Pedestrian and cycle training should aim to build on children’s existing knowledge and develop their skills through discussion and practice.

Training should be reinforced by parents effectively supervising and communicating with their children outside of school time too. This is particularly important for under-8s, who should only walk and cycle with adult supervision.

You should also be able to involve parents and carers in the training as supervisors with the appropriate training and guidance.

It can be useful to practise some road safety skills in the playground first, either using lines on the playground to denote kerbs, or marking out a road with crossings in chalk, for children to practise on. It’s also important to back up practical training with classroom learning.

Safety first

Your local council may run established, evaluated training courses on walking safely or cycling safely. They will also be able to advise on whether or not you have a safe enough road environment on which to carry out your training.

All young children must hold an adult's hand and be given personal tuition in small groups.

Practical training should never be seen as the solution to dangerous roads. If your roads are too dangerous for children to practise their walking or cycling skills on or near, then you need to campaign for a safer road environment.

Roadside pedestrian training


For this age group, it is safest to teach the children basic safety language and safety skills using role-play and other activities on your premises, rather than taking children out and teaching at the roadside. To teach children on your premises, you can draw out a road map on your playground and use ride-on toys and other props.

Your council might offer road safety training for parents of young children, and can also offer advice on educating young children.

Many early years educators do take children out on foot, for example, to visit a local park. You should only ever take children off your premises on foot if you have at least one supervisor for every two children so every child has a hand to hold. Very young children who are walking should wear reins as well as holding hands with an adult. It’s also crucial to assess the safety of the route you will take and ensure it has safe pavements and crossings on quiet roads.

You should conduct a safety audit to help you assess routes you use, although you should also consult your local authority if you have any doubts about the safety of your routes.

If you do take children out on foot, use it as an opportunity to teach and reinforce simple safety rules:

  • always hold hand with an adult
  • always stay on pavements away from traffic
  • stop when a grown-up says stop.

Key stage 1

At this age children can be encouraged to start to make choices according to what’s safe and what’s dangerous (such as choosing a safe place to cross), but still under close supervision while holding hands with a responsible adult. With this age group, when running training you should have at least one supervisor for every two children, so every child has a hand to hold.

Contact your local authority road safety officer to find out if they can run a training course for you, with the assistance of teachers and volunteer parents.

During roadside training, children in this age bracket can:

  • Practise holding hands and walking safely on the pavement away from the kerb
  • Practise stopping well away from the kerb, when a pavement ends (for example at a side junction)
  • Practise looking and listening for traffic. What things stop you seeing traffic? For example, a bend, a tree, parked cars, the hood of your coat. Where might traffic come from? For example, both directions, and out of drives and side turnings
  • Practise crossing the road at the safest places, for example at a pelican crossing or a zebra crossing. Explain why these are safer
  • Visit a park or playground and discuss why it is safe to have fun there. For example, there is no traffic and there is a fence around it.

You should conduct a safety audit to help you assess if a road near your school, and the access route to it, is safe for child pedestrian training, although you should also consult your local authority.

Join 7-year-old Will on a walk with his family.

Key stage 2

Children in this age bracket are usually ready to practise the Green Cross Code, having already learnt the Code and other basic safety rules in the classroom.

For this age group, you need at least one trained adult supervisor for every six children, with no less than two supervisors present at any one time.

The training should take into account that children in this age group may be starting to walk independently, and may start to experience peer pressure to act dangerously, particularly when they move up to secondary school. Training should therefore have an emphasis on making safe choices despite pressures to do otherwise.

Contact your local authority road safety officer to find out if they can run a training course for you, with the assistance of teachers and volunteer parents.

Training should:

  • Always take place on a quiet road, ideally with a crossing and lollipop person, and in small groups with plenty of trained supervisors.
  • Use self-instruction, where children recite safety rules before enacting them, e.g. stop near the edge of the kerb, look left, look right, etc.
  • Include discussion on the safest places to cross (e.g. on pelican crossings), and the most dangerous places where you shouldn’t cross (e.g. between parked cars, at busy junctions, or in front of a bus).
  • Include discussion on safety features on roads, such as speed limit signs, zig-zag road markings near school gates, railings and road humps. Why are they there and what do they mean? Who are they trying to protect?
  • Include discussion on why you shouldn’t trust traffic. Some drivers take risks like speeding, so it’s impossible to judge how fast traffic is and how long it will take to reach you. Never take chances and only cross when nothing’s coming.

Cycle training

Riding a bike is great fun. It’s good for our bodies and good for the planet as well. But cycling can be dangerous, and drivers and cyclists need to take proper care to keep each other safe. Cyclists are some of the most vulnerable road users, and children are at particular risk.

About 100 children under the age of 11 are killed or seriously injured in cycling collisions every year.

Cycle training helps give children the skills and confidence they need to prepare them for cycling safely on the roads. Organisations like Bikeability, Cycling Scotland, Cycle Training Wales and the Cycling Proficiency Scheme in Northern Ireland run training sessions for all ages and abilities, and cover topics from balance and control to planning independent journeys on busier roads.

Schools can arrange for professional trainers to deliver courses with their pupils. UK schools can take part in cycle training schemes run by their local authorities.

Kids love to cycle because it’s fun. Cycling is good for their bodies and good for the planet too.