The Motorsport Education Project
Using Motorsport to Encourage Learning
The aim of the project is to use motorsports as a tool for improving educational standards for pupils and developing career aspirations in high engineering performance and other motorsport related activities.
As well as delivering real educational benefits both locally and regionally the project delivers a coordinated set of activities and competitions covering primary and secondary school pupils and is linked to the curriculum at each stage so that activities are clearly aligned to the learning objectives of the young people taking part.
Initially aimed at More Able students the project programme can be adapted for other student groups.
The project was created in April 2004 as a result of a series of meetings between the East Midlands Development Agency (Emda), Donington Park, Leicestershire Education Authority (LEA), the Government Motorsports Unit (GMU) and FP Consultants International (FPCI).
With financial support from Donington Park, Emda and the LEA the project successfully ran a pre-pilot day at the final round of the British Super Bikes round in September 2004 at Donington Park.
This involved 42 schoolchildren from Castle Donington Community College, Orchard C of E Primary School and St Edwards Primary School and delivered four one day workshops based around the curriculum areas of Science, ICT, Maths and Literacy. Two race teams also took part; Honda Racing and UK1, and media coverage was considerable, with coverage on the local ITN 6pm News, several local radio stations and regional newspapers.
The LEA and all three schools were pleased with the outcome; consequently the pilot programme was widened to include children from Belton Primary School, Diseworth Primary School, Newcroft Primary School and Hemington Primary School in 2005.
Again held on the weekend of the British Super Bikes round at Donington, in September 2005, 79 children took part, attending one of five one day workshops based around the curriculum areas of Science, Art, Numeracy and Literacy. Honda and UK1 again took part and were joined by Dunlop Tyres.
In April 100 children from Leicestershire schools will participate in the programme, visiting Donington Park during the British Super Bikes round and attending a series of briefings by key circuit and racing team staff and touring facilities throughout the paddock. In a departure from previous years and to maximise the learning experience for the children the day will be devoted to providing the children with a kaleidoscope of motorsport experiences that will be followed up by dedicated sessions with teaching staff within their respective schools.
Who can use the programme?
More Able children, to date in the age range 10 to 13 years, have used the programme. Other student groups and ages can be accommodated by prior arrangement.
Can the programme be run at other motorsport venues?
The programme can be run at other motorsport venues. The following motorsport venues are located in the region:
- Donington Park
- Mallory Park
- Cadwell Park
Donington Park, Mallory Park and Rockingham are currently working with FPCI to deliver educational programmes for Gifted and Talented children. Cadwell Park has expressed an interest in joining the programme.
How many children can attend the one-day Programme?
The programme can accommodate up to a 100 children at a time, assuming sufficient supervisory staff accompany them.
Can I organise such an event independently?
It is possible for Local Education Authorities or schools to approach motorsport venues to organise their own independent programmes. When doing so ensure:
- To engage the interest of the motorsport venue on initial contact by drawing attention to the possible PR benefits to the venue.
- Some form of motorsport activity will be taking place during the visit
- A room sufficient for all visiting children and staff is placed at your disposal for the duration of the visit - motorsport venues by their nature tend to be open and at the mercy of the elements
- If possible time the visit so it coincides with the practise day of a major motorsport event at the venue
- To seek permission of the event organiser
- To request the venues risk assessments and verify they are sufficiently detailed for the day planned and supplement where appropriate
- Inform the schools insurers of the visit to ensure insurance cover is in place
- Through liaison with the event organiser and the venue that a schedule of briefings and tours is drawn up.
Note: from experience the briefings should occur hourly to a) check that all the children are present and b) to allow everyone to warm up and dry off if the weather is inclement. -An extra member of supervisory staff is present to deal with any contingencies (media liaison, illness etc) that may arise on the day
How can I access the existing Programme?
FPCI can arrange a programme for you and with sufficient notice and co-operation run the programme at a motorsports venue local to you.
The charge for this service varies but based on 100 pupils attending would range from £8.50 per child to £15.00 per child depending on the circuit preferred and the event taking place. Note this excludes transport to and from the circuit and any insurance cover.