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Teaching of Times Tables

A study published by Ofsted, says pupils without instant recall of multiplication tables struggle at maths. Nick Gibb, the schools minister, said, “It is vital that all children can grasp and master arithmetic while they are still at primary school. If we fail children at this early stage, the risk is they will never catch up. It is important that pupils are fluent in calculation and have learnt the multiplication tables by heart before they leave primary school.”Lack of fluency with multiplication tables is a significant impediment to fluency with multiplication and division,” the report said. “Many low-attaining secondary pupils struggle with instant recall of tables."

National Curriculum Aims:

Aims to ensure that all pupils:

  1. Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that they cans develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
  2. Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
  3. Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and nonroutine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions

Progressive teaching of multiplication

Children will begin learning their multiplication tables in numeracy in Year 2.

  • In Year 2 children will learn to count in 2s, 5s and 10s.
  • In Year 3, children will add their 3s, 4s and 8s, times tables.
  • In Year 4 students will be expected to know their times tables through to 12×12, ready for the Year 4 Multiplication Times tables Check (MTC)
MTC progression


At Key Stage 2, children are expected to be confident with their multiplication facts and they will move onto more complex calculations, multiplying two-digit and three-digit numbers and can apply their knowledge to other areas of Maths taught in the Upper Key Stage 2 curriculum. The table below provide an overview of units of work within our Maths scheme which require pupils to apply their multipication knowledge. 


Multiplication Timetable Check (MTC)

The Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) is a Key Stage 2 assessment to be taken by pupils at the end of Year 4, from the 2019 / 2020 academic year onwards. The purpose of the MTC is to make sure the times tables knowledge is at the expected level.

The MTC is an online test were the pupils are asked 25 questions on times tables 2 to 12. For every question you have 6 seconds to answer and in between the questions there is a 3 second rest. Questions about the 6, 7, 8, 9, and 12 times table come up more often. The questions are generated randomly based on the rules of the MTC.

At school, we will continue to practise and apply multiplication tables in class, this includes providing pupils with the opportunity to practise their test technique in preparation for the assessment at the end of Year 4.

More information can be found in our 'MTC Check infomration and strategies' presentation for parents by clicking on the hyperlink or the document below.  

Please click here for a game that will support your child at home. The style of this game is very similar to the online test children will sit in June. 

Useful Apps

  • Multiplication Pairs (Jamtec)
  • Multiply Wiz (Rocket Studio)
  • Ace Kids Math Word Problem
  • My Times Tables (Who Made This)
  • Fun Times Tables 2 x 2 = 4
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