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Primary Schools aren't meeting children's needs in terms of swimming lessons. How much does your child do?

(81 Posts)
Sommink Thu 23-May-13 08:20:07

I really am interested in finding out how much your primary school children swim? This is as a parent of a primary school child and as a swimming teacher. Do you leave swimming to the school or do you pay for private on top?

Apparently children are supposed to do 12 hours swimming with the school a year. I know that that doesn't happen where I live as I am the school swimming teacher. I am also aware of just how may children cannot swim and never meet the guidelines of 25m without aids. This is partially because when I am trying to teach 35 kids to swim by myself there is such a difference in standards, from club swimmers to children that have never seen the pool you don't get the opportunity to give the new swimmers the time and input they need.

I am a firm believer in getting all children to swim, but what's the solution if schools and parents cannot afford to do more? One school in an area I used to live stopped taking children that could obtain the minimum of 25m so the non swimmers got more focus, is this a solution for schools on a budget?

Just wanted your views and wisdom really.

WeAllHaveWings Mon 03-Jun-13 18:42:32

ds(9) had private group lessons for 2 years and one-to-one lessons for 10 months (at the same time so 2 years of lessons in total). Before he passed all the Stanley badges.

Probably took him about 5-6 months of lessons twice a week before he could do his 25m confidently (front crawl and breast stroke).

12 wks of swimming lessons in a large group is a waste of time imo. Agree with naggity, it would be better if there was subsided swimming lessons at local pools.

insanityscratching Mon 03-Jun-13 18:52:54

In dd's school from years 3 to 6 each child does 20 weeks of swimming lessons. Each lesson is an hour and dd has learnt to swim through them. We make no contribution to the cost as the children walk to the pool through the country park. Had she struggled we would have funded lessons but the school lessons alongside our trips to the pool has been all that she has needed.

Notcontent Tue 04-Jun-13 22:53:56

A my dd's school they do it in year 3. It's a joke - the great majority of children need regular swimming lessons for at least a couple of years to become truly proficient. My dd is a good swimmer at 7 but only because she has had lots of one to one and group lessons. I intend to continue with the lessons for quite some time yet even though she can do 25 metres.

It's an important life skill and it's sad that so many children don't get the opportunity to learn to swim properly.

BabiesAreLikeBuses Tue 04-Jun-13 23:36:56

You're so right about the 2/3 children not being allowed rule -when my dts were 2 i went to local council pool to take them and was turned away - which i found annoying as i had enough flotation devices with me for ten children, no way i would have taken 2 kids otherwise. I remember having a go at them for discriminating against multiple births blush. funnily the council next door would let me in with two and costs £5 for the three of us. Interestingly local pool have now relaxed the age restriction on taking two so we can go there too.
I agree it's a parent's job, subsidised or free swimming for kids would really help.
Like the Swedish idea much better. At school ours go for a term in y3 by which point most can swim as most have private lessons. I started mine in private group lesson at 4.5, 6 months later they can do 10m unaided - but i do take them to practice between and sacrifice the soft play session instead as it's important. Maybe school swimming should focus on kids whose parents can't take them swimming.
V jealous of the lessons for less than £5 nowhere locally offers that!

horsemad1976 Tue 02-Jul-13 14:37:19

We pay for our children to have lessons outside of school. Our DD1 had lessons since she was 4 (she is now 9) and swims competitively for our local club. Our DD2 is just 3 & has been having lessons since she was 1 - she has just moved into Stage 1.

Obviously, DD2 isn't at school yet, but DD1 is in Year 4 & has the opportunity to swim as part of the National Curriculum with her primary school. This academic year she swam for just 8 weeks. I went along as a parent helper. To be honest I was flabbergasted at how many 8/9 year olds could NOT swim! DD1's Yr 4 also swam with Reception year who took over the learner pool at our local baths.

All of Yr 4 were in the large pool but it was sectioned off in widths (three groups) the top end children (including my daughter) who to be quite honest were getting absolutely nothing out of the sessions as they are already beyond the requirements of KS2. The middle section who needed a bit of coaching & confidence giving and the lower section who quite frankly should have been in the learner pool with the reception aged children. In fact two of the reception aged children were moved to the large pool. Jumped in the deep end & swam a length at the age of 4!!!

Swimming is a life saving skill one that EVERY parent should pass on to their child whether this is by lessons with a qualified instructor or by going without and making the effort to take your child swimming yourself.

Our school has it wrong, it sends every child regardless of their ability. As a parent of a child who can swim, competes & hits County times in several strokes I find this frustrating. My daughter doesn't need these lessons & I should be able to opt out given her ability. I would choose to do this & offer my daughters place to another child that does need more than 8 lessons per academic year that is not getting them by other means. I am told I am not allowed to do so as there is no provision for her at school & no one has 'assessed' her ability to that of the National Curriculum (apart from the fact you can see her swim time records on the ASA website!)

I feel so strongly about it I now volunteer at my daughters club & am currently undertaking training to qualify as a coach. I can sit back & enjoy watching my children playing in/around water safe in the knowledge that they have been educated in swimming & water safety.

HabbaDabbaDoo Tue 02-Jul-13 14:40:36

Our DCs started private swimming lessons at 7 and 8 respectively. That's 30min times 39 weeks.

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