Teachers learn through new games to promote road safety to children and whānau
Primary school teachers recently jumped on bikes to upskill and advocate for safe active travel among students and the wider community, through a partnership with Greater Wellington, the Bike On New Zealand Charitable Trust, Waka Kotahi, and local and regional councils.
Around 40 schools and communities in the Wellington region have implemented their own Bikes in Schools project.
Greater Wellington Bikes in Schools Facilitator and Pedal Ready Cycle Skills Instructor, Sean Linton says, the teacher training workshop encouraged teachers to put themselves in the student’s shoes and play games to learn different skills.
“We’re using a new games resource from Waka Kotahi’s BikeReady that shows you how to ride closely alongside others, in opposite directions on shared paths, communicate intentions and be predictable.
“The idea is for teachers to become familiar with the games, then integrate the activities into their school’s curriculum as they see fit.
“The sessions are full of laughter and super engaging for teachers who have a passion for active travel. We’re supporting and celebrating the bike champions within schools and communities and co-facilitating networking opportunities for them” says Sean.
Although the workshops are packed with fun and activities, they are important for promoting active and sustainable travel habits for the next generation.
“School bike champions help prepare students to meet the environmental challenges of the future, reduce transport-emissions, and encourage good behaviours on the road” says Sean.
Workshop attendee and special education needs coordinator at Holy Family school in Porirua, Mary-Jane Godinet says the workshop is a well organised professional learning day that is energising and collaborative.
“This new resource is filled with lots of adaptable exercises and games that engage our students with great bike skills, while keeping them active.
“Bikes in Schools is wonderful for instilling the passion for riding in students, and giving them the skills to take part in active travel safely,” says Mary-Jane.
Bikes in Schools links up with several Greater Wellington programmes and resources such as the Active Travel Action curriculum resource, Pedal Ready, Scooter Ready, Movin’March and Enviroschools.
Greater Wellington Transport Committee Chair, Roger Blakeley says Bikes in Schools acts as a catalyst to other Greater Wellington programmes that benefit student health and create opportunities for students to take action in response to climate change.
“Through our various programmes, students are contributing to our regional target of a 40% increase in active travel and public transport mode share by 2030 and achieving our climate positive goal by 2035,” says Cr Blakeley.