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Maths Curriculum for Y3 - surprised by multiplication and division expectations.

(12 Posts)
AmazonGrace Tue 18-Nov-14 13:02:18

So I've just had a look at our school's objectives for Y3.

There's quite a bit listed in the Maths section, including multiplication and division (x2, x5, x10) - this surprised me, I thought i'd have a look at his old school's curriculum, their end of year expectations are x3,x4,x8 which is what I would expect!

He's in a mixed class of Y2/3 dc, his SATs score at the end of Y2 was a level 3, he is quite comfortable with the 2,5,10 tables. They do differentiate for Maths and I'm hoping that this means that he's stretched with regards to his tables? However, if they are only expecting him to know the easier tables (which he does) will they continue, I need to go and speak to the teacher don't I.

Could you tell me what your school's expectations are for this year group.

PastSellByDate Tue 18-Nov-14 13:43:50

Hi Amazon:

I'd recommend having a look at Y3 expectations in KS2 Maths programme of study for New National curriculum:

as you said multiplication/ division facts for x2/ x5/ x10 is a Year 2 thing (see page 13 statutory requirements Y2). (and was on the old national curriculum)

and x3/ x4/ x8 facts are set our for Year 3 on page 19 (statutory requirement new national curriculum).

finally in Y4 the statutory requirement is recall multiplication and division facts for multiplication tables up to 12 × 12 (page 25).

My impression is that many schools are introducing times tables earlier and faster - and I suspect your school will be doing similar.

Given this is pretty early in the school year and they are expecting your Y3 DS to know x2/ x5/ x10 already - it doesn't sound too out of step.

I also would warn you that sometimes materials on school websites are really out of date - and it may be that you're looking at a document which was put up prior to the arrival of the new national curriculum.

I would talk to the teacher if you're concerned - but also consider if you're happy with the work your DS is generally doing in maths and if you generally do have confidence that the school is setting a good pace of learning for your DS. If that's the case - perhaps best to phrase questions to school in terms of querying what your DS should be working on next in terms of times tables.


If you're worried about this my advice is encourage practice at home - not necessarily rote learning - but playing games that work these skills: e.g. Woodlands junior maths zone: & link to interactive games:

We found playing snakes and ladders with two dice and practicing a specific times table really helped (you may have to play the board forward & backwards with numbers >6 or it goes too quickly). So you can play x3 version - and each roll is the multiple of 3. If you roll 8, then the challenge is to calculate 3 x 8 (get it correct = 24) and you move forward 24 spaces.

You can also play mutliplication SNAP - use ordinary deck of 52 cards. Ace = 1/ 2-9 as marked/ Jack = 10/ Queen = 11 and King = 12. Choose a times table - say x3 - and write it on a post it. Shuffle deck and turn all cards face down. Flip over a card. Say it's 5. First to shout out correct answer to 3 x 5 (=15) wins the card. At the end of the deck the player with the most cards wins. (We started out gently - letting DDs win and then gradually turned on the pressure. It's now a very rowdy & fierce game - with high stakes - winner gets the chocolates).


AmazonGrace Tue 18-Nov-14 14:31:41

Thank you PSBD.

I've just had a quick glance at the NC link you posted. Ds old school have more or less copied word for word from this site, I'm wondering if his new school just haven't included the Y3 mulptiplication and division confused the curriculum is current and it sets out was is expected throughout the year, no mention of 3,4,or 8 times tables? I'll speak to this teacher.

Thank you for the suggestions with regards to practicing at home, we have been playing snap, which is something I picked up from one of your previous posts and ds thoroughly enjoys it grin he's quite confident with all of his tables now, they do play a game called Pacman at school and it seems it can be any table which the teacher shouts out, it just confused me a bit reading that the curriculum was expecting them to achieve lower than I would have expected. I can only imagine it's an oversite.

I will print out the Y3 expectations from the government site anyway.

AmazonGrace Tue 18-Nov-14 14:34:26

Saying that though, he had homework the other week and that was all to do with 2,5, and 10 multiplication or addition. Ds completed it in a few minutes.

jamtoast12 Tue 18-Nov-14 18:00:21

In year 3 ours did each set of tables weekly for 3 weeks. By mid year 3, they were expected to know them all fluently and are tested weekly through the second half of y3 and throughout entire y4.

mrz Wed 19-Nov-14 06:57:06

AmazonGrace Wed 19-Nov-14 11:26:15

Thanks Jam and Mrz, Ds does say that they have games twice a week with regards to tables, this is helping and he has become more confident, as with quite a few of the dc he's quite competitive so this encourages him to practice at home.

Thanks for the link Mrz, I'll have a look through this. His teacher wasn't at the door this morning so I couldn't ask her, will have a quick chat at some point this week though.

AmazonGrace Wed 19-Nov-14 11:27:56

I meant to check his report too, will check when I get home.

AmazonGrace Wed 19-Nov-14 19:21:55

Well now I'm even more confused. Ds report states that to reach the next level 3B he needs to know his 3,4 and 11 tables confused amongst other things.

PastSellByDate Thu 20-Nov-14 11:30:28


I think you may be confusing National Curriculum levels with school years.

MN summarises progress through NC Levels here: - the little blue boxes have links to more information about expected progress through these levels.

