Battle Hill Primary School in Wallsend have recently established a full cycling curriculum for the benefit of their pupils with help from NTC, Bike4Health & funding through RISE. Deputy head Mr Chris Bourke gave us an update on how the project is coming along and gave us some insight from Children across KS2.
Mr Chris Bourke (Deputy Headteacher & keen cyclist!):
“Since we became aware of the RISE funding, we have been able to plan strategically with our PE Lead and Headteacher to make sure it has a sustainable impact across our school community and hopefully further afield too.
After securing the funding and purchasing the bikes, shipping containers for storage, helmets and bike maintenance kits we have been able to develop our Bike Curriculum offer and enrichment activities.
Approximately 70 children across Upper Key Stage 2 completed their Level 2 Bikeability as they had access to our fleet of bikes rather than them bringing in bikes from home that may not be road worthy. They have learnt how to cycle safely on the road and navigate junctions in the local areas with support from the local authority Bikeability team. These vital skills will support their transition to the local high schools and enable them to access a wide range of activities within their local area such as swimming at Hadrian Leisure or even training down at the famous Wallsend Boys Club.”
I learnt to ride a bike in 2 lessons and finally completed a 7-mile bike ride on our third bike outing. Having bikes in school is great! I am excited about the next chance I get to go a school bike ride with my friends.Charley (Y6)
“After an initial Taster session for our Year 6 children in Summer 2023 we have now launched our Bike4Health programme every Monday afternoon where groups of children learn how to ride and begin to explore the local area with bike guides from Bike4Health alongside our staff, who recently completed their British Cycling accredited Ride Leader training.
By Christmas, approximately 110 pupils will have completed the Bike4Health programme in their respective classes. Children who were considered non-riders and now competent cyclists who can ride 7 to 10 miles within their local area.
We have a rolling programme to ensure other classes have this opportunity by the end of 2023-24 academic year. By the end of 23/24 academic year 180 pupils will have participated in the Bike4Health 3-week programme with additional rides established alongside that as well. “
The bike rides were fun because we got to go and see the World War 2 pillbox. We are also learning about World War 2 in English, so it makes it feel real.Darcey (Y5)
“Currently, we are discussions with Bike4Health about establishing longer rides for our Year 5 children to a location in Northumberland where they will stay for a residential before riding back to school the following day. These opportunities could not be delivered without our fleet of bikes and the funding from RISE. We are keen to deliver more opportunities like this such as the Coast to Coast and even taking the children to mainland Europe to experience cycling in Amsterdam using the local ferry routes.”
I loved it when we rode through the Rising Sun country park going over bumps and splashing through puddles. We also cycled to the top of a massive hill above a lake full of ducks. We could see for miles!Jack (Y6)
“In addition, we have identified groups of children who would benefit from Bike Maintenance workshops and small group rides with their peers. They will ride to a local youth club in Newcastle to participate in a range of activities that will boost self-esteem and make them proficient riders.
Without RISE this would not have been possible. We are excited about the future cycling opportunities for our school community and are really proud of how much we have achieved in a short space of time.”
I liked going out with our Bike4Health ride guides. Gary taught me lots of road signals and helped me to learn about how to keep safe when riding on the road.Lily (Y6)
I really like the bike ride because I love splashing through the puddles and seeing the ducks in the lake. I can’t wait to go on my cycling adventures!Ellie (Y5)
If you’re interested in getting cycling with your school, you can contact Bike4Health on 0191 250 9357 or at the following email addresses: