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Mastery in GCSE Maths: should we teach fewer topics in greater depth?

Principal focus of the project

This project investigated how a slimmed down curriculum that focussed on mastery could improve the classroom attitudes and performance of GCSE Maths resit students.

What is this about and what were the main findings?

John Cooper’s 'The Essential 8' was used to select the topics that would be the most relevant or award the most marks in the GCSE resit examination. Questions on each of these were given to vocational students from 3 subject areas - every lesson over a 10 week period - and their results recorded on a tracker sheet.

Number of participants who worked with the project
Name(s) of authors

Harriet Griffey

Name of associate programmes

Practitioner Research Programme


An ETF/sunCETT (2018-19) MA Short Course research report and poster exploring the impact of concentrating only on targeted Maths activties.