Key Instant Recall Facts for mathematics

I am a massive fan of drilling and practice for children who need to learn number facts. And the reality is that that’s all children. Whether it’s the earliest number bonds, or the prime numbers, the new curriculum is very clear that fluency in these areas underpins much of what else is done in mathematics – and it’s right to do so, in my opinion.

Key Instant Recall Facts (Y2 example)

Key Instant Recall Facts (Y2 example)

I was, consequently, thrilled when the documents below were sent to me by Jo Harbour (@joharbour) of Mayfield Primary School. As a maths subject leader she has taken the time to set out a programme of teaching and learning to secure those essential number facts that runs from Year 1 through to Year 6. Beginning with the basic number bonds to 6, and developing to the knowledge of equivalent fractions and decimals by the end of KS2 they set out a useful progression for schools, and an excellent support for parents wishing to help at home.

Jo has kindly said that I can share these here, and so I am delighted to do so. They are created in Powerpoint format, which means that most schools can edit them. Note that some of the core elements are saved in the master slide, so to change the logo, for example, you’ll need to edit the slide master (accessed via the View menu on recent editions of Publisher). I have also uploaded a PDF version for those schools who cannot access the originals, but might want to follow the model.

Thanks must go to Jo Harbour for both creating and sharing these excellent resources (here contact details are contained within the files).

Key Instant Recall Facts (editable PowerPoint)

Key Instant Recall Facts (PDF)

Tagged: , , , ,

12 thoughts on “Key Instant Recall Facts for mathematics

  1. Dewi 9 December 2014 at 12:30 pm Reply

    Remember that rote learning doesn’t work for everybody. Practise is most important, but I don’t think you can be specific on how pupils get to the answer.
    As an example, I teach maths, have a maths degree, but don’t know my times table. Every time somebody asks me 7*8 is, I have to work it out, but I get the same result.
    I like practising the basic number facts with my groups; times table, number bonds, but I’m not too fussy on how they get to the correct answer.

    • Michael Tidd 9 December 2014 at 12:32 pm Reply

      There will always be exceptions to any rule, and in this case you may well be right that you are one. Nevertheless, the evidence is clear that for the vast majority of student, working memory devoted to re-calculating 7×8 every time is memory that cannot then be used for the more complex aspects of a task. We do our children a disservice if we don’t do everything we can to reduce that burden.

  2. Sarah 11 August 2015 at 6:35 pm Reply

    Thanks for this Michael (and Jo). They are really useful, but I’m finding that the formatting isn’t right on the “learn times and divide” sheets, even on the PDF version. Is there any way of amending this? ( The PowerPoint version is even worse for me as I have Openoffice and it doesn’t support pptx documents. Earlier versions of PowerPoint are fine in Openoffice

  3. Sarah 12 August 2015 at 6:11 pm Reply

    The sheets are: Y3: Aut2, Spr2,Sum2, and Y4: Aut2, Spr1, Sum1
    Thanks for looking in to it!

    • Michael Tidd 12 August 2015 at 6:30 pm Reply

      You’re quite correct!
      Duly corrected and uploaded again. Thanks for pointing them out.

  4. Rachel W 12 August 2015 at 6:49 pm Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing this, you have saved a busy teacher (is there any other kind?) a lot of time and effort.

  5. Sarah 12 August 2015 at 6:59 pm Reply

    Thanks for making the corrections so quickly. These sheets will be really useful!

  6. Rachel 31 January 2016 at 9:44 pm Reply

    Thank you for sharing these – very useful. I do wonder if there are any resources for EYFS too?

  7. Kate 1 February 2016 at 9:18 pm Reply

    While I agree that children do need instant recall if number facts, it’s important to point out that ‘fluency’ is a lot more than instant recall. For example I have several Y2 children who are very proud that they know ALL their X tables but cannot apply them in solving problems. These children therefore are not fluent.

    • Kate 1 February 2016 at 9:20 pm Reply


    • Michael Tidd 1 February 2016 at 9:20 pm Reply

      Surely that’s the reasoning/problem-solving part of the matter?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: