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06 Jul 2009
The ASA is asking its members and others from the swimming community to comment on how swimming is delivered in primary schools through the national curriculum.

Former senior Ofsted inspector Sir Jim Rose has suggested a curriculum overhaul where lessons should be more focused on preparing children for life outside school.

Under the proposals, swimming lessons remain in the curriculum as part of ‘Understanding physical development, health and well being’ (we would advise anyone involved in school swimming to read this section). 

However, the new curriculum is not explicit when it comes to swimming and therefore there is potential that swimming could be sidelined as an activity and lose the profile it currently enjoys in the curriculum.

This is why we are asking anyone with an interest in school swimming to complete the Primary curriculum review consultation questionnaire before 24 July 2009.  The questionnaire is approximately 30 questions long (some requiring tick box answers) but you may like to pay particular attention to ‘Section 3: Areas of learning’.

Within this section there is the opportunity to elaborate on your thoughts (in around 200 words) and you may want to consider the following:

  • The ASA has concerns, along with other organisations, that the general removal of Physical Education as a subject area could lead to a less than committed approach to the delivery of physical activity.

  • The ASA believes the reference to ‘swim unaided or unsupported on their front and on their back’ is a weak statement and we should push for recognised strokes on front and back.

  • The ASA is concerned that there is a lack of reference to basic motor skills in the ‘essentials for learning and life’ section when basic motor skills are essential for all sports.

  • The ASA is worried there is no reference to maintaining the quality delivery of swimming as an essential life skill.

  • The ASA is worried the references to ‘safety’ in the curriculum may not ensure that explicit water safety is delivered.

The ASA will be submitting a corporate response but would encourage others to make their individual views known and submit the survey to info@qca.org.uk, or post to: Simon Watmough, Ipsos MORI House, 79-81 Borough Road, London, SE1 1FY.

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