Numerical Reasoning 

What is it?

Developing Numerical Reasoning reflects all skills in the process of applying and using procedural (mathematical) skills in a variety of contexts. Numerical reasoning is a key strand within the LNF for Wales. The elements within this strand refer to the skills learners need to identify what processes are needed to solve a real-world problem, how to express that approach in their workings, and how to draw conclusions by reviewing their own processes and answer for reasonableness. The elements are:

  • identify processes and connections 
  • represent and communicate 
  • review.

How can numerical reasoning be developed? 

It is essential that children are provided with opportunities to practise and extend their skills in these areas and to gain confidence and competence in their use. Several different questions can be useful in probing learners’ thinking.

  • Why do you think that . . . ? 
  • Can you explain why that is right? 
  • How do you know? 
  • How did you reach that conclusion? 
  • What might explain that . . . ? 
  • How is that possible? 
  • Can you show me . . . ? 
  • Is there another way . . . ? 
  • What explanation do you think is best . . . ? 
  • Have you tried all the possible cases? 
  • Does it always work? Why? 
  • What do you notice when . . . ?



The Guided Reasoning website has some great resources that can be used to develop the children's reasoning skills 



Nrich has some great puzzles to develop reasoning