Courtlands School ~ The Big Pedal
Courtlands School has been working with the sustainability charity and campaigning group SUSTRANS to help pupils and teachers feel more confident on their bikes.
SUSTRANS regularly come to the school to offer a free service for any teacher or pupil who had a bike but on a recent visit the children were very keen to be involved. As a result it turned into a biking and scootering session as well.
This was all part of the The Big Pedal, a school campaign run by SUSTRANS which encourages children to find sustainable solutions to their travel. Throughout April over 2100 schools across the country are competing in the UK’s largest inter-school active travel competition. The race is on to get the highest percentage of active journeys each day. You can find more information about the The Big Pedal here: https://bigpedal.org.uk/
Children from years 1 - 6 at Courtlands took part, with their miles all counting in the Big Cycle challenge. The school is now on the Big Pedal leader board for Plymouth, with a daily score of 36%.
The school now also has a ”Smoothie Bike”. This is a static bike with a smoothie maker fitted to the back. The children choose their ingredients, close the lid then pedal the bike to power the maker.
More initiatives are planned. A full audit of cycling ability will be held to help people of all ages and abilities get back on their bikes. Safety remains a key priority and more staff will be trained so that they can lead sessions.
Cycling helps improve physical and mental health, rescues the cost of travel and of course makes a real difference to the environment.
Jamie George is a teacher at Courtlands. He said: “Now that we can get back to learning outside the classroom we are going to be doing more with bikes and scooters, getting more children to take part, helping them to improve their ability and keeping them safe.”