Who doesn’t love school swimming sessions? The kids are all energised and excited, the last minute removal of earrings and jewellery, the stampede for the coach (unless you are lucky enough to have your own), serenely teaching your group to swim, and then the inevitable lost uniform before heading back to school. It’s all worthwhile though, as swimming is such an important life skill that we must help children to learn.

Ensuring our children are able to enjoy the water safely is everyone’s responsibility … We want everyone – schools, parents, lesson providers, decision makers – to do likewise and pledge to support schools to achieve our joint vision of every child having a full knowledge about water safety and learning how to swim by the time they leave primary school.

Steve Parry, Olympic bronze medallist and Chair of the Swimming and Water Safety Review Group

What do primary schools need to teach?

The National Curriculum (2014) sets out that all schools must provide swimming instruction in either key stage 1 or key stage 2.

By the end of key stage 2, children must be able to:

  • Swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres.
  • Use a range of strokes effectively
  • Perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations.

Supporting teachers

It can be quite daunting knowing how and what to teach when delivering swimming and water safety lessons, particularly if you have never done this before.

Swim England offer a range of resources and opportunities to help primary schools with the delivery of swimming lessons.

To support teachers, Swim England and the Swim Group have created a range of guides, including one for primary schools that are free to download.

The guide covers aspects including:

  • The national curriculum requirements
  • Who should deliver swimming lessons
  • Planning your swimming and water safety lessons
  • When to teach swimming and water safety
  • Assessing swimming and water safety

The documents provide a wealth of knowledge, not only for swimming teachers but also for primary schools and parents. This holistic approach means that all those involved in the development of children can have the information they need to help grow children’s skills and confidence in the water.

As well as the free downloadable content, there is also the opportunity to sign up to the Swim England School Swimming Charter. This offers more detailed lesson plans, guidance documents and helpful training videos.

Swim England are calling on teachers and parents to do all they can to ensure children can swim and feel confident around water by the end of their time in primary school.

Help your children feel more secure in their swimming sessions by ensuring they have the right kit. Take a look aat our complete Swimming and Water Polo range here.

Our Sports Hub:

We work with leading experts to inform our ranges so that you know you have the right resources to improve your pupils’ physical and mental wellbeing across the whole school. For more information visit: www.consortiumeducation.com/sportshub

Download the documents here:

Visit the Swim England site to download more information