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Year 4 Reasoning in the classroom



The 'Reasoning in the classroom materials' provide teachers with an array of different activities, using a wide range of delivery approaches with coverage across the Numeracy component of the National Literacy and Numeracy Framework (LNF).

The structure is straightforward: each set starts with an introduction, providing brief details of the different activities within it, the reasoning and procedural skills covered, and the numerical language that is included.

Activities can be accessed through the 'Support materials link'. You can also download our Activity overview – Year 4 for an outline of the contents.

Read on to find important information about using the activities.


A key skill in becoming fully numerate (and to becoming an independent adult) is the ability to make your own decisions and learn from them.

This key skill is central to these activities: they have been designed to encourage learners to develop the ability and confidence to choose their own methods and ways of recording and presenting their work. There is a common theme of learners talking about what they are doing and why, and also assessing one another’s work and providing feedback. This extends the reasoning and their ability to communicate, numerically and in general.


Knowing when and why to use a calculator is important. Within the National Numeracy Tests (Reasoning), learners from Year 5 onwards are expected to use calculators as these allow learners to focus on the numerical reasoning rather than on extended calculations (e.g. long division).

The importance of calculators also applies to younger learners, even though during the tests they are not permitted (or needed): understanding the use and benefits of a calculator is an important early lesson. As such, we encourage the use of calculators, when appropriate, within the activities.

Topics covered

Numerical reasoning requires learners to draw from the full expanse of their numerical toolbox. The activities within these materials may therefore not be easy to categorise in terms of topic. Teachers are recommended to read through the activities to assess their suitability for particular learning and curriculum needs. To help with this, however, we have produced a brief explanation of each activity, summarising its context and content. This can be found in Activity overview – Year 4 .

Module audience

This module is suitable for:
  • Module audience
    Teachers of Year 4 learners (however, the activities can be used as they stand, or adapted, for other year groups).


The aims of this module are:
  • to support the learning and teaching of numerical reasoning.

Module contents

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