First secondary to achieve Bike It Gold

The Royal Alexandra and Albert School is the first secondary school in the country to be awarded the Gold Sustrans School Mark Award for increasing the number of children regularly cycling to school from 9% to 31% since September 2010.

The school is the only one that has achieved the highest award amongst the hundreds of secondary schools participating in Sustrans 'Bike It' scheme, which aims to embed a culture of regular cycling to school.

In addition to the increase in the number of pupils cycling to school, there have been many other ways that the school encourages cycling. It has been included in the school curriculum in PE, Maths and other cross-curricular initiatives. There have been competitive cycling events, most famously an annual inter-school mountain-biking competition, and there have been transition events linking up with local primary schools. The school has also run after school activities to encourage cycling for fun, for example a Year 9 girls' cycle ride to Urban Kitchen in Reigate to have coffee and cake. There have been bike maintenance classes and bike checks to ensure bikes are safe.

The Bike It initiative supports the School’s travel plan by reducing the number of trips to school by car. This means fewer cars on the road and reduced congestion and cost for parents.

Bike It champion Ian Rowe, who teaches maths at the School, said “We have worked hard to increase the number of pupils who cycle to school and are pleased that so many do so regularly. It is great seeing children outside in the fresh air enjoying themselves and doing exercise.”

Hannah Sims, Sustrans Bike It Officer for Reigate and Banstead, said: "For a secondary school to achieve the Gold Award is an incredible accomplishment, and shows that it is possible to change attitudes and habits. Thanks to the dedication of Ian and the students, a culture of cycling has been embedded within the school and this will continue to have a positive impact on the students and wider community."

23rd September 2013

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