Since the publication of the National Curriculum in 2013, it has been a requirement of schools to provide the following in terms of swimming through Physical Education: Swimming and water safety. All schools must provide swimming instruction either in key stage 1 or key stage 2. In particular, pupils should be taught to:
- swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
- use a range of strokes effectively (for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke)
- perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations
When surveyed, we found that only 5% of the children in years 3-6 had ever had swimming lessons prior to year 3. Water confidence is exceptionally low.
At Queens Park Academy we aim to address the requirements by providing all children with a years worth of tuition across their time in Key Stage 2. Children have a terms worth of lessons in year 3, year 4 and year 5.
There will also be another opportunity for any children in Year 6 who need extra tuition through our ‘Top Up’ swimming sessions.
We currently use Trinity Leisure centre for these sessions. All lessons are run by trained swimming instructors, with Queens Park staff in attendance to assist with any additional needs of pupils. Parents are sent a letter at the beginning of the term in which their pupil will take part in swimming sessions. This is so that we can put children into groups where they feel safe and where they can be taught the National Curriculum requirements most effectively.
At the end of the block of sessions, a swimming assessment is undertaken to measure the % of children can swim 25 metres.
During the academic year 2019-20, the PE coordinator will be promoting swimming sessions to our families so that we can encourage more families to support their children to learn to swim outside of school as well.