RB Gym and Sport offer an AFPE approved programme ‘Balance-ability’ for schools to promote the physical benefits of cycling for young children as well as providing a fun and engaging activity.
For children, schools provide the most accessible, and sometimes only opportunity for regular, structured play, physical education, physical activity, and sports. Not only does Balance-ability teach children how to ride without stabilisers, but also teaches balance, gross motor skills, core stability and of course, having fun through physical activity.
Schools have a range of objectives in promoting cycling, such as:
Demonstrate height and control of the body whilst you combine a variety of gymnastics jumps together across a 10-metre-long trampoline
Feel what it’s like to fly as you explore a range of jump, turns and seat drops on the trampoline.
Circle forward on the bar, use your strength to hold shapes and swing forwards and backwards on the A-Symmetrical bars.
Walk tall on tip toes 4 foot off the floor, in a variety of directions, perform ½ and 1/1 turns and stay as still as a statue as we test your 1 footed balance’s.
Perfect your forward roll across the floor and perform it from a jump onto high equipment.
Unleash your power as you run, hurdle step and squat on to various vaulting equipment.
The Balance-Ability programme is specifically designed for Nursery, Reception and Year 1 pupils. The course is made up of 12 weekly sessions, 6 sessions for level 1 and 6 sessions for level 2. You can also have the programme for a whole year using it as an intervention to support least active children.
When delivering in school, the maximum group size for each session is 10 pupils. Each session is advised to last between 35-45 minutes. If opting for a 1/2 day of Balance-Ability (morning or afternoon) then this would allow you to do 3 sessions and complete the programme with one whole class of 30. If opting for a whole day, then this would allow for a total of 6 sessions to be completed - 2 whole classes of 30.
The course is usually delivered within the school hall, however during the summer months, can be delivered outside on the playground.
Within Level 1, fundamental movement patterns, gross motor skills and dynamic balance are incorporated along with an introduction to the balance bike. Children learn how to pick up, manoeuvre, mount and dismount their bikes and how to ride a balance bike safely. Level 1 aims to build confidence in the ability to glide on a balance bike and how to stop in a controlled manner.
Level 2 continues the development of gross motor skills, dynamic balance and co-ordination and progresses to advanced balance-ability. The main goal is to improve the child's gliding, stopping, braking, and turning skills, enabling them to ride solo on a pedal bike safely and with confidence by the end of the program.
Embedding physical activity into the school day through active travel to and from school, active break times and active lessons and teaching.
Develop or add to the PE, Physical Activity and Sport that your school provides.
Providing targeted activities or support to involve and encourage the least active children.
An accredited RB Gym and Sport Balance-ability Instructor
Balance-ability bikes and pedal bikes
Balance and co-ordination training aids
Road awareness signs and course cones
Visual activity cards
The delivery of gymnastics at both KS1 and KS2 was of a poor standard due to lack of confidence and subject knowledge of staff. The priority on the PE Development Plan was to provide a range of CPD opportunities for staff (including HLTAs) to increase their confidence and skillset when delivering gymnastics lessons. Staff were also having difficulty with differentiating effectively for all children in PE lessons to ensure all children made progress.
When looking for an external provider, we want them to be approachable, flexible, organised, professional but most importantly – highly knowledgeable about the primary PE curriculum and a clear understanding of the learning styles for all pupils.
Many years ago, I worked in a school where Ryan Bradley delivered high quality gymnastics levels to KS1 and KS2 pupils. When I moved to a Wolverhampton school, it was clear that PE and School Sport was lacking in this same quality, so we were fortunate enough to acquire the services of RB Gym to deliver a range of PPA and CPD sessions. We have used other providers and I could not recommend RB Gym and Sport more highly – due to their highly qualified PE Curriculum Support Mentors, their affiliation with AfPE and the range of services they provide.
RB Gym and Sport gave many options to meet our needs of improving confidence of staff in delivering the PE curriculum and extra-curricular opportunities.RB Gym and Sport gave many options to meet our needs of improving confidence and upskilling staff when delivering the PE curriculum. A tailored CPD programme was put in place and reviewed regularly to ensure there was clear impact.
The profile of PE and School Sport has raised throughout the school and, as a result, more children have taken part in extra-curricular activities and have also started to attend gymnastics clubs outside of school. Our teaching staff now feel more confident when delivering PE lessons and they have been observed developing and challenging pupils as they make lessons more engaging, active and purposeful.
Physical development is a huge part of our curriculum and vital to children’s health and wellbeing. With more children overweight nationally, it was important for us as a school to offer opportunities such as this to ensure children are staying as active and healthy as possible.
Previous experience with them was very positive. Friendly, professional staff with lots of knowledge, very kind and patient with the children. The children like them, respect them and listen to them. Balance-Ability addressed many statements from the Development Matters and Early Learning Goals. Their programme fit in perfectly with our physical development curriculum. RB Gym and Sport provide data and assessment to staff which is extremely useful.
As Balance-Ability focuses on gross motor skills, this helped many of our children with low PD development as well as children who needed to be challenged. Good gross motor skills also trickle down into fine motor, we saw a correlation that children who could ride a pedal bike also had neater, more legible handwriting. Improved most children’s Physical Development skills. Children are visibly happier after doing Balance Ability – improved wellbeing. They are proud of their achievements. Helped some children build resilience. They have been taught how to persevere and that hard work pays off. They have had an opportunity to learn a life skill that may have taken months/years longer, or in a worst-case scenario, never happened at all. Fine motor/handwriting has improved amongst some children. Also teaches children safety (helmets), respect (for the equipment) and patience (waiting to have a turn.) Provided staff with assessment data which helps inform our own. Sometimes sees things we may miss e.g. a child you did not expect would be able to ride a bike who can!