Not all schoolchildren like team sports. Such children can find the options available to them for physical education very limited – both within the school PE curriculum and outside the classroom in the extra-curricular activities on offer. While a few schools are introducing dance and yoga as PE options, there is still a need to establish alternative outdoor physical activities for those with an aversion to football and rugby.
One school in Derby, which already has cycling on the curriculum, has taken the further step of adding cycling to the school’s PE GCSE assessment. From 2010 all Derby schools will feature cycling on the curriculum.
Introducing initiatives like this make sense from many angles, including health and safety, tackling obesity, and promoting sustainable transport. Children who can cycle with confidence will be able to be more independent and may be more likely to integrate cycling into their lives outside school. Providing school-based pathways into various types of cycling will increase children’s leisure and sporting options, as children can be funnelled into local clubs based around BMXing, mountain biking, road racing, and touring.
Perhaps Chester schools can consider the Derby initiative and begin to think creatively about how cycling might be incorporated into the school curriculum, not only in PE, but perhaps also in Design and Technology, Geography, and even Physics.