Sean began his coast to coast challenge cycling from Tarbert to Dunbar as part of the STV appeal
Pupils at Tarbert Primary School were today (Thursday 11th June) presented with their iCycle cycling proficiency certificates by TV weatherman Sean Batty who was starting his coast to coast challenge for the STV children's appeal. The children and their cycle trainers from the school then accompanied Sean for the first part of his journey.
The iCycle programme was developed by the road safety units of Argyll and Bute and North Ayrshire councils in consultation with end users – teachers and pupils – as a one-stop-shop resource, linked to the Curriculum for Excellence, for all their cycle training needs.
Sean said: ‘’I’m really pleased to be setting off on my coast to coast challenge from Tarbert. I am excited to be visiting the school and am thrilled to be presenting the pupils with their iCycle certificates. Cycling is a perfect way to keep fit and it can take you all over the countryside so it’s great to see the kids getting involved.’’
Margaret McCulloch, primary 6/7 teacher and qualified iCycle trainer, said: ‘’We would like to thank Sean for coming along and presenting the pupils with their certificates; this is something they will remember for a long time and it will hopefully encourage then to keep cycling, using the skills and knowledge gained through the iCycle scheme.
‘’This is a great programme which not only teaches the children basic cycle proficiency and road safety but also has a direct link to the Curriculum for Excellence, which to us as educators is vital. Going through the training has certainly helped our pupils become successful learners and confident individuals.
‘’This really helps children gain key road safety skills, become responsible road users and ultimately gain a degree of independence, travelling as independently as they can and applying their learning to real life situations.’’
The programme is currently provided at 76 primary schools across Argyll and Bute and sees pupils trained for three weeks in the playground then, once they have built skills and confidence, three weeks on the road. There are three elements to the training – bike maintenance, theory and road work.
The council’s road safety team trains the trainers – anyone from head teachers to janitors to ordinary parents or grandparents – and provides mentoring and support while they carry out the face-to-face training and final assessments with the children.
Across the area, both mainland and island, 95% of those going through the programme receive on-road training, well above the national average of 38%.
Parents from Helensburgh to Oban and all points in-between have reported that more children are cycling to school after iCycle training, up from under 30% to more than 50%.
More information is available at www.icycle.org.uk