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Reality Check


Ever have one of those moments when you wonder why something isn’t as publicised as you thought it would be?


Hands up; how many of you are parents with children attending formal primary school education? Now keep your hands up if you were aware of the ‘go ahead’ for the new times tables test which should be ‘hitting’ your children next year? I bet a few hands went down there!


Well. I’ve been blogging about it for a while so maybe if education is something you are concerned about its time to keep up to date with information which will ultimately affect you and your children.


This test has seeped through the cracks of the educational system unnoticed, like deadly smoke seeping under a closed bedroom door while you are sleeping. You are within it but have no idea of the effects, until it affects you! This test has the ability to check you and your children if you are not prepared.


Remember walking into an exam room when you were younger? The rows upon rows of eerily uncomfortable wooden seats? Desks so small it was hard to turn over two or more stapled together sheets of paper without having to do an abrasive maneuver to ensure it didn’t fall off the so-called ‘desk’?


Unprepared.Waiting for until the time when you can officially begin to show your teachers that you didn’t practice enough, you didn’t ‘get it’ or they simply didn’t cater to your learning style… Or was you a high flyer?Knew that you knew what you knew and knew that they knew too? If it’s the latter. Let’s hope your children followed in your footsteps and are rearing and ready to go with their times tables.


We first heard of the times tables test in 2015 when announced the possibility of it. It was then held back until now.


Did you know that England hasn’t had a standardised times tables test since 1944!

Let’s see how you get on with these:
Answer them as quickly as possible, no pen or paper ‘the tunes times tables way’!





How did you get on? Let’s hope you achieved five out of five? If not, one would wonder, how can you then go on to help your child/children with this newly implemented test if you’re not sure of your times tables yourself?


Missed practice sessions in the car on the school run, practice sessions just before bed, missed practice sessions just when those sessions are needed the most!


But that’s the thing, I would never look down on anyone for not achieving something as simple as times tables. Yes I’ve mastered them; it certainly took me longer than most. But I did, and that’s all that counts. It’s not the time the journey takes, it’s whether you have the determination and confidence to battle on through and get to the end that counts. The world is simply full of resources to enable us to all achieve what we want and need to achieve.


I am one of those resources. With my tunes times tables method I can teach children their times tables within hours. It’s a proven fact. No boring worksheets or reciting the same boring facts over and over again. Children don’t learn like that. Children learn through sensory play, movement, smiling, joy and laughter. Children remember experiences more the facts. So do we.


Close your eyes; think about your best math’s lesson back in the days in school, a lesson you’ve always remembered. Now look around, who do you see?What made you comfortable? What made you laugh? Who sat next to you throughout those lessons? I bet you can remember the experience, the smell, the ‘thing’ you did as opposed to the thing you learned?


This is the ‘tunes times tables’ method; no pens or paper. No confinement to desks. We’re laughing, jumping, hopping, shouting, singing, and moving in all kinds of direction. We’re making every moment and every movement count.


But I’m still yet to get a shout out; to be implemented into the curriculum. To be told ‘we know your method works; help them’!


Having written letters to parliament and having approached the House of Commons. Having received awards from the prince and acclaimed celebrities. Having worked so hard for the youngsters to show them… ‘If I can do it, you can too’. I’m shouting from the rooftops ‘I’m here to help’!




Not a whisper…


What do you call it when you know someone is there to assist but you prefer to struggle on anyway? Well this ‘struggle is at the detriment of your child, your niece, your next door neighbor’s children, your child’s classmates and the child with the attitude who lives next door but one.


Every child will suffer if the government and all those who know of my gift to teach times tables and all those who know that my method works. Who have seen it in practice, who have seen the parents, children, and head teachers recommendations yet sit idly by.


At times this is the issue we have as a society; we don’t want to help each other, we don’t want to pass on the message, we don’t want to share the information or news, we don’t want to pass on the skills or the useful advice.


Then the little ones suffer because we think we’ve changed things, but were just as stubborn as those before us, and so it goes on. We don’t really improve, we just alter the tests, alter the grading systems, put a pinch there and take out a pinch here and everything’s ok! While depression and so many mental conditions are on the rise… what a surprise!


Ultimately, when we are gone we leave behind a legacy. I ask one question. Did we seek and find the answers and help to build up or did we hide those hidden gems and die with them?


