developing a deeper understanding of mathematics topics which will improve progression to ‘A’ level as well as attainment at GCSE.

Two new courses were created to support teachers with these topics; one course focuses on developing reasoning and proof and the other explores functions and graphs. Following the popularity of the courses in 2016 and 2017, we are now offering the Functions and Graphs course in Summer 2018.

Who the course is for?

These courses are for anyone teaching Higher Tier GCSE mathematics to KS4 pupils in a state-funded school, college or academy. Ideally, participants will be in a position to share resources and ideas with their departmental colleagues and to help facilitate this, two teachers from each school may attend. We also welcome applications from those returning to GCSE teaching who are registered with the NCTL.


The courses are offered free of charge to those teaching KS4 pupils in state-funded schools, colleges and academies. A bursary of £150 is available to teachers attending from schools in Opportunity Areas.

Functions and graphs in the new Higher Tier GCSE

This one day course will focus on the new and other 'top end' Higher Tier GCSE content related to functions and graphs. Participants will have the opportunity to try out a range of free resources and consider the associated pedagogy. Throughout the day there will be an emphasis on making connections and developing understanding. We will look at building strong foundations that pupils can build upon at 'A' level, should they choose this route, but that will also enable them to attain high grades at GCSE.


  • Consider ways of developing a deep understanding of functions and graphs in the new Higher Tier GCSE.
  • Become familiar with a range of free resources and develop strategies to teach this content.
  • Consider how best to prepare pupils for the new Higher Tier GCSE questions related to functions and graphs.
  • A brief look at how these topics develop at A level.


Applications for these courses are now open and early booking is advised.
Please submit an online application if you wish to apply for a place on this course.

Developing reasoning and proof at Higher Tier GCSE

This one day course will immerse teachers in reasoning, justification and proof and will encourage them to think about ways of embedding it into everyday classroom teaching through the activities they select and the questions they pose. A wide range of mathematical content through which reasoning can occur will be explored and corresponding sample GCSE examination questions considered as and when relevant. Some key questions we will also consider are: "What do we accept as proof?" and "How do pupils develop their understanding of proof?" Expect lively discussions and stimulating debate throughout!


  • Consider the development of reasoning, justification and proof, focusing on Higher Tier GCSE content, but also look at the wider locus of development.
  • Familiarise teachers with a range of free resources and develop strategies to teach this content.
  • Consider how to prepare pupils for the new Higher Tier GCSE questions related to reasoning, justification and proof.
  • A brief look at how these topics develop at A level.

While we are not running this course in Summer 2018, we are planning courses which incorporate these areas and they will run in the Autumn and Spring terms.

Higher Tier GCSE Course

These courses are organised locally, please check the events pages for details of those running near you. If you are interested in organising one of these courses for your school and other local schools then contact your Area Coordinator who can put you in contact with a local course leader. Sessions can be offered as a one-day course or as a series of twilight session.


  • To enable teachers to develop strategies to teach some of the new Higher Tier GCSE content.
  • To familiarise teachers with a range of free resources which are relevant to these new topics.
  • To consider how to prepare students for revised GCSE examination questions.

The course day has several elements to it. We will have a brief look at curriculum changes and the revised style of examination questions and then spend a little time exploring problem solving and considering how to support students in developing their skills. The rest of the day is devoted to looking at approaches to teaching some of the new content, looking at relevant resources and related sample examination questions. Topics covered will include: turning points of quadratics, finding the equation of a tangent to a circle, kinematics, gradient of and area under a graph, Venn diagrams, Frequency trees, and proof.

Who is the course for?

It is relevant for any teacher who wishes to develop their Key Stage 4 teaching, whether they are in the first years of their career or have longer experience. Ideally, teachers will also be in a position to disseminate the materials more widely within their departments, but this is not a requirement of attendance.

If you have any further questions please e-mail [email protected]


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