Northumberland teachers gain skills in leading pupil bike rides

Teachers from schools in Northumberland have completed a practical cycling training course enabling them to lead pupils on group bike rides on roads and cycle paths.

The course, which was delivered by Schools Go Smarter in partnership with British Cycling and Active Northumberland, was attended by teachers from schools including the Berwick Academy, Blyth Academy and Bedlington Community High School.

Andrew Dickson, Acting Head of the ICT Faculty at the Berwick Academy, was one of the teachers who attended the course. He said: “The school organises an enrichment week activity at the end of the school year and as part of that I am hoping to be able to take students cycling and encourage them to participate in cycling more frequently.”

The teachers completed the British Cycling Ride Leadership Award which is designed to equip people with the skills to lead groups of recreational cyclists and promote the benefits and joys of cycling in urban environments.

Schools Go Smarter encourages parents, pupils and teachers to use sustainable forms of transport, including cycling, to travel to and from school.

Tracy Aitken from Schools Go Smarter, said: “By running this course we’ve given teachers the knowledge and confidence to encourage their pupils to try cycling more often. Choosing an active form of travel, such as cycling, can have huge health benefits, not to mention the fact that it reduces congestion on our roads and helps the environment.”

The course combined classroom-based theory with practical riding sessions, which provided lessons on leading groups of cyclists, cycling equipment and different types of road environments.

Andrew Dickson added: “Having worked in education for the past ten years, I have noticed the development of the internet and more specifically online gaming. This has clearly had an impact on young people’s lifestyles and health.

“As a school teacher, we should be in a position where we can support and encourage cycling. With the British Cycling award, I will be more confident, and qualified to support cycling in schools and the wider community.”