The challenge | The new Mathematics GCSE had an increased focus on solving problems in unfamiliar contexts. At Foundation level this amounted to 25% of marks and it was 30% of the Higher tier.

The method 

  • Booklets on Number, Algebra and Geometry were produced and resources made using the NRICH website
  • A termly Maths challenge with prizes became embedded into the curriculum
  • The number of lessons dedicated to problem-solving increased
  • Assessments at Key Stage 3 were made more challenging in line with the demands of the new GCSE
  • An inter-house problem-solving competition was created and included a teamwork round, cross numbers and a relay round involving students gathering information from around the school

The Impact | The predicted grades for 2019, for the cohort which had the focus on problem solving for three years, indicated an encouraging increase in performance. The final student survey showed that 74% felt their problem solving had improved. Over 75% of students had attempted the “Problem of the week”. The inter-house Maths competition helped to strengthen the team entered for the UKMT Team Challenge.

Contact | Gary Knight