Back in the days, it was realised that there was more than one way to skin a cat! There always has been and always will be. Not all children are the same and they find a method that suits them.

I have taught a variety of methods for long multiplication. The grid is simple for all, very quick and easy to use and once taught always remembered; the algorithm that most of us learnt in school is short and precise, as long as children remember where to put the zeros! Napier's bones appeals to the bright because they love the magic! All the rest are variations on a theme.

Division is similar, a variety of methods. My favourite for speed is putting the numbers as a fraction and then cancelling. Once down to a smaller number, short division can be used quickly and simply.

The main problem is that what clicks for one child won't necessarily click for another. One of the highlights of my teaching career was showing a 15 yr old the grid and enabling him to multiply. He was bottom set and disaffected, but that was his Eureka moment, happily rather than the E he would have got, he gained a C.

Bright children, so most forum members' children can cope with any strategy, but those with dyslexia need some cues. I am really pleased that education has embraced the plurality of maths. It has never been a rigid subject at heart.

I love maths and it is often massacred by people thinking that only their way is right.