PUPILS at Denend Primary School in Cardenden have joined a record number of students across Scotland who are taking advantage of fully-funded on-road cycle training.

Bikeability Scotland is the national cycle training programme for school children, equipping them with the skills and confidence to make everyday trips by bike.

Funded by Cycling Scotland through grant funding from Transport Scotland, the programme is free for pupils, with a record 50 per cent of primary schools across the country delivering the training over the last year.

In the 2021-22 academic session, a record of more than 52,000 children received Bikeability Scotland cycle training, developing key life skills.

Among the benefits seen by pupils and their parents are improved hazard awareness, confidence, and eagerness to cycle more after the training.

For schools, the training is an effective and fully funded way of delivering Curriculum for Excellence outcomes, offering outdoor learning opportunities and supporting attainment.

In Fife, one quarter of schools delivered Level 2 on-road Bikeability Scotland training in the last calendar year, with those remaining urged to follow their lead and take advantage of the free training for pupils.

Interest in the programme has been high in the local area, with five primary schools: Benarty PS, Cardenden PS, Lochgelly South PS, Lochgelly West PS and St. Patrick's PS) also delivering Level 1 training to pupils in recent months.

Denend PS is one of the latest schools in Fife to deliver Bikeability Scotland training to children in Primary 5-7.

With varying levels of access to bikes and experience of cycling an early age across the local authority area, the training is even more valuable as a means of offering children a gateway to cycling, as well as promoting road safety awareness and active lifestyles.

Mr Walker, class teacher at Denend, said: “It’s been great having the Bikeability Team support the delivery of this on-road training for our pupils.

"It was such an easy process and the children have loved it.

"They’ve been greatly looking forward to the training itself, but the real benefit is the range of skills they take forward into later life.

“We intend to offer this cycle training every year going forward so all our primary six children are equipped with the right knowledge and confidence to take advantage of the benefits cycling has to offer.”

David Collins, Bikeability Scotland Manager, commented: “Every schoolchild should have the opportunity to benefit from Bikeability Scotland training and so we’re calling on teachers in Fife to contact their local coordinator to say they’d like to replicate what is being achieved at Denend Primary and deliver it in their own school.

“We’ve made the process of accessing the free training for instructors as easy as possible. All materials including pupils’ guides, certificates, badges and information for parents are provided. Even bikes can be supplied for the training period.

“We’d love to see more schools in Fife take advantage of this free training programme, as our experience shows us that children and their parents come away feeling motivated with their newfound skills and confidence.”

Simon Warren, Active Schools Coordinator at Fife Council, added: “Learning to cycle is an important life skill that every child should have access to.

"There are huge health benefits from being able to cycle and it is great to see pupils cycling to school and taking advantage of being outdoors in Fife.

"I would encourage any school to speak to their Active Schools Coordinator or Bikeability Coordinator to start a programme in their school.”

Schools interested in delivering Bikeability Scotland training are encouraged to contact their local coordinator now to begin arranging training sessions in spring.

For further information and contact details for your local coordinator, please visit the Bikeability Scotland website at www.bikeability.scot