How to use Bike to School Week to get youngsters cycling


Cycling brings with it many benefits and Bike to School Week aims to showcase those to school children across the country.

The week’s promoter, Sustrans, states that not only does it bring health benefits, but using two wheels can also help the environment.

Currently, around 2-3% of children in the UK cycle to school, which compares to nearly half of all Dutch school children – something Sustrans is keen to change.

More than half a million pupils have already taken part in one event this year – the Big Pedal – which saw them ditching car rides to get to school.

That week saw pupils burn a combined total of more than 55 million calories burned and more than 75,000 gallons of fuel not being used for the school run.

Bike to School Week is another chance to promote the positive impacts that an active lifestyle can have on pupil wellbeing and overall health.

Creative ideas for classroom time

Primary teachers and secondary teachers can promote cycling through a range of engaging activities in the classroom, such as by facilitating discussion around the journeys they make to the school.

Encourage them to consider what parts of their journey they like and dislike, and to think of ways of improving how they get to school.

Secondary pupils could also be quizzed on their knowledge of congestion, why journey planning is important, and on some of the basics of the Highway Code.

Primary children could be asked to calculate the number of calories they burn from cycling to school or asked to plot their routes on a map to calculate how far they travel.

Bike to School Week is also a fantastic opportunity to discuss the engineering associated with bicycles and to think about how to service them and keep them in good working order.

Promoting cycling could bring long-term benefits by encouraging the use of bikes throughout the year, helping to reduce the number of cars on the road and benefitting the environment.