Bikeability is not just about teaching children to ride a bike and equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge needed to ride a bike safely throughout the rest of their life. It’s also about introducing them to cycling as an everyday activity; an alternative mode of transport, an enjoyable pastime, which brings a healthier lifestyle and ultimately lots of fun. Bikeability will give young people a life skill that once they’ve learnt, they will never forget.
Bikeability cycle training isn’t just for children. We also offer cycle training outside of school for all the family; from beginners to experienced cyclists. You can find more information here.
The training is free, funded by the Government’s Department for Transport. The scheme is run nationally and was developed by Cycling England.
Many adults will remember doing their Cycling Proficiency Test but for a generation there has been limited or no access to cycle training. Bikeability is the Government approved National Standard for Cycle Training, which sets out the training and skills essential for making cycling trips in today’s road conditions. The standard was developed by over 20 organisations and is maintained by the professional body for cycle training, known as the Cycle Training Standards Board. By establishing a National Standard, the Government has set out a nationwide uniform programme of formal training which will reassure parents that young people wanting to cycle have been instructed in essential skills and procedures.
Bikeability courses are outcome based, that’s to say each level must be achieved before moving on to the next one. The aim is not to teach a series of drills but rather to teach the pupil a set of ‘coping skills’ so that they can make their own decisions when cycling. With this in mind Level 2 is taught on the road in a real environment unlike the old cycling proficiency that was confined to off-road or a managed environment.
We would like to see all primary schools in Leeds sign up for Bikeability training on an annual basis. We have also this year seen high schools book in for Bikeability Level 3 and expect demand for this training to grow.
Bikeability is not part of the National Curriculum, although under the Government’s ‘Travelling to School’ action plan teachers are encouraged to use geography, PSHE, citizenship and other lessons to explain the benefits of sustainable travel – including cycling.
The training will be delivered at your school by the Cycle Leeds Team of experienced cycling instructors who have undergone an intensive four day course and are in possession of a current enhanced CRB from Leeds City Council.
You will not need to supply any additional teaching staff as children in main-stream education with special educational needs can usually be trained as part of a group. However we usually request the same level of support from school staff as they would provide when such a child is doing other outdoor activities. For example, if a child usually has a learning assistant to support them, then we would expect the same level of support. It isn't essential, but it helps, if the supporter can cycle.
The course is open to all pupils in Year 5 or Year 6 that can ride a bike. We can also provide bikes and helmets for pupils although we prefer them to bring their own. We can also run sessions for pupils who would like to learn to ride a bike.
Instructors work in pairs and deliver on a ratio of 1:5/6 pupils, and the course will last 1.5 days per pupil. So for 24 children the training would take 3 days at your school for a class of 30 we would need to split the group into three groups of 10 and so forth.
Cycle training is offered throughout the academic year; such is the level of demand for Bikeability and is offered on a first come first served basis. It is intended that the course will become an annual event at your school. Some Year 6 teachers use the course to reduce class size in the run up to SATS, allowing for concentrated revision or as an incentive for pupils to work harder. Another option is for us to train your year 5 pupil.
Level 1, the first two hour session of the course, is held in a traffic-free area, usually the school playground. Level 2 training takes place on roads local to the school, which have been risk assessed by our instructors. Level 3 (mostly for high school pupils in Year 7) is covered on busy roads incorporating real traffic conditions and advanced road features.
No. We will email you parental/guardian letters explaining the course content and participant requirements, as well as a bike check guide and consent form at least two weeks prior to the course. We also supply a register for pupils individual requirements and a timetable so you can plan your week.
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