Northumberland school pledges to ensure every pupil can ride a bike

A generous headteacher has launched an initiative to encourage all pupils to learn to ride a bike.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 8:00 am
Stannington First School is encouraging pupils to ride a bike.

Alexandra Palmer has been with Stannington First School for four years and is insistent that along with the set curriculum that all children should be passionate about their health and wellbeing and has bikes on hand to teach them this essential and fun life skill.

She said: “Every child deserves to ride a bike. I believe it’s the most fun form of exercise and an essential life skill, like swimming.

"You can see how much the children love it when they finally get their confidence up and go zooming around the playground.”

Along with cycling, walking to school is also prescribed and there are several treasure hunt style initiatives to help make walking more fun.

Mrs Palmer added: “A large proportion of our pupils live a considerable distance away from the school so we’ve introduced the concept of park and stride along with park and ride.

"Parents can drive their children to school but park far enough away to engage in exercise to kick start their mornings.

“We also place interesting facts and educational questions around the village that all the kids go wild for.”

Rebecca Jest, a parent, said her kids have been transformed since starting at the school: “Honestly, what this school has done for my kids is nothing short of a miracle.

“I am so grateful for all the school does for them. I know that they are getting a solid education but also a great foundation to support their physical and mental wellbeing, which is invaluable.”

Stannington First School is featured in Northumberland County Council’s Big Gear Change campaign which encourages residents to make small lifestyle changes to make a big impact on both health and the environment.

Coun Guy Renner-Thompson, cabinet member with responsibility for children's services, said: “This school is a prime example of how teaching young people that health, wellbeing and the environment are as important as a traditional education.

“The fact that kids are excited to go into school by these initiatives and have the opportunity to learn to ride a bike regardless of their background is phenomenal."