The National Curriculum requires the children to know their times table facts up to 12 x 12 by the end of year 4.
As multiplication is a commutative operation (meaning it can be done in any order and the answer will be the same), the children can actually learn half the facts but know all of them, as long as they understand, for example, that 2 x 4 = 8 but also that 4 x 2 = 8. The document below shows which facts need to be learnt, and by the end of which year group, for a child to reach the 'Age Related Expectation'.
Times Table Belts
To help children achieve this, Manor Field Junior School has a 'Times Table Belt' Challenge, which all pupils participate in.
In order, from easiest to hardest, the times table belts are: White, Yellow, Orange, Green, Blue and Black. Each belt tests a different times table and the children are required to recall the facts as both multiplication and division facts.
If the child achieves a belt, they receive a certificate, which is presented to them in whole school Merit Assembly on a Friday. When a pupil achieves a black belt, they receive a black 'badge', that they can wear on their uniform to show everyone they are a times table champion.
Ultimately, the children are challenged to 'beat the Head teacher' and, once they have done so, are rewarded with a badge for all to admire!
To improve your child's knowledge and help them achieve their belts, it is helpful if they can practise at home. To help them do this, below are copies of the different belt tests. The questions are the same as the ones used in school but they are in a different order so that the children have to learn the facts, rather than learn what numbers come in what order.
Times table practice sheets are also available from your child's class teacher.
Doodle Maths is a carefully sequenced programme which contains daily times tables practice activities. Every child in the school has a personal login and password for the Doodle Maths website; please contact the school office if you require these.
Each week concentrates on a different times table, with a recommended consolidation week for rehearsing the tables that have recently been practised every third week or so. This format has very successfully boosted times tables recall speed.
An alternative way of encouraging your child to learn their times tables is to use a times tables/multiplication square. Children can be encouraged to see how quickly they can fill out the whole square, or sections of it, with the correct multiplication fact.
Below are several times table squares, including a complete one, that may be of use.
Times Table Square - Mixed Up