Since the last lockdown, we as a school noticed that children had spent very little time engaging in physical activities and were working on a way to tackle this problem. The answer came rather unexpectedly. As the weather improved, I began to bike to and from school and this interested a lot of the kids in my class. They would ask why I biked down if I had a car, and when I first learnt how to ride a bike. This conversation led to me asking them if they could ride a bike, which most of them could and if they owned a bike, which to my surprise the majority did not. Having and being able to ride a bike was one of the best things about being a child for me, so the mission going forward was clear: get these kids on bikes!
The first step was getting the bikes. We had a massive help from Capital of Cycling with this and from Anthony in particular. He supported us in giving us bikes that needed some slight attention and even loaning us helmets to use. The next problem to overcome was storage, where could we put the bikes? We finally found a space ( an old cloakroom) where we could store them, and over time have installed racks and a small workspace for fixing bikes with all the tools and parts included. I was given some funding and lots of support from the headteacher who is also very enthusiastic about biking and slowly our number of bikes grew till we had 30.
We are currently taking children out every week in groups to places such as : Shipley Canals. Leeds and other local areas. There has been an enormous interest from all year groups around cycling and children are fighting to try and get into the next group for it! We have also had balance bike sessions run for our Year 1 cohort with sessions through the week for children in Year 5 and 6 for those children who can’t ride a bike and are learning.
The next steps are to get some bike parking outside so children can eventually ride to school and get some more external visitors in so we can train the children on bike safety and maybe even maintenance. The future of cycling at Feversham Primary Academy is looking bright and we hope to keep adding to the experiences available for the children.