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What is Bikeability?
Bikeability is the new cycling training scheme for the 21st Century, which aims to get more people cycling, more safely, more often.
Cycling is healthy and fun, but many people are reluctant to cycle because they have a perception that it's unsafe. In fact, the health benefits of cycling far outweigh the risks, and cyclists, on average, live longer than non-cyclists.
Many thousands of children across the country now have the chance to undergo a Bikeability training award as part of this national scheme, and we're an accredited provider. In Shropshire it's our aim that every child leaving primary school at the end of Year 6 will have had the opportunity to take a Bikeability Level 2 training course. We are now able to offer the three Bikeability Levels more flexibly. We are also offering the new ‘Bikeability Plus’ scheme which is a suite of additional cycling activities and training modules based around the core Bikeability course.
What courses are on offer in schools?
There are three Bikeability levels:
Level 1 (Years 2 to 4)
This course involves new riders learning to control and master their bikes in a space away from traffic usually a school playground.
Level 2 (Years 5 and 6)
This takes place on local streets, giving trainees a real cycling experience. Trainees learn how to deal with traffic on short journeys such as cycling to school or the local shops.
Level 1/2 (Years 5 and 6)
This course combines Level 1 and 2. This combined course has been running successfully in Shropshire for many years and will continue to remain the focus of the cycle training service.
Level 3 (Year 6 and above)
This builds on Level 2 training and equips trainees with skills for more challenging roads and traffic situations – busier streets, queuing traffic, complex junctions and roundabouts. It also includes planning safe routes for cycling. Shropshire Council is keen to offer Level 3 to Year 6 pupils who have previously taken Level 2 in the final months of the primary education. Also for children in secondary schools, either during the school day or if more conveniently as an after school activity in Years 7 and 8 in particular.
Bikeability Plus modules
(places are limited)
Bikeability Fix (Year 7 and above)
A 2 hour session teaching basic bike maintenance.
Bikeability Transition (Year 6)
A 2 hour course for a group of Year 6 pupils planning their transition to secondary school. Opportunity to plan a suitable route to their secondary school and then cycle the planned route.
Bikeability Ride (Any)
A 2 hour session involving a led ride along a low traffic or traffic free cycle route, designed to boost confidence for a mixed age and ability group and encourage regular cycling.
Bikeability Parent (Teachers, Parents and Carers)
A course for adults totalling 8 hours over 2 or 3 sessions based on a Level 3 course but with some flexibility to suit the individual trainees. As places will be limited, priority will go to schools where the training will help develop cycling across the wider school community.
In addition to the above the following module is available at a charge of £15 per pupil:
Bikeability Balance (Year 1 and 2)
Four 45 minute sessions that aim to prepare young children with the skills they will need to ride a pedal bike, using games and balance bikes to develop bike handling and awareness skills. This would suit any schools who already have some balance bikes though Shropshire Council is now able to provide its own fleet of balance bikes. Alternatively a course can be provided for a group of children whose parents are prepared to remove the pedals and stabilisers from their own child’s bike to make it available for the course.
Who does the instructing?
The training is delivered through Learncycling, an accredited national training scheme who use a team of professional local cycle instructors who visit schools and colleges to carry out the training. They're fully qualified and DBS checked.
How much does it cost?
The Levels and Modules (excluding Bikeability Balance) are provided free of charge using Government grant funding.
How can I apply for a course?
If you wish to arrange a course for your school or college, please contact our Learncycling coordinator using the contact details at the bottom of this page.
If you're a parent, please ask your child’s head teacher when the next school course is or if training can be applied for.
Want to know more?
Download our leaflet attached to this page for more information about Bikeability and Bikeability Plus training.
Parents and Carers
Go to the Bikeability website for lots of useful information.
Take a look the following videos, available on the Bikeability website:
- ‘This is my bike’ – taking a Level 1 journey
- ‘This is my adventure’ – a Level 2 journey
- ‘This is my independence’ – a Level 3 journey