Key Stage 2 Swimming

YST Development Manager Kate Thornton-Bousfield looks into how a member school in Harrow are addressing this.

A new requirement for reporting on Primary PE and Sport Premium includes schools publishing how many pupils by the end of Key Stage 2 are meeting the national curriculum requirements for swimming.

This has raised many questions about swimming, some of which will be answered below, but it also provides the opportunity to reflect on the quality and effectiveness of your schools swimming programme and it allows us to share with you one approach to school swimming that a school in Harrow have taken. 

Firstly, to the reporting requirements around school swimming on the Primary PE and Sport Premium; schools are to report how many pupils in Year 6 can;

  • Swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres 
  • Use a range of strokes effectively
  • Perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations.

To reassure you, this is not a figure that you will judged against, it will provide DfE with an idea of the swimming attainment in our schools. This is not a case of re-teaching and re-assessing your current Year 6 it is merely reporting their swimming attainment whenever their last assessment was. You can also put on your evidence form when the pupils were assessed. If you intend doing more swimming term with your Year 6s in the summer then this again is worth highlighting on your evidence form.

For example:

  • 84% of pupils can swim at least 25 metres 
  • 75% of pupils can swim more competently, confidently and proficiently in a range of strokes
  • 68% of pupils can perform a self-rescue, assessed 2015.

St. Bernadette’s in Harrow were aware that not all of their pupils had met the National Curriculum swimming standard through curriculum entitlement so decided to use some of their Primary PE and School Sports Premium funding to top for these pupils. They contacted their leisure centre and arranged for an intensive course of lessons to be provided for pupils who had not met the expected standard, during the February half-term. 

There were 28 children that attended these sessions, the swimming instructors noted the distances that the pupils could swim and the school were able to update their swimming records. Given the level of interest and appreciation from parents and the positive impact the lessons had on our pupils, our school is planning to provide the same offer again next year. 

The feedback received from the parents has been very positive. Some are delighted that the school are putting more focus on swimming as they feel that it is an essential life skill, while others have stated that they think it is a great idea that we are placing extra focus on the children that are finding it difficult to swim. 

We really want all of our pupils to meet the national curriculum requirement of being able to swim 25m. Swimming is a life skill, therefore we have used some of our sports premium to provide a whole extra term of weekly swimming lessons for any pupil who has not yet been able to swim this distance unaided. Headteacher

 I am looking forward to receiving the extra lessons in the summer term as I don't get the chance to practice out of school. I think that I will definitely help to improve my swimming technique. Pupil

We are more than happy to assist in any way we can, and will do our upmost to facilitate with the development of their swimming programme. Providing the extra lessons for a target group of pupils can only benefit the school and those individuals involved. We will do our best to help them in every way we can. Swimming Coach

St Bernadette’s has planned summer intervention too. The Premium funding will cover the cost of transport, the pool hire, and the swimming instructor for terms summer 1 and summer 2. The school has looked at all of the data provided from the swimming instructors to select the children that will need this intervention. They will exclusively undertake the whole summer term of extra lessons which will hopefully get them in line with the others in their year group.