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Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by grouchob, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. Hi Curvy
    When I was young I WAS THAT CHILD!! I hated the water up to my teenage years and I hated the compulsory school swimming groups. The problem was that most of the other children could swim and this was a great opportunity for children to take advantage of the weakness of others like me when the teachers attention was taken elsewhere.
    It became such a phobia for me that at 16 I made myself go to the local baths and taught myself to become confident in the water by using a rubber ring and gradually deflating it- a method that was totally frowned upon by our school- you were just told to get in the water and swim and someone with a large pole would offer support from the bank! I learnt to do just a few strokes without a ring and that was it. From there I developed further and was quite confident with breast stroke.
    When i had children of my own I sensed a repeat of my problem so i arranged for them to have private lessons at an early age. They both became super confident in the water before the age of 7.
    My advice then:
    1.There is little to be gained by FORCING a child to go swimming if they are to be part of a large group with no individual attention. The parent obviously realises this- it will only make the phobia <u>worse.</u>
    2. Suggest to the parents that they separately employ <u>one to one</u> instruction from an experienced swimming teacher, outside school hours. There are always opportunities at the local baths if you ask around. these private sessions will enable the child to slowly lose their fear of the water. Emphasise the importance of the ability to swim- for both health and safety reasons- let alone the enornmous pleasure- and what about the need to swim if they have their own children.
    3. Suggest to the parents that following such instruction the child could then try out a swimming lesson when they feel they are ready. Assign a competent swimmer in the group to be the child's "SWIIMMING BUDDIE" this of couse would be good for the other child as well.
    Why do this?
    We had just the same problem in our school and it worked!
    Good luck


  2. Depends on the age of the child.
    IIRC swimming is a mandatory part of the National Curriculum from KS2 onwards. (At least it is mandatory at KS2)
    Having said all that, a parent is within their rights to refuse permission for their child to take part in swimming lessons. We have a parent in who refuses permission and the foregoing is the information I was given by our LA Legal Dept.
    We have to leave her in school when her class go swimming as the parent is also refusing to give permission for daughter to go on the coach to the pool.

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