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Big School Swim hailed as a big success as more than 70,000 pupils take part

Swim England News

This year’s Big School Swim has been hailed as the most successful so far – with more schools and pupils participating than ever before.

Around 70,500 pupils from 5,733 schools were involved in the week-long event – almost six times more than last year.

Schools and lesson providers across the nation have been telling us how much they have enjoyed the activities.

Lara Moseley of Gatton Primary School in London, said: “We had a fantastic time with the Big School Swim event.

“We turned the event into an internal challenge where each class could win house points for their respective teams. The children had a fantastic time!”

The Swim England initiative aims to increase awareness of why school swimming is so important in setting pupils up with a healthy, active lifestyle and a clear understanding of the three national curriculum outcomes.

Those outcomes are:

  • Perform safe self-rescue in different water based situations
  • 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.

Michelle Brailsford, Swim England Marketing Officer, said: “We are delighted by the interest in this year’s Big School Swim.

“Since the event began in 2016, we’ve seen it grow dramatically. Last year we had around 12,000 pupils take part.

“The re-launch of the School Swimming and Water Safety Charter in January this year has had a substantial impact and this year we had more than 70,000 pupils participating.

“It’s been a huge success and we hope everyone who took part in the events had an amazing time.”

Alex Barrett, Swim England’s Learn to Swim manager for the north region, said: “I think the Big School Swim is a fantastic initiative and every year it’s growing and growing.

“We know how important school swimming is because for some children it’s the only time they get an opportunity to learn to swim.”

Swim England visited three schools during the Big School Swim week to see how the lesson plans were being put to use and see how the swimming skills were helping in the classroom.

The team were also spreading the message about school swimming as they attended the National Schools and Academies show and the National Governance Association Annual Conference.

Anyone who registered to take part in this year’s event will receive a survey to provide further feedback.