j) Cycling Programme
At Shinfield St. Mary's, we have developed a bespoke cycling programme for our children in partnership with Sprockets Cycle Club. We know the importance of developing life skills for all our children. With this in mid, all children at our school are eligible to receive a series of curriculum-time cycling lessons run by Lloyd Watkins (Head Coach at Sprockets Cycle Club), fully funded by our PE and Sport Premium.
Every September, we conduct a brief informal cycling assessment with all our Year 3s to see which children are new to cycling or need extra support before their curriculum-time cycling lessons begin. This support takes the form of our 'Learn to Ride' series of lessons, and it is a fun way for the children to gain confidence and a basic cycling skill level.
Learn to Ride
Those children who are new to cycling or need extra support before their curriculum cycling lessons begin, are offered one-to-one/small group lessons run by Lloyd Watkins during the Autumn Term. These lessons are designed to progress children from a balance bicycle to independently riding on our school MUGA (Multi Use Games Area).
I learnt to cycle in school because I did not know how to do it before I came here. I had fun learning with Lloyd.
Year 3 child
Each year group is allocated a 6-week block of curriulum-time lessons during the Summer Term which involves 15 children at a time receiving high-quality cycling coaching on our school MUGA and field.
The cycling lessons are the best P.E. lessons ever! We get to go up the hill on the field and we have learnt how to ride one-handed.
Year 5 child
Bicycles and Helmets
All families are asked to provide their child with their own bicycle and helmet for our Learn to Ride and curriculum-time lessons. We encourage all children to learn on the bicycle that they will be using outside of school so that they are used to that particular bicycle. However, we are very aware that not all families are able to afford a bicycle and helmet for their child. To remove this barrier for our children, we have our own set of 15 bicycles and helmets on-site, fully funded by our PE and Sport Premium. Those families who are eligible for the Pupil Premium funding have priority of their use.
The bicycle needs to have two working brakes, and it can be left locked on the school site overnight. Lloyd Watkins will teach all children how to check that their bike is ‘roadworthy’. The ABC check that the riders are taught is as follows:
Air - check the tyres are as hard as an apple, and they hold air overnight.
Brakes - check the wheels stop when the brakes are applied and that the riders can reach the levers (2 brakes are required on each bike).
Chain - check chains are lightly oiled.
Dress - dress for the weather: windproof jacket and gloves are required in January.
Top Tip: On bike size, the ideal is for the riders to be able to reach the floor with tip-toes whilst sitting on the saddle.
All children have the opportunity to complete and pass the Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 Bikeability training before they leave Shinfield St. Mary's.
Bikeability is based on the Government’s National Standard for cycle training. It has been developed by over 20 expert bodies including national and local government and road safety and cycling organisations. The National Standard exists to help people of different ages and abilities make independent cycle journeys.
Bikeability Level 1 assessment criteria are drawn from National Standard Roles 1 and 2 which focus on preparing for a journey and riding with control. Training is delivered in motor traffic-free environments.
Bikeability Level 2 assessment criteria are drawn from National Standard Roles 1 to 4, which focus on riding with control and in accordance with the highway code as well as riding safely and responsibly. Training is delivered on single-lane roads and simple junctions with mostly moderate motor traffic flows.
Bikeability Level 3 assessment criteria are drawn from National Standard Roles 1 to 4, training is delivered on more complex, often busier or faster roads and junctions and prepares riders for cycling assertively in diverse road environments.
For further information, see the Bikeability Parent's Handbook.