Get in touch

Job Search

Search for Teaching Jobs in England

Making a Splash

Emma is a Teaching Assistant who works for Protocol Education in Wolverhampton. Her latest post is about the need for swimming lessons and the resources needed for these lesson to be of any value!

Make a splash at the pool- but not for long!
Prince William is backing calls for swimming lessons to be available for all primary school children. The latest statistics say that half of children aged 7-11 years cannot swim the length of a pool. Shocking, isn’t it? But is it really new, news?

Thinking back to my own childhood experiences of being exposed to water I can recall two horrifying experiences of near drowning. I can still feel the water coming up over my head and the sense of panic. Both times, thankfully a stranger stepped in and saved me otherwise I wouldn’t be here to blog today.

Up until that point I’d not had a single, formal swimming lesson. I was in high school by the time I first had a qualified person teach me. I can tell you it took a lot of courage to step back into the pool even if I spent  most lessons at the shallow end holding on to the side, kicking my legs out. Yet as I heard today, swimming is unique in that it is the only sport that can save your life. That has to be true. After all, have you ever heard of anyone saying their life was saved by the ability to kick a ball?

Most of the primary schools I have had the privilege of working long term at introduce swimming to the PE curriculum in Key Stage Two. They block out whole afternoons on the calendar and book coaches to transport them to community pools across town. I remember at one school with a very challenging class of Year 6 children we had to wait 20 minutes for the coach to turn up. By that time the children were very restless! After that it was a 15 minute drive through traffic. Upon arrival the boys and girls were herded to their respective changing rooms. I had a very large group of giggly 11 year old girls to supervise. Each one wanting to save their ‘do’ with a swimming cap so tight that it’ll cut off blood supply to the brain.

Once (finally) ready they’d join the boys standing in a cold corridor waiting for up to 10minutes for the last school to finish their lesson. If they were lucky the water wasn’t too cold! If they were unlucky they’d be sat, shivering by the poolside for a further 5-10 minutes whilst the instructors barked at them. When they finally reached the pool the proficient swimmers would be allowed to swim lengths at their own pace. The less able swimmers were given floats and told to take turns in swimming a width at a time. If they were lucky they’d get a couple of widths in before the whistle blew. Nothing much has changed for the non swimmers since my day as they desperately clung to the side for dear life, kicking their legs out with all their might.

With the current, alarming rate of pool closures across the country I cannot see things improving. It’s one thing for the Prince to say that all school aged children should have the right to access swimming lessons, but if pool closures mean longer distances to travel then those lessons are going to get shorter and shorter. There’s only so much you can learn in such a small amount of time.

If the government really wants to make a splash they should really consider helping more pools to stay open!

Register for Teaching Jobs - Search for Teaching Jobs - Contact Us

Tags: EmmaH, Teaching Assistant, Supply Working, Swimming, Primary, Protocol Education, Government

Category: Australian Teachers

Share |

Back to the Blog Home Page

Comments (0)

There are no comments to show. You can add one by using the form below.

Add a Comment

Email (kept private):
Security Code: antispam
Protocol Education Blog

OCTOBER 2017 | "Your teaching agency needs to be transparent"
Jacqui is an Aussie teacher who has just returned from her 2 years in the UK. She got in touch with Mitch from the Sydney office and has been able to...
Read More

AUGUST 2017 | Aussie Dollar vs British Pound
Mitch Jones is Protocol Education’s NSW-based consultant working with Australian teachers in their move to the UK. In his latest blog he chats...
Read More

JUNE 2017 | Taking a long term approach to teaching
Alyce is an Aussie Primary teacher who took part in our September 2016 round of 'Interviews with a UK Principal.' Rather than start her role...
Read More

MAY 2017 | Been to London, Bought the T-Shirt, Back in Sydney
Brad is an Aussie teacher who has just returned to Sydney after spending nearly 2 years living and teaching with Protocol in London! Fair to say he’s...
Read More

A Teacher's Journey to London
Stephanie is a teacher originally from Canada, and in this latest blog she wants to give some advice (and hopefully inspiration) to other teachers from...
Read More