New Multiplication Tests in Schools

New ‘against the clock’ Times Tables tests introduced in schools

 Times tables ‘to be tested by age 11’

Every pupil in England will be tested on their times tables before leaving primary school, under government plans

A classroom of children

Every pupil in England will be tested on their times tables before leaving primary school, under government plans.

Pupils aged 11 will be expected to know their tables up to 12×12, and will be tested using an “on-screen check”.

The checks will be piloted to about 3,000 pupils in 80 primary schools this summer, before being rolled out across the country in 2017.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said maths was a non-negotiable aspect of a good education.

The “on-screen check” examination will involve children completing multiplication challenges against the clock, which will be scored instantly.

The Department for Education says it is the first use of on-screen technology in National Curriculum tests.

Teacher scrutiny

Ms Morgan has also said teachers will be judged by the results of the tests: “Since 2010, we’ve seen record numbers of 11 year olds start secondary school with a good grasp of the three Rs. But some continue to struggle.

“That is why, as part of our commitment to extend opportunity and deliver educational excellence everywhere we are introducing a new check to ensure that all pupils know their times tables by age 11.

“They will help teachers recognise those pupils at risk of falling behind and allow us to target those areas where children aren’t being given a fair shot to succeed.”

In 2015, 80% of Year 6 pupils achieved Level 4 in maths, reading and writing, up from 78% last year.

But Labour says standards are being threatened by a shortage of teachers, and in the past some teaching unions have warned additional tests can place unwelcome pressure on teachers and pupils.

 

Source: BBC NEWS

Why Learn Multiplication?

Times Table is key to numeracy

What is 9×8?  …….   7×8?  ……. 12×12?

If you or your child struggle with instant recall of the multiplication table, then you are not alone. Millions of us struggle with numeracy:

17 million adults in England have numeracy skills at/below primary school level” (Gov.uk, 2011)

This article will examine research findings that show the key to numeracy is knowing the multiplication table off by heart (i.e. achieving instant recall of the times tables) and how dyslexia, dyscalculia and SEN children can effectively master this through kinaesthetic learning thanks to the ground-breaking work done by inTABS™ , an innovative publication company from Oxford.

 

Is numeracy important?

Surely, you can get by in life without numeracy just as easily?

Research shows that being innumerate or innumeracy, which is defined as ‘unfamiliar with mathematical concepts and methods; unable to use mathematics; not numerate’, has devastating outcomes for children in terms of general long-term social deprivation, poor education (more than twice as likely to be excluded & play truant), unemployment (more than twice as likely to be unemployed), crime (65% of prisoners have numeracy below primary school levels), poor health, higher mortality and mental health issues. In short, innumeracy is a critical factor in poverty and social inequality and the associated costs to UK economy are over £20billion per year (source: National Numeracy).

 

Root causes of innumeracy

It seems that we have to make sure we get the fundamentals right first and foremost and at an early age.

Research shows that the key to numeracy is mastery of the multiplication or times table given it is cardinal to progression in maths (for division, long multiplication, algebra, fractions, percentages etc.):

” Pupils without instant recall of multiplication tables struggle in maths”  (Ofsted, 2011)

“Many low-attaining secondary pupils struggle with instant recall of tables” (Ofsted, 2011)

In fact, the study by Ofsted, the schools watchdog found that many primary schools fail to teach the times tables properly (Ofsted, 2011).

All very worrying and may go some way to explaining why Britain has sunk to near bottom of the developed world for numeracy (OECD, 2013)

 

Change in education law

This is why the British Government have just declared a ‘War on Innumeracy’ with the new mandate:

“Every child in Britain will have to know their times tables off by heart by 11” (Department for Education, 2015)

Ahead of tough new testing on this starting 2016 in Primary schools using against-the-clock tests with strict accountability that no child leaves without knowing their tables off by heart.

Thus, knowing off by heart the multiplication table (i.e. achieving instant recall) is absolutely crucial and evidently the difference between maths success and failure.

 

What about children with Dyslexia / Dyscalculia?

Mastering the times table presents a bigger challenge for children who have dyslexia and/or dyscalculia (from Greek/Latin to mean ‘counting badly’) – why?

Firstly, deciphering numbers is subject to the same conditions as letters for dyslexics but the provision of coloured overlays is concentrated on literacy which means numbers are mostly overlooked although, arguably, numeracy has a more profound impact on outcomes.

