Teaching GCSE Higher Tier Maths

Developing Effective Learner Engagement Strategies

To progress in their chosen careers or higher education many students will need to achieve GCSE Mathematics at grade B, equivalent or better. Many students that missed their desired grades during secondary education will expect Further Education providers to provide different approaches to learning; ones that help them contextualise and understand the concepts better and in doing so help them to succeed.

The pressure on Further Education providers to support learners working towards lower grades can lead to a stagnation of support for those teaching learners on higher tier programmes. This one-day workshop provides and raft of ideas, approaches and strategies to help those teaching higher tier mathematics make their delivery more interesting, relevant and effective.

For Whom
This workshop is for all teachers, trainers, tutors and learning support staff who are looking to for more effective ways to teach higher tier mathematics within Further Education.

This workshop is also of benefit to those teaching GCSE mathematics within secondary education.

Those working with students on lower tier programmes are also likely to gain knowledge on range useful ideas and approaches that can be adapted to meet their individual students’ needs.

Aims and Objectives
This one-day workshop explores the Learner Engagement Strategies that have proved effective within GCSE Higher Tier Mathematics delivery. Participants improve their knowledge and understanding of

  • The effective use of mathematics starter activities
  • The importance of and how to achieve active learning and engaged learners
  • Strategies that facilitate improve active learning and learner engagement
  • A range of active and effective learning activities and resources that support higher tier GCSE Mathematics sessions


1. Higher Tier Mathematics and the new standards

  • Focus on assessment and the learner journey
  • The differences between Foundation and Higher tier Mathematics
  • Supporting learners to achieve Higher Tier Mathematics with a D grade at Foundation
  • Revisit the Malcolm Swann effective Principles for teaching Mathematics
  • The Professional standards

2. Common Misconceptions in Mathematics

  • Sharing strategies to develop these skills with learners
  • Reviewing Higher Tier GCSE questions

3. Active Learning and engagement in Mathematics

  • What is active learning and how can we us it to engage higher Tier Learners
  • How can we effective use of Maths starters at Higher Tier
  • Sharing, extending and differentiating at Higher Tiers

4. Focus on Higher Tier GCSE Mathematics skills development
This session explores a carousel of activities within an overall focus of:

  • Evaluating the activities in terms of approach and application
  • Sharing differentiation ideas
  • How to use and adapt the resources when working with learners
  • Topics and activities cover a broad range of mathematical concepts


  • Handling Data: questionnaires, frequency diagrams, normal distribution
  • Numbers: standard form, powers, surds, sequences
  • Space: sine and cosine rules, co-ordinates and bearings
  • Algebra: indices, quadratics, simultaneous equations

5. Working together to develop engaging activities to support Higher Tier Learners

  • Focus on working with peers to create resources
  • Sharing of good activities and resources
  • Maths top tips

6.Self-reflection and personal development action planning

  • Sharing good practice beyond this session
  • Next steps and Close