On Tuesday 4 June, our enthusiastic group of year 7 and 8 students ventured to Southwell Racecourse for an exciting Maths in Action Day. This unique excursion provided a wonderful opportunity for our students to apply their mathematical knowledge in a real-world setting while gaining fascinating insights into the racing industry.

The day began in the weigh-in room, where students engaged in practical exercises converting between imperial units, such as stones, pounds, and ounces. This hands-on experience helped them understand the importance of precise measurements in the world of horse racing.

Next, our group moved to the parade ring. Equipped with trundle wheels, the students calculated the perimeter of the ring. They then employed their estimation skills to determine the number of horses that could safely parade together, demonstrating the practical applications of geometry and spatial awareness.

After a delicious lunch, we were given an exclusive tour of the racecourse. Here, the students learned about the historical origins of the steeplechase, discovering that the race was initially a competition between villages, using church steeples as reference points. This historical context provided an engaging backdrop for the day’s activities.

The students then delved into more complex mathematical concepts, working out distances using furlongs, chains, and miles. They also explored the intricacies of a jockey’s clothing and equipment, and learned how to interpret the detailed information on a racecard. This included understanding the length of the race, the last time the horse ran, and where the horse came from.

The highlight of the day was watching the first race of the afternoon and witnessing the presentation of prizes in the winner’s enclosure. Although Harry Redknapp had a horse running in this race, much to the students’ disappointment, there was no sign of the famous football manager.

Overall, the trip to Southwell Racecourse was a resounding success. Our students had a fantastic time practicing their maths skills and absorbing a wealth of new and interesting facts about the racing industry. We look forward to more educational outings that make learning both fun and impactful.