Post 16 students at Laleham Gap School in Ramsgate had a surprise at the end of their Bikeability training organised by teacher Mr Ursell.
He had arranged for PCOS Adrian Butterworth to come in with a load of biking goodies to celebrate their success and to motivate them to further develop their cycling.
Mr Ursell said: “Our ethos in Post 16 is all about life skills. We have developed our own Preparing for Adulthood scheme and riding and maintaining a bike is one key aspect. Cycling can be enormously liberating for our students.”
Alongside the cycling Mr Ursell has a bike engineer come in every fortnight to run a maintenance course and he is extremely proud that many of his students are becoming increasingly proficient at all the basic, and some fairly complicated, repairs and maintenance a bike requires.
Over a couple of days of Bikeability, the students demonstrated proficiencies in all the key skills, riding on a cycle path up to and back from Westwood Cross. Ordinarily getting praise, a certificate, a badge and a bag would be enough. However, alongside some advice on keeping your bike safe PCSO Butterwoth was pleased to give the students a bike record card, a set of clip on lights and a D Lock each to take home and use.
Mr Ursell thanked PCSO Butterworth, agreeing that it would be “highly motivating” for his students, who he expected to go from “strength to strength” with their cycling. Mr Ursell has already booked Bikeability to come in next month to do the next level.
He said: “Of course, cycling is only one part. This week we had a firefighter in from Kent Fire and Rescue where we explained aspects of keeping safe. We are teaching the students how to safely walk to and from destinations and will be taking them next month to the Margate Travel Safe Centre as we start Travel Training.
“Alongside kitchen, domestic and social skills we are thoroughly preparing our students for transition into adulthood.”
Laleham Gap is a special Communication and Interaction school for children with autism and speech and language issues.