Managing Count on Us

What do I need to do before competing in the tournament?

This section contains a programme overview, with important dates, forms and support for teachers who will manage the Challenge.

Programme overview 

The Count on Us Secondary Challenge programme culminates in an exciting pan-London inter-school tournament. Before then, participating schools will be practising hard with at least 60 students and running an in-school tournament to select the Team of 5 to represent the school. Here are the key dates and activities to make sure you and your students are ready for the tournament.

It is important to think ahead and plan your time effectively to make sure that you have covered all of the activities and also left yourself with enough time for an in/inter-school tournament before selecting your team. You may find it useful to create an Action Plan, with activities and deadlines.

Below you will find a summary of the programme, with dates and a Service Level Agreement (SLA) outlining key expectations and our support.

Getting your whole department involved

You will by now have identified the key members of staff who are leading on the programme.

The most successful schools engage teachers from across their maths department, through dissemination at dept meetings and access to the activities. Not only does this spread the workload but it also raises the profile of the programme in the school and levels of maths excitement! Why not use the 24® Game as mental maths starters or set up a weekly challenge for the school Newsletter!

Practising in school

Before participating in the Heats, teachers will set up opportunities to practise the activities in class and set up Count on Us clubs. Schools should then run an internal tournament in school or with a partner school. This is important as not only will students develop familiarity with the activities and the format, it will allow you to select your team.

  • Introduce activities in Key Stage 3 maths lessons to identify which students enjoy taking part in the activities and show an aptitude for the challenges.
  • Set up a Count on Us Secondary Challenge Club before/during/after school, where students can practise and find activities to take home.
  • Run a curriculum evening for parents or send information home in a newsletter to get them involved.
  • Spread the word about your Team’s hard work on Twitter (@mayorsfund) and your school website. Why not hold an assembly to let everyone know what you’ve been up to?
  • Run an in/inter-school tournament to select your Team of 5 participants. This is vital, to give your team experience of a tournament setting (some schools set up tournaments between teachers and students or parents and pupils!)
Choosing your team

Each school is required to select five students from Years 7, 8 and/or 9 to participate in the tournament. We encourage you to select a mixed-gender team if possible (single-sex schools are exempt from this), and we also recommend having a reserve team member in place.

  • You will want to identify students who work well under pressure, are confident and resourceful and can use their initiative when faced with a problem.
  • GridLines Geometry: this is the round that needs the most tenacity. Identify students who have an eye for solving puzzles.
  • 24 Game: there is often one person who really excels at this. This is the person who will play all 5 rounds in the tournament and be able to come up with solutions quickly
  • Algebraic Problem Solving: this round requires collaborative working and good communications skills.  Allocate a group leader who can take charge, divide tasks among the team and ensure that instructions are understood.

The following forms will be provided in due course.