Notes on the Training Zone
The first area is called the ‘Training Zone’, and this is structured into five core activities:
Students can work through each area of the Training Zone at their own pace or under teacher supervision.
Each section provides some information, together with fun quizzes and activities, to test students’ understanding. Each part can be looked at on its own, but all parts of this preparatory work are important to the Race Day game simulation since students are required to make decisions concerning the core functions they learn in the Training Zone.
Lesson ideas, including differentiation
The Training Zone lends itself to independent learning and students can work through it either on their own or in pairs. Teachers might want to divide the five zones across the class, with each reporting back what they found – before then allowing students to explore all areas on their own. The reporting could be done either verbally or using a simple template where students record the key features of ‘Marketing and hospitality’ and so on.
Students might want to record their scores on the quizzes as they proceed through the Training Zone and these could be fed into a class competition.
No prior learning is required for the Training Zone but teachers might find it helpful to spend a few minutes explaining some of they key terms e.g. ‘marketing’, ‘regulations’ and ‘ownership’. Real world examples could be used to bring these to life before students then apply them to the world of British horseracing.
Marketing, hospitality and youLink to this activity »
This activity invites students to complete a table where they judge their skills, quality and understanding against those required to be successful in marketing and hospitality. One approach might involve putting students in friendship groups of two or three, so that they can base their reflections and self-assessments partly on the views and opinions of those who know them quite well. Students would need to be asked to provide an evidence base to support any judgements they make rather than simply making assertions or unqualified opinions.
This could be extended into a PowerPoint presentation – where students share their findings of each other and themselves – or simply into a word processed sheet. The scope for independent learning, teamwork and peer-assessment/feedback is considerable.Back to top »
Course designLink to this section »
The course design activity is intended to help students grasp the complexities involved in planning any large enterprise, through the context of British horseracing. Students will learn about how a racecourse can be configured and constructed as well as the different types of racing. They will also see the importance of the local infrastructure.
Teachers might want to create teams to review the course design, with each feeding back what they found and what they have learnt. The section on infrastructure could be developed into a separate lesson on cost-benefit analysis, where students can judge for themselves the relative pros and cons of developing a racecourse in a particular location and to a given size.
There is some technical information in this section e.g. types of racing, units of measurement. Students could be asked to work in teams and use the information in front of them to create their own multiple choice quiz and pit their wits against other groups.
The teacher might want to develop this into a local planning role play where students debate the pros and cons of constructing a large racecourse close to their school or other location. Students could adopt different roles – including the racecourse manager, a local business owner, the member of a trade union, local residents, a member of the local council, the local MP and so on – and research and present their case either for or against the proposal. The overall decision could be put to a final vote either by the class or perhaps by another class that is invited to watch the committee and its deliberations.Back to top »
Rules and regulationsLink to this section »
Teachers might find it useful to preface this section with a brainstorm on what is meant by rules and regulations and to identify those which affect us at work, at home and at school. This would then segue neatly into the material on regulations in British horseracing.
There is a large amount of material here and teachers have an opportunity to look at relevant areas in more depth. For example,. issues surrounding National Minimum Wage legislation could be explored and linked to higher level material concerning supply and demand, how equilibrium prices are reached and what the impact of a minimum price might be in a particular market.
Some students are likely to need some help understanding some of the technical aspects (such as handicapping). There is a summative activity where students can create their own resource using Word, Publisher, Dreamweaver or similar, in which they summarise the rules and regulations. This activity could be extended to include the opportunity to make a short video where students visually explain rules and regulations, e.g. through an informal ‘Q&A’ session.Back to top »
Running a stableLink to this section »
This area of the Training Zone is delivered through a ‘Stable Handbook’, which sets out the essentials of operating the stables at the racecourse. There are three parts to the handbook:
- 1. Feeding your horse Link to this page »
- 2. Ensuring your horse has proper exercise Link to this page »
- 3. Keeping your horse healthy Link to this page »
The handbook gives advice and guidance on the sorts of decisions which might need to be taken in order for a racehorse to be happy and healthy and therefore competitive. After the multiple choice quiz, students can write a job description for a person working in a stables. Students following business courses could use this to learn more about recruitment and selection, including the distinction between a job description and a person specification. Students could look through the local newspaper to find other roles and jobs as part of their work-related learning programme. A simple but effective classroom display could be created to illustrate the different roles that exist in a stable yard.
Students should be encouraged to appreciate that key decisions regarding the well-being of a racehorse are motivated by a love and interest in horses. Racing, competition and prize money should be articulated as ‘second order’ issues.
The information concerning looking after a racehorse really only ‘skims the surface’. Students could be asked to find out more about looking after a racehorse and to prepare their own information sheet using RaceDay and other new material.Back to top »
OwnershipLink to this section »
Ownership is a ‘higher level’ topic which brings together concepts of shareholding, finance and costs. The premise is that students have to look at three very different racehorses and model the costs associated with each. They can then model these costs using a spreadsheet package to calculate total costs and average costs (total costs divided by the number of months). Students might benefit from the following additional information:
- VAT is 17.5% and can be calculated in a spreadsheet (they could be shown how to do this)
- The total cost simply adds up all the costs to date
- The average cost is equal to the total cost divided by the number of months
The answers are attached in a separate Excel spreadsheet.
The underlying formulae can be seen on the screen in Excel by following these instructions:
- Go to Tools
- Go to Options
- Select the View tab
- Place a tick in the box ‘Formulas’ checkbox under Window options.
To switch back to the values de-select the tick.
Higher-ability students could use this information to model their own ‘what if’ scenarios by changing the underlying model information e.g. what would happen if VAT rose to 34%? Which racehorse would be the least expensive?Back to top »