Secondly, dyslexia and dyscalculia are overlapping conditions in the majority of cases (50-60% of dyslexics have dyscalculia) whilst others have dyscalculia alone.

Developmental Dyscalculia is defined by the APA (2013) as a ‘specific learning disorder that is characterised by impairments in learning basic arithmetic facts, processing numerical magnitude and performing accurate and fluent calculations’ with prevalence at c.5% but general “‘mathematical learning difficulties’…are very prevalent and often devastating in their impact on schooling, further and higher education and jobs. Prevalence in the UK is at least 25%.” (BDA.org).

Dyscalculia can itself overlap with ADHD / ADD (BDA.org).

Thus, what help is out there for these and other Special Education Needs (SEN) learners who don’t necessarily thrive from traditional rote learning classroom methods but learn best through kinaesthetic or interactive learning?

 

Innovative solution

inTABS™  have psychologically developed a “revolutionary” way for dyslexia, dyscalculia, SEN children to learn their times tables off by heart in a highly effective, fun and simple manner.

inTABS™ ( short for ‘interactive tables’) Multiplication book uses special dyslexia friendly font and colours – one of the first in the country to do so, whilst the kinaesthetic or multi-sensory element uses principles of Conditioning from Psychology: repeated interactions between equations and answers on the interactive book creates powerful associations for memory and recall.

inTABS™ objective is inclusion: “every child counts” in addressing educational inequality. Their book “brings learning to life“, empowering children of all differing abilities to master the times table quickly and effectively so that they don’t struggle or fall behind in numeracy and thereby ultimately improving their life prospects.

 

VIEW PRODUCT HERE

 

Watch 1 minute BBC video on how the Times Table is practical skill in the real world

 

Instant Recall of Multiplication vital

stamp instant recall 200x200

Primary schools which fail to teach times tables by heart are condemning children to a lifetime struggling with numbers, [Ofsted] inspectors have warned.” (Telegraph)

Why is instant recall of Multiplication vital?

Instant recall of times tables is KEY to maths (the building blocks for division, fractions, algebra, long multiplication, percentages etc) which is why the Government have issued the new mandate:

every child in Britain will have to know their times tables off by heart by 11“.

In fact, a report by Ofsted, the schools watchdog, found that:

pupils without instant recall of the multiplication table struggle in maths”.

Many low-attaining secondary pupils struggle with instant recall of tables“.

Lack of fluency with multiplication tables is a significant impediment to fluency with multiplication and division“.

It is really important that children have the tools of arithmetic at their finger tips.” “Without that it is like sending a plumber out to do a job without knowing how to use a spanner“. (Jean Humphrys, Ofsted’s education director)

Read Full article here

Empower your child     >     Ensure they don’t struggle in maths     >     Enjoy learning maths

 

 

Is Numeracy important?

What is the issue?

Low levels of numeracy are a long-term problem for the UK.

1. Numeracy skills have got worse, not better

Proportion of working age adults in England with skills levels equivalent to GCSE “C” grade or above

2. High numeracy is connected to better…

3. The UK risks becoming less competitive internationally

The scale and cost of the issue

The causal chain of poor numeracy

In the UK, socio-economic background influences a child’s achievement by 10% to 20%

30% wrongly assume that maths is a skill
you are born with, rather than a skill
that can be learnt

At school, children are often not prepared for using maths in everyday life

Of 15-16 year olds doing GCSE maths in the UK…

24% of 16-24 year olds achieving A*-C grade at GCSE reach the equivalent level in the Skills for Life assessment

1 in 4 adults in the UK believe school maths did not prepare them well for maths in everyday life

Among those aged 24+
numeracy skills decline with age

 But too few people take steps to improve their numeracy

 

Data sources:
Skills for Life 2011; PIAAC 2014; National Numeracy YouGov Survey 2014

Note:
When we say “low numeracy” we usually mean those below Level 2 on the UK adult qualifications scale.

Image credits:
Created by Christian Wad and Jack Curry from the Noun Project.

Article source: National Numeracy

 

Read full article here

Instant recall of the 12 times table is key to numeracy

Instant recall of the 12 times table is key to numeracy

The Telegraph - Millions of adults have maths skills of a nine year-old

What is 9×8?  …….   7×8?  ……. 12×12?

