19/09/2023 - Permalink

Twelve primary schools to be first to take part in new cycle training pilot

Related topics: Children's services / Highways, transport and environmental maintenance

Twelve Shropshire primary schools have been chosen as the first to take part in a new cycle training pilot that will give teachers and teaching assistants the skills to deliver basic off-road cycle training as part of PE lessons.

Shropshire Council has been chosen to take part in the third phase of the Bikeability Trust’s In-School Cycle Training Pilot, and in July invited schools to express an interest in the training.

In total 115 schools responded, and the first 12 have now been invited to take part in the first round of pilot. As places on the training are limited, the remaining schools will be invited to take part over the next two academic years.

The first 12 schools invited to take part are:

  • Highley Primary
  • St Mary’s Bluecoat CofE, Bridgnorth
  • Stokesay Primary, Craven Arms
  • Lydbury North CofE Primary
  • Longlands Primary, Market Drayton
  • Our Lady and St Oswalds Catholic Primary, Oswestry
  • Buntingsdale Primary
  • Holy Trinity CofE Primary, Oswestry
  • Harlescott Junior, Shrewsbury
  • Wilfred Owen School, Shrewsbury
  • The Grange Primary, Shrewsbury
  • Minsterley Primary

All schools taking part will receive six balance bikes and helmets free of charge.

This pilot project will train staff – free of charge – to deliver the following training as part of their PE curriculum:

Balance bike training – aimed at nursery, reception and Year 1 students this uses games to develop cycle handling and awareness skills on balance bikes. It teaches children fundamental movement skills to be able to progress to pedal bikes.

Cycle training – prepares pupils for accessing Level 1 and 2 Bikeability training, and ranges from  learning to ride two-wheeled cycles independently, to developing cycle handling and control skills on pedal cycles in traffic-free environments.

This pilot project is fully funded by the Department for Transport and supported by the Department for Education.

Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children and education, said:

“The pilot will give our teaching staff the skills to deliver cycle training and help our children to grow up with the ability and confidence to cycle on the road.

“A big thank you to all the schools that expressed an interest in this training. We’ve had a phenomenal response and it’s brilliant that there is so much interest in delivering cycle training in our schools. We’re really looking forward to working with the first 12 schools later in the year, and others at a later date.”

This project is separate to the current Bikeability programme that the council offers, where professional instructors visit a school to deliver Level 2 training to years 5 and 6. This programme will continue.

Further information

This is a pilot programme, and will be evaluated for its effectiveness, including: how well it fits into school curriculum; appetite amongst school staff; how straightforward it is to access and take part in training, and how prepared staff feel after training. The impact on pupils will also be measured.

Participating schools commit to:

  • Allowing at least two staff members to receive training; this may include teaching assistant staff. Each staff member will need to undertake training, which will include online learning as well as practical instruction. Training is free of charge.
  • Providing cycle training in a traffic free setting for their pupils in nursery, reception and year 1. Programmes will be bespoke to each school depending on time and staff available, and staff will be supported to create these programmes. Staff should expect to deliver at least one session per class per week.