Edward is a Head Teacher at Woodside School, London that is taking all sorts of innovative steps to encourage more cycling by their pupils. Here he shares some of his views on Bikeability training and explains what they have been doing to make cycling more mainstream:
Why is Bikeability training so important?
Cycling is great for kids anyway as it is healthy, fun and gives them independence; but the current climate emergency will not be solved until a lot of people leave cars at home or never drive one. It is essential that all children can cycle, and, given that the roads are largely unsuitable for cycling and drivers seem to have very difficult attitudes to cyclists children certainly need training to do everything they can to be safe in an unsafe environment.
At Woodside we do a Bike-It breakfast set up through Sustrans. In this we take children out, as far as possible on cycle paths, bridle paths and through the woods and common near the school. We are lucky to be close enough to these to do this. These are very active sessions with an emphasis on fitness.
We have been pleased to see the Bikeability for reception with balance bikes and the playground training for Y3/4
Every year we organize visits to Chafford Gorge Nature reserve for each junior year group, travelling there and back by bike. This is a fair ride (about 16 miles) but it is mainly on cycle paths so quite feasible.
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