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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Learning the "Times tables" is not new.

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/feb/01/primary-school-maths-grammar-nicky-morgan-education#comment-47016794


Primary school pupils face new maths and grammar tests under Tories


 

Why is this latest "set of punitive policies" labeled as a new initiative from the Conservatives?
Teaching children multiplication tables and how to read by the age of 11 is not new, neither is it unique. Some years ago, more in fact that I care to remember, I attended the Ruby Street Primary School in London. The classroom of 1B, my first year class under Miss Cox, had posters around the walls with "Times Tables" on each of the posters ranging from 2 to 12, which had to be learned. Every child in the class (classes usually had 48 or more children at that time) had to learn by heart each of the tables and then had the daunting challenge of standing in front of Miss Cox, (and the assembled class) and reciting 2x2=4 and so on through to 12x12=144. Not all at the same time of course, but each tabled had to be learned and recited within a specified time.
As for reading, I and many others were reading elementary children's books before the end of the first year and had progressed to "Rideout English Text books" before leaving after the 11+ exam. This was part of the Primary School regime and was not an "optional extra".
Please do not allow politicians, of any of the parties, to persuade you that they have the answers to basic educational requirements. The solutions have been there for years but successive governments have allowed it to become fashionable for basic education to be sidelined by trendy gimmicks.