The ability to swim is a vital lifesaving skill that our partnership takes very seriously.
In order to tackle some of the barriers around school swimming we have set up the Merton School Swimming Development Group with our local pool provider, GLL and Head Teachers from some of our local primary schools. The group have developed a new Merton School Swimming and Water Safety Charter which is a working agreement document to be updated annually. We welcome the recent National Swim Group’s ‘Review of Curriculum Swimming and Water Safety Lessons’ and the Recommendations that followed and have ensured that where appropriate these also tie into our agreement.
Based on the data from the Merton School Sports Mark survey we believe around 63% of children could swim 25m when they completed their school swimming programme in 2018/19. This demonstrates the impact of the work we have done as a Partnership to improve opportunities for our young people and is a tremendous improvement from estimations in 2011 when that figure was recorded as just 31%. Watch this space for more news and information on school swimming in Merton as we continue to strive to support 100% of our students to achieve their potential.
Top Up Swimming
Since September 2016 MSSP secured funding from the Wimbledon Foundation to coordinate and provide free Top Up Swimming for 15 schools per year in the more deprived areas of the borough until August 2021. This approach has so far proved a real success with students progressing much more in the smaller groups and through more intensive sessions than they had during their typical year of school swimming once a week. If your school would like to find out more about this porgramme please get in touch with your Sport Coordinator.
Supporting School Swimming Lessons
School staff play a vital role in supporting the progress of students within their curriculum swimming lessons. MSSP and GLL have recently provided a workshop for school staff to highlight the impact they can have on their students' confidence and development when actively supporting the swimming lessons. As part of this process a classroom based lesson can be delivered prior to the students going to the pool to help prepare them and ensure more time is spent focussing on their swimming once they arrive at the pool. We have developed a resource which can be can be downloaded below and amended to suit the needs of your students.