Date to celebrate - Tour de France, July 4-26

12th June 2009 at 01:00

What's it all about?

This year sees the 96th Tour de France, where cyclists from all over the world will cover a distance of 3,500 kilometres, over 21 stages. The race takes place throughout France and a nearby country, this time Spain. The finish will be in Paris on the Champs-Elysees.

Assembly ideas

To introduce the assembly, demonstrate on a map the route for this year's Tour de France. Start in Monaco, continue down to Barcelona and finish in Paris. To put the cyclists' effort in perspective, it may be worth mentioning that it is the first time there will be a mountain to climb the day before the finish, a hard push just before the end, similar to pupils having to do exams before leaving school.

This assembly will give you the opportunity to get the pupils involved in numeracy, get to grips with different cultures, including languages and history of the race, as well as mapping skills.

To make it more accessible, move the race to the UK. Ask pupils in what direction the cyclists would travel to finish in London's Mall. Another question on numeracy could include asking pupils to calculate the distance between Kent and Canterbury, (127 miles). 5 miles = 8 kilometres, so what was the distance in kilometres? Finish the assembly by letting the pupils mark each other's work.

Help, I've no time to prepare

The TES website has a downloadable assembly that is based on the race.

Where do I get more information?

The official Tour de France website ( has plenty of information on the event and the route for 2009. also covers details of the race, including results and information about the cyclists taking part.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today