Maths, Science and Art with Racing to School

Date Posted: 18/01/2017

Watch your students clip clop their way to educational success with Racing to School – a charity that supports young people's learning by encouraging an interest in horseracing at a number of UK racecourses.

Racing to School designs and delivers an educational programme for racecourses, studs and training yards.

The company provides an outdoor classroom full of learning opportunities for over 10,000 young people every year.

The programme is designed to engage young people from all backgrounds and Key Stages, and the nationwide activities are free.

Subjects that can be covered on a Racing to School day include Physical Education, Science, Maths and Art. Geography, Business Studies and Citizenship can also be focused on.

A multitude of racecourses across the UK are available to visit for a Racing to School day. Both flat and National Hunt racecourses are included, and these include Newbury, Ascot, Ripon, Hexham and Exeter.

Students with a horseracing jockey.

Pictured: Students with a horseracing jockey.

Racing to School activities

School groups visiting a racecourse, stud or yard will take part in a host of activities, led by a Racing to School team.

A typical visit lasts from 9.30am until 2pm, and include around three or four activities.

Each one of these activities incorporates key elements that are taught in the classroom. Here are some examples…

Science

Equiciser: A jockey will demonstrate how to ride a mechanical horse. Pupils will have the opportunity to try this out for themselves and discover the importance of balance and the centre of gravity.

Horse Sense: How do horses see and hear? Students will learn how a horse’s senses can influence its behaviour when being ridden and handled.

A Jockey’s Diet: Discover how jockeys control their weight by adjusting calorie intake. The class will design a healthy diet for a jockey and compare this with the needs of other athletes and sportsmen/women.

Exploring and measuring a grandstand.

Pictured: Students exploring and measuring a grandstand.

Maths

Jolly Jumpers: During the National Hunt season, jump racing horses are required to leap over obstacles. Pupils will look closely at the construction of hurdles and fences, learn how they are built, measure their height and spread, and discover just how athletic horses are.

Parade Ring Possibilities: Similarly to humans, racehorses need to warm up before they race. The Parade Ring is where this happens. Pupils will use their Maths skills in this activity to calculate how many horses can safely parade at one time.

Safety in Numbers: The group will take a tour of a grandstand and see where race-goers cheer on their favourite horses past the winning post, before working out the area. Pupils will then estimate and calculate how many people can safely fit inside this space.

Art/ Photography

Racing Colours: Pupils will learn about the shapes, colours and designs that are used in a jockey’s silks before designing their own set according to the design rules.

Photo Finish: The group will discuss distances, the condition of the ground and other factors that may affect a horse’s performance. They’ll also learn about the technology of a great photo finish, plus judge some close finishes for themselves.

Using Maths skills to solve a weight question.

Pictured: Using Maths skills to solve a weight question.

Additional activities

As well as taking part in the educational activities, students will get to explore and learn about key parts of the site they’ve visited – like a weighing room or specific areas of a breeding stud.

For example, a visit to a thoroughbred stud where foals are born and raised before they go to a racing stable will highlight the importance of the breeding side of the racing industry.

The pupils will explore the selective breeding process and discover that, like us, thoroughbred horses hold passports which identify them from each other and give details about where they were born.

Booking information

There’s no charge made to schools or colleges by Racing to School. However, teachers must pay for their own travel and ensure that pupils/students bring packed lunches.

To make a booking, e-mail info@racingtoschool.co.uk or visit www.bhest.co.uk.

School Travel Organiser's Guide