John Ball Primary Cycle Trainig
- By London Cycling Campaign on at 12:00am 19 November 2006
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Some intermittent training had been available at this school in Blackheath for the past few years, however it was not consistent, the school had no parking provision and there had been no noted increase in cycling to school.
Changes started when a cycle shed was built, work was started on the School Travel Plan and one teacher was encouraged by the borough Travel Planner – Tom Crispin – attended and qualified as a National Standards cycle instructor along with the school’s Premises Manager.
Project development and outcomes
The school subsequently started a pilot cycle training scheme which involved:
- Formulating a course which involved five sessions: one playground-based control skills session, 3 road-based sessions and a final longer ride with the emphasis on fun
- Writing a School Cycle Training Policy as part of the School Travel Plan and having it formally accepted as school policy by the school governors
- Recruiting a volunteer cycle instructor (from Greenwich Cyclists – the local LCC group) so that from a pool of three instructors, two instructors are available per session
- Extending the course where possible to include more sessions and continuing the training to a more advanced standard
- Teaching basic puncture repair and bike-checking as part of the course
- Including a ‘night ride’ in the programme so that all children have experience in cycling after dark
- Establishing a pool of bikes so all children can take part and a pool of helmets for use by all
Including a couple of adult models in the bike pool to encourage parental involvement
CLPP funding allowed cycle training to continue and be extended primarily by allowing Tom Crispin to be released from some teaching commitments. The grant also enabled the school to buy and maintain pool bikes ad equipment so that training could be fully inclusive and involve children who do not have bikes.
Tom Crispin is keen that cycle training should become a standard for all Year 2 + children, in the same way that swimming is taught as part of the usual PE curriculum.
He would also like to see John Ball supported to become an instructor training centre.
Cycle training will continue to grow but for now (until cycling does become a curriculum activity) funding will always need to be sought to ensure paid staff hours and that the instructors can dedicate enough time to achieving the training programme.
The school received further CLPP funding his year and Tom Crispin is working on integrating cycling into the schools curriculum activities.
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