If you or your child struggles with instant recall of the multiplication table, then you are not alone. Millions of us struggle with numeracy:

“17 Million adults in England have numeracy skills at/below primary school level” (Gov.uk, 2011)

This article will examine research findings that show the key to numeracy is knowing the multiplication table off by heart (i.e. achieving instant recall of the times tables) and how dyslexia, dyscalculia and SEN children can effectively master this through kinaesthetic learning thanks to the ground-breaking work done by an Oxford University trained research psychologist.

 

Is numeracy important?

Surely, you can get by in life without numeracy just as easily?

Research shows that being innumerate or innumeracy, which is defined as ‘unfamiliar with mathematical concepts and methods; unable to use mathematics; not numerate’, has devastating outcomes for children in terms of general long-term social deprivation, poor education (more than twice as likely to be excluded & play truant), unemployment (more than twice as likely to be unemployed), crime (65% of prisoners have numeracy below primary school levels), poor health, higher mortality and mental health issues. In short, innumeracy is a critical factor in poverty and social inequality: the associated costs to UK economy are over £20 billion per year (source: National Numeracy).

 

Root causes of innumeracy

A9TK0R person doing basic maths on chalkboard

It seems that we have to make sure we get the fundamentals right first and foremost and at an early age.

Research shows that the key to numeracy is mastery of the multiplication or times table given it is cardinal to progression in maths (for division, long multiplication, algebra, fractions etc.):

“pupils without instant recall of multiplication tables struggle in maths” (Ofsted, 2011)

“Many low-attaining secondary pupils struggle with instant recall of tables”  (Ofsted, 2011)

In fact, the study by Ofsted, the schools watchdog found that many primary schools fail to teach the times tables properly (Ofsted, 2011).

All rather worrying and may go some way to explaining why Britain has sunk to near bottom of the developed world for numeracy (OECD, 2013)

 

Change in education law

BBC news - Nicky Morgan - All children in England will be expected to know up to their 12 times table when they leave primary school, the government has announced - War On Innumeracy

This is why the British Government have just declared a ‘War on Innumeracy’ with the new mandate:

“Every child in Britain will have to know their times tables off by heart by 11” ahead of tough new testing on this starting next year (Department for Education, 2015)

So knowing off by heart the multiplication table (i.e. achieving instant recall) is absolutely crucial and evidently the difference between maths success and failure.

 

What about children with Dyslexia / Dyscalculia?

Mastering the times table presents a bigger challenge for children who have dyslexia and/or dyscalculia (from Greek/Latin to mean ‘counting badly’) – why?

Firstly, deciphering numbers is subject to the same conditions as letters for dyslexics but the provision of coloured overlays is concentrated on literacy which means numbers are mostly overlooked although, arguably, numeracy has a more profound impact on outcomes.

Secondly, dyslexia and dyscalculia are overlapping conditions in the majority of cases (50-60% of dyslexics have dyscalculia) whilst others have dyscalculia alone.

Developmental Dyscalculia is defined by the APA (2013) as a ‘specific learning disorder that is characterised by impairments in learning basic arithmetic facts, processing numerical magnitude and performing accurate and fluent calculations’ with prevalence at c.5% but general “‘mathematical learning difficulties’…are very prevalent and often devastating in their impact on schooling, further and higher education and jobs. Prevalence in the UK is at least 25%.” (BDA.org).

Dyscalculia can itself overlap with ADHD / ADD (BDA.org).

Thus, what help is out there for these and other Special Education Needs (SEN) learners who don’t necessarily thrive from traditional rote learning classroom methods but learn best through kinaesthetic or interactive learning?

 

An innovative & complete solution

An innovative publication company from Oxford called inTABS™ have developed a “revolutionary” way for all children including SEN (dyslexia, dyscalculia, ADHD etc) to learn their times tables off by heart in a highly effective yet fun manner.

inTABS™  ( short for ‘interactive tables’) Multiplication book uses special dyslexia friendly font and colours (one of the first in the country to do so), whilst the kinaesthetic or multi-sensory element uses principles of conditioning from Psychology: repeated interactions between equations and answers on the interactive book creates powerful associations for memory and recall.

inTABS™ objective is inclusion: “every child counts” in addressing educational inequality. Their book “brings learning to life“, empowering children of all differing abilities to master the times table quickly and effectively so that they don’t struggle or fall behind in numeracy and thereby ultimately improving their life prospects.

 

Ensure  >  Empower >  Enjoy 

 

Government announces ‘War on Innumeracy’

“We will expect every pupil by the age of 11 to know their times tables off by heart” (DfE)

“Apparently head teachers will be sacked should any – yes, any – child fail the new test.”

