Developing process skills within the maths curriculum

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Dawson, Christine
Wears, Vanessa
Issue Date
Educational Level
ISCED Level 3 Upper secondary education
Curriculum Area
Geographical Setting
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Background: The purpose of the study was to analyze the reasons for a decrease in GCSE results in mathematics and develop strategies to improve the results for the following year.

Aims: The main aim of this development work was to improve GCSE results in mathematics by teaching students strategies to solve more open ended questions.

Methods: The participants included a middle leader, senior leadership team, subject leader, teacher, external agency, local authority staff, and senior management. They provided support through review, action planning, staff development, monitoring, and evaluating. The methods used included department training, team teaching, questionnaires, lesson observation, learning walks, and pupil work scrutiny to help pupils develop problem-solving skills and improve GCSE results.

Findings: The main findings of this case study are that regular review meetings with a strategic steering group, AQA exam board question level analysis, and the use of starter activities, "create a question" and problem solving using a graphic organiser have had a positive impact on pupil learning, teaching, and school organisation and leadership.

Implications: The findings of this case study suggest that teaching strategies such as starter activities, "create a question" and problem solving using a graphic organiser can help students to better understand and answer process type questions. This can lead to improved GCSE results and increased confidence in tackling open-ended questions.
Keywords (free text)
Secondary education , Mathematics
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