Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) Letter for Parents
Below is a suggested letter that can be sent out to parents describing and reassuring them about the Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check. Please download and amend to fit your school, pupils, and parents.
This is a suggested letter and should be amended by teachers to reflect their school, pupils and any changes.
10th September 2019
You may be aware that from June 2020 there is a new test for year 4 children called the “Multiplication Tables Check”. Here’s what you need to know:
We’re not worried. Under the national curriculum primary school children are expected to know their 12 times tables by the end of Year 4. So we’ve been preparing students to know their times tables by the end of Year 4 for quite some time now and are not concerned about the check at all.
The check itself:
- will take place in the summer term in June.
- is done online using a computer or tablet.
- can be done one student at a time, in groups or as a class.
- will take no longer than 5 minutes.
- will feature 25 questions and children will have 6 seconds to answer each question.
- There’s no problem solving or division just simple “3 x 4 = ?” type questions
The results are for the teachers. There is no pass or fail mark. The results of the test are not published publicly, they’re not going to end up on a league table and they’re not to be concerned about. The results are for us teachers to use so we can provide an even better education!
No Stress! I am sure that along with you, we do not want our students worried or stressed about the check. The Government has called it a “check” rather than a “test” or “exam” for a reason. We will endeavour not to draw students’ attention to the check so will be not be referencing in class unduly. Please be supportive of this approach and refrain from talking about the checks at home.
Practise at Home: Because maths is such a big subject, and we will of course continue to teach the full curriculum, we will need your continued support to help practise the times tables with your children. Some easy ways to do this include:
- asking questions such as “What’s 7 x 8?”
- reciting times tables by rote (4 times 1 is 4, 4 times 2 is 8, etc)
- using apps and games (see below about a resource your student has access to)
- singing times tables songs (there are loads online)
Why do we learn the times tables? In primary school, times tables knowledge is vital for quick mental maths calculations and problem solving, as well as for many of the topics children learn in years 5 and 6 (division, fractions, percentages).
We have signed up for access to an app that mimics the check called “Learn with Emile”. Your child’s username and password can be found below. This app features not only the check but a number of games and activities that will help your child learn and understand times tables. The app can be downloaded from the Apple Store, Google Play Store, Kindle/Amazon Store or Microsoft Store for FREE and is called “Learn with Emile”.
If you have a question or want to offer your thoughts on any of the above, please bring them to the attention of your child’s teacher.