Under the national curriculum primary school children are expected to know their times tables up to 12 x 12 by the end of Year 4 so we have already been preparing students to know their times tables by the end of Year 4.
Why do we learn the times tables? In primary school, times tables knowledge is vital for quick mental maths calculations and problem solving, as well as for many of the other topics in maths that children learn in years 4, 5 and 6 (division, fractions, percentages).
The check itself:
- will take place in school in the summer term in June.
- is done online using a computer or tablet.
- will take no longer than 5 minutes.
- will feature 25 questions and children will have 6 seconds to input their answer to each question.
- There’s no problem solving or division just simple “3 x 4 = ?” type questions
We do not want our children to be worried or stressed about the check. The Government has called it a ‘check’ rather than a ‘test’ or ‘exam’ for a reason. We will endeavour not to draw students’ attention to the check unnecessarily. Please be supportive of this approach. We view this ‘check’ as a fantastic opportunity for our children to demonstrate their amazing times table knowledge.
Practise in school: We are currently working hard on learning our times tables in school through daily practise, counting and chanting of specific tables along with weekly sound checks on TT Rockstars.
Practise at Home: Because maths is such a big subject, and we will of course continue to teach the full curriculum, we will need your continued support to help practise the times tables with your children.
The easiest way is for your child to regularly practise is on TT Rockstars. This is an online application that children are used to using in school. Your child will have their own log in details for this. Any questions about this, please contact your child’s class teacher. Each child will be either set specific tables by their teacher or on the automatic training mode which will move them on a level if they answer questions at a rate of 3 seconds per correct answer.
There are lots of different modes on TT Rockstars which can be seen above.
Garage is the mode where children can practise their specific tables set which is what we would recommend. This may include division facts for the specific timetables as it is important for children to understand the inverse. E.g 4 x 8 = 32 so 32 ÷ 4 = 8.
Sound check mode is there to provide a similar experience to what the multiplication check will look like. Here your child will get 6 seconds to answer any multiplication fact up to 12 x 12.
While there are multiple engaging options to practise timetables using technology, there is still a lot of benefit in simple recall questions such as “What’s 7 x 8?”. Equally, reciting times tables by rote (4 times 1 is 4, 4 times 2 is 8, etc) can be helpful. As with all practise, little and often is the best way to ensure children stay engaged.