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Road safety - cycle training
North Yorkshire County Council offers a scheme of cycle training for children in years five and six of Primary School.
This is the nationally accredited "Bikeability" training programme that is currently supported by government grant funding until March 2014.
Aim of the programme
The aim of the bikeability programme is to provide a starting point for lifelong development and skills necessary for confident and safe cycling on the roads. The training is provided by professional cycling instructors who are employed by the County Council. They receive training, support and materials from their local Road Safety Officer (RSO).
All our instructors have undertaken an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check. They are also trained in emergency first aid and as Group Leaders to meet the NYCC Off Site activities requirements. They work with the school to complete all the necessary risk assessments and other Off Site activities registration requirements.
About the course
Each course lasts two days, delivered during the school day. Each pupil needs a helmet and a roadworthy bicycle. Bikes are checked by the instructor or the local RSO and any necessary repairs must be made before training starts.
Initially sessions are based in the playground or other safe area. This is so that the instructor can assess the groups' bike handling ability and practice skills such as balance, control and observation without worrying about traffic. This is to ensure that each child is individually assessed and is considered to be ready to cycle under supervision on nearby roads.
Once basic skills have been developed, lessons move onto the road. The instructors and pupils cycle together as a group, practicing the skills and manoeuvres they are learning. This is a vital step in raising awareness and putting playground practice into a real-life situation.
Each on road site is individually risk-assessed by the Bikeability Instructor and recommendations made on safe use of the particular venue. Each child also wears a hi-vis vest.
In some cases e.g. very small schools; schools in remote areas with limited local road networks and features (e,g, junctions), we may coordinate training between two or three schools and hold the training based at the school with the most suitable facilities and local roads. In this case, parents will be asked to bring their children and their bicycles to that alternative school for the two days of the Bikeability course.
The children are tested on the practical skills they have learned throughout the course and also on their knowledge of the Highway Code. They receive a final assessment report that details their achievements and advises parents of any particular achievements or areas that need further practice.
Each pupil also receive a durable metal Bikeability Badge to show their achievement.