We have continued to run Bikeability training courses in schools since September. Our Bikeability cycle training is Covid-secure and our guidance has been reviewed and approved by the Department for Transport and the Department for Education, as well as Public Health England.
Bikeability cycle training takes place outdoors, observes social distancing and our instructors adhere to strict hygiene procedures. Bikeability training encourages pupils to be physically active and it aims to provide pupils with the skills to cycle safely to school, which will help to reduce pressure on the public transport network.
Between September – December 2020, Avanti Cycling (our Bikeability provider) delivered courses at 10 schools in Wokingham Borough, as well as 4 courses in the October half-term holiday and trained a total of 440 children on Bikeability Level 1/Level 2 (combined) courses, 19 teenagers on Bikeability Level 3 courses and 12 children (aged 7 – 8 years) on a Bikeability Level 1 Plus course.
From September until the December lockdown, the My Journey team also ran the very popular Balance Bike Clubs and Bikeability Learn to Ride sessions (at both Finchampstead and Woodley). A total of 93 children (aged 2 – 4 years) attended the Balance Bike Clubs and 59 children (aged between 4 - 8 years) attended Learn to Ride sessions. 43 of these children successfully learned to ride a pedal bike in just 1 or 2 sessions – representing a success rate of 73%.
Since “Lockdown 3” in December, we have had to cancel many of our activities and schools have only reopened for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers to attend. Nevertheless, we are still able to run Bikeability courses in a school setting and this term has offered an excellent opportunity to support vulnerable children and the children of critical workers to develop their cycling skills. Avanti have recently run some very successful Bikeability courses at Radstock Primary and St. Sebastian’s CE Primary schools; they were even able to supply loan bikes and helmets for those children who did not have their own.
Jessica Kinch, UKS2 Team Leader at Radstock Primary School said:
I just wanted to send a quick email to say thank you to yourself and the instructors who led the Bikeability course at Radstock last week. The children had a fantastic time and it was lovely to see their confidence with cycling grow. The inclusivity of the course/instructors was great – children who didn’t have a bike were able to borrow one and those who were less confident with cycling were still able to participate. Even when the weather turned, one of the instructors had a plan up their sleeve and did some theory work with the children whilst we waited for the rain to stop. It was so nice to give the children this opportunity, especially with current circumstances. Thank you again.
The good news is that we have been informed that the Department for Transport will be awarding further Bikeability grant funding to Local Authorities for next year (2021 – 2022) and that the aim is to increase the offer so that even more children in Wokingham can receive good quality cycle training in the future!