The search is on for the UK's next astronaut - and Major Tom wants your pupils' help in selecting the best person for the job!


Workshop Description

Major Tom needs your pupils’ help, using age appropriate maths skills, to rank six would-be spacefarers on a range of real, scientific criteria. Who will they select to be the next UK astronaut?

After meeting the Major at an opening assembly, and being introduced to the would-be astronauts, each class will be issued with a Mission: to use their maths skills to rank the candidates on one of a number of qualities. Each Mission calls on pupils to demonstrate mathematical fluency, reasoning and problem-solving abilities - and is in line with Curriculum objectives for their year group. The Major will be on hand to visit each classroom with some vital, additional information - and the programme ends with a second assembly in which each class reports back its findings and helps whittle the field down to just one: Britain's next astronaut.

"We just wanted to say a huge thank you to 'Major Tom' for a wonderful day. All the children had a wonderful day and lots of the staff said it was one of the best workshops they can remember!" The Race into Space workshops, William Davis Primary School

“The workshop was absolutely brilliant. I loved that nursery were included and the children were all very engaged. We will definitely be booking again – the children are keen to see Major Tom again – Thank you so much!” St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School

EYFS - Y6 / P1-P7 / Senior Infants - 6th Class
One Day
School Hall


How many pupils can take part?

The Race into Space can accommodate up-to 60 pupils per workshop - that's the whole of a two-form entry school in just one day!

What is the format of the day?

The day starts with a whole-school assembly where pupils will meet "Major Tom". We will work with you to plan a timetable for the workshops, to suit the number of classes you would like to include - and around the specific timings of your school day. There is a short follow-up activity to be undertaken back in the classrooms, which we provide for class teachers as a PowerPoint. The outcomes of these are shared in a closing assembly, so that the result of the overall challenge can be revealed. A typical timetable looks like this:


09.00 – 09.20: Whole-school assembly, where your visitor will explain how they need the children’s help …

09.20 – 9.55: Year 1 stay in the hall for their workshop …

9.55 – 10.30: Year 2 come to the hall for their workshop …

10.30 – 11.05: Year 3 come to the hall for their workshop …

11.05 – 11.30: One Reception class have a visit, in their own setting …

11.30 – 11.55: The other Reception class have a visit, in their own setting …


1.00 – 1.40: Year 4 come to the hall for their workshop …

1.40 – 2.20: Year 5 come to the hall for their workshop …

2.20 – 3.00: Year 6 come to the hall for their workshop.

3.00 – 3.15: Closing assembly where findings are shared and the outcome revealed.

Are there any technical requirements?

Your visitor will need access to a laptop/ screen/projector set up in the school hall, so that pupils can view the supporting PowerPoint.

Can we dress up?

Yes! Lots of the schools we work with choose to do this to really get into the theme of the day.

Are there any other whole-school Maths days?

Yes! if you've already enjoyed The Race into Space day then you might want to consider one of our other whole-school maths days which include; The Pirate's Challenge, Riddle of the Shpinx, Times Tables Trattoria, and The Benefactor! 

Is the day available as a teaching resource?

Yes! you can purchase the Race into Space teaching pack and deliver the day yourself!

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