At end of Y2 - a pupil is notionally expected to be performing at NC L2b or better. (Each NC Level has lower ability (c)/ solid ability (b)/ high ability (a) sub-levels. So 3b is in fact 3 sub-levels above the notional end of Y2 expectation - which is well ahead for start of Y3 (remember we've not even finished the first term).

I'm giving some advice on how to learn about the tables below - because a lot of it is simply doubling times table facts you already know if you think about it. I think rather than sweat the schools information on maths curriculum - I'd just focus on helping your son with his times tables - which are important at this stage and do underpin a lot of later maths.

What I will say is that there are a lot of great multiplication games out there that really help to improve recall/ speed of times table facts but don't make it seem like you're 'learning':

Woodland Junior Maths Zone Times tables: - there are all sorts of free worksheets to print out - or if you select times table games there are links to all sorts of fun games to help improve skills/ recall/ speed.

Mutliplication dot com - has all sorts of free games:

Both of my girls got to a point where they knew there times table (or could work them out from things they did know - e.g. 6 x 7 was the same as 5 x 7 (which they did know would = 35) + 7. But weren't very fast - we found Timez Attack (a video game that starts from where you're at and quizzes you thoroughly on your times table facts - showing that they are repeated additions/ as well as traditional vertical multiplication problems) - we used the free version of the multiplication with two platforms: - but you can buy more elaborate versions if you want.

Now I don't quite follow the division of x3, x4 and x11 being rated NC 3b - but putting that aside.

x3 is tricky - but learning to count in threes really helps. (In fact this is trippling). You can practice this with board games - like snakes and ladders - use 2 dice and have the roll be the multiple of 3. So if you roll 8 - that means move ahead 8 three's or 24 spaces.

You can use the lines on the inside of your fingers/ thumbs as a natural calculator. With thumbs - there are usually only two lines so I count each tip - but with fingers there are 3 lines (base/ middle/ upper third).

So 3 x 3 - hold up thumb and two fingers. Count base/ middle/ tip of thumb = 3, count base/ middle/ upper third of next finger = 6, count base/ middle/ upper third of next finger = 9.


Once you know your 3s (and know that's tripling) and your 2s (and know that's doubling) in fact the times tables are relatively straight forward:

0 x anything = 0
1 x anything = itself

2 x table - counting by twos but knowing this is doubling
3 x table - counting by threes but knowoing this is tripling

4 x table (just double 2x table facts) - so 5 x 4 is the same things as 5 x 2 = 10 and then double that = 20.

5 table (already learned by counting by 5s)

6 times table (just double 3x table facts) - so 6 x 6 is the same thing as 6 x 3 = 18 and double 18 = 36.

7 times table (save for last - at the point you just need to learn 7 x 7 because you know whatever x 7 from all other tables learned).

8 times table (double 4x table facts or double 2x table facts and double again).

9 times table (there's all sorts of patterns - but hand trick is probably easiest to learn: - the pattern is to know that the answer 9 x 1 to 9 x 9 always starts one less than the multiple and then the second number is what you would add to the first to make 9. So in 3 x 9 - one less than 3 is 2. So what + 2 = 9. That's 7. So first number is 2 and second number is 7. 3 x 9 = 27.)

10 - already know from counting by 10.

11 - all sorts of tricks.

First off using x1 knowledge you can in fact know that any multiple from 11 x 1 to 11 x 9 is just twice the multiple:

1 x 11 = 11
2 x 11 = 22
3 x 11 = 33
4 x 11 = 44....
9 x 11 = 99

10 x 11 (should know from counting by 10 - or knowing that you shift anything times 10 over one column to the left and put a place holder zero in the units column) = so 11 x 10 = 110.

That then leaves the nifty two digits x 11 trick.

Separate first and second digit - the number in the middle is the sum of the first and second digit.

So 15 x 11 = 1 - (1 + 5) - 5 = 165.

can be tricky if you have numbers which = or are greater than 10 -

so 37 x 11 = 3 - (3 + 7) - 7 = 3 - (10) - 7 = but you can't have two digits in the middle - so you have to carry
= (3 + 1) - 0 - 7 = 407.


x12 table - is either double x6 table facts or double x3 table fact and double again.


and that brings us back to x7 - which we know mostly from other tables except 7 x 7. There's no trick but I always find 7 x 7 is a bit of a swine - which of course rhymes with 49.



AmazonGrace Thu 20-Nov-14 13:20:16

Some fantastic advice PSBD, thank you for sharing this. I will certainly use the methods you've suggested.

You're right, I'm not going to sweat the small stuff. Although I am confused with his report mentioning, amongst other expectations, the x3,x4,X11 tables, DS seems to be doing well otherwise he wouldn't have been levelled at a 3C at the end of Y2. I just want this to continue, I don't want him to ever feel the way I did about Maths when I was at school. I've never shown him how feared I am of the subject, which is probably why I collect as much information as I can from school.

I still need to speak to the school but tbh I don't know how to approach the teacher as I don't want to appear as one of 'those parents' just want to do as much as I can to help at home.

AmazonGrace Thu 20-Nov-14 13:49:02

I'm not sure though what you mean by me confusing NC levels with school year?

DS school, at his last parents evening, told us that they were still using levels for now to give parents a guide. DS report shows that he's currently a 3C, to work towards a 3B it lists their expectations of him to achieve this next level, so he is currently doing very well in the subject.

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