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Big School Swim a 'great way' to educate youngsters about water safety

Teachers have hailed the Big School Swim as a ‘great way’ to educate youngsters about water safety.

Almost 70,000 pupils from 5,733 schools across the country are taking part in the popular Big School Swim between Monday 11 November and Friday 15 November.

The Swim England initiative aims to help schools and lesson providers reinforce why it’s so important that swimming takes place in PE lessons – and how to make those lessons fun and enjoyable.

Lesley Byrne, the PE lead at Slated Row School, in Milton Keynes, said: “We support campaigns like the Big School Swim because it’s a great way to get our pupils into the water.

“They enjoy participating in the activities whilst learning important new swimming and water safety skills.

“Pupils enjoy swimming and we find the lesson plans really easy to adapt.

“Thank you to Swim England for the Big School Swim.”

Rebecca Wallace, from Durham County Council’s Education Development Service, said she was looking forward to the Big School Swim after taking part in the event last year.

She said: “We run swimming lessons for Year 4 pupils at three schools, Greenland Community Primary School, South Stanley Junior School and Bloemfontein Primary School. We’ll be passing on the resources for classroom-based activities.

“After last year’s success, we’re looking forward to taking part again.”

Swimming and water safety lessons are a requirement of the national curriculum yet one in four youngsters leave primary school unable to swim the minimum 25 metres.

A number of events will take place during the week as part of the celebrations to mark Swim England’s 150th anniversary.

Special activity packs have been created for schools to download and six special 150th-themed lessons have also been created for the event.