Teachers & pupils at Hilldene Primary School explain what Bikeability means for them

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We asked one of our ‘Bikeability Ambassadors’ to gather some thoughts from both teachers and pupils at Hilldene Primary School, Havering about what Bikeability meant to them. His answers, and those of a group of trainees are given below:

1. Why is Bikeability training so important?

Our school is located just off a very busy main road (which leads down to Gallows Corner) which a high percentage of our pupils have to cross/travel up on their way to and from school. With a growing number of families choosing alternative methods of coming to school than using a car, teaching our children how to use bikes safely on the roads is becoming more and more important.

As a result, Bikeability training is a crucial element in supporting our pupils that choose to ride their bikes to or from school. Many of our parents have commented on how much they appreciate the training being provided and how much more confident they are in letting their children travel to school by bike than they were before they had received the training.

2. Is the training an easy thing to organise?

On the whole, the training is reasonably easy to organise – it’s mainly a case of planning the timing of the training well in advance so that instructors will still be available to lead the training.

Since February 2019, when I completed my own training as a Bikeability Instructor, the process has been further simplified, in that we now only require one lead instructor to be available for the training.

3. What is your top tip for organising a successful Bikeability course?

My top tip for organising a successful Bikeability course is for the school to provide ‘pool’ bikes that pupils who don’t own their own bikes (at the moment) can use during the training. This has the effect of opening up the training to all pupils in the relevant year groups within the school.

4. What were the instructors like who came to your school?

The lead instructor that came to our school in July to support me with the training was fantastic! She had lots of fun and interesting ways of engaging the children in the training, whilst at the same time making it clear how important it was for them to be listening carefully to all of our instructions and following our examples when demonstrating any manoeuvres, especially those on the road during our Level 2 training.

5. What is your top tip from the training? Perhaps something the children came away with.

One of the main things our children remembered from the training in July was ‘The Signal Sandwich’ (i.e. Look – Signal – Look before making any signal on the road). They all felt it was a really clever way to help them to keep safe before carrying out a manoeuvre when riding their bikes on the road.

And here are a few views from the trainees themselves:

6. What was the most important thing you learnt from your Bikeability course?

Vinnie: The Signal Sandwich – look, signal, look before you make a turn when riding on the road
Joseph: The ABCD check – it’s important to know your bike is fit to ride on the road before you set off on your journey
Owen: The Signal Sandwich – because it helps the drivers on the road understand that I was going to be turning soon, so they didn’t run me over!
Maya: The Signal Sandwich – it alerts other drivers about whether or not you are going to turn or not, which could prevent an accident.
Ellie: The Signal Sandwich – it’s important because it can help you to not crash when turning onto other roads.
Alisha: The Signal Sandwich – it’s important because when you are riding your bike you always need to check if there’s a car behind you when you are signalling.
Kymani: The Signal Sandwich – it helps to stop cars crashing into the back of you!
Reece: The ABC check – always check your Air (in your tyres), your Brakes (front and back) and your Chain (not brown and rusty) before setting off on any journey.

Did you enjoy your Bikeability course?

Vinnie – Yes, because it helped me to ride safely on the road.
Reece – I enjoyed it because it was fun to ride my bike with my friends. The instructors were really helpful too.
Owen – I really enjoyed it because I love riding my bike and now I know how to ride my bike safely on the road.
Maya – Yes because I now know how to ride my bike on the road safely. It was also a great experience!
Ellie – Yes, because it was fun and you learn lots of things about riding safely on the road.
Alisha: Yes, I enjoyed Bikeability because it let me have lots of fun whilst learning to ride my bike safely.
Kymani – Yes because it helped me to learn how to ride my bike better.
Tiger – I enjoyed it because I learnt how to ride my bike safely on the road.
Reece – I enjoyed Bikeability because I loved to learn how to ride my bike on the road safely

Why should other children do the Bikeability course?

Vinnie – So they too can ride on the road safely.
Joseph – Because it’s fun riding your bike and everyone deserves the feeling of enjoying themselves on their bike.
Owen – Because it’s fun. It will make you safer on the road and it may even get you out of some lessons!
Maya – To learn how to ride a bike on the road and because it’s just great fun! You will also learn some new skills that you didn’t know before.
Ellie – Because its fun and it will help them to be more careful when riding their bike.
Alisha – People should join because it is fun and it helps children to learn how to ride on the road.
Kymani – To learn how to ride carefully and they can enjoy themselves at the same time!
Tiger – Because if they want to ride their bike on the road when they are older, they should learn how to do it safely now.
Reece – Because it’s fun to learn how to ride on the roads safely!

Thanks to all the pupils and staff at Hilldene for sharing your views, and the pictures of you training below:

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