‘What strategies can be implemented to accelerate the progress of pupil premium children in multiplication?’


Pupil premium children in year 3 achieved 67% in maths 2016/17 and are targeted at 80% 2017/18. Pupil premium children in year 4 achieved 69% in maths 2016/17 and are targeted at 80% 2017/18.

Steps to success planned on 3/11/2017

  • Times table songs
  • Weekly timed test
  • Computer access for children in class throughout day
  • Flash cards during lining up


Following on from the research that we did, where NCTEM outlined that it was important to ‘Not only chanting multiplication songs but to draw connections between times tables’ as a result we have incorporated into our daily multiplication song a quick fire multiplication round aimed primarily at our pupil premium students.  In addition, we developed the ideas of Jo Boaler, who suggested that without number sense, learning multiplication facts will not work and it is best learnt through the use of numbers in different ways and situations.  We did this through word problems and talked about multiplication in every day contexts (e.g. supermarket shopping) and other areas of the Maths curriculum, (e.g. area and perimeter).

Our research also highlighted how using songs can be effective for learning times tables as it enhances brain function.  Therefore, we have used songs for times tables which the Pupil Premium children found particularly challenging.

In addition, we have followed the research findings of Butler and Roediger by using frequent testing to improve recall. have been frequently testing rapid recall with the use of multiplication flashcards in all students, with a focus on Pupil Premium students.  Notably, this has shown an improvement for Pupil Premium children, but a greater improvement has been seen in non-PP.

As a phase, we are continuing to utilise multiplication songs daily and the maths passport assessment weekly.  We have used a baseline assessment to identify gaps in table knowledge and weaker areas across the phase.  Results have shown that non-PP children have improved in their rapid recall of multiplication facts.  Equally, PP have shown an improvement but to a lesser degree in rapidly recalling of their multiplications in given time frame.

Pupil Premium

Specifically, PP students have been participating in several small intervention groups which focus on counting games to improve number sense and rapid recall.  In addition, PP pupils have participated in practice with flash cards and loop cards.   We have also incorporated multiplication activities into differentiated homework tasks to fill gaps from previous years.  PP children are also playing Maths-related computer activities during Maths starters. ‘Multiplication Masters’ booklets have been distributed to all PP children, whereby they are required to complete a set times table in addition to their homework each week.  They will write out a targeted times table for that week, with the aim of improving rote learning.

Next Steps

  • Further periodic assessment
  • Continued monitoring of ‘Multiplication Masters’ booklets
  • Continued daily assessing [verbal, song, flash cards, written, PP target group feedback]
  • Fortune teller times table game for pp students
  • Consistent times table displays throughout the phase

Year 3 and 4 Enquiry Group