As well as being good for your child’s health, swimming is a skill that could ultimately save their life. Drowning is the third most common cause of accidental death in children, and therefore it is absolutely vital that every child has the opportunity to learn to swim and gain core knowledge regarding water safety. Even if your child can swim, they may still be exposed to danger in water in the wrong circumstances. Your child should be encouraged to practice their swimming regularly to improve their basic skills and become a more competent swimmer.

Swimming and water safety is a statutory element of the P.E. National Curriculum. This means:

All schools must provide swimming instruction either in Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2. In particular, pupils should be taught to swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres, use a range of strokes effectively such as front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke and perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations.

School Swimming Lessons at Yardley Primary School

Every child who attends Yardley Primary School and goes through Year 4 will receive school swimming lessons.

As swimming is part of the National Curriculum, all pupils must participate in lessons.

We always take every child, regardless of their ability, to complete a block of swimming lessons in Year 4.

Our swimming lessons take place at Stechford Leisure Centre.

Parents/guardians are not able to accompany their children to swimming or attend as a spectator.

School Swimming Lessons - What You Need

The following information is adapted from Swim England and is followed by Stechford Leisure Centre.

Swimming is one of the most accessible and inclusive activities and everyone should feel confident and comfortable while in the water.

Over the years swimwear has come on leaps and bounds. So have policies relating to guidance about what can be worn in pools. It’s important that children feel confident and comfortable – but that they are also safe.

What to wear in the pool

On the day of their swimming lesson, pupils should come to school in P.E./sports clothing to enable them to change for swimming quickly and independently – this will give them more time in the swimming pool.

There are different styles of swimwear. These include:

  • One-piece swimsuit (standard / full sleeved/ 3/4 / full)

  • Tankinis (long top)

  • Skirted swimsuits

  • Swim shorts (not long or baggy)

  • Trunks

  • Swim briefs

  • Wetsuit style or fitted swimming t-shirt

  • Fitted t-shirt

  • Burkini swimming costume

  • 3/4 length swim shorts in thin nylon material

  • Fitted leggings under swimwear

  • Fitted leggings with or without shorts


**EARRINGS** If your child wears earrings there are two options on swimming days:

  1. Children do not wear their earrings on the day that they have swimming.

  2. Children remove their earrings before swimming. Earrings are the responsibility of the children - staff are not able to look after them.

What not to wear in the pool

The important thing to note is that clothing shouldn’t be overly baggy or made of heavy materials such as denim or wool. These can become water logged and heavy, making it difficult to swim or float. It is also important to make sure pieces of clothing can not get stuck in filters or other parts of a pool, which makes lycra a good material to wear.

Clothing which shouldn’t be worn includes:

  • Bikinis

  • Leggings over swimwear

  • Baggy t-shirt and trousers

  • Tracksuits or jogging bottoms

  • Outdoor shorts or trousers

  • Jeans

What else to bring

Other things that children MUST bring on swimming days include:

  • A towel

  • Hair clips or hair bands (if applicable). For those with longer hair, unless a swimming cap is worn, it must be tied up/back.

  • A named swimming bag

What else may be needed

Children may bring the following if needed:

  • Swimming cap. Swimming caps can be useful for those with longer hair. They not only keep the hair out of the face, but also reduce ‘drag’ to make swimming that bit easier. Children must be able to put swimming caps on by themselves.

  • Goggles. Although not essential, wearing swimming goggles is recommended if you are new to swimming. They will make swimming a bit easier and protect your eyes from chlorinated water. Children must be able to put goggles on by themselves. Snorkel goggles/masks are not permitted.

Visit our Uniform & Equipment page for details of where to purchase swimming kit.

Parents Role In Swimming - What You Can Do To Help

As a parent, guardian or carer you play an absolutely vital role in encouraging your child to swim and learn about water safety, survival and lifesaving.

Here are several ways you can help your child.

Swimming lessons at school

  • Make sure your child has everything they need to participate in their school swimming sessions.

  • Find out details of the swimming programme and what your child’s attainment level is.

Swimming lessons at a local pool

  • Don’t just rely on school swimming lessons – sign your child up for additional lessons at a local facility as soon as possible – they can start to learn as a baby.

Swimming as a family

  • Visit a pool regularly to add to your child’s swimming experience.

  • Go swimming as a family or with a group of friends to ensure that swimming is a fun, enjoyable and social activity.

  • There are lots of games you can play with your child to boost their water confidence – there are some on the Swim England website here.

It’s never too late to learn

  • Are you a proficient swimmer yourself? If not, set an example for your child and learn to swim – it’s a fantastic experience, and not as daunting as you might think!

  • Once you can swim, a whole world of other activities open up for you – and your child will be impressed at how much you can join in with!

Celebrate swimming successes

  • Take an active interest in your child’s progress in learning to swim and encourage them do their best during lessons.

  • Recognise and celebrate their successes at home – and don’t forget the small steps are just as important as the larger milestones.

Just keep swimming

  • Once your child has learnt to swim, don’t stop there. It’s really important to continue with their regular lessons, to take them beyond the ability to swim a length and ensure that they have the skills to save themselves if an unexpected incident should occur.

  • They could move on to joining a local swimming club and develop their skills further. They could also take part in other aquatic activities such as diving, lifesaving, synchronised swimming or water polo.

  • Being able to swim also means they will be able to take part in more adventurous water based pursuits such as sailing, canoeing and surfing.

Our School Swimming Data

Our school swimming data for pupils in Year 6 is based upon our assessments carried out when these pupils were in Year 4, the year group in which school swimming takes place.

Below are the numbers and percentages of our Year 6 pupils (2021-2022) who can:

* Please note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, not all pupils went swimming whilst in Year 4 during the academic year 2019-2020.