You may have read recently about government plans to introduce a times tables assessment for children in Year 4 – the ‘check’ will be compulsory in 2020. The cost of this new test is estimated to exceed £5.2million. Whether you think the new test to be necessary or useful, it goes without saying that children knowing their times tables can really help not only in Maths lessons but in everyday life.
We’ve been carrying out our own assessment of our pupils’ times tables recall for some time now, in the form of a short test of 25 questions each term. Pupils have recently done the Spring test – with great results!
By the end of Year 4, children are expected to be able to recall all multiplication and division facts up to 12 x 12 and our test checked 25 random facts.
Children scored an average of 20.7 out of 25 with 68% of children getting 20+ questions correct. Last year, the same children scored only 13.3 as a class average, with only 20% reaching 20 or more. And we’ve still got one more term to improve further!
Our Year 5 children scored an average of 23.6 out of 25 and 91% got 20+ questions correct. This is a significant improvement on their performance in a similar test at the end of Year 4, when the average score was 17.7 and only 45% had a score of 20 or more.
As you might expect, our Year 6 children did even better. The average score in the recent test was 24.3 out of 25 and 95% of children scored 20 or more in the test – a really impressive result.
We’ll need to work harder to ensure our Year 4 children in 2020 are fully prepared for the times table assessment that is planned. However, it’s reassuring to know that our children in Year 5 and Year 6 keep improving their performance.
This spreadsheet can help your child test themselves – but before they do, practise together:
- count in things that link, like 2p coins for x2 and 5p coins for x5, and 4 wheels on a car so 4 wheels (1 car), 8 wheels (2 cars), 12 wheels (three cars) etc
- count forwards, backwards in 3s, 4s or whatever
- look for patterns in the times tables (like the digits all add up to 9 when you multiply by 9)