In the summer term of year 4, pupils must sit a standardised times tables test. They will be given 25 questions and will have only six seconds to answer each one. We believe the expected ‘pass mark’ for the test is 100%.
Every teacher and parent knows how well each child can do their tables. Teachers regularly have informal tests in the classroom and times tables are a great way to learn about the exciting world of numbers.
There’s no need for a government test just to measure schools. It’s madness to make eight- and nine-year-olds sit a test like this and and it’s unfair to judge schools on the basis of a pressurised test.
The Association for the Teaching of Mathematics points out that the test “…emphasises rote learning and rapid recall over understanding of mathematical structures, and that introducing a separate test on multiplication facts is highlighting one aspect of mathematics over many other important ones“.
The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) has described the test as “…an enormous waste of money” and has pointed out that, “children and teachers will have time taken away from their teaching and learning to take and administer these tests.” 94% of heads said that the tests told them nothing they did not already know.