Length is a one-dimensional concept related to the geometric concepts of direction and line. Put more simply length is usually thought of as the extent of line. Length measures need to be investigated in the many practical situations in which they occur, for example, as length, width, depth, height, thickness or closeness of objects. Most initial experiences relate to straight lines, but distances along curves or around plane shapes are also relevant. See the links in the "Learning Sequence" column for more detail on the steps in the sequence.

Level 1 Length

Achievement Objectives Learning Outcomes Unit title


  • compare lengths from the same starting point
  • use materials to make a long or short construction
  • use materials to compare large and small areas
Worms and more
  • compare the length of two objects
  • select objects which are about the same length as a given object
  • order three or more objects by length
Time capsule
Gingerbread Man
  • compare a group of objects by length
  • measure length with non-standard units
  • use measuring language to compare length, width, and height
Teddy Bears and Friends
Taller, Wider, Longer

Level 2 Length

Achievement Objectives Learning Outcomes Unit title


  • demonstrate a personal benchmark for 1 metre, 1/2 metre
  • identify and use external benchmarks to carry out practical measuring tasks
  • discuss the need for having and using standard measures of length
  • make sensible estimates about the lengths of given objects
  • recognise the need for a standard unit of length
  • recognise a metre length
  • estimate and measure to the nearest metre
  • carry out practical measuring tasks using appropriate metric units.
  • make measurement estimates using appropriate metric units
  • pose measurement questions
  • recognise the need for a standard unit of length
  • recognise a centimetre length
  • estimate and measure to the nearest centimetre
  • estimate using metres and centimetres
  • measure to the nearest metre and centimetre
  • find objects that they estimate to be a 1cm, 10cm, 50cm and one metre long
  • measure lengths of approximately one metre to the nearest cm

Level 3 Length

Achievement Objectives Learning Outcomes Unit title
  • make estimates of lengths between approximately 50cm and 1.5m
  • measure lengths in metres and centimetres
  • convert between metres and centimetres
  • develop a concept of a km
  • measure a distance of 1km and the time taken to cover it
  • make estimates of lengths and areas
  • measure using a variety of techniques to check their estimates
  • make appropriate measurements accurately using standard units
  • perform addition calculations to find perimeters of objects
  • measure accurately using centimetres and millimetres
  • organise and record data, in tables and graphs
  • interpret trends and identify number relationships
  • apply mathematical knowledge to practical problem solving

Level 4 Length

Achievement Objectives Learning Outcomes Unit title
  • design an investigation
  • measure accurately using length and time
  • record data in tables
  • use scatter plot graphs to display paired numerical data

Paper Planes: Level 4

  • describe a method to measure the length of circular objects
  • measure length using metres, centimeters and millimeters
  • calculate the circumference of a circle from a measurement of diameter

How Long is a Slinky?



  • follow instructions, in diagram form, to construct two-dimensional mathematical shapes, e.g. triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons and hexagons
  • enlarge and reduce two-dimensional mathematical shapes by a given scale factor
  • identify invariant properties when enlarging and reducing two-dimensional mathematical shapes
  • convert between mm and cm measurement.
  • multiply whole numbers by a decimal

Team Puzzles

  • calculate speed from measured distance and time
  • solve multiplication problems using doubling and halving strategies
  • use known multiplication facts to solve multiplication problems

How fast is fast?


Level 5 Length

Achievement Objectives Learning Outcomes Unit title
  • draw a plan to scale, of an object based on a rectangle and two semi-circles
  • understand the relation of length on the plan to actual length
  • find lengths and areas use these for costing purposes
  • be able to link speed, distance and time (given two find the third)
  • estimate distances and times
  • calculate practical percentages
  • apply Pythagoras' theorem
  • use their knowledge of the sum of interior angles of a polygon
  • construct angles based on halving and combining 90° and other straightforward angles
  • apply knowledge of length and area
  • use scale factors to investigate areas being enlarged
  • use scale factors to investigate volumes being enlarged
  • solve real life context problems involving scale factors
  • measure the lengths of the sides of sets of similar right angled riangles and find the ratio of sides
  • measure the circumference of circles
  • state the relationship between the circumference and diameter of a circle