The new National Curriculum states that:
“Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.”
Following the introduction of the new National Curriculum in 2014 the emphasis has been to ensure that all children:
- Become FLUENT
- REASON and EXPLAIN mathematically
- Can SOLVE PROBLEMS
This means that children need to be regularly exposed to opportunities involving increasingly complex problem solving which allows them to apply their Maths knowledge. In doing so they should be encouraged to develop an argument and line of enquiry which they can prove and justify using mathematical vocabulary. This includes the ability to break down problems, both routine and non-routine, into a series of steps.
Gateway is rolling out Power Maths across the school. We are currently using it from Reception to Year 4. Year 5 and Year 6 remain on Abacus for the meantime.
We want to teach Maths in a way that enables:
· Coherence in learning
· Use of mathematical thinking and reasoning
· Fluency in recalling number facts or mathematical concepts
· Use of a range of representations and structures
· Progression through variation
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The EYFS Statutory Framework 2014 sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to five years old and supports an integrated approach to early learning. This is supported by the ‘Development matters’ non-statutory guidance.
The EYFS Framework in relation to mathematics aims for our pupils to:
- develop and improve their skills in counting
- understand and use numbers
- calculate simple addition and subtraction problems
- describe shapes, spaces, and measures
Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)
Key Stage 2 (Years 3 to 6)
Why are times tables so important?
Secure and confident knowledge of times tables is vital to children’s success in Maths. They are the building blocks of Maths and with multiplications mastered the doors to many other areas of Maths become unlocked!
Here are some ways which memorising times tables can benefit your child:
· Knowing their times tables will give your child confidence in their ability in Maths. We aim for all children to be able to mentally recall their times tables, moving away from counting on their fingers as they become more confident.
· Times tables can help your child to grasp other mathematical concepts, such as fractions, division, ratio and percentages to name a few. Children who do not know their times tables will not be able to access more complex procedures.
· If a child is confident with their times table skills, then this can reduce the cognitive load when learning a new method. An example of this is when learning the long multiplication method; if a child is already confident with their times tables then they can solely focus on the new skills with the method, e.g. where to carry numbers, when a place value holder is needed, estimating and checking that their answer is correct. This will not only help to ensure that their calculations are accurate, but speed up the process of learning a new method and also boost their confidence as they see that they have been successful.
Expectations for times tables for each year group:
Year 1: Count in multiples of 2, 5 and 10. Recall and use all doubles to 10 and corresponding halves.
Year 2: Recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 2, 5 and 10 multiplication tables, Including recognising odd and even numbers.
Year 3: Recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 3, 4 and 8 multiplication tables.
Year 4: Recall and use multiplication and division facts for multiplication tables up to 12x12.
Year 5: Revision of all times tables and division facts up to 12x12.
Year 6: Revision of all times tables and division facts up to 12x12.
What is the Year 4 Times Tables Test?
The Year 4 Times Tables Test, known by the government and schools as the Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check (MTC), is an annual check to see if Year 4 pupils in England and Wales have a good level of times tables knowledge. Primary-school children are expected to know all their times tables up to 12x12. Under the current National Curriculum, children are supposed to know their times tables by the end of Year 4.
Why has the test been put in place?
The DfE says that the check is part of a new focus on mastering numeracy, giving children the skills and knowledge they need for secondary school and beyond. The purpose of the MTC is to determine whether Y4 pupils can recall their multiplication tables fluently (being able to answer times tables questions accurately and quickly, without having to work out the answers).
Multiplication Tables Check: Information for Parents/Carers:
Multiplication Tables Check: Information Video:
What is the Year 4 times tables test format?
Children will take the test on a desktop computer or iPad at school. The times tables test will be timed, with the entire assessment lasting approximately 5 minutes in total. The children will be set a handful of practice questions to begin with. Following the practice questions, the test itself will comprise of 25 questions; children must answer each question within 6 seconds so the whole test will take less than 5 minutes.
How will the results be reported?
Pupils' individual results will be made available to schools, and the Department for Education will report national results to track how they change over time. Schools will be required to report the results to parents or carers.
What happens if my child does not score very highly on the test?
There is no "pass mark" (expected standard threshold) and no child will "fail" the test. Multiplication facts will be the only things tested (there will be no testing of children's knowledge of division facts or problem-solving in the check).
The DfE says the purpose of the check is to help teachers identify which children are falling behind and target areas where they’re not being given a chance to succeed.
How can I help my child:
Times tables are learnt best when learnt regularly and in short bursts. At Gateway, we use 'Times Tables Rock Stars' to help learn multiplication and division tables. This interactive tool is a fun way of learning times tables facts as well as being great fun! The children are able to play against their friends, teachers and battle other year groups!
The 'Sound Check' area of the website has been designed specifically in order to support the Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check.
Please click the 'Times Tables Rock Stars' link below to take you to the pupil login area: https://play.ttrockstars.com/auth/school
Some other useful websites for practising times tables are included below.
Hit the button! Hit the Button is an interactive maths game with quick fire questions
Times Table Mountain Select the table you wish to practise and then begin your ascent. If you manage to reach the top you can print out a certificate and view a report of your mistakes.
Number facts Challenge
In Years One and Two, in order to improve mathematical fluency, the children should learn addition facts to 20. Addition Facts for Years 1 and 2 shows you which facts should be learnt in each year.
Year One have already implemented a weekly Number Facts Addition Challenge which the children enjoy taking part in. We have seen a huge improvement in their number fact knowledge which in turn helps the children have a deeper understanding of numbers and the way they relate to each other.
Number Facts Addition Challenge is a practice challenge for you to carry out at home. Each time the children take the challenge they should try to beat their previous score. Once they can complete the challenge in under five minutes, they should try to beat their time. Have fun!
Progression in calculation policy
The following Progression in Calculation policy has been written to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 for the teaching and learning of Mathematics. It is designed to give a consistent and smooth progression of learning in calculations from EYFS through to Year 6.
Our children and staff took part in the NSPCC Number Day. We joined thousands of schools for a mega maths-inspired fundraising day to raise money for the NSPCC.
Whole School Maths Workshops - The Coding Box
Children in Reception through to Year 6 had the exciting opportunity to work in teams and solve a number of different challenges. They worked together to solve number of puzzles and play games which required problem solving and team work.
The children in Year 3 to Year 6 had to link together a series of clues to crack codes on various sealed box locks. They had a variety of challenges and had to escape before the clock counted down to zero, by cracking the code of the final lock. Well done to all pupils who collaborated and did not give up even when it was really challenging! Fun was had by all.
How Parents Can Help
We recognise the importance of times table knowledge in the development of mental strategies within children’s learning. To encourage these skills, we practise times tables daily and have a Key Stage 2 Times Tables Challenge every half term. Children compete to win a trophy and the winning class’s photograph is displayed in the Atrium.
There are many ways to help children at home with Maths. Try to make maths as much fun as possible - games, puzzles and jigsaws are a great way to start. Talk about Maths at home and place into real-life contexts:
- Take children shopping and talk about the quantities and cost of anything bought.
- Point out the different shapes and containers found around the home.
- Look together for numbers on street signs and car registration plates, notice patterns.
- Tell the time, look at timetables/calendars and discuss duration of different events.
Further Support And Useful Weblinks