St Peters students discover the many benefits of cycling

Bronwyn WilsonLearning, Special Events

In our sedentary society and with lifestyle diseases on the rise, the role of Health and Physical Education has never been more important. Health and Physical Education develops knowledge, movement, communication and teamwork skills. Students become aware of themselves, their bodies and the way they move. They learn and grow as they build and manage respectful relationships.

Cycling is an activity that can be enjoyed at any age. The great thing about it is that it can be accessed at many levels from the simple commute to elite racing on the road, mountain or track. When we began teaching cycling to the students in our middle primary we started with a plan of teaching road skills and safety but it became a lot more!

Little did we know the full range of abilities within the classes. There were students who couldn’t ride at all, students who had recently taken their trainer wheels off and students who could easily fly down a mountain, avoid all the obstacles and probably be standing on the handle bars!

What unfolded was a credit to the beautiful children we have in our school. Many of the students who were competent riders got off their bikes and helped the students who were still learning. The students shared their knowledge and tricks, but mostly they offered kind words and encouragement. At any given time you could see children holding up others on bikes, running beside them or yelling instructions. The students showed their wonderful leadership skills and their understanding of others.

The students who were struggling demonstrated persistence and positive attitudes.  Some students spent the 7 week unit trying, wobbling, falling and getting back up again. When they finally achieved success the celebrations were immense and enjoyed with the whole class. The students who were expert riders were challenged with the task of picking various objects  off the ground and moving them. The favourite task was the cone flipping. Students had to pick up a traffic cone, throw it and flip it so that it landed upright. The roar of excitement when this was achieved was electric.

At the conclusion of the unit the positive attitudes and excitement were evident.Those who had mastered balance and bike riding were rightfully elated. These skills will enable students to incorporate some activity into their daily lives both now and in the future.

Penny Rawinski

PE & Health Teacher