Why do schools need Balanceability?
The Balanceability programme provides an opportunity for younger children to be involved in cycling. The Government's existing cycle programmes are aimed at children 10 and 11 years old; even Bikeability Level 1 is for 6+ years so Balanceability fits as the precursor. Not only does Balanceability teach children how to ride without stabilisers, but also balance, gross motor skills, core stability and of course, having fun through physical activity.
The importance of physical education has been recognised by the dedicated PE and Sport Premium funding. Schools have a range of objectives in promoting cycling, such as: to improve children's health, fitness and safety knowledge; to reduce the number of cars on the school run; to increase active travel; and to enable the youngest pupils to make progress on their physical literacy journey. Facilitating and encouraging cycling for all young children will benefit them, not only now but also years to come.
Being able to ride a bike is a life lesson which is being increasingly overlooked in the home as many parents rely on pre-schools and primary schools to get their children in the saddle. MORI study say 43% of children at 6 years cannot ride a bike. Combining a great start in cycling with the fundamental development of children's motor skills through this age appropriate programme will provide a secure foundation on which to build.
Creating early positive experiences before the age of 10 is vital; there is a developmental window when children's brains and bodies develop preferences and motivations based on what they're already doing that will stay with them forever. Reaching kids before this developmental moment is critical to breaking the cycle of physical inactivity. (designedtomove.org).
Schools need cost-effective opportunities for physical activity for the youngest children and Balanceability provides exactly that opportunity. Through the purchase of the equipment and training, Balanceability is able to facilitate and support teachers with a unique in-curriculum programme, capable of reaching a large population of children. Balanceability starts at the beginning and by enthusing children who will influence their parents to put their skills into practice, we believe more children will be healthier and better prepared for future cycling, as well as more likely to maintain environmentally-sustainable physical activities in later life.
The dedicated primary PE and Sport Premium, announced in March 2013, goes directly to primary school head teachers so you can decide how best to use it to provide sporting activities for your pupils.
Balanceability can provide your school with an exciting new PE activity which is proven to deliver against a significant number of the Early Years Foundation Stage goals.
Primary schools across the country are already using the premium to invest in Balanceability to:
- introduce cycling for younger children
- up-skill the teachers to have the confidence to deliver Balanceability
- provide a new after-school club
- increase the range of equipment and sports available
- include children with special educational needs in the fundamentals of balance and cycling
- encourage physical activity and active travel with family
Further information on how to access your PE and Sports Premium funding.
Patricia Maude MBE, lecturer in physical education at Homerton College, University of Cambridge and author of Physical Children, Active Teaching said: “The published reports in July 2011 of both the Chief Medical Officers’ Report and the NHS ‘Physical Activity Guidelines for Children (Under 5 years), call for an increase in physical activity for most children. The Balanceability programme ably contributes to meeting the physical activity guidelines for healthy development as well as providing a success-orientated experience, helping to build up children’s confidence and sense of achievement.”
Buy a Balanceability pack for your school
Please click here if you are interested in buying a Balanceability pack for your school.