Following the success of last year's Under Starter's Orders, 152 Year 5 students from six local schools are again underway with the specialist primary school education programme, a project which encompasses and supports the National Curriculum for this year group and Key Stage 2.
Split into three different elements, stakeholders have worked together to deliver another educational and interactive programme to engage local school children, creating a greater understanding and interest in the horseracing industry of which they are surrounded by. Each school has been assigned individual dates at Dalham Hall Stud and the National Horseracing Museum, before finishing the programme with a day of racing and activities at Newmarket Racecourses on Thursday, 23rd June.
The first element of this three part programme is the Racing To School led visit to Dalham Hall Stud, headquarters to Darley, the latter being His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's global thoroughbred stallion operation. The visit covers topics such as breeding, pedigrees and the running of a stud with activities including an interactive workshop, a tour of the stud to see some of the world renowned stallions as well as mares and foals. Students are even offered the chance to ride a mechanical horse and imitate their favourite jockeys.
The National Horseracing Museum hosts the leg, providing the students with a comprehensive historical perspective, with lots of items and information telling the story of the rich heritage and history associated with Newmarket and the sport of horseracing. Activities include a tour of the Jockey Club Rooms and a visit to a Newmarket trainer's yard, allowing the children to have an insight into the inner working of a racing yard.
The programme culminates with a day at the races whereby all 152 children descend on Newmarket's Adnams July Course on Thursday, 23rd June. All the students will be encouraged to explore the racecourse with the aid of a specially designed racecourse map, applying some of the knowledge gained from the other aspects of the programme. A display from the Painted Horse on the day will also offer a visual education into the physiology of the thoroughbred too. Parents of the children involved are also encouraged to attend and experience the atmosphere of the races too.
Amy Starkey, Regional Director, Jockey Club Racecourses East Region, said;
"It is fantastic to be able to incorporate horseracing into the syllabus of these local children's learning's, especially during such a special year for the town whereby we celebrate 350 years of the Home of Horseracing.
"The three different elements of the Under Starter's Orders, including all of the activities offered at each location, cover different aspects of the industry through both fun and educational engagement, providing each student with a better understanding and insight into the industry which is so vital to Newmarket.
"We look forward to welcoming the six schools on course on Thursday, 23rd June and continuing this fantastic programme for years to come."
This education project seeks to engage children with the cultural significance of their local community and demonstrate how the horseracing industry helps sustain Newmarket economically whilst simultaneously aiming to refresh academic disciplines and demonstrating the versatility of the educational environment offered by Newmarket's equine facilities and history.
Notes to Editors
The six schools taking part in the Under Starter's Orders primary school education programme this year are as follow; All Saints CEVA Primary School, Paddocks Primary School, Laureate Community Primary School & Nursery, Exning Primary School, Houldsworth Valley Community Primary School and Fairstead House School.