Compulsory Cycle Training



B

Bertie Wiggins

Guest
Given a recent dearth of non-troll, topical arguments, here is one to
consider.

For the last year I have been running National Standard cycle training
courses for pupils, parents and staff at the 500 pupil and staff Inner
London primary school where I am a teacher. Last week I counted the
number of bikes in the cycle storage area during a visit by a
represenative from the Cycle London Promotional Partnership (CLPP),
who partially fund cycle training, there were 35, suggesting that 7%
of staff and pupils cycle to school, up from 1% (5) a year ago. I
fully expect that percentage to double to 15% by the end of the Summer
Term.

So far, only Year 6 children (11 year olds) have had cycle training,
next term it will be Year 5 (10 year olds) and in the Summer Term,
Year 4 (9 year olds). Cycle training is optional, and about 50% of
children choose to take part in the training.

Training is split into four categories:

Level 1A - absolute beginner
Level 1B - control skills
Level 2 - on-road cycling
Level 3 - "advanced" on-road cycling

It is school policy that all children, Year 2 (age 7) and over, be
entitled to Level 1 training; all children, year 4 and over, be
entitled to Level 2 training; and some children in Year 6 be offered
Level 3 training.

Implementing this policy is hard work: Year 6 children need Level 1,
2 & 3 training; Year 4 & 5 children need Level 1 & 2 training; Year 2
& 3 children need Level 1 training before the policy is fully
implemented. Thereafter, it will be easier to sustain the policy.

The school policy is not due for review until June 2007, and by then
the current policy should be fully implemented. I am already thinking
of ways to increase the uptake rate from 50%. One change I'm
considering putting to the governors is making Level 1 training opt
out, rather than opt in. Thus, instead of asking parents if they want
their child to have Level 1 training, they are asked if they don't
want their child to have Level 1 training. This would put cycle
training on a par with swimming lessons and sex education, and just
below that of religious education, where parents aren't specifically
offered a choice, but can withdraw their child from RE lessons.

Putting Level 1 cycle training on a par with swimming lessons will
probably be uncontroversial here, but, playing Devil's Advocate, what
objections am I likely to come up against?
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 14:36:24 +0000, Bertie Wiggins
<[email protected]> said in
<[email protected]>:

>Putting Level 1 cycle training on a par with swimming lessons will
>probably be uncontroversial here, but, playing Devil's Advocate, what
>objections am I likely to come up against?


Honestly? I have no idea. It's a brilliant notion. Actually I think
you should let us know what objections you /do/ get, so we can help
you counter them.

Guy
--
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

"To every complex problem there is a solution which is
simple, neat and wrong" - HL Mencken
 
M

Mark Thompson

Guest
> Putting Level 1 cycle training on a par with swimming lessons will
> probably be uncontroversial here, but, playing Devil's Advocate, what
> objections am I likely to come up against?


Practicalities: have you enough staff, bikes, space, time, equipment etc
for the increase in numbers?

Insurance-y fears: Does opt out change anything?

Insecure, control-freakery, conservative objections: You're suggesting a
<shudders> *change* </shudders> in policy.

Informed objections: None.
 
