Early Years Cycling

Embsay Primary School, Skipton

The reception class at Embsay took part in Pedal&Scoot sessions in May 2015.  The reception teacher wrote the following feedback.

At Embsay we have quite a small outdoor area which does not always allow for extending the children’s use of wheeled vehicles. However we do have access to the two (much larger) school playgrounds. Having read about Pedal and Scoot on the ABC Does website, I got in touch with Annie and invited her in. I am so glad I did! Over half of the children in the class had yet to learn how to ride their bikes and as a result of the patient teaching of Annie, alongside my willing parent (and grandparent) helpers virtually the whole class became confident bike riders. As a consequence, we set up ‘Wheelie Wednesdays’ where the children had access to the playground after school on a Wednesday to continue to hone their skills and improve their confidence further, alongside their friends.


We have had overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents and have been asked to continue with the days in subsequent years. As class teacher it was also nice to step back, watch the children learn and see the joy on their faces when they realise they are actually riding their bike. At the end of the second day, we held a ‘celebration’ session from 3 o’clock, where parents were invited in to witness our success first-hand.

We asked for parental feedback and here is a selection of the comments we received:

“Absolutely fantastic! So pleased that ‘I’ can now ride a bike – we were getting nowhere with her and now she loves it!”

“E felt he was taught skills he has not been taught at home and enjoyed doing so alongside his friends”

“I came to help on day 2 and was really impressed how many were pedalling confidently”

“S had a wonderful time improving her bike skills. Annie was a great teacher.”

“Fantastic. J really gained a lot from the bike days”

“Both A & J really enjoyed the sessions and I noticed a rapid improvement in confidence and skill for them both”

“I cannot speak highly enough of the Reception Bike days. A went from never having ridden a bike without stabilisers before, to being able to ride.”

“H loved this. He was so excited on the second day and improved so much with his riding skills – having his friends alongside him really encouraged him and built on his confidence.”

“The two days of cycling were fantastic and we are very, very grateful to the school for providing them. L has not only learned to ride her bike, she has also become very confident and enthusiastic about riding.”

“What a fabulous experience this was! H was a nervous non-bike rider, who blossomed over the 2 sessions into a confident, happy rider. Annie was such a lovely, gentle teacher too, with so much patience. Thank you for giving our children this opportunity and life skill. We truly value it.”






Carnforth North Road Community Primary School

North Road school chose to run Pedal & Scoot training for reception on Friday mornings over 4 weeks.  They also continued to work with Pedal & Scoot in order to engage the rest of the school.  The teacher was invited to write a guest blog, ‘Challenge in your wheeled toys’, on the early years website, ABC Does:

“We all know that scootering at speed is a favourite past time and often not very challenging for the children who choose to access this activity. Various challenges had been introduced when an adult had played in this area. We’d numbered the bikes, matched them to numbered parking bays, used them in a car wash, had a ‘pay before you play system’ where the children used real money to pay a suitably assertive child for a turn, asked the children to create their own challenges (very scary – teams of children manoeuvring heavy planks of wood and scootering down a ramp on these), and placed fewer scooters outside to develop the childrens’ ability to negotiate (usually with sand timers) and take turns.

Over time we did, however, feel the area needed a boost, especially when we eventually had a class who would and could scooter. We did put the scooters away for a while but then, fortunately, Annie Cousins from Pedal and Scoot, came to offer tuition to small groups of children to enable the children to ride a bike without stabilisers.

Because of her successful coaching, the children were then allowed to bring their bikes into the outdoor classroom, where we sectioned off an area for them to use in free flow learning time. It was then very easy to then provide differentiated challenges.”

Extract from ‘Challenge in your Wheeled Toys – Guest Blog’, by ABC Does.  Read full blog.


St Mark’s CE Primary School, Natland, Cumbria

St Marks have recently booked a second series of learn to cycle sessions for their reception class in 2015, after a great success in 2014.  The following impacts of the Pedal & Scoot programme were noted in the school’s Primary School Sports Premium report: 

“all pupils in Reception Class able to balance and ride a two wheeled bicycle”

“sustainable and lasting skills taught effectively”

“many families encouraged to equip their Reception aged children with quality bicycles”

“pupils keen to ride their bikes out of school”

“anecdotal evidence of families cycling together at weekends as a result of the programme”

“large group of parents involved in school based sport activity”


Willow Lane Community Primary School, Lancaster

Willow Lane are keen to ensure every child in the school has an opportunity to learn to ride a bike.  Pedal & Scoot have been running regular sessions since 2013, to help make this a reality.  The learn to cycle training usually takes place over a series of mornings or afternoons, with parents invited to help and to experience the wonderful moment when their child learns to pedal!  One parent who came along wrote to the head teacher with this glowing report:

“I just wanted to email to tell you how brilliant the learning to ride a bike session was yesterday.  Both Annie and Malcolm were really good with the children in reception, and most of them, including my son, were riding within the hour.  I know that my friends whose children go to other schools in the area do not have these sessions, so I wanted to thank you for having them at Willow Lane.  There is no way I would have got him riding so soon……! We will be doing them again next week to build on my son’s confidence.”



The big wide world

"The great majority of us first learn to ride as a child, the bicycle a type of 'transitional object', taking us away to really explore the bigger world for the first time out of the sight of our parents, our first real taste of independence and freedom. It's the symbolic moment when horizons broaden, possibilities open up; you are moving under your own power, controlling where you want to go."

– Mike Carter 'One Man and His Bike'

Ready Pedal Go!