Tag Archives: schools

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?