W

wafflycat

Guest
"Bertie Wiggins" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Given a recent dearth of non-troll, topical arguments, here is one to
> consider.
>
> For the last year I have been running National Standard cycle training
> courses for pupils, parents and staff at the 500 pupil and staff Inner
> London primary school where I am a teacher. Last week I counted the
> number of bikes in the cycle storage area during a visit by a
> represenative from the Cycle London Promotional Partnership (CLPP),
> who partially fund cycle training, there were 35, suggesting that 7%
> of staff and pupils cycle to school, up from 1% (5) a year ago. I
> fully expect that percentage to double to 15% by the end of the Summer
> Term.
>
> So far, only Year 6 children (11 year olds) have had cycle training,
> next term it will be Year 5 (10 year olds) and in the Summer Term,
> Year 4 (9 year olds). Cycle training is optional, and about 50% of
> children choose to take part in the training.
>
> Training is split into four categories:
>
> Level 1A - absolute beginner
> Level 1B - control skills
> Level 2 - on-road cycling
> Level 3 - "advanced" on-road cycling
>
> It is school policy that all children, Year 2 (age 7) and over, be
> entitled to Level 1 training; all children, year 4 and over, be
> entitled to Level 2 training; and some children in Year 6 be offered
> Level 3 training.
>
> Implementing this policy is hard work: Year 6 children need Level 1,
> 2 & 3 training; Year 4 & 5 children need Level 1 & 2 training; Year 2
> & 3 children need Level 1 training before the policy is fully
> implemented. Thereafter, it will be easier to sustain the policy.
>
> The school policy is not due for review until June 2007, and by then
> the current policy should be fully implemented. I am already thinking
> of ways to increase the uptake rate from 50%. One change I'm
> considering putting to the governors is making Level 1 training opt
> out, rather than opt in. Thus, instead of asking parents if they want
> their child to have Level 1 training, they are asked if they don't
> want their child to have Level 1 training. This would put cycle
> training on a par with swimming lessons and sex education, and just
> below that of religious education, where parents aren't specifically
> offered a choice, but can withdraw their child from RE lessons.
>
> Putting Level 1 cycle training on a par with swimming lessons will
> probably be uncontroversial here, but, playing Devil's Advocate, what
> objections am I likely to come up against?
 
W

wafflycat

Guest
"Bertie Wiggins" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:r068q11uoem47v3s34klh84gh1boci75v[email protected]

>
> Putting Level 1 cycle training on a par with swimming lessons will
> probably be uncontroversial here, but, playing Devil's Advocate, what
> objections am I likely to come up against?


As a parent who encouraged her offspring to cycle, the biggest objection I
came across from other parents has been that my parenting skills are somehow
lacking as I am allowing my offspring to do something that is so obviously
dangerous... I mean, all that dangerous traffic out there means they could
only see that transporting their little darlings by car was the right thing
to do... I think you *might* come across a similar attitude that it's far
too dangerous a thing to be encouraging our little darlings to do.

Best of luck.

Cheers, helen s
 
P

p.k.

Guest
Bertie Wiggins wrote:
> Putting Level 1 cycle training on a par with swimming lessons will
> probably be uncontroversial here, but, playing Devil's Advocate, what
> objections am I likely to come up against?



As an ex-governor:

1. Sex ed, RE and swimming are there because Schools HAVE to provide these
as part of the National Curriculum. Cycling is a "good thing" and to be
encouraged. But curriculum time is full as it is. An op-out activity would
have to be done in normal curriculum time not out of school hours. Taking
time out of curriculum time for cycling cannot be justified


2. You would be setting a dangerous precedent for the school. You are there
and driving this, you move on and the school would then be faced with
staffing or dropping something they had defined as so important is had to be
opt-out.


pk
 
M

Mark Thompson

Guest
wafflycat wrote nothing.

Boosting your on/off topic ratio by 'accidentally' pressing the send button
are we?

On the other hand a link to .jpg's of Norfolk's famous Cycling Christmas
Tree...
 
W

wafflycat

Guest
"Mark Thompson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> wafflycat wrote nothing.
>
> Boosting your on/off topic ratio by 'accidentally' pressing the send
> button
> are we?
>
> On the other hand a link to .jpg's of Norfolk's famous Cycling Christmas
> Tree...


oops, pardon i ;-)

Haven't got any .jpgs of the bent avec tinsel, but as the tinsel is
remaining on my trusty Mr Norbert Frosty for the duration of the festive
season, there'll prolly be a pic of it at some time...

Cheers, helen s
 
S

Simon Brooke

Guest
in message <[email protected]>, p.k.
('[email protected]') wrote:

> 1. Sex ed, RE and swimming are there because Schools HAVE to provide
> these as part of the National Curriculum. Cycling is a "good thing" and
> to be encouraged.


Then should we not be campaigning to have cycling put /on/ the National
Curriculum, perhaps bundled with a package of 'road safety skills'? It
would be a damn' sight more useful and practical than many of the things
we teach our kids!