Look a little closer and you will see


We know the issue is there, it’s dormant, silently bubbling away underneath the surface. It will rear its ugly head sooner then we think…


Soon our children, your nieces, nephews, pupils ext. will be subject to yet another mandatory, standardised test! Yes, another one, one which has been put on hold for quite some time.


Until now our Government has been over obsessed with standardised test after test after test. They coolly subjugate our children to these tests time and time again with no evidence at all to support the fact that ‘tests’ actually help improve one’s learning, attainment or academic skills. As the Government proudly announce that our children are the most ‘tested’ children in the word! It is no hidden fact that Education in England has actually suffered by being driven by stringent accountability measures.


Children will soon look to their teachers and parents for help with their times tables more than they ever have before.


Times tables tests put on hold as new education secretary takes over


Did you know all of your times tables before you left primary school? Back to front, inside out?


I know many who didn’t and are suffering the consequences now. Been a parent myself I know what that moment feels like. When your child is sitting next to you; looking at you with fear in their eyes because they know they need the help but just don’t know who has the time, skills or availability to give them the help and assistance they so desperately want and need.


Whether its times tables, algebra, percentages or equations. I’m sure there’s been a point in time when you knew they had ‘that test’ coming up, and knew that, for those few days before the test they lived in fear, a fear of possible failure, doubt and anxiety.


Yes, we are referring to primary school children, not an adult preparing for a job interview or moving home. The fear is there, it’s real, and our children are suffering and will continue to suffer.


The general public know the stress is there, the teachers certainly do, and by no shadow of a doubt the Government are aware of it too.


The government bears responsibility for much of this stress which appears to stem from a test-focused, over-crowded curriculum,” said Ms Bousted


‘So what shall we do?’ The people cry out to the Government? ‘How shall we save our children from possible stress related mental illnesses in the future?’ we implore.


‘Hummm… let’s add another test’ The Government reply, ‘better yet, we’ll give little or no support to the little buggers and the overloaded teachers; they’ll handle it or simply resign. That’s what they do best humm’.


As the UK fall behind their counterparts in mathematics I look back and truly question, what have the Government done to help raise our children from the slums of 26th place in the OECD league tables? What miraculous incentives do you know of? What schemes of work and unbelievably successful programmes have you witnessed working in a primary school which you would like to share?


Since 2000 there have been many outside agencies offering their services to schools, colleges, universities and night schools to help deal with this terrifying ‘testing equals stress not results’ epidemic. As briefly mentioned above, this is not just something which is affecting our primary school children; as primary school children who did not learn and conquer their times tables go on to become secondary school children who also struggled. Subsequently the road becomes a rockier one as life goes on. With the pressures of a working life and possible family life, learning times tables becomes that ‘thing which you found difficult and never conquered’. Primary school children grow into adults, with families and ‘that thing they found difficult or never conquered’ is rearing its ugly head. As their youngest child stands there and waves a letter typed out to them from the teacher entitled: TIMES TABLES TEST NEXT WEEK: please help your children to practice.


You see, it’s no longer about the child in the class, it’s an epidemic because that struggling child turns into that parent who is forced to watch her child struggle just as she did. Do you see now?


Maths and science are the subjects parents find the hardest, leaving them embarrassed when they are unable to help, a study of 2,000 mothers and fathers found.


Read more


If there is an epidemic; which I assure you, there is, we need a clear cut strategy to even attempt to solve it right?


As mentioned above, there is now an entourage of professionals, who have worked tirelessly to help school teachers; developing methods, strategies and true works of art which are innovative and contemporary. Better still, most of these innovators were teachers who have noted issues throughout the system and would like to do their little bit to give something back. We have an education army willing and waiting for their opportunity.


I say to the Government, let’s begin to take the surrounding ice walls from around these schools and allow us to all help to move forward for the better. Let’s open our eyes to the ‘outstanding resources’ we have all around us and lets climb back to the top of that league table together.


Or we can wait; you implement test after test after test. And await the day when those children climb back over that surrounding ice wall themselves and snatch the help they need. Look closely and you can see it already, how many parents or careers do you know who already invest money in outside agencies to help support their children academically? How often do you recite your times table to ensure you know them fluently enough to encourage the next generation to learn there’s?


One in four parents pay tutors to coach their children. I myself have built and established my own times tables Saturday class which is regularly full to bursting point. Why?


