From June 2016 the Department for Education (DfE) announced a new assessment for Year 4 children called the “Multiplication Tables Check” (MTC).
The National Curriculum expectation is that by the end of Year 4, all pupils will be able to fluently recall their times tables up to 12, which is essential knowledge for children to further develop their mathematical fluency and enable them to reason more deeply as they do not have to process recalling number facts if these are secure. Times tables knowledge links to a wide breadth of the maths curriculum, including multiplication, division, fractions and problem solving. The purpose of the MTC is to determine whether pupils can recall their times tables fluently, which is essential for future success in mathematics. It will help schools to identify pupils who have not yet mastered their times tables so that additional support can be provided.
Our curriculum is designed to support all pupils to develop a secure understanding of these facts by the end of Year 4. This is developed throughout maths lessons, as well as separate times tables teaching and the use of the times tables scheme. Times Tables Rock Stars is also a platform that children have enjoyed to practise these number facts.
What will the assessment look like?
The MTC is an online assessment. At Hook Junior School, children will use the school iPads to carry out their check on an individual basis. Children will be presented with questions, one after the other, in the form:
N1 x N2 = A, e.g. 7 x 8 = __
There are no questions which will apply their knowledge of the inverse in this check.
There are 25 questions in total. The children get 6 seconds to type in their answer; there is then a 3 second pause before the next question. The test should take no longer than 5 minutes. There will be no questions from the 1x table. The test will have an emphasis on the 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12x tables, as these are judged to be the times tables more appropriate to Key Stage Two.
How and when will the MTC be carried out?
Schools will have a 2-week check window in June to administer the MTC (a specified window will be provided to schools in March). Teachers will have the flexibility to administer the check to individual pupils, small groups or a whole class at the same time. At Hook Junior School, this will be carried out with children on their own iPad, working individually in a quiet space with a familiar adult to offer encouragement.
Can the MTC be adapted for children who may need extra support?
Children cannot be given extra time to complete the test. However, changes can be made which may help some pupils, such as altering the colour contrast and increasing the font size. Class teachers will allow all pupils to trial the check and will consider appropriate arrangements for each pupil on an individual basis to ensure that all children have appropriate arrangements to access this. Your child’s class teacher will be in contact if they are applying access arrangements for your child prior to June. If you feel that your child may benefit from these adaptions and you have not had a conversation regarding this, please discuss this with their class teacher.
Can pupils practise the MTC before June?
In school, we will be able practise the MTC in a ‘try it out’ area. Details of administration guidance will be given before the practice period begins. This will give us an opportunity to review the access arrangements and ensure that pupils are familiar with the check.
There is no expectation for children to do lots of extra work at home for the MTC. However, as always, we encourage parents to practise times tables with children at home, in line with their home learning focusing on their weekly times tables and through the use of Times Table Rock Stars. There are also a variety of resources available online. We have included some additional links below.
How will the results be reported?
The results are intended for school leaders and teachers so that we can compare our performance to those locally and nationally and identify any areas for improvement. The school will use this information to inform teaching and learning and as a further opportunity to assess pupils against the National Curriculum expectation for pupils to be able to fluently recall their times table facts by the end of Year 4. Using this data, we can also offer additional support where appropriate for individuals. You will also receive your child’s score out of 25 as part of their end of year school report.
If you have any queries about the MTC, please do not hesitate to contact me or your child’s class teacher via the school office or on Seesaw.
PDF leaflet from the Standards and Testing Agency outlining more detailed information regarding the multiplication tables check.
The Standards and Testing Agency
Multiplication tables check - information for schools