--
[email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

;; I'll have a proper rant later, when I get the time.
 
N

Nick Kew

Guest
> Honestly? I have no idea. It's a brilliant notion. Actually I think
> you should let us know what objections you /do/ get, so we can help
> you counter them.


In view of the thread topic (and I had to read the OP twice to
distinguish the actual proposal from that) ...

Don't prejudge the issue - you'll only get backs up. The child who
already knows it all (and maybe already has some formal training such
as cycling proficiency) could get very p***ed off, making it
counterproductive in exactly the same way as silly hats.
Being treated as a baby (because someone in authority required it)
was a bugbear of my childhood, and only serves to alienate.

School example: at the end of primary school (age 10), we all had
to read one of the school's own books. But they were nearly all
"baby books", of the large-ish print and pictures type; horribly
demeaning to a ten year old (the few exceptions, such as Biggles
books, were quickly snapped up and unavailable). Being told at
that age one absolutely must read a baby-book and any alternative
is not allowed was deeply humiliating.

Travel example: at around the same age, I travelled a number of
times between different parts of the family in England and Sweden.
As an "unaccompanied minor", I got some ghastly nanny-state-mandated
adult designated to look after me. Again, humiliating and alienating.

If cycle training had appeared in a similar context, it might
have *provoked* me to rebel by riding courier-style or somesuch,
or just put me off riding altogether.

That's a generation ago, and I can only imagine things have got
worse for todays children. Don't make it worse than it already is!

--
Nick Kew
 
B

Bertie Wiggins

Guest
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 15:01:22 GMT, Mark Thompson
<[email protected]> wrote:

>> Putting Level 1 cycle training on a par with swimming lessons will
>> probably be uncontroversial here, but, playing Devil's Advocate, what
>> objections am I likely to come up against?

>
>Practicalities: have you enough staff, bikes, space, time, equipment etc
>for the increase in numbers?


We currently have 4 bikes suitable for 7 year olds. This would need
to be increased to 10 at a cost of about £400 (the trade price for a
Raleigh Striker is about £60, Raleigh Hot Rod about £75).

I expect that compulsory training would involve 10 children at a time
being withdrawn from normal physical education lessons for two
consecutive weeks. As cycle training is still physical education, I'd
expect that withdrawing them from normal PE lessons would not be an
issue.

Space and other equipment are not an issue. Staffing costs are.
Releasing a class teacher from normal class teaching costs about £40
per hour. Using instructors who are not qualified teachers with
younger children may raise other difficulties, however, non teacher
instructors can work with a teacher/instructor.

>Insurance-y fears: Does opt out change anything?


No. This was looked into in some detail when the policy was first
discussed. The local authority's public liability insurance is very
comprehensive. The only gap in the insurance is when a child borrows
a pool bicycle and damages property while practicing in their own
time. Below is an extract of the response I got when I enquired about
insurance:

1. A bicycle is stolen - covered.
2. A child is injured out of school as a result the handle bars
falling off - covered by LBL's/School's liability policy
3. A child is injured during the cycle training - covered by
LBL/School's liability policy.
4. A child runs into the side of a parked car when practicing at home
- not covered by LBL/school.
5. A child runs into a pedestrian and knocks them over when practicing
in the street - not covered by LBL/school.

>Insecure, control-freakery, conservative objections: You're suggesting a
><shudders> *change* </shudders> in policy.


It is usual for policy to be reviewed bi-annually.

>Informed objections: None.
 
B

Bertie Wiggins

Guest
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 15:06:28 +0000 (UTC), "wafflycat"
<w*a*ff£y£cat*@£btco*nn£ect.com> wrote:

>> Putting Level 1 cycle training on a par with swimming lessons will
>> probably be uncontroversial here, but, playing Devil's Advocate, what
>> objections am I likely to come up against?

>
>As a parent who encouraged her offspring to cycle, the biggest objection I
>came across from other parents has been that my parenting skills are somehow
>lacking as I am allowing my offspring to do something that is so obviously
>dangerous... I mean, all that dangerous traffic out there means they could
>only see that transporting their little darlings by car was the right thing
>to do... I think you *might* come across a similar attitude that it's far
>too dangerous a thing to be encouraging our little darlings to do.


