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 the Merton Primary Schools’ Swimming and Water Safety Charter which is a working agreement document to be updated annually. We welcome the 2017 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 2021/22. 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 programme 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 downloaded at the bottom of this page and amended to suit the needs of your students.
Information from Swim England
Swim England is the national governing body for swimming in England. We help people learn how to swim, enjoy the water safely, and compete in all our sports. Our vision is of a nation swimming and we strive to inspire everyone to enjoy the water in the way that suits them. We work with our partners to create engaging programmes that enable everyone to be active, have fun and stay healthy through swimming.
Swim England School Swimming and Water Safety Charter
Our school swimming resources are all included in our now FREE to access School Swimming and Water Safety Charter that schools and lesson providers can access here – https://schools.swimming.org/, by signing up schools and lesson providers get access to:
- Free downloadable Awards. These include eight core Awards (Awards 1-6, Aquatic Skills Award and Self Rescue Award). There are also six Foundation Awards (Foundation Awards 1-5 and Water Safety Awareness Award) designed to provide support and recognition to pupils with special educational needs, disabilities or other needs.
- Lesson plans.
- Guidance documents.
- Videos giving you guidance on lesson delivery across all the national curriculum outcomes and tips and ideas.
- Resources for school teachers to use in the classroom, including fun activities and cross-curricular ideas.
- Templates to help deliver lessons and record pupil achievements.
- Templates to use in communications with parents, swimming teachers and lesson providers.
- Water safety presentation for pupils for use in classroom or assembly.
- School Swimming charter digital logo stamp to use on printed and online materials.
If you wish to purchase any physical resources to support the Charter resources, such as progress passports, stickers, metal pin badges and guidance cards please visit our Web shop https://shop.swimming.org/resources/school-swimming
Training opportunities and Courses
Overview of school swimming: This is a free online CPD which gives you a basic understanding of school swimming and is suitable for anyone involved in school swimming. https://www.swimming.org/ios/course-information/school-swimming-water-safety-overview/
National Curriculum Training Programme: This qualification has been developed for class teachers, support staff and other adults who have established relationships with pupils. It gives them the skills and knowledge needed to support the delivery of high-quality school swimming lessons, helping schools meet curriculum requirements. There are 2 levels:
- Support Teacher of school swimming which is 6 hours delivered online.
- Teacher of School Swimming qualification is 15 hours delivered half online and half face to face. More information is available here https://www.swimming.org/schools/school-swimming-training/
Courses can be searched for on the Institute of Swimming Website here, if there are no courses organised locally we may be able to arrange one if there is a great enough need.
Supporting pupils with SEND in school swimming: The aim of this CPD is to provide individuals with current up-to-date knowledge, aquatic adaptations and tools to help improve the overall experience for pupils with SEND who attend a school swimming lesson. This CPD is aimed at anyone over the age of 16 years inclusive of swimming teachers and assistants, coaching staff, pool operators, swim coordinators, school teachers and staff delivering school swimming lessons and / or water safety programmes with SEND pupils. If there is a great enough demand we are able to arrange this course for you. Please contact the Swim England school swimming team for more details.