What order is it best to learn times tables?

2 min read

Does anyone else remember having weekly times tables tests? The joys of using your finger counting skills to work out 8 x 7! Some things haven’t changed much in the classroom – thousands of children still face this weekly ritual.

However, the chances are that if you were at primary school in the late 1980s or 1990s, your child is learning their tables at a different pace. Below, we explain in what year they will be learning them, and in which order!

Year 2: 2, 5 and 10 times tables

In Year 2, pupils will be learning how to count forwards and backwards in 2s, 3s and 10s, as well as recognising the place value of two-digit numbers.

Most children will start by learning their 2 times table. It will help with learning other tables and in maths more generally – for example, with the realisation that timesing by 2 is the same as doubling!

They’ll then move on to multiples of 5 and 10, learning them together as they follow very similar rules.

Year 3: 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 times tables

Pupils will work on counting in multiples of 4, 8, 50 and 100, and recognising the value of each digit in a three-digit number. They’ll also be able to write numbers in numerals and words and compare and order numbers up to 1000!

Many pupils will learn their 3 and 4 times tables together, followed by 6 and 9, and finally 7 and 8. Grouping them together in this way makes them easier to learn.

Tables can seem more challenging in Year 3, but with patience, repetition and varied ways of learning, they can be mastered!

Year 4: 11 and 12 times tables

Pupils will now be learning to count in multiples of 6, 7, 9, 25 and 1000, and order numbers higher than 1000. They’ll also learn how to round numbers to the nearest 10, 100 or 1000, and even how to read Roman numerals!

They will focus on learning the 11 and 12 times tables. Although tables over 10 can seem especially daunting, fear not! With other tables in hand, they’re relatively easy to learn.

Year 5 and 6: putting tables to practice!

By these later years, pupils are challenged to apply the knowledge they have gained.

They’ll move on to multiplying numbers up to 4 digits and long multiplication for two-digit numbers, squaring and cubing numbers and solving problems involving a combination of addition, subtraction, division and multiplication.


Looking for more times tables tips?

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DoodleTables can help support your child at every stage of their tables journey.

It continually sets work tailored to your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and covers what they’re currently learning in school!  

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Article by Lucy Hart

Doodle empowers learners to achieve confidence in maths and English. Our intelligent technology creates individual work programmes which are motivational, affordable and convenient to use.