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Lessons in Swimwear set to stay
This entry was posted on February 15, 2013.
The government has recently announced that swimming will remain a part of the National Curriculum. The ASA have expressed their delight over the news which demonstrates that the government are keen to help get youngsters swimming.
Swimming and the National Curriculum
Currently swimming should be taught as part of either key stage one or key stage two. There have been fears that the government was going to scrap this instruction from the curriculum but they have confirmed that swim teaching will remain in place. The National Curriculum was introduced in 1988 after the Education Reform Act and ensures that education is consistent across the country. The precise facets of National Curriculum swimming lessons include teaching primary school children to swim at least one length (25 metres) of a pool with confidence and competence. It also entails teaching a variety of strokes, as well as how to rescue themselves. Many schools have their own pools and are able to offer this in house, others need to use local facilities and have to ask for contributions from parents for travel and the lessons themselves. Sadly, some schools are not able to offer swimming at all and this may be because of budgetary constraints or proximity to facilities. Time may also be a factor as lessons need to include the time it takes to get to a pool and have all the children change in and out of their swimwear.
Save School Swimming: Save lives
Last year the ASA released a new manifesto - Save School Swimming: Save Lives. This was after research undertaken, with the help of Kellogg's, revealed a third of primary aged kids are unable to swim. This six pointed manifesto was aimed to encourage the support of government in helping kids learn to swim. The manifesto stated that as well as all primary children learning to swim, teachers need improved training. The next four points of the manifesto are: helping to prevent school swimming pools from closure, giving support to secondary schools, encouraging the need to prioritise swimming in the budget and encouraging Ofsted to monitor the swimming. The fact that so many children finish primary school unable to swim, clearly shows that schools may need more money and support in order to fulfil this aspect of the National Curriculum. The ASA's main point was that swimming is an essential life skill and that a competence in swimming can prevent one of the major causes of accidental death, which is drowning. Of course it's also a very healthy exercise and one that's worth encouraging kids to do from an early age anyway.
The fact that the government have agreed to keep swimming in the curriculum, along with the legacy of the Olympics, hopefully means it won't be too long until all primary aged children are able to swim. Along with Becky Adlington's new swim programme which has the same aims, we should look forward to a future when every single one of our primary school children moves on to secondary school as a confident and competent swimmer.