Case study: Times Tables RockStars

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Rocking out with maths

I think one of the most rewarding elements for me is to see some children who have never had an opportunity to be excellent at something to actually be the highest flyers due their sheer determination and hours put in. We’ve had children with really low prior attainment achieving at the highest levels.

Teacher

The big idea

To build a website to make times tables fun for children at secondary school.

Why it’s needed

Bruno Reddy has found that many students start secondary school without knowing their times tables. Without an understanding of times tables, most children find the rest of maths difficult at school.

How it works

The idea for Times Tables RockStars was simple – time the children in answering multiplication questions and reward them with badges as their times improve. To add a fun and engaging element, Bruno decorated his classroom in rock posters, played Led Zeppelin while the children were practising, and wore a purple glam rock wig!

From humble beginnings, Times Tables Rock Stars is now a website that schools can subscribe to, giving them the resources to encourage and inspire their students to not only learn the basics of the maths curriculum, but to enjoy it.

A competition element is built into the tool and Bruno has created ways of celebrating the greatest achievers, including an annual Rock Wrangle competition bringing together hundreds of students from schools across England.

The impact

Times Tables Rock Stars continues to grow its reach and influence.

  • More than 8,000 primary and secondary schools were subscribed in August 2018, including 3,000 in the North of England.
  • An estimated 370,000 disadvantaged children are benefitting from Times Tables Rock Stars.
  • The most recent speed data on more than 327,000 children shows that on average, students are 38% faster at answering times tables questions after using Times Tables Rock Stars than when they started using it.