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Purple Mash

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Instant Recall Space Mission!


Instant recall is one of the most important parts of learning mathematics.  It gives children a bank of knowledge from which they can draw to help them when working with maths in a range of situations.                       


This is an 11 stage system of instant recall with between 6 and 9 targets within each stage. The system is about a rigorous and systematic approach to making sure that ALL children have good instant recall.  The stages are not linked to year groups as the progression is about building each child’s instant recall systematically.

The stages are as follows:

  1. Astronaut selection
  2. Launch pad
  3. Mercury
  4. Venus
  5. Earth
  6. Mars
  7. Jupiter
  8. Saturn
  9. Uranus
  10. Neptune
  11. The Milky Way

After an initial assessment each child is started on the system at an appropriate planet. They have their own log book and work through the system at their own pace.  They have a range of targets to be working on at any one time but do not move onto the next stage until they have completed all of the targets within each planet.

Definition of instant recall

Instant recall is defined as being able to recall the fact within 3 seconds.  When a point is reached where a child cannot complete the equivalent of 3 second recall (suggested 10 in 30 seconds) then the child is started at that planet in the system. We expect that some children may well know all of the facts within a given planet, however it is their speed of recall which is also being tested, once they know all the facts and they can answer them quickly, they will move on to the next planet. Through carefully tracking exactly what each child can and can’t recall instantly, teachers and other adults can help each child work on what they need to do next.

What each child should have

  • A log book which stays in school – updated with dates when they achieved their targets
  • A copy of their current target sheet to take home – so they and all adults involved with the child know what they are working on next.
  • A fortnightly opportunity to be tested by staff to show what progress they are making against their targets

How can parents help at home

As your child brings home their current target sheet for the planet they are on, ask them to recall the related facts. Use a stop watch and try to make it fun! Choose a time when they are most responsive and more likely to participate and do well. Give encouragement and celebrate success; remember, after each successful space mission the children will be awarded a certificate from school and moved to the next planet!

Targets for each mission (Word doc)


Launch Pad









Milky Way

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