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Developing reasoning skills in Maths is crucial to succeeding in the new curriculum. Therefore primary school mathematics should be about exploring, reasoning and challenging thinking. Rather than learning rote/abstract rules for calculations and facts.

Memorising key facts is essential in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 mathematics, to acquire the basics, these skills ought to be used and applied in real life contexts.

To succeed in the national assessment, it is clear that children require deep knowledge of facts and concepts. Moreover,  they need to be able to use and apply these facts to a range of contexts.


Why focus teaching and learning on reasoning?


Logical reasoning requires metacognition (thinking about thinking). It influences behaviour and attitudes through greater engagement, requesting appropriate help (self-regulation) and seeking conceptual understanding.

Reasoning promotes these traits because it requires children to use their mathematical vocabulary. In short, reasoning requires a lot of active talk.

The theory behind reasoning at KS1 & KS2

The infographic (below) cleverly details what should underpin mathematics teaching and learning. It’s a good starting point if you’re looking to redesign your mathematical curriculum with a focus on reasoning and problem solving.

Picture 1
Picture 2
Examples of Reasoning