Curledge Street Academy, a proud member of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, was contacted by Torbay Council to pilot the delivery of 'Bikeability', a national scheme that has already equipped more than four million children with the skills and confidence to cycle on today's roads.
It's an important pedal forward for the school, as more of their children will desire to cycle around more as they get older, so to have the ability to teach them about how to be safe at an early stage will be a huge welcome for the community.
Kevin Titchard, who is the Sports Coach at Curledge Street Academy, says the bikes will be received well from both children and parents.
He said: “When children get to a certain age, they would like to go out on their bikes riding more often and there’s important safety aspects which come with it. I think it’s vitally important that children and parents understand how to cycle safely, but also the health benefits too.
“It’s quite hilly in our area, but we have some beautiful beaches with picturesque moorland which are great to explore on bikes. So, learning to explore those areas safely on a bicycle can now begin in our playground.”
The school serves a community with a high level of deprivation – where many children won’t have the opportunity to learn how to ride a bike – but the donation of 6 bikes and the opportunity to pilot Bikeability will increase the chance to learn.
Mr Titchard continued: “Some of our children may never get to the stage of learning how to ride a bike, but as a school we can encourage them to experience the joy of being on the saddle and learning to ride for pleasure.
“We’re delighted with the balance bikes which have arrived with helmets, worth around £2,000, and my colleague Luke Jefferey and I will be trained to qualify in how to deliver sessions to keep the children safe.”
The Bikeability sessions which will be led in-house by qualified staff has a clear progressive pathway to safe bike riding, starting in the playground and developing through to on-road cycling for older years with an understanding of traffic control.
“As the sports coach for this wonderful school, it’s my job to ensure every child has the opportunity to explore what a healthy lifestyle is, why it’s important to be active, and how that can positively impact your future – these bikes will add to our offering to teach this and I’m excited about that” says Kevin.
Jessica Humphrey, Executive Headteacher of Curledge Street Academy, says the training for staff and new bikes for children will be celebrated by the whole school. She said: “The addition of these bikes will allow us to expand our sports curriculum offering which is absolutely fantastic. At Curledge Street, we want our children to understand and develop the skills and qualities of excellent learners to enable them to take full advantage of all the opportunities that are presented to them, both within and outside of the classroom, so these bikes will be enjoyed and appreciated for years to come by our school community.”
For further details about Bikebility, go to bikeability.org.uk