Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Cycling short trips for educational visits in Lambeth

One of Lambeth's excellent primary schools has just tweeted about an educational visit some of their pupils have been on:

 Google estimates it takes about 15 minutes to walk from the school to the synagogue, or 5 minutes to cycle the 0.7 miles / 1.3 kms.
It would probably be no quicker to cycle than to walk this trip, given bike unlocking/locking time (by either mode I suspect it will take a primary school group longer than Google's estimate). However, having at least some of the pupils making some of these short trips by bike would be a good way to build more learning into the educational visit. By the time the pupils are in secondary school they could be cycling on school trips to the South Bank Centre or further afield.

As Lambeth aims to be the most cycle friendly borough in London, I'm looking for examples of educational trips that Lambeth school classes have made by cycle, or schools that would like to give it a go - maybe the council's sustainable travel team could arrange some marshals if needed. Travel to swimming lessons would seem to present an obvious opportunity.

Comments welcome below, or schools could ask their transport contact at the Council or cycle training provider for help.

Here's an interesting example. I don't know how the pupils in their first year of secondary school made their way to Streatham Ice Skating Rink (assuming that's where they went). It's 21 minutes by foot; 8 on a bicycle on relatively quiet streets:

Update 2
Henry Cavendish Year 6 pupils went to the London Connected Learning Centre to day - a perfect 2 mile, half-hour opportunity for some related cycle journey learning (and a ride through Clapham Common)


Andy said...

I imagine resourcing would be tricky. You'd need staff to go with those cycling and staff to go with those without bikes (or who can't ride). I'm guessing the children would also need to cycle on the road(?) which maybe a risk a lot of parents would not want to take at this age. I'm all for kids cycling from an early age but I'm not sure how I'd feel about my kids doing this (in a genuine I'm unsure way, not I'm against it).

Charlie Holland said...

The council has a budget for cycle trainers - it would be a question of putting some of it to this kind of event. Parental permission would be needed, but as long as the school went about this in a structured rather than ad-hoc way (e.g. ensuring children can ride and the bikes are safe) it should be feasible. If safety of the children on an escorted ride on our streets is really an issue, and in my experience as a trainer of taking kids about I don't think it is, then the police would I'm sure send a PCSO or similar to accompany such trips.

Andy said...

Agree, I don't think safety on the streets is an issue so PCSO's shouldn't be needed, more of a case of safety from the traffic. As an adult I get wary and also see some ridiculous driving, so its just about how the kids who would be very inexperienced are kept as safe as possible.