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Times Table Rock Stars shakes things up at Steeple Bumpstead Primary School

A village primary school is providing firm proof that learning maths can be fun as it leads the way in teaching pupils their times tables.

Steeple Bumpstead Primary School has been going big on the use of the Times Tables Rock Stars website - and even has one of the fastest exponents of the game in the country.

On the site, children practise their times tables to rock music at least three times per week in the classroom, play online battling their friends, teachers and others around the world to earn coins which they can spend customising their own rock avatar and try to improve their speed and accuracy to move up through the ranks of rock statuses.

Deputy head teacher, Charlotte Daynes, said: "The children absolutely love playing Times Table Rock Stars and the recent competitions have created such a buzz around wanting to improve times table skills (which are vital to success in maths) in a fun way.

"It really has motivated the children and made them keen to practise their times table skills and improve."

The school recently held its own Ultimate Rock Champion competition, where the top 25 children in the school were invited to go to school dressed as rock stars, where they battled it out through a series of knock-out rounds held during the school day.

. The contestants were treated as VIPs all day, with a special buffet lunch, a 'green room' (with games, food and drink, comfy seats to relax on and iPads to play on) to use during playtimes, andtwo Year 6 pupils dressed up as 'security guards' who escorted them throughout the day.

The VIP Rock Stars, with their 'bodyguards', at Steeple Bumpstead Primary School. Contributed picture
The VIP Rock Stars, with their 'bodyguards', at Steeple Bumpstead Primary School. Contributed picture

The overall winner and the Ultimate Rock Champion was Year 6 pupil Imi Jenkinson.

Another Year 6 pupil, Rhys Harrison, is one of the fastest in the country (as verified by the creators of Times Table Rock Stars) when it comes to answering questions, managing a speed of just .47 seconds per question.

Rhys Harrison
Rhys Harrison

As part of the fun children who can answer each question in under three seconds, or better, have their photo taken dressed as a rock star, complete with inflatable guitar, for the school's Hall of Fame.

Mrs Daynes has also organised an inter-school Times Table Rock Stars competition between all of the Year 5 cohorts at the primary schools in the Unity Schools Partnership.

The competition is underway and will culminate at the end of May.

School names were drawn at random during a trust leadership event to see who would face who, with winners progressing through to play for the 'cup' and runners-up playing for the 'plate'.

It is the view that, explained Mrs Daynes, if this is successful which it definitely seems to be so far, the inter-school competitions will continue next year with other year groups.

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