Action Research – Australasia

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School: Carl Iszatt and Nichola CaveneyHighfield CE Primary School
Getting Ready
1. StimulusWhat could go better? What do you want to improve? What interests you?

(eg ‘My students give up too easily’)
Most children in the lower juniors need to demonstrate an adequate knowledge of their times tables. In addition, children are also required to be able to rapidly recall their times tables. Some may not meet the national expectations for the end of their respective year groups. As a result, this could lead to children reaching Year 6 without a sufficient understanding of their times tables. This has implications for other areas of maths.
2. HypothesisWhat are your thoughts about the issue you are focusing on?

(eg ‘Maybe I am doing too much for my students’)
We are investigating the premise that if children regularly practice and apply their times tables in an engaging and motivational way, the retention of their times tables will improve significantly as will their rapid recall.
3. ResearchWhat does the research say? What do others in my school know about this?

(Books, articles, Google Scholar, libraries)
An article discussing the rote learning approach:(

A book that investigates approaches to learning mental maths skills: (

My Focus
4. Research question(eg ‘If I make it easier for students to help themselves and each other will their resilience improve?’ Do regular opportunities to learn times tables using technology/music lead to accelerated rates of progress in timestables retention and speed of recall?
5. PrioritiesHow does my question sit within my school’s current priorities? Have I checked with key team members/senior staff? This question fits in with the Maths Leader’s Action Plan. In addition, it ties in with the school priority for children to have secured specific ‘core skills’, and its emphasis on embedding mastery.

My Enquiry
6. The InterventionWhat you will do? When? Who? How?

For example
Children will be initially tested on a random sample of times tables questions. This will provide a baseline assessment. Two randomised groups will receive regular exposure to either iPad times tables games, or music-based timestables. The control group will continue to receive times tables practice in line with current teaching and learning approaches at school.
7. Evaluation MethodsHow will you notice, measure and describe what happens?

Children will be given an attitude survey as a qualitative assessment to see how they feel about times tables. They will be retested after a period of time and their scores will be compared to the control group. Percentage progress will indicate whether the target groups have made accelerated progress.
January – select groups. Initial baseline assessment. Gathering of materials and resources. Timetable the session to ensure that they can take place regularly. Complete attitude survey.Assess at the end of the Spring term to evaluate assess the success of the experiment.

Reflect on impact with whole staff and suggest adaptations to current teaching and learning approaches as appropriate.

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