Inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, BBC Two Learning Zone has produced a new series of video maths challenges for Key Stages 1, 2 and 3. Developed with input from us (the University of Cambridge's Millennium Mathematics Project), 3, 2, 1, Go! sees real schoolchildren solve problems given to them by Olympic champions and sporting heroes.

Key Stage 1 - Football Scoring Challenge

3, 2, 1, Go! is a BBC Learning Zone sports-maths challenge show which reveals how important maths is to sport. In this challenge, two football-mad Key Stage 1 schoolchildren are taken to Arsenal’s training ground. They meet Arsenal player Tomas Rosicky, and are set a maths challenge related to football. Each child has ten shots at goal. The challenge is to add up how many they score and see who wins.

Possible uses in the classroom

Set the scene and then show the video clip (from 02:00 minutes into the video).

What did you think about the girls’ score?
In pairs, discuss what other results could have been scored from 10 kicks. Collect the results on the board. How many different ones are there?
Could the different possible results be arranged in some way that would help us to know we have found them all?

Replicate the activity, using cones or markers to indicate the goal mouth. The children work in groups of three, one keeping goal, one shooting and one keeping the results and then swapping so that each child has a go at each.
Who was the best scorer?
Who was the best goal keeper?
How many goals did their group score? How many were saved?


Children collect together all the group results. Could they show these in one big table or picture? How many goals were scored altogether? How many were saved?


If the girls had only had 5 kicks each, how many different scores could there have been? Can they be sure they have found them all? How?

Related resources

  • Half Time What could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey matches? This activity encourages systematic working and discussion, and is designed to be accessible to primary pupils at Key Stages 1 and 2.
  • The Games' Medals Who could have won the gold, silver and bronze medals? This activity is aimed at KS1.

The following problems from our NRICH website explore some of the mathematical ideas encountered in this activity further:

  • Two Dice This KS1 activity provides a valuable experience for younger pupils to explore some simple additions while finding all possibilities.
  • What Was in the Box? This KS1 problem is rather like a function machine, but it can be more interesting and is easily extended to challenge a wide range of pupils. It could even be used to introduce children to the idea of addition and subtraction.

Learning outcomes
KS1 curriculum:
[Ma2 3a] understand addition and use related vocabulary…
[Ma2 5a] solve a relevant problem by using simple lists, tables and charts to sort, classify and organise information.
Commissioned by BBC Two Learning Zone with advice from Lynne McClure (Director of NRICH, Millennium Mathematics Project, University of Cambridge), the clips were produced in collaboration with BBC Sport.