Confidence and Accessibility

Number fact knowledge, both times tables and number bonds, is critical for speedy calculation and forms the bedrock of mathematical mental agility and ability. Success in maths drives confidence and allows pupils to access greater parts of the curriculum - it is essential for academic achievement and forms the foundation for key life skills. Numerical ability consequently shapes future life chances.


National Curriculum

With the 2014 National Curriculum times tables have become a central tenet of knowledge to build mathematical skills upon. Specifically:

Year 2: 2s, 5s and 10s (and fluent number bonds to 20)
Year 3: 3s, 4s and 8s
Year 4: 6s, 7s, 9s, 11s, 12s

So all Year 4s (age 9) should have memorised up to their 12 times tables.


Spaced Repetition

There is no secret to memorisation - it's what psychologists call spaced repetition. Or just lots of practise at regular intervals. Don't take our word for it - the work of Ebbinghaus 130 years ago clearly showed the success of repeat to remember.

Teachering methods such as chanting, whiteboards and metre rules exploit this. And the more meaningful practise you get, the more effective the memorisation.


SOLUTION

  1. PRACTISE: humungous amounts of it, and easily and rapidly accessible.

  2. FEEDBACK: digestable so teachers can identify gaps in knowledge and make targeted intervention.


Why is 48 the answer? Read more