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 2 - Rugby Timing and Multiplication Challenge

3, 2, 1, Go! is a sports-maths challenge show which reveals how important maths is to sport. Two rugby-mad Key Stage 2 schoolchildren are taken on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. They meet two Welsh Rugby Union stars, Lloyd Williams and Harry Robinson, and are set a maths challenge related to rugby.

A key tactic in rugby is the ‘Garryowen’, or the ‘up and under’. The challenge is to find out how far Lloyd has to run to catch his up and under, given how long the ball is in the air and that Lloyd can run 10 metres in a second.

Possible uses in the classroom
Set the scene and the show the clip, stopping just after the challenge is described ’What Lloyd wants know…….just as it lands.’
Ask the children to talk in pairs about how they think the boys will do the task, then share their ideas with the rest of the class.

Show the remainder of the video sequence, comparing what the boys did with the classes ideas.

What instruments did they use? Were these the best choice?
Prepare the children for repeating the activity outside.
What resources do they need?
What do they need to know? (Distance run in one second)
How will they find out?
They then work in pairs and record the results to be discussed on return to the classroom, for example
Who ran the fastest?
How far would that mean they could kick?
Can they kick that far?
What was the average speed for the group/class.

Is 10 m per second a realistic speed? How do you know?
Collect information about the speed of different runners over different lengths and display it for the class to use for further questioning. What would be the best way to display it?

Children who find this challenging could kick ten times, measure the different lengths and find the average. How long would it take them to run that far?

Related resources

  • Olympic Starters This KS2 activity uses the history of the Olympic Games to introduce ideas about measuring time and distances in standard units.
  • Lengthy Journeys: Olympic Torch Relay This KS2 activity gives children the opportunity to calculate using distance and time.

Learning Outcomes

KS2 curriculum:

[Ma2 3f] recall multiplication facts to 10x10…

[Ma3 4b] …choose and use suitable measuring instruments for a task…

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.