Tour de Upminster

Bike It Secondary Pupils Provide Strong Cycling Role Models in Cycling Roadshow !

In Upminster, in the Bike It Plus borough of Havering, Coopers Coborn and Company secondary school has been a shining example of how to promote cycling in schools. They have embraced their role as a hub school by providing support to the Bike It primaries in their local area. The aim of the hub is to create a real “cycling journey” for children moving through primary education and onto secondary school where they are greeted by excellent cycling facilities, opportunities to be part of Bike Club, Bike Polo and the Youth Travel Ambassadors who promote sustainable travel throughout the school.

Coopers pupils with the Engayne Bike It Crew
Coopers pupils with the Engayne Bike It Crew

One of the initiatives Coopers school have embraced with the support of Bike It this year, is a cycling roadshow around Upminster by Year 7,8 and 9 pupils  to visit their local Bike It primaries, giving cycling assemblies to their younger peers aged 6-11. The primary pupils were excited to hear from the older children about cycling and this formed part of a wider campaign to encourage the children to cycle safely and confidently to school.

Lucy and co discussing pollution in one of their assemblies
Lucy and co discussing pollution in one of their assemblies

Lucy Bree, in Year 7, is a core member of this fantastic team who visited the 5 Bike It primaries in total in April -May this year. She wrote this about her experiences:

Hi my name is Lucy Bree and I’m in year 7 at Coopers Coborn and Company Secondary school. As part of Bike It I went to two local primary schools to talk to them about cycling to school and how to look after your bike and then we were talking about the ABC check and how to stop pollution getting as high as it is today by encouraging more cycling! The two primary schools I went to were St. Josephs Catholic Primary and James Oglethorpe Primary and helping them get involved. I find going round to primary schools important because it teaches me a new skill and teaches the youngsters more skill as well. One thing I learnt when I did my first primary school assembly was the ABC check. I learnt lots of new skills by teaching more people and hopefully the people I taught could be at their old school doing an assembly just like me and my other friends. I really did enjoy doing the assemblies because I find it fun when I teach others about my knowledge which I think I remind myself of this knowledge when I haven’t done it in ages and it refreshes my memory so I am glad I get involved in these types of chances that Bike It and the YTA has given me.

Lucy practising for her assembly presentation
Lucy practising for her assembly presentation

The other schools visited by this group were Branfil Primary, Engayne Primary and Upminster Juniors. Local paper the Romford Recorder had this to say.

Coopers pupils arriving at the Thames on an 18 mile bike ride
Coopers pupils arriving at the Thames on an 18 mile bike ride

 

 

Much of this valuable work has been made possible by the hard work of the site manager at the school, Mr Hanford, who supported the pupils to prepare their presentations. The school really do practise what they preach with 30 bikes frequently packed into their sheds. Mr Hanford, a trained Bikeability Instructor, led the pupils on their bikes to the primary schools to give their assemblies. He said: “The students all really enjoyed giving assemblies at their old Junior schools.”

“It is important to encourage children from an early age to really think about making their school journey by more sustainable methods, especially cycling.”