The Story so far…
St. Fillan’s Primary has been delighted to offer our Primary 6 children with Bikeability sessions during the 2018 – 2019 academic year.
We have provided this opportunity for our children over the years when Bikeability was previously known as ‘Cycling Proficiency.’
Our current cycle trainers are Mrs McAlaney and Mrs McVicker who attended the Bikeability training in May 2019. They are well supported by two of our parents, Dr Horne and Mrs Byrne who are also fully trained in the Bikeability Programme. We are grateful to our staff and parents who have given up their time to support the children in developing this important life skill.
Craig Dalziel, the Bikeability Co-ordinator for Renfrewshire is a friendly face in our school and Craig often supports the staff and parent helpers when delivering the programme.
Bikeability is much more than a cycle training programme and it offers our school numerous advantages that cannot be underestimated.
As a school community, we are committed in ensuring that we nurture our children’s emotional, social and physical well-being. Bikeability helps to promote healthy living and making sustainable life choices that can last a lifetime.
Bikeability helps to develop our children’s skills for learning, life and work and it facilitates the development of critical thinking skills and the development of independent thinking, reasoning, problem solving and decision making.
We are also an eco- friendly school and are proud to have earned three Green Eco flags. Bikeability helps us to promote the message that cycling is an eco- friendly means of transport that is kinder for our environment.
Further information around the benefits of Bikeability can be found on our website in the document entitled ‘What can Bikeability do for your School?’
Before we Begin…
Health and safety is a priority and it is important to ensure that our children’s bicycles are road worthy prior to beginning the training.
If there are any issues with bicycles, then we would ask parents to make the necessary repairs at home or by taking the children’s bike to a local bike shop for repair.
Unfortunately, we are unable to support with this due to issues around insurance but we are happy to highlight the areas which require attention.
The three most important areas to check are:
- The Brakes.
- The Types.
- The Chain.
Every cycle must have a red rear reflector fitted before it can be taken out onto the road.
It is also important to note that the children must wear a cycle helmet prior to participating in Bikeability training. The school have some spare helmets that can be used should this be required.
Some helpful tips are noted below to help you keep your bike it tip top condition!
- Make sure your saddle, handlebars and wheels are fixed on tight.
- Ensure both your front and rear brakes work properly.
- Run through all of your gears.
- Clean and oil your chain regularly.
- Check your tyres are pumped up.
There is a handy video clip on the Bikeability website that can provide you with further information around bicycles being road worthy. You can access on the Bikeability website under the ‘Bikeability’ tab:
Further information can be found on the following website that is specifically appropriate for schools in Scotland:
Bikeability Level 1:
Level 1 is delivered to the children in Primary 6 shortly after Easter and all training takes place within the school playground. It is an introductory course that aims to prepare the children for on road training.
Topics in the Level 1 training include:
- Balance and Control
- Using Gears
Once the children have been assessed, they will be rewarded with a badge and certificate.
Bikeability Level 2:
Level 2 training takes place in Primary 6 immediately after Level 1 training which takes the children up to the Summer term.
The children practice manoeuvres at the junction at Manse Crescent. This area has been fully risk assessed by Craig Dalziel our Bikeability Co-ordinator and the Head Teacher.
Topics in Level 2 training include:
- Safe starting and stopping procedures.
- Uncontrolled right and left turns.
- Overtaking a parked vehicle.
- Primary and secondary road positions.
- Emergency stops.
- The Highway code and road signs.
Theory based work also takes place in class for Level 2 to help reinforce knowledge of the course.
The children are assessed and given a colour grade at the end of the course and receive a certificate and badge.
- As some of our children travel to school by bus, we are able to safely store bicycles during the duration of Bikeability.
- We have a sheltered cycle park at the rear of our school which is a safe and secure location to store cycles during the school day.
- We have separate boys and girls changing facilities that come in handy if children need to change their trousers or footwear.
Our children have generated a list of ‘Safe Cycling expectations’ when taking part in Bikeability sessions to ensure a safe and fun experience for everyone. Everyone discusses the expectations prior to taking part and signs a contract to show they are in agreement. The ‘Code of Conduct’ uses the acronym ‘BIKES’ and is simple and easy to remember. It also follows and promotes our school values of: ‘Responsible, Respectful and Ready.’
- Be responsible and respectful – always.
- It is important to listen to the instructor at all times.
- Keep following all the given instructions.
- Ensure you keep checks on your bike so that it is road worthy and wear a helmet.
- Stay with your group when out on the roads.
- I will try to be ‘Responsible, Respectful and Ready’ at all times.
Here are some of the things our children have said about their Bikeability experience:
“I loved Bikeability. The training made me feel more responsible and I feel healthy and active.”
“My confidence has improved. I feel able to ride my bike safely on the road and I am more aware of traffic and pedestrians.”
“I feel my social skills have improved. I am able to effectively communicate with others. I am more independent and I can read the road better.”