Level 1 training is playground based. At the moment, I am not
considering making Level 2 training compulsory, that would be for the
distant future - but a nice idea.
 
B

Bertie Wiggins

Guest
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 15:47:21 +0000, Nick Kew
<[email protected]> wrote:

Nick,

>If cycle training had appeared in a similar context, it might
>have *provoked* me to rebel by riding courier-style or somesuch,
>or just put me off riding altogether.


What I am proposing is compulsory (well, nearly) cycle control skills
for six and seven year olds. At the age of seven children spend PE
lessons balancing bean bags on their heads. Riding a bike for a
couple of lessons is not going to put them off cycling.
 
B

Bertie Wiggins

Guest
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 15:08:06 +0000 (UTC), "p.k."
<[email protected]> wrote:

>1. Sex ed, RE and swimming are there because Schools HAVE to provide these
>as part of the National Curriculum. Cycling is a "good thing" and to be
>encouraged. But curriculum time is full as it is. An op-out activity would
>have to be done in normal curriculum time not out of school hours. Taking
>time out of curriculum time for cycling cannot be justified


My reply to that argument would be that PE is part of the national
curriculum and teaching someone to cycle is as much physical education
as teaching someone to play football.

>2. You would be setting a dangerous precedent for the school. You are there
>and driving this, you move on and the school would then be faced with
>staffing or dropping something they had defined as so important is had to be
>opt-out.


I think that's an important point. I found inspiration for cycle
training from STA Bikes:

http://www.stabikes.org.uk/

They train their own instructors. It is one of my aims to become an
instructor training centre for the local education authority. Once a
critical mass of committed instructors are at the school, the project
should become self sustaining.
 
P

p.k.

Guest
Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
> On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 14:36:24 +0000, Bertie Wiggins
> <[email protected]> said in
> <[email protected]>:
>
>> Putting Level 1 cycle training on a par with swimming lessons will
>> probably be uncontroversial here, but, playing Devil's Advocate, what
>> objections am I likely to come up against?

>
> Honestly? I have no idea. It's a brilliant notion. Actually I think
> you should let us know what objections you /do/ get, so we can help
> you counter them.



..... or understand why there might be valid objections?

pk
 
P

p.k.

Guest
Bertie Wiggins wrote:
> On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 15:08:06 +0000 (UTC), "p.k."
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> 1. Sex ed, RE and swimming are there because Schools HAVE to provide
>> these as part of the National Curriculum. Cycling is a "good thing"
>> and to be encouraged. But curriculum time is full as it is. An
>> op-out activity would have to be done in normal curriculum time not
>> out of school hours. Taking time out of curriculum time for cycling
>> cannot be justified

>
> My reply to that argument would be that PE is part of the national
> curriculum and teaching someone to cycle is as much physical education
> as teaching someone to play football.
>


Sorry while you may well be right, check the curriculum. Best reference I
can find:

"The National Curriculum does make swimming slightly optional (it's one of
three PE activities of which two must be taught); however, the NC also
clearly states that "Swimming activities and water safety must be chosen as
one of these areas of activity unless pupils have completed the full key
stage 2 teaching requirements in relation to swimming activities and water
safety during key stage 1," so it's clearly not something that can be simply
dropped." Dfee message board

Cycling is not a compulsory element of the Curriculum. Swimming is. The
primary PE curriculum is focussed on skill acquisition (ball control,
balance, team work, tactics) not specific sports, in preparation for more
formally structured sports & team games

the schemes of work for KS1 & KS2 PE are at ;
http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/schemes2/phe/?view=get

Our primary did (probably still does) run a Korf ball club to encourage the
only mixed sex/equal terms team game and gender equalities. Equally
important, but out of school time not eating into the curriculum time

>> 2. You would be setting a dangerous precedent for the school. You
>> are there and driving this, you move on and the school would then be
>> faced with staffing or dropping something they had defined as so
>> important is had to be opt-out.

