Cycling Initiatives at Secondary Schools
This week the My Journey Wokingham team visited Oakbank Secondary School in Ryeish Green to run a Cycle Focus Day.
Students were able to have free bike checks by a qualified mechanic and free bike security marking by the Council’s Community Wardens. 13 bikes were security marked and the massive number of 84 bikes were checked by the bike mechanic! Only 18 of these were found to have no faults at all; many needed some adjustments or repairs to brakes or gears, or needed oiling or tyres inflating; several were identified with major faults and 8 bikes were considered to be completely unsafe to ride.
The My Journey team also ran Cycling Assemblies for different year groups, covering topics including the wearing of cycle helmets, the Big Pedal and Bikeability Level 3 training.
The majority of pupils who cycle to the school were trained to Bikeability Level 2 at their primary schools (equivalent to the old Cycling Proficiency training.) However Level 2 only teaches them to cycle on quiet roads and use simple T junctions.
Bikeability Level 3 training is recommended for pupils in school years 7 – 9. Level 3 teaches students to cycle safely on busier roads, in traffic, and gives them the confidence to negotiate more complex junctions, multi-lane roads and busy roundabouts. The course also includes guidance on route planning and using cycle routes.
The Department for Transport is keen to encourage more Bikeability Level 3 training in secondary schools and has awarded a grant to Wokingham Borough Council to pay for this for the next 3 years. A Bikeability Level 3 course can be covered in just one full day (or 2 half days) and would be free of charge to schools. A lot of students at Oakbank showed an interest in Level 3 training, so we hope to be able to run some courses there in the near future.
For any other secondary schools who are interested in Bikeability Level 3 training – this can be provided at no cost to the school or students and we can also provide a free Cycle Focus day for your school. If you'd like more information on Bikeability Level 3 or Cycle Focus days, please contact us and one of the My Journey team will get back to you.