SEND and Balanceability
The skills required for cycling have been analysed and broken down into ‘core’ elements that are practiced in Balanceability activities, both on and off the bicycle.
Children with delays in motor development may have lacked early experience and the opportunity to develop these skills. They may have visible physical difficulties or be diagnosed with a condition such as Dyspraxia or Down Syndrome, but in most cases these children would all still be educated in mainstream school.
Our mission is to provide an inclusive programme that will enable every child, where possible, to participate at their developmental level and gain the same benefits that Balanceability offers to all. Working with Patricia Maude MBE, author of 'Physical Children, Active Teaching’, we are continually making adaptations to the programme to ensure that Balanceability is able to help every child improve their balance, moving towards the goal of independent cycling.
Every warm-up and balance-related activity has been specifically chosen to allow the child to experience movement in a number of ways.
Differentiation is about meeting everyone's needs and not about segregating a disability. The only consideration is that Balanceability provides plenty of opportunity for children to practice skills in a number of ways to help move towards the outcomes.
Some children and adults develop balance skills later in life and we have pioneered using larger balance bikes and adapted bikes to fit most trainees.
It should be stressed that any participating child with a known medical condition must advise the course Instructor/teacher before beginning the programme so that we can tailor activities to the individual and the group if necessary.
Each child that we teach is different and it’s important that our Instructors listen to parents and carers at the start and watch closely as the sessions progress.
Dani Edser, who has mild Cerebral Palsy, recently attended a Balanceability session. Her mum, Leigh Edser said:
"This programme really compliments her physiotherapy with the added benefit of using a balance bike which is so light. Dani currently uses a trike, but finds the pedalling hard work and not much fun, so being more like her peers was a huge boost. In just one session Dani made significant progress in gliding and steering."
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I was impressed with the potential opportunities Balanceability offers for younger children who would normally have to wait until year six to receive any formal cycle training.
Attending a Balanceability demonstration at Welton Primary School, I was impressed with the potential opportunities it offered for younger children
Working with schools as a Bike It officer, I have found that there is a real gap in cycle training for children below year five who can access a Bikeability course.
Balanceability offers the perfect solution to this gap in skill development. I was extremely impressed when I observed the course
Balanceability is the fundamental starting point for children’s cycling and an excellent opportunity to promote active lifestyles at the earliest possible age.
Balanceability offers children a great opportunity to become competent cyclists at an early age through the development of balance and control.
The Programme is made up of progressive learning experiences, with fun ways to learn to cycle on balance bikes. This
I am delighted to work with Balanceability.
A child who enjoys riding a bike is more likely to cycle as an adult or even to become an