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 is today’s cycle training programme. It’s like cycling proficiency, but better!
Information for Teachers
How much will the training cost?
The training is FREE and is regulated by the Bikeability Trust and fully funded by the Department for Transport. The scheme is run nationally and was developed by Cycling England.
Which year groups is Bikeability for?
There are three levels to Bikeability. Levels 1 and 2 are taught as a combined course, this is suitable for Y5 and Y6.
Level 3 Bikeability is suitable for Y6 (if they have already done the Level 1/2 course) and above.
How does the training differ from the cycling proficiency test?
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.
What are the aims?
We would like to see all primary schools in Leeds, Sheffield and Wakefield 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.
Is cycle training part of the National Curriculum?
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.
Who delivers the training and what are the ratios for teaching?
The training will be delivered at your school by the Cycle North Team of qualified, and experienced, cycling instructors.
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.
What about bikes?
It's best if the children can use their own bikes for the training. They are used to them and are able to progress well. If a child doesn't have a working bike, or can't get it to school, then we can bring a bike to use during the training so they don't miss out. Please note that we only have a limited number of loan bikes available, and provision will need to be made to store any loan bikes inside the school buildings overnight.
Any teaching resources available?
There is a full range of downloadable teaching resources available from the Bikeability website, including activity templates, worksheets and publicity materials.
How is the training funded?
Bikeability is funded by local authorities with grant funding from the Department for Transport. Cycle North provide Bikeability training on behalf of Leeds, Sheffield, Doncaster, Wakefield and Rotherham councils. Bikeability training is FREE to schools in these council areas.