New times-tables tests for primary school children

Posted: 04/01/2016

The DfE plans to introduce a new computer based test for 11 year olds. MEI believes it is important for everyone to be confident with numbers, so that they can calculate and estimate quickly and confidently in everyday life and work. Rapid recall of times-tables supports this and developing fluency with times-tables and other key number facts at primary school means pupils and teachers can take that knowledge for granted and build from it in secondary school. However, there is much more to learning maths than times-tables. It is important that the tests do not result in too much emphasis being placed on learning tables at primary school, at the expense of building a sound foundation of mathematical understanding. It is also crucial not to make maths seem to be all about tests, rather than being a fascinating and useful subject that is enjoyable to learn and understand.

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