Maths Challenge is an initiative aimed to raise the profile of times tables, promote positive attitudes towards maths, improve children’s mental calculation skills and their knowledge of the number system. Each day, time is allocated at the beginning of every maths lesson for the teaching, learning and rehearsing of times tables and number facts, through whole class chanting and the use of the counting stick. Towards the end of the week, pupils will then have a chance to put their understanding to the test, by attempting one of the Maths Challenge sheets independently.
When completing the multiplication and division questions the children are given a set time, dependent on their year group. The question sheets are named: Starter, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond. Each stage has 4 different question sets, allowing for all times tables to be covered. These all require knowledge of times tables up to 12 x 12 and get progressively harder.
The aim of Maths Challenge activities is to fully embed the knowledge of times tables and their related number facts, providing clear understanding of the number system and also developing excellent recall of times tables, which supports understanding of further maths concepts. Children challenge themselves to improve their personal best each week, whether by moving onto a harder question set, or by completing more questions correctly. Each child is expected to complete all 4 question sets correctly before progressing to the next challenge level. Each week, the child’s score is recorded in a table in the back of their books, to enable the child to see and celebrate their own progression. All children’s names are displayed in the classroom on the appropriate named challenge level.
Maths Challenge takes place in all classrooms across the school, which provides consistency in the way we approach times tables and related number facts.