Buckie High School
Before engaging with Cycling Scotland, cost and logistics of hiring bikes was a major barrier.
Buckie High School, based in rural Moray, has over 700 pupils on the school roll. In 2018, Buckie applied for and received a grant of £3,900 from the Cycling Friendly Secondary Schools development fund to purchase 11 bikes, which has provided a variety of opportunities for the pupils at the school and thanks to the development fund, cycling activities can be offered with little or no cost implications.
How bikes helped
The provision of bikes, as well as other measures the school has taken to promote cycling, has clearly had an effect: in the past year, the proportion of pupils cycling to school has more than doubled. Highlighting cycle routes in the area that pupils can access has helped increase pupil’s confidence getting to and from school.
Stefan Wojcik, PE Teacher at the school, describes some of the opportunities that this fund has helped facilitate: “The school now run an SQA cycle award for S4 to S6 pupils and senior core pupils also have the opportunity to cycle during class time. S3 pupils have also used them during activity days, and primary 7s during an organised cycler roadshow during their transition day.”
The barriers of access to bikes and opportunities that previously existed have been addressed by the fund, and a variety of cycling events including a cycle roadshow, Cycle September, girls-only bike rides, SQA courses and led rides for a range of abilities have been possible as a result. Pupils have experienced increasing confidence with Bikeability and Essential Cycling Skills training becoming part of the curriculum. Staff members have also had the opportunity to attend and pass the Cycle Trainer and Cycle Ride Leaders course.
Bright future looking ahead
Buckie High School was awarded as a Cycling Friendly School in November 2019, and Stefan describes the impact of the programme as being “at the beginning of a journey, with a lot of exciting opportunities are on the horizon. I personally feel this funding has opened up so many opportunities for pupils and staff this year and can’t thank you enough for all the help.”