Nicky Morgan announces 'war on illiteracy and innumeracy'

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan: “If we don’t get it right at primary, then it becomes much harder for children to catch up”

All children in England will be expected to know up to their 12 times table when they leave primary school, the government has announced.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said pupils aged 11 should also know correct punctuation, spelling and grammar.

Labour said the “surest way” to raise standards was to improve the quality of teaching in the classroom.

Mrs Morgan indicated the Conservatives would ring-fence most of the schools budget if they won May’s election.

‘Master the basics’

Under the Conservatives’ plans, pupils would not be made to re-sit planned new tests until they passed, but the school could be subject to measures if they failed.

A school that failed to get every pupil to pass the tests for two years running could be paired with an outstanding school to gain extra support. It could also become part of a teacher swap where heads of departments from good schools take over temporarily.

“We have to be ambitious for our young people. If you don’t get it right at primary, then it becomes much harder for children to catch up at secondary school,” Mrs Morgan told BBC 1’s Andrew Marr show.

Key Stage Two tests already include questions on times tables and long division but pupils are given an overall mark, not for individual sections.

Mrs Morgan plans to make times tables a separate section within the maths test.

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Analysis by political correspondent Robin Brant

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Nicky Morgan’s undertaking to protect school budgets raises the question of where the axe will fall

Promising to protect spending on schools in England is not a big surprise. The Tories had already pledged to increase it to £53bn this year, and the Lib Dems have already gone further, saying they’d extend it to two to 19-year-olds.

But Nicky Morgan’s nod on TV this morning leads to the inevitable question: where will the next round of cuts come, then? If school spending in England is protected, as well as the NHS and international aid, what will the Conservatives cut further to hit their deficit target?

The generals at the MoD will fear it will be them again – although the evidence on welfare suggests they may want to go further there too.

For the record, Labour has said it plans to get the deficit down “as soon as possible” in the next five years but it is yet to lay out its specific plans for education spending.

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In an article for the Sunday Times, Mrs Morgan wrote that she would “launch a war on illiteracy and innumeracy.”

“We will expect every pupil by the age of 11 to know their times tables off by heart, to perform long division and complex multiplication and to be able to read a novel,” she said.

“They should be able to write a short story with accurate punctuation, spelling and grammar.

“Some will say this is an old-fashioned view, but I say that giving every child the chance to master the basics and succeed in life is a fundamental duty of any government.”

In a wide-ranging interview, Mrs Morgan was asked about money and appeared to suggest the schools budget for pupils aged five to 16 would be ring-fenced.

“We’re going to have more to say on schools funding very shortly but what I can say is that I am absolutely fighting for the schools budget to be protected,” she said.

Liberal Democrat schools minister David Laws said no-one would take the Conservatives seriously until they committed to “protecting the education budget from cradle to college”.

‘Mistakes happen’

Mrs Morgan has set a new target for England to be the best in Europe, and among the top five countries in the world, for English and maths by 2020.

The latest Pisa league table, which ranks the test results of 15-year-olds from 65 countries, puts the UK at 26th for maths and 23rd for reading.

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt MP said Labour would reverse the rule change under David Cameron’s government which allowed unqualified teachers into the classroom on a permanent basis.

“This is how we improve the learning and life chances for all children and raise our international position in reading, writing and maths,” he said.

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Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said “our children are among the most tested in the world” and “we do not need more of the same”.

“Our schools need to be accountable, but the current system stifles creativity, leads to ‘teaching to the test’ and does not promote sustainable improvements in education,” she said.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) described the new tests as a “gimmick” during the election season.

“Apparently head teachers will be sacked should any – yes, any – child fail the new test. We are all for aiming high but, remember, this is a short test taken by a young child,” he said.

“Mistakes happen, children feel under the weather or have a bad evening beforehand. This does not mean that teachers are not working as hard as possible.”

On the Andrew Marr show, Mrs Morgan was asked about the Independent on Sunday’s lead story that former education secretary Michael Gove was still receiving paperwork from her department.

She dismissed the report as “complete nonsense” and said Mr Gove, who is now Commons chief whip, had been “nothing but supportive” since she took the job.

“The chief whip is of course going to see paperwork that goes for a number of departments… I know the chief whip has to be across all portfolio areas. But I am very much in charge of the education department,” she said.

(article source: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31079515)

 

HOW TO ENSURE YOUR CHILD KNOWS THEIR TABLES OFF BY HEART