Tag Archives: tunes times tables

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?


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?



princes trust, mr nk, tunes times tables, damian lewis, helen mcCrory,

The Prince’s Trust 30th Anniversary


The Prince’s Trust 30th Anniversary   at the Prince’s Trust Head office, celebrating 30 years of helping entrepreneurs like Clifford Harding to start up in business.

Other Ambassadors of the Prince’s Trust and famous celebrities  Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory both ambassadors for the where also at the event which was held on the 23rd May 2013.

After nine years without a job, with no purpose and no future, Clifford Harding was facing life as just another unemployment statistic.

But one moment changed his life, and put him on the path to helping other young people from deprived backgrounds.

He has gone on to become a role model for youngsters in his community and developed a truly innovative way of teaching children maths that saw him rapping in the House of Commons.

Clifford aka Mr NK, who lives in Birmingham, had always found school tough.

Suffering from dyslexia, he struggled to keep up with his classmates and failed most of his exams.

He remembers: “I didn’t know what I wanted to do.  I grew up in a very strict household, and when I left school with no qualifications or job prospects I rebelled.  I was a bit like a caged animal breaking free and didn’t care that I didn’t have a job.”

As he approached the end of his teens, Clifford’s grandparents and mother sadly died in quick succession.

“That’s when things became really bad,” he says.  “I wasn’t interested in bettering myself and remained out of work for nine years.  I was causing trouble, getting involved in petty crime, drinking, loitering and smoking.”

But one day his benefits failed to come through – and that is when his life changed forever.  He says: “It really upset me.  But then I thought, what am I doing waiting for this money when I could get a job instead?”

Clifford AKA MR NK managed to secure a cleaning job, and – inspired by the big offices he was working in – started to think about his future.

He heard about The Prince’s Trust and made the decision to approach the youth charity for help setting up his own business, which started out as a children’s party company.

But he decided he could do more than better himself.  He became determined to make a real difference in his community too.

Now he volunteers as a youth worker with vulnerable young people.  He’s also worked with children with disabilities, helped out at after-school clubs and coached local football teams.

“It is so important to give back,” he says.

And the most remarkable way Clifford gives back is by helping children learn maths – having developed a way of teaching them their times tables using songs and raps.

His hugely interactive Tunes Times Tables method has proved popular with schools, and Clifford Aka MrNK, 36, now employs two people to help him spread the word.  He was recently invited to the Houses of Parliament to demonstrate his innovative teaching methods to a group of MPs.

To reach children from all walks of life, Clifford Aka Mr NK now organises regular community events to give children from deprived areas the opportunity to have fun and forget about their problems.

He says: “My work in schools means I have met children from extremely poor backgrounds.  I am so driven to help out where I can.  And I want to change the negative view of rapping.

“I didn’t believe in education as a child – but now I know it’s the way forward.”

Clifford Aka MrNK turned his life around through his own drive and initiative.  His teaching method is infectious, and he’s a great male role model in an area where lots of children are growing up without a father figure.The Judges