Last Updated: Wednesday, May 04, 2022

East Dunbartonshire's Cycle Co-operative

What is this?

​East Dunbartonshire's Cycle Co-operative is a not for profit social enterprise project that promotes cycling to children and adults in East Dunbartonshire.

Who is this for?

​This case study is for educators and parents who are keen to support access to outdoor learning through cycling.

How to use this exemplar to improve practice?

  • How does your setting provide opportunities for outdoor learning? How do you incorporate these opportunities into curricular planning?
  • What opportunities already exist, that if linked visibly to the curriculum, could enhance the learning for your pupils?
  • Are you making the learning visible for the pupils? Are they able to identify the connections between learning inside the classroom and that which takes place outside?
  • Could you build on or set up partnerships with local businesses and community groups within your local environment?

​​Explore the exemplar

What was done?

East Dunbartonshire's Cycle Co-operative was started by parents who were keen to help their children cycle to school. 'Cycle trains' were set up to provide adult supervision for young riders until their experience and confidence developed into independent travel.

Schools also got involved by earning 'Cycle Friendly School' awards from Cycling Scotland and by hosting cycling clubs. These were held after school for older, independent learners and at the weekend for younger children and their parents or carers.

A 'Primary Curricular Ride' was developed with the help of staff and volunteers from the Cycle Co-op which allowed a whole P6/7 class to cycle between venues on a class trip.

The wider community also got involved in a number of events aimed at engaging children and young people in cycling including cycle festivals and bike maintenance workshops.


East Dunbartonshire's Cycle Co-op aims to encourage people to take up and develop their cycling in order to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Community Learning and Development programmes can make a significant contribution to improving the health and wellbeing of young people.

Teachers are clear about the contribution the co-op makes to Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes. As a result, they have been able to enhance interdisciplinary learning and approaches to learning in the outdoors through activities such as curricular expedition rides.

East Dunbartonshire's Cycle Co-op has had a major impact on improving the local community, including a campaign to reduce speed limits that has the support of the parent council, local church leaders, the community council, business leaders and residents.

What was the impact?

Young people and families have been very positive about the benefits to their health and wellbeing and a number of parents have been trained to deliver cycle awareness courses.

It has helped to:

  • increase levels of confidence in cycling
  • promote road safety
  • encourage the development of family learning and social networks
  • and promote physical activity.

Teachers recognise the contribution to building the four capacities and to improving health and wellbeing, literacy and numeracy. They also recognise the impact the co-op has had in promoting the physical activity of children and their parents.

Schools have taken a positive approach to celebrating the achievements children have gained through their participation in the activities provided by the co-op.

From an educational perspective it was obvious that young people were more active, arrived for school on time and ready to learn. It was clear that pupils had improved confidence coupled with a sense of achievement at being able to ride a bike independently.

As part of the school curriculum, every young person now has the opportunity to learn to ride. East Dunbartonshire's Cycle Co-op contributed enormously to the Curriculum for Excellence themes of successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.