At Rachel Keeling Nursery School we have built in time to reflect and evaluate the learning every day as a team. This has enabled us to keep the longer term and bigger picture in mind when thinking about children's learning over time. These discussions we have every day are some of the most useful in thinking about our provision, interactions and environment (although Linda has some of her best ideas whilst ironing!)
Cycling was a whole school focus on our School Development Plan in 2016. We recognised the importance of children developing their balance, coordination and gross motor skills in a variety of contexts - climbing, swinging, running, jumping, dancing as well as cycling. We saw that our children were motivated to use the bikes but recognised our bikes were not very sophisticated (trikes and bikes with stabilisers).
We became a Bike It School (courtesy of Sustrans and TfL) and we purchased some balance and two wheeler pedal bikes as well as helmets. During this time we also visited settings who have high quality cycling in place and supported some of our staff to learn to ride a bicycle. We also had the support of a Bike It liaison officer who came along to work alongside staff and children to teach us effective ways to teach children to develop cycling skills. We have run bicycle maintenance workshops for children and families as well as our termly Bike It Breakfast, where children who cycle or scoot to school come in early for a hearty, healthy breakfast. We have looked at our environment as well: sometimes using the local park to support children who are developing skill on the two wheeler bikes.
All teaching staff have now been involved in delivering cycling and seeing the benefits of a systematic approach to cycling - teaching children skills and giving them time to develop those skills and their confidence as well. Children are independent, can manage sharing bicycles, putting on their helmets. Children are also showing such motivation to sustain interest and persevere in mastering both balance and two wheeler pedal bikes. Currently more than a quarter of our three and four year olds can cycle proficiently on two wheeler pedal bikes. Families borrow the bikes and helmets over weekends and half terms and this has helped to embed physical activity in the lives of some families. Many more children now scoot and cycle to school like Becky!
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