14/08/2014 16:46 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Old-Style Long Division And Multiplication To Be Brought Back To Classrooms

Goodbye chunking and gridding! Old-style long division and multiplication to be brought back to classrooms

At last, older parents might be able to help their children with their maths homework after it was announced that old-style long division and multiplication are to make a comeback in the classroom.

For years mums and dads brought up on borrowing and carrying over have struggled to guide their children who learn maths (or 'sums', as they used to be called) by the 'chunking' and 'gridding' methods.

In chunking, big numbers are split into blocks of ten or 5 to make them easier to divide. Gridding uses a similar technique to multiply.

However, schools minister Elizabeth Truss has now announced a return to borrowing and carrying over numbers because the modern way is 'clumsy, confusing and time-consuming'.

Hear, hear, to that.

In future, primary pupils will get extra marks in exams for showing they have used long division and multiplication to reach their results - even if they get it wrong.

Ms Truss will outline the plans in a speech to the North of England Education Conference in Sheffield today.

Speaking before the address, she said: "Chunking and gridding are tortured techniques but they have become the norm in recent years. Children just end up repeatedly adding or subtracting numbers, and batches of numbers.

"They may give the right answer but they are not quick, efficient methods, nor are they methods children can build on, and apply to more complicated problems.

"Column methods of addition and subtraction, short and long multiplication and division are far simpler, far quicker, far more effective and allow children to understand properly the calculation and therefore move on to more advanced problems."

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