Getting Started


Below you will find links to Count on Us guides and resources for both teachers and students. These will be important for running the programme in your school, so please remember to download and make good use of them.

  • Guidance for Schools: detailed guidance on running the Count on Us Challenge in your school, including support on how to extend the activities to all Key Stage 3 students and across the school.
  • Student Workbook: explains the tournament activities to students and contains a large collection of activities designed to help students with their catch-up work and add to their knowledge and skills in Key Stage 3 mathematics.
  • In-school Tournament Handbook: this explains how to run your in-school tournament and contains all of the materials you will need to do this. Note that you will need to get started organising this as your very first action!

Below there is a breakdown of each round of the Challenge. This guides you to the parts of the Guidance for Schools to turn to for information on playing each round and includes round-specific materials to share with students.


You should watch these videos to get a detailed insight into how the activities work. Take time to work through these videos carefully. They demonstrate in detail how each round works in the tournament. We would encourage you to share them with your team members and any other interested students.


Please note: from 2022, the algebraic problem solving round will not require code-breaking and the Data Chart Analysis round will soo be added here too.


Prepare your students for Hedgehog and Data-Chart-Analysis:

  1. Watch the training video above.
  2. Follow the instructions and guidance on these pages.
  3. Play the game of Hedgehog with one die with your students and then move on to the team game with the large die supplied. Play the two dice game in clubs and class and get your students to discuss their strategies.
  4. Print, cut out and make sets of the Data-Chart-Analysis practice card set in the Student Workbook. Get your students to complete the task and check the answers in the back of the Student Workbook (you can use the link below).

Prepare your students for GridLines Geometry:

  1. Watch the training video above.
  2. Follow the instructions and guidance on these pages.
  3. Start using Level 0 and then Level 1 cards as lesson starters. Give your students opportunities to find solutions to cards with any numbers (you can download the training slides below to remind you).
  4. Become familiar with the rules of the full GridLines game and get your students to solve problems with the restricted number set in the game.

Prepare your students for the 24® Game:

  1. Watch the training video above.
  2. Follow the instructions and guidance on these pages.
  3. Explain the 24® Game rules to all of your classes and start using cards as lesson starters.
  4. Encourage your students to play on their own (they could download a phone app) and move on to competitive play (you can download the additional practice games below).

Prepare your students for Algebraic Problem Solving:

  1. Watch the training video above.
  2. Follow the instructions and guidance on these pages.
  3. Make sure that your students are able to solve algebra problems of all types in the Key Stage 3 syllabus (or as many as possible!) Notably, they will need to be able to draw and read from straight line graphs.
  4. Set up a practice algebra round using the materials from last year’s Heats (in the downloads section).
  5. Let students try the algebra round from last year’s Final (which is really hard!) and talk it through. (in the downloads section)

The work your students will be doing in preparation for the Count on Us tournaments is based on the notion of ‘deep practice’. Start to consider how you can allocate enough practice opportunity to each of the activities, as well as giving your students some tournament experience.

Participating schools should set up opportunities to use the Count on Us Challenge activities in class and in clubs that aim to reach 100+ students across Years 7, 8 and 9. The most successful schools engage teachers from across their maths department through dissemination at department meetings and access to the activities. Not only does this spread the workload but it also raises the profile of the programme and maths in your school!

Here are some ideas for how to embed these activities in your school:

  • Start organising your in-school tournament so that as many students as possible get a chance to experience the full Challenge
  • Introduce all of the Challenge activities in Key Stage 3 maths lessons to give opportunities to your students to have fun taking part in the activities
  • Use GridLines Geometry cards as starter activities
  • Use 24® Game cards as an activity in a 10-minute maths lesson starter
  • Set up a Count on Us club before/during/after school, where students can practise and find activities to take home
  • Run a curriculum evening for parents or share the activities with them in your school newsletter
  • Hold an assembly to let everyone know what you’ve been up to
  • Spread the word about the Challenge and your hard work on Twitter (@mayorsfund) and your school website
  • If you have a talented pupil who took part last year, let them support you in running a club and mentoring the new pupils