Riddings junior school partners with Frog Bikes to enhance learning and development
16 August 2023
Located in Derbyshire, Riddings Junior School, a member of the Embark Federation Multi-Academy Trust, has partnered with Frog Bikes, a leading manufacturer of kids' bikes to enhance learning and development at the school through cycling.
In late 2022, Riddings Junior School welcomed an exciting addition to its staff - Martin Whiteman, a passionate and experienced Physical Education and Outdoor Learning Coach. Upon his arrival, he recognised an excellent opportunity to introduce a cycling programme that was currently absent at the school. Determined to make a positive impact, Martin engaged in discussions with the Head Teacher, revealing a shared vision to integrate cycling seamlessly into the pupil education programme.
IDENTIFYING A NEED
Riddings Junior School set out on a quest to find a kids' bike provider. The school did not have any bikes for its pupils to use, limiting their access to cycling and outdoor activities, and with vast woodlands surrounding the perimeter, it offered the perfect backdrop for a new cycling initiative. Martin said, “I’ve had the experience of using a high street brand fleet of bikes at a previous school, but due to their heavy weight, the bikes were prone to causing falls, even when the riders were stationary. So finding lightweight bikes that fit all the children’s needs was the first step.”
This new cycling initiative aimed to not only provide an engaging alternative to traditional physical education lessons but also offer pupils valuable life-long skills.
In choosing a bike provider, Riddings School carefully considered specific requirements in order to ensure an enjoyable and seamless cycling experience for its pupils.
- Quality: At the top of the school's checklist was the importance of quality. They wanted bikes that were durable and long-lasting since they required less maintenance and can withstand the trials and tribulations of children
- Lightweight: Recognising the significance of safety and comfort the school prioritised lightweight bikes, ensuring that pupils would not fall off easily and would find them easier to ride and handle
- Range of bike sizes: With a commitment to inclusivity, the school required a diverse range of bike sizes. This ensured that pupils of varying ages, heights, and abilities could partake in the cycling programme
- Road/cyclocross bikes: Fueled by a desire to nurture young talents, Riddings School also sought bikes suitable for road and cyclocross riding, allowing pupils to progress to the next level of cycling
WHY FROG BIKES?
Riddings Junior School recognised that the success of this programme hinged on the choice of a bike provider. Frog Bikes was first introduced to Martin by a parent whose child rode for a club using a Frog bike.
“Through my experiences as a British Cycling Coach, I had encountered Frog Bikes on multiple occasions and was aware of their reputation as a high-quality bike with a lightweight design that was easier for children to ride,” commented Martin.
BENEFITS OF FROG BIKES
- Lightweight and high quality: Since Frog bikes are lightweight, they reduce the risk of pupils falling off & boost confidence while exceeding safety standards.
Martin said, “The school have found the bikes to be of great quality, making them easier to ride due to the child-sized components.”
- Smooth gear transitions: Frog’s bikes are equipped with FrogFit Technology® youth- specific gear shifters with short lever travel for easy gear change.
“The gears on Frog bikes were praised by pupils for their fluidity, ease of shifting, and quality of the drive chain”, commented Martin. This helps minimise energy losses, enabling riders to achieve faster speeds with less effort.
- Comfortable seats: Frog's saddles are ergonomically designed for children.
Martin said, “The bikes' seats were found to be very comfortable as commented by several pupils.”
- Ergonomic design: Frog’s bikes include narrow handlebars with padded grips & short-reach brake levers for young riders.
With Frog Bikes on board, the stage was set for a cycling experience to propel the pupils into a world of pedal-powered excitement and growth.
The pupils at Riddings School are reaping the benefits of the fleet of Frog bikes, thoughtfully curated to enhance their learning experiences across various areas. Comprising 25 hybrid bikes and 5 road bikes, they have become an integral part of the school's activities.
During dinner times, the pupils embark on exciting expeditions, journeying through enchanting woodlands in groups of 15, fostering a sense of camaraderie and exploration.
Additionally, the school offers two after-school clubs - one tailored to year 3 & 4 pupils and another catering to year 5 & 6 pupils. Furthermore, starting September 2023, the clubs will include year 2 pupils, expanding opportunities for skill development and fun.
As part of the school's commitment to equipping pupils with essential life skills, maintenance training sessions have been implemented. These hands-on workshops cover a wide range of essential biking skills, such as gear changes, tyre inflation, inner tube replacement, chain maintenance, and overall bicycle upkeep.
For the more competitive pupils, the school introduced the smart turbo trainer at wet break times, enabling more access to the bikes. This device allows pupils to connect a road bike to the laptop, enabling a thrilling 6-second power sprint to measure their wattage output, fostering healthy competition and motivation.
Lastly, the school prioritises the safety and proficiency of its students on the road. Bikeability, an essential cycle training programme, is thoughtfully integrated into the curriculum. This empowers pupils with the confidence and skills necessary for safe and enjoyable cycling experiences.
Dave Cates, Headteacher commented, “The combination of the quality, lightweight Frog bikes and our innovative educational thinking have further elevated the learning experience at Riddings Junior School. This is helping to inspire the pupils to embrace the joys of cycling while nurturing their physical and mental well-being.”
Riddings Junior School has exciting plans for the future use of Frog bikes:
Duathlon and Go Ride competitions: The school is considering using Frog bikes for a children’s Duathlon event in 2024, which will involve cycling and running
"Go Ride" competitions: Together with the local sports partnership, the school will allow pupils to use Frog bikes to enter the event.
Local rides and bike borrowing: The school aims to organise local rides where parents and children can ride together. They plan to loan Frog bikes to enable more children to participate and encourage them to ride to school and leverage the school's proximity to a nearby park
Riddings Junior School's decision to introduce Frog Bikes into their learning environment serves as a testament to the benefits of integrating physical activity into education. The lightweight and high-quality bikes have brought numerous benefits, including increased skill levels, enhanced fitness, perseverance and improved confidence. With future plans for duathlons, competitions, and community rides, Frog Bikes continue to play a significant role in promoting cycling and outdoor activities at Riddings Junior School.