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Course length: One term, weekly sessions

SKL | Higher GCSE topics through mathematical thinking is a live online professional development course in our Subject Knowledge Live suite: the synchronous sessions will concentrate on the modelling of subject knowledge delivery including the use of technology. 

We will focus on supporting teachers who are developing their students' mathematical thinking skills, particularly as they introduce higher tier topics that are vital for students who may go on to study Core Maths, AS/A level Mathematics or Further Mathematics.

The course develops strategies and ideas for taking a piece of mathematics and extending it, exploring the connections which deepen understanding and develop fluency, and which can be used immediately in the classroom. There will be opportunities to consider how these concepts and resources could be embedded in professional practice and contribute towards the ambition and intent of the department's curriculum.

Course features:

  • Eight online sessions, approximately weekly, each up to 90 minutes long
  • A year of access to resources and recordings of the live sessions


  • To explore strategies for developing reasoning within a selection of higher maths topics
  • To model structures to support your students in using reasoning within problem solving
  • To exemplify the use of reasoning to develop communication and problem solving skills

Who will benefit from attending?

Teachers who wish to improve their teaching of GCSE maths and/or the skills of their students, especially those hoping to raise student aspiration to study Maths beyond GCSE.

Teachers who have previously participated in our Raising Confidence or Effective teaching courses can attend this course without overlap. It is most appropriate for teachers of Higher tier GCSE students. 

For details of other courses you may find suitable, please see:


  • Sequences
  • Fundamentals of algebra
  • Rearranging formulae
  • Linear equations, graphs and rates of change
  • Quadratic equations, graphs and completing the square
  • Proof (algebraic and geometric)
  • Confidence with fractions and algebraic fractions
  • Trigonometry and the unit circle

Materials and equipment

You will need access to a good internet connection, using Chrome or Firefox as a browser. You will need a headset with a microphone to engage with the live sessions and most courses also require a means of sharing handwritten maths, such as a mini-whiteboard and webcam, a visualiser or a graphics tablet. Full details of how to set these up can be found on our online classroom support page


All teachers are eligible for this course, however free places are available only to teachers in state-funded schools, colleges and academies in England. Applications for free places will be checked to verify eligibility.

Teachers must ensure that they are able to attend the live sessions before applying for a place as our courses are subject to very high demand: please do not apply for a place if you will not be able to attend at least 75% of sessions. Further instances of our courses will be added to meet demand; if you are not able to attend 75% of the sessions in this course, you might like to consider completing our register of interest form (this is NOT an application form) and letting us know when would be better for you.


This course is free of charge to teachers working in state-funded schools, colleges and academies in England, otherwise the fee is £195.

Study schedule

DateSession content
Tue 26 SepSequences
Tue 03 OctFundamentals of algebra
Tue 10 OctRearranging formulas
Tue 17 OctLinear equations, graphs and rates of change
Tue 31 OctQuadratic equations, graphs and completing the square
Tue 07 NovProof (algebraic and geometric)
Tue 14 NovConfidence with fractions and algebraic fractions
Tue 21 NovTrigonometry and the unit circle

This programme may be subject to change.


I am a trainee teacher, can I join this course? Will there be a fee?

Trainee teachers are eligibile to join all our Subject Knowledge Live courses, although this will be at the standard fee. If you have already secured a role in a state funded school/college in England, or are undertaking a placement in such a school, and the school is happy to be stated on your application, then you can join the course free of charge.

I can't make the time or the day that this course is being offered, is there an alternative? Can I access the course via recordings only?

Subject Knowledge Live courses run in seasons and this course will be available again next term. We will also add additional instances of a course if there in sufficient demand in the current season. Please complete the register of interest form giving details of your needs and this will be taken into account in our planning. We will then contact you as soon as a suitable course becomes available.

These courses are designed specifically for synchronous study and we feel strongly that live attendance, where you can interact with the tutor and other participants, is necessary to get the best experience of the course. We would recommend therefore that you seek alternative professional development which fits with your situation.

If, however, this is the only opportunity available, we will accept recordings-only participation. We would appreciate it if you would make it clear on your application that this is what you require as the viability of our courses depends on live participation numbers.

Please note that if you do not attend the live sessions, you will not qualify for a course certificate and any fees due will remain unchanged.

Will this course include ideas for teaching the content as well as subject knowledge?

This course will take a peer-to-peer approach: we will be delivering subject knowledge whilst modelling recommended pedagogies. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on the practices demonstrated as well as their own teaching approaches to the content. If you require even greater focus on pedagogy, we recommend our extended professional development programmes

Will this course cover all of the topics in my specification?

This course covers a majority of the topics in each of the major specifications for the relevant course but should not be considered comprehensive. We will ensure a focus on those parts of the content which we feel teachers would find most useful: this will mean that some topics are touched on only lightly to allow more depth of work in the key areas.

Key facts

  • Reference:#11639
  • Audience:Teachers
  • Curriculum focus:11-16 Maths
  • Mathematical focus:Problem solving, Reasoning, Use of technology
  • Format:Online
  • Duration:12 hours
  • Online sessions:8
  • Region:National
  • Start date:26 Sep 2023
  • Fee:Free for state-funded schools; £195 otherwise


If you have any queries about this event, please do not hesitate to contact:

SKL Team
[email protected]

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