Herts Balance and Ride with Bernards Heath Infant and Nursery School

This summer we joined forces with Phil from Herts Balance and Ride to launch a new initiative funded by our Sports Premium budget (with no cost to parents) to teach our Year 1 and 2 children the life skill of balancing and riding a bike.

Why learn to ride a bike?

  • Our Physical Education curriculum must ‘provide opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness’ National Curriculum 2013
  • Develop strength, coordination, balance and stamina
  • Increase fitness levels and learn habits to encourage a healthy lifestyle
  • Contribute to a sustainable environment
  • Take on a new challenge
  • Have fun!

After 6 days of working with Phil over the course of 4 weeks, working with a total of 63 children in KS1, here are the results:

By the end of their final session 84% of children were riding, 14% had transitioned to gliding on a pedal bike and 1 child was balancing, very close to transitioning to a pedal bike.

Here’s what the parents thought  – 

‘Absolutely fantastic…. she loved every minute and I cannot believe she could independently ride a bike in under an hour. She has been on lots of bike rides since learning her new skill.’

‘My 6 year old daughter is thrilled to be actually riding a bike properly now and is always asking to go out for family bike rides.’

‘I cannot commend this experience enough…she enjoyed it so much and made extremely fast progress and is now confident bike riding. We very much hope you will continue this initiative for when our son joins the school in Sept 2019.  Congratulations to Phil and his team and well done BH school in being so innovative…’

‘He had shown no interest in learning to ride a bike before (happy to just sit in my child’s bike seat) and was a bit nervous. He was so proud that he has learnt to ride and I am amazed he has done this in such a short amount of time. He is now asking for a bike, which I am keen to get him so that we can practice together. I’m so grateful he has had this opportunity. Phil had a lovely gentle manner with the children which I think is so important’

‘It was really helpful for her to have the practise on a balance bike and she’s already asked us to take her stabilisers off so she can practise gliding on her bike this weekend.  A great school initiative, thanks very much indeed.’

‘A massive thank you to the school and Phil for organising the bike lessons…He’s definitely shown more interest in riding in the garden and his confidence has grown since the lessons.  Thanks again to you and all the staff who coordinated the bike training and a super thank you to Phil who has taught the kids so incredibly well. I know many parents who were equally amazed at how well their kids can now ride a bike.’

‘My daughter was unable to ride without stabilisers before the course. She could use a balance bike, but was nowhere near riding for herself. She is quite small and last summer she just wasn’t physically strong enough to get going despite our efforts.  We knew that it was time to get her going this year, but could see it being difficult because she wasn’t confident on the bike and also has 2 bigger, stronger sisters who are physically streets ahead of her which sometimes can make her unconfident in her own ability.  At the end of the 2 bike sessions, she was riding independently, although still a bit wobbly and not that confidently.  However, she has taken every opportunity since the course to be outside on her bike and she’s now really cracked it and is enjoying cycling.  It has been brilliant for her to be able to learn with her own peers and to get going so quickly.  She can now join her sisters when they are out of their bikes without feeling like she’s missing out and we are looking forward to finally going out together as a family this summer.  Many thanks for giving her this opportunity.’

‘Our son recently undertook the learning to ride program…he never showed any interest to learn previously despite previous attempts …he learnt on the course the balance bike then second day he could actually ride unsupported  (we offered [him] an extra incentive that when he progressed  we would get him a bike).  We bought him a bike 2 days later…now he is on it every day…he even sits on the bike on the terrace waiting for us to take him out !!  He is getting more confident with every session….and will look for a bike myself  so that we can go out together.’

‘We were amazed that after just one lesson he could confidently ride a bike without stabilizers. He was so proud of himself after the first lesson and demonstrated his skills around our close and proudly told the neighbours and also random strangers that we met that week that he could ride his bike without stabilizers! After the second session with Phil he had increased in confidence even more and it was great to see him cycling fast and confidently around the playground.

He has since had an increased interest in riding his bike in the evenings and at weekends, he rode down to the local park this weekend. His Dad has also just purchased a bike so that he can go out on bike rides with him.
Many thanks to the school for using the funding towards this, a really important skill for children to learn and I think doing it with peers in the school setting helps their confidence and focus as they see it as a challenge and another form of learning.’
We could keep going!  Your support has been fantastic; thank you for joining us at the ‘showcases’ to celebrate the children’s successes and for getting out on your bikes at home.  We look forward to continuing our work with Phil in the autumn.

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