Primary schools encouraged to sign up for School Swimming and Water Safety Charter

Swim England is encouraging all primary schools to sign up to its School Swimming and Water Safety Charter and access bespoke resources and support guides.

Launched in 2014 to support primary schools in England to deliver high quality swimming and water safety lessons to their pupils, the resources have recently been updated with a range of new materials and support information.

Katie Towner, Head of Swim England’s Learn to Swim Team, said: “The Swim England School Swimming Charter is extremely popular with primary schools, particularly the waterproof syllabus cards and printable certificates.

“Over the past 12 months, we have refreshed the resources and added some new ones. We have also put much more emphasis on supporting schools to teach the water safety element of the national curriculum, including adding it to the Charter title.

“Teaching pupils about water safety and how to perform safe self-rescue is an essential element of the PE national curriculum. However, in some areas, up to 42 per cent* of pupils struggle to achieve the required standards. Our new resources provide additional support with detailed lesson plans and ways of rewarding attainment.”

Primary schools that sign up to the School Swimming and Water Safety Charter receive access to downloadable certificates and a pack of physical resources, including progression cards (passports), stickers and waterproof syllabus guidance cards.

Also included is a set of guidance documents, star achiever pin badges, videos and a water safety presentation for assembly.

Gemma Hill-Wood, Aquatics Development Manager at Kirklees Active Leisure in Huddersfield, said: “One of our key strategic focus areas is primary school swimming, so we were excited to hear about the new School Swimming and Water Safety Charter.

“We were shown the new resources and they look great. We really like the log books for each pupil as it’s a great tool to improve the communication from pool to home. We also loved the certificates, which can be downloaded at the school.

“The ethos around utilising the pool time to support academic learning is fantastic and we can’t wait to get ‘science lessons’ brought into our pools.”

Expanding the Charter to lesson providers

As well as updating the resources for primary schools, a new set of support guides, webinars and templates have been produced for pool operators.

Katie said: “Following feedback from our partners, we have created specific School Swimming and Water Safety Charter resources for lesson providers. These are aimed at swim schools, teachers and pool operators that provide lessons for schools.

“We are hoping these resources will make it easier for the providers and Charter Schools to work together and deliver high quality lessons.”

Marilyn Barry, a swim teacher from Cheltenham, said: “This is just what swimming teachers have been waiting for.  

“These resources and the award scheme itself will help us with planning and assessing school swimming lessons. It’s a wonderful initiative from Swim England.

“School swimming, by its very nature, is different to lessons being run by a leisure centre or a swim school. The Charter will go a long way to addressing the challenges of teaching school pupils, some of whom may well be total non-swimmers and may only be in the water for a few weeks every couple of years.” 

Find out more about the Charter

Primary schools can find out more about how to get involved with the Swim England School Swimming and Water Safety Charter School by clicking here. Packs cost £30 (plus VAT).

School swimming lesson providers need to register for the Charter to be able to access the free resource hub – click here.

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