I’m not saying I’m correct but the article stipulates that it’s down to overwhelming pressure to achieve higher scores in standardised tests. We want to ‘climb those league tables’. So I end on this, who should be footing the bill to ensure their child receives an education which will benefit them in the long run. An education that will support their dreams, hopes and aspirations? Who should foot the bill for a ‘worthy’, ‘stress free’ ‘supportive’ education system? Shouldn’t this be mandatory?



times tables, tunes times tables, maths, NK, education, school, classroom, teacher, children, DfE

Underpinning the principals

times tables, tunes times tables, maths, NK, education, school, classroom, teacher, children, DfE

Let’s face it; for most of us, Times Tables is a difficult subject that few have mastered.

If you do not understand the basics as a child, most likely you will never have a firm grasp of mathematicalprincipals as an adult.


Times tables is one of those topics which has the ability to switch a child off from learning or inspire them to want to and ultimately reach higher heights. Michael Green, professor of mathematics at Cambridge University, said most teachers failed to present the “glamorous” side of maths based subjects as classes often descended into “drudgery” and “boredom”.


We’ve all been there; sitting in a maths class daydreaming of our teacher breaking out into song and dance. The whole class, roaring with laughter. Sarah Jane giggling so hard she almost falls off her chair backwards. The classroom filled with an energy which lifted everyone’s spirits; so high Mrs. Thomas next door could feel it pulsating through the concrete walls!


But, no, back to reality… we’re in Mr.Smith’s classroom, learning the nine times tables by rote recitation for the third time this week!


The traditional method of teaching times tables in now out dated – and certainly not much fun to memorise or learn.


times tables, tunes times tables, maths, NK, education, school, classroom, teacher, children, DfE

Jo Boaler, a Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University in California takes a deep interest in the way times tables are taught in the UK. She states that “Research has pinpointed the onset of ‘maths anxiety’ around the age of eight,” she explains, “when they start doing times tables tests. They are all about speed and memory. If someone isn’t fast at doing them, they get the idea they aren’t good at maths and they lose confidence.”

That in its turn sends them on to secondary school with a view that “maths isn’t for them”.


This is one of the worst feelings in the world, to feel as if you have failed, to feel as if you are behind everyone else. This feeling of failure from ones so young is about to increase.


We know this is unacceptable.

We can do better.

We will do better.


Although not yet implemented, there are new times tablestests set to hit our school children very soon. Test which will solely monitor their ability to know and recall their times tables.


When the times tables tests were first announced by former education secretary Nicky Morgan in January, the DfE said the tests would be “rolled out across the country in 2017”.


There are many websites, blogs and online companies dedicated to help teach the times tables; just type ‘times tables help’ into Google and scroll through the countless pages.


Teachers, we know you are seekingnew, innovative ways to encourage your pupils to learn their times tables as quickly as possible. We understand you are seeking a method which not only teaches them but enables them to retain the information. I; and many others appreciate the great importance of times tables which can be applied throughout varied topics and potential subjects such as science, physical education and numerous others.


But, every child is different, and with a room brimming with thirty differing learning styles, attitudes, backgrounds, personalities and so much more one method of teaching times tables will not work for all. No matter how glossy and expensive the new programme may seem. You need innovation which does not come packaged in a CD rom with a web link and 30 (more) booklets for your pupils.


We need to wake up and shake up these children; they need to not only learn their times tables but be unbelievably blown away with a concept and method that they will make them ‘want to learn’.


Teaching is not an easy task; in fact it’s one of the most rewarding; but life consuming careers one can embark upon. Not all are cut out for teaching in mainstream education; but those that are; I’ve told so many face to face already. ‘We, as a community should be in awe and gratitude to you all; you are the ones who should be receiving a footballer’ssalary… you teach and educate the adults of tomorrow!’ Do you agree?


We’ve all heard the horror stories about teachers taking their own lives, lashing out at children in class and falling into depression.Simply through a lack of communication, direction from senior members of staff and lack of sleep. Yes; that one thing the human body simply cannot do without.


Have a read through this article; its sets an unbelievable sad scene.

Inspection pressure ‘drives teachers to suicide’ 


Techers, what is missing from your classroom?

Do your pupils enter with a beaming smile at the beginning of the day?

What could support you to enable you to accomplish your vision of ‘that classroom’?

What is it about mainstream education that now encouragesteachers to fixate upon tests scores instead of the enjoyment of teaching and learning?

It seems, we have forgotten that the word ‘children’ begins with ‘child’.


