A DORSET Maths teacher’s invention has been hailed a ‘lockdown learning lifesaver” for it’s simple but effective way of teaching times tables.

Andrew Findley, a 57-year-old maths specialist, was looking to find the best way for his students to remember their times tables and the learning board he produced was so effective that parents started asking if they could buy one.

So many, in fact, that Andrew started to sell the boards as a business. Now the Mathexcellence boards are used in thousands of homes and schools across the UK, and beyond.

Unsurprisingly, lockdown has seen a surge in business – as parents across the country search for new ways to engage and encourage their child’s home learning. Especially, those that give a break from screen time!

“Pupils without instant recall of multiplication tables struggle at maths.” says Ofsted, the schools watchdog.

Andrew who lives in Branksome Park, Poole, said: “I’ve been experimenting for years with different learning methods for times tables and, without doubt, these boards are the most effective.”

Trials at Heatherlands Primary School in Parkstone showed a 110 per cent improvement in the speed with which pupils can recall the multiplications in just three weeks. Over six weeks, the average pupil improvement was 203 per cent.

Heatherlands headteacher Julian Churchill said: “The children are really enthusiastic to use these maths boards and we’ve seen consistent improvements in the time taken for them to complete the actual task.

“They’ve learnt the times tables by rote and because they know those number facts they can start to apply them to the broader maths curriculum.”

Mathexcellence Speedboards are A4 sized whiteboards printed with 80 random times tables questions.

Pupils answer the questions against the clock and are awarded gold, silver and bronze certificates for hitting speed of completion targets. The board can then be wiped down ready to try again.

The importance of learning times tables has been high-lighted by schools inspectorate Ofsted, which said pupils should be able to recite their times tables up to 12 x 12 by the age of nine.

Andrew added: “The benefits of improving times tables are huge – pupils are more comfortable with numbers and as a result their confidence and love of maths improves, and so consequently their levels of attainment.

“Another unexpected benefit has been that for some pupils' confidence in maths has also improved their confidence and attitude in other subjects, especially as they make the life changing association between purposeful practice and achievement.”

For more information, visit mathexcellence.co.uk

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