>
> I think that's an important point. I found inspiration for cycle
> training from STA Bikes:
>
> http://www.stabikes.org.uk/
>
> They train their own instructors. It is one of my aims to become an
> instructor training centre for the local education authority. Once a
> critical mass of committed instructors are at the school, the project
> should become self sustaining.


In that case, sell the project to the LEA and get funding!

pk
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 17:06:36 +0000 (UTC), "p.k."
<[email protected]> said in
<[email protected]>:

>>> Putting Level 1 cycle training on a par with swimming lessons will
>>> probably be uncontroversial here, but, playing Devil's Advocate, what
>>> objections am I likely to come up against?


>> Honestly? I have no idea. It's a brilliant notion. Actually I think
>> you should let us know what objections you /do/ get, so we can help
>> you counter them.


>.... or understand why there might be valid objections?


I don't discount the possibility they could exist, but I can't think
of any.

Guy
--
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

"To every complex problem there is a solution which is
simple, neat and wrong" - HL Mencken
 
B

Bertie Wiggins

Guest
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 17:06:36 +0000 (UTC), "p.k."
<[email protected]> wrote:

>Cycling is not a compulsory element of the Curriculum. Swimming is. The
>primary PE curriculum is focussed on skill acquisition (ball control,
>balance, team work, tactics) not specific sports, in preparation for more
>formally structured sports & team games


I do not dispute anything you say. However, schools have the
flexibility to make many activities part of their curriculum. They
could make learning the recorder a compulsory part of the music
curriculum, for example. What I propose is that cycle training be
made a compulsory part of the PE curriculum.

Parents would have the right to withdraw their child from cycling,
just as they do from any non-statutory part of the curriculum, such as
learning to play the recorder. As you suggest, swimming may still
have a slightly higher status - but parents can and do withdraw their
children from swimming lessons for cultural and other reasons.

>> I think that's an important point. I found inspiration for cycle
>> training from STA Bikes:
>>
>> http://www.stabikes.org.uk/
>>
>> They train their own instructors. It is one of my aims to become an
>> instructor training centre for the local education authority. Once a
>> critical mass of committed instructors are at the school, the project
>> should become self sustaining.

>
>In that case, sell the project to the LEA and get funding!


The process has started. I've had over £10,000 of funding in this
first year of the project. More is promised for next year - and I'm
giving a presentation at the TfL School Travel Conference on 26
January.
 
P

p.k.

Guest
Bertie Wiggins wrote:
> On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 17:06:36 +0000 (UTC), "p.k."
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> Cycling is not a compulsory element of the Curriculum. Swimming is.
>> The primary PE curriculum is focussed on skill acquisition (ball
>> control, balance, team work, tactics) not specific sports, in
>> preparation for more formally structured sports & team games

>
> I do not dispute anything you say. However, schools have the
> flexibility to make many activities part of their curriculum. They
> could make learning the recorder a compulsory part of the music
> curriculum, for example. What I propose is that cycle training be
> made a compulsory part of the PE curriculum.
>
> Parents would have the right to withdraw their child from cycling,
> just as they do from any non-statutory part of the curriculum, such as
> learning to play the recorder. As you suggest, swimming may still
> have a slightly higher status - but parents can and do withdraw their
> children from swimming lessons for cultural and other reasons.
>


Withdrwaing from simming for cultural or religious reasons relating to
modesty is well established. Or from RE for religious reasons ditto.
Withdrawing form other parts of the curriculum is not the norm


Anther issue: If you make it part of the curriculum, you need to suppy the
bikes!

That is not a glib point but from a govenenace perspective (eqaul access to
all, no child disadvantaged in school due to parent not being able to afford
etc etc) an important issue. If cycling is so important that it must be
compulsory, then the school must provide the necessary equipment. You would
not ask parents to pay entrance to the swimming pool. why shopuld they have
to buy a bike? do you want to commit school funs to buy a stock of bikes and
maintain them?

pk
 
D

David Martin

Guest
p.k. wrote:

> Withdrwaing from simming for cultural or religious reasons relating to
> modesty is well established.


Did anyone else misread the third word for all n's?

...d
 

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