Child –

To be childish

To play

To be immature

To be of a childish nature


I’ve already taught times tables to 1000’s of children across the UK and abroad and have had the privilege to support hundreds of teachers; providing outstandingly superior times tables sessions to their pupils.

Upon receiving the pride of Britain award in 2013, the then Birmingham Lord Mayor Councilor, Mike Leddy commented on my unique method: “Teachers do their very best to provide the right ethos for learning and you have provided them with another valuable tool in their armoury.”


You can have a further read here:

Pride Of Britain’s Maths Maestro


The teachers say it, the head teachers agree. I’m the best kept secret when it comes to every aspect of time tables:



If this is so, then one would wonder why my innovative sessions are yet to beintegrated into the nation curriculum. Every few years it is updated and revised to ensure it is fit for purpose. My method is fit for purpose… I’m ready, why aren’t the government?


They know about me, they know what I can do, worst yet, they know my method works better than any previous method before! As years pass by I could have helped secure times tables into the minds of thousands more then I already have. One would wonder? What are they waiting for, who are they waiting for? Why are they waiting?




We’re 3 years behind!

Teacher, children, primary, times tables, maths, tunes times tables, schools , learning

Times tables, Times Tables Times Tables! There is now a massive emphasis on times tables throughout all schools in the United Kingdom! All children are to know all their times tables by the time they leave primary school. If you didn’t know, now you do!


I don’t think this is the easiest task in the world! Let me break it down for you…
In 2015 we (the UK) ranked 20th in the world for education. Not a great start, I know! Upon digging a little deeper into these educational findings, 15 year old UK pupils are already three years behind in mathematics compared to their peers in Shanghai. One would wonder how in the world this happened (forgive the pun).


There are forever ongoing debates about ‘the best way to teach children’…
‘Rote learning is more effective’ ‘No its not’ ‘Yes it is’ ‘The girls are ahead of the boys’ ‘We need to get the system right first’
As the issue is debated our children fall further and further behind their peers. Lets spend more time, effort and intellect to actually solve the dilemma!


But all is not lost my friends, I promise you that…
I’m know as NK, I don’t like to boast about it but I simply have a unique gift which I would like to share with the world. I know, we can raise our educational world ranking, but we need to utilise the skills which we all have. Each one teach one.


children, times tables, maths, tunes times tables, schools, primary

Tunes Times Tables is simply the quickest, fastest, easiest to learn and easiest to retain. I’ve proven I can help students from all walks of life.


Tunes Times Tables is a unique and creative way of quickly teaching both adults and children their times tables using song, rhythm, movement and catchy memorable lyrics… my method works! ‘Sounds great’ you say. ‘Lets get going’ you say.
Well if it was that easy believe me, we probably wouldn’t be facing as many educational issues as we are today.


Guinness World Record, times tables, maths, tunes times tables, schools

A while back I had an idea, one which would shake things up a little and possibly put things back into perspective in terms of learning our times tables. Its a well known fact that there’s no point telling a child what to do… you have to show them. So I intended to show them. Show them how much fun they can have through the joy of times tables; to bring my charismatic energy and share it with a stadium full of youngsters and adults alike to help them on their way. To break a world record and put the UK back on the map… A shout out to all those who rank higher then us in maths ‘we’re on our way up’!



You would have thought our educational leaders would be interested, yes? Giving their support, jeering us on yes? Offering ideas and promoting this incredible event yes? No. Not one!
In fact, the issue is deeper then I once thought! Check this – One of the responses I received after writing an official letter in 2015 to Nicky Morgan, former secretary of state for education.



nicky morgan, times tables, secretary of education, tunes times tables, schools


‘I believe it is for teachers to decide the methods to use in the classroom as we know that greater autonomy drives improvement’!
‘It is for the teachers to decide’
‘Greater autonomy drives improvement’!



To me that’s a straight-up contradiction. Firstly, there is very little ‘autonomy’ given to a teacher in the first place as they are simply teaching children to enable them to pass standardised tests, and secondly… I am autonomy.. I am that freedom and individuality which children need to enable them to climb higher heights and learn these times tables. Not because they have to… but because they want to. I make it it fun!


Yet, in 2015, she was also found to state:
‘If you don’t get it right at primary, then it becomes much harder for children to catch up at secondary school.’
I find myself wondering if and how those who set these ‘ regulations’ are going to practically help and encourage our children? … something to think about!


