Pupils aged four to seven at Winton Primary School had the chance to display their skills when Emily Cherry, the chief executive of the Bikeability Trust, made a visit to see one of BCP Council’s courses in action.
The Bikeability Balance course introduces pupils to handling a two-wheel bike for the first time and teaches them how to balance, steer and manoeuvre. The bikes are provided by BCP Council for the course and have no pedals or chains but are moved forward by children pushing with their feet, making them easier to balance and learn on.
The course helps children develop handling and awareness skills. It also helps to build confidence ahead of a future course, which will help them onto pedalled bikes.
Emily Cherry said: “It was wonderful to see the children enjoying their first experience of cycling, they all looked like they were having a great time. Cycling is an essential life skill and such good exercise and fun for children. Bikeability gives children the skills they need to cycle with confidence on the roads, helping them make more sustainable transport choices. It was fantastic to visit Winton and see such enthusiasm for cycling.”
Neil Tarchetti, head teacher of Winton Primary School, said: “The children love learning how to cycle and many of them are already saying how they want to move up to a proper bike and eventually cycle to school. This is great news as cycling is good exercise and helps the children to stay fit and healthy. We have also noticed that children who use an active form of travel to school, are generally more alert and receptive to learning during their school lessons.”
Cllr Nicola Greene, BCP Council portfolio holder for Education, said: “BCP Council offers Bikeability courses to all schools in our area, which can be run at their premises or at one of our training centres. We have been successfully running the Bikeability Balance courses in Poole for the past three years and we are now ‘rolling them out’ in Bournemouth as well. These new courses will be great for teaching children how to cycle and encourage them, and their families, to get on their bikes, get healthy and cycle more.”
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