So I leave it with you parents, teachers and those who truly care. Why is the educational system in dismay? (lets not pretend its perfect, or even as good as it should be) Why don’t those who seek to help have the support to enable them to do so? Why should it be left to the teachers? The same teachers who take home books to mark over the weekend, have very little holiday, are simply inundated with paperwork and are literally asking for the assistance!


We are currently ranked 26th in the national educational league tables for maths; in 2010 we ranked 28th. It took us 6 YEARS to move just two places!
This vital piece of information just proves that this task isn’t one to be taken lightly! Leave it all up to stressed, overloaded, tired teachers? Hummm?
And don’t read between the lines too much, I’m not saying teachers can’t do the job, I’m simply giving you an insight into the rocky road we are currently travelling along because our leaders say ‘the right people have been chosen to do the job, let them do it’.


It takes a village to raise a child correctly; a whole village, not a select handful of people… think about it! Should we truly leave it solely to the schools, our ‘leaders of education’ and our ‘target setters’ to educate our children… ‘with great autonomy’?


I care, I don’t talk about it, I show it, join me on a Saturday from 12:00 pm – 2:00pm

Suite 7, Cuckoo Wharf, 435 Lichfield Road, Aston, B6 7SS



Let me show you what I can do. This is your youngsters time to blow that target out of the water With my help, anything is possible.



Help us break the Guinness World Records for the largest Maths Class


In December 2010 Mr NK and his team achieved the Guinness World Record for the largest maths class of 275 people. However since then it has been beaten numerous times around the world. Sweden currently hold the record of 3611 people.




TunesTimesTables is a creative, dynamic and memorable method of teaching the times tables quickly. This method has helped thousands of children across the country since it has been in operation. Our objective is to teach children and adults the times tables through rhymes, music and performance poetry. Music is highly influential and Mr NK uses this to his advantage in this method of teaching and has had great results from this phenomenon.






Pride of Britain winners given tour of Downing Street by Prime Minister


Just hours after being named as the Pride of Britain during a star-studded celebration, the winners arrived in Downing Street yesterday for a tour of No10 by the Prime Minister.


The inspirational group, all clutching their silver statuettes, were joined by their families in the grand Pillared Room where they met David Cameron.


And as soon as the premier walked in, he made a beeline for cheeky Child of Courage Harley Lane who had the audience in stitches as he received his award from Nicole Scherzinger.


Along with millions of ITV viewers, Mr Cameron witnessed the eight-year-old refusing a kiss from the X Factor judge at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel during the glittering Pride of Britain Awards – sponsored by Lidl.


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Prince Charles tells Mr NK he’s won a Pride of Britain Award


He thought he had been invited to Clarence House to discuss his groundbreaking way of teaching maths with charity officials


Prince Charles gave the Royal seal of approval to one of our inspiring Pride of Britain winners in a hilarious surprise moment.


Clifford Harding thought he had been invited to Clarence House to discuss his groundbreaking way of teaching maths with charity officials when Charles himself walked in to tell him he had won the Prince’s Trust Achiever category at the Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards tomorrow night.


He told him: “Due to all your hard work you have won. Can you believe it?”


Clifford, 36, was so stunned that he literally sat dumbstruck and struggled to respond. Charles nodded his head and laughed at his reaction.


Then, when he had recovered his composure, the pair chatted about how Clifford set up his organisation with the help of the Prince’s Trust to use rhymes to help children learn their times tables and generally improve their numeracy. He even performed one of the rhymes for Charles.


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Pride Of Britain’s Maths Maestro

Clifford Harding has been awarded for teaching children new ways to improve numeracy skills




Clifford Harding, centre, with Lord Mayor of Birmingham Councillor Mike Leddy, left, and Lady Mayoress Pauline Leddy.


HE IS the Pride of Britain and the pride of Birmingham too after millions of TV viewers watched maths maestro Clifford Harding scoop a national award for his unique way of teaching youngsters their times tables.


The 36-year-old won the Prince’s Trust Achiever honour during ITV’s Daily MirrorPride of Britain Awards for overcoming long term unemployment and dyslexia to be an inspiration for the next generation of children by teaching them maths to rhymes.


And Harding, also known as NK after his company New Kreations, got a “ten out of ten” from Birmingham Lord Mayor Councillor Mike Leddy who called his journey to success “a fascinating story”.


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