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Discussion in 'Primary' started by fourleafclover, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. fourleafclover

    fourleafclover New commenter


    We have recently just started taking our classes swimming. Neither myself or any of the other teachers or TAS have had any kind of training to teach swimming but are expected to teach groups of around 14 children. I was just wondering if this was the norm? Do teachers and HLTAS all around the country have to teach swimming with no prior training? I'm not a good swimmer myself so I'm worried that I wont be teaching them correctly!

    Thanks in advance
  2. Studyzonetv

    Studyzonetv Occasional commenter

    Are you sure this is legal? I'm presuming you have a lifeguard on hand?

    I have never been expected to teach swimming.
  3. fourleafclover

    fourleafclover New commenter

    I don't know if it's legal, I presumed it was but maybe it's not? It's always been expected of us but it's so hard to teach when we don't have much of an idea ourselves! Yes there are lifeguards on duty.
  4. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I'm fairly sure that there is a minimum qualification in swimming instruction needed in order to teach it. I'd tread (water) carefully here. This certainly isn't the norm. Most schools work in conjunction with trained instructors at local leisure centres/pools. Teachers and TAs might accompany the groups but they are only there to assist with supervising; not offering instruction.

    I'd contact your local pool as it's almost certain that they offer instruction to school groups.

    Or, look here:


    I'm amazed your HT has asked you to do this. Might I ask, are you in a free school?
  5. fourleafclover

    fourleafclover New commenter

    We go swimming at the local pool and we have 1 swimming coach who takes 1 group but that leaves the teachers and TAs with 4 other groups to teach! I've been looking on the internet to try and find a definite answer but haven't been able to find one yet. No, we're not a free school.
  6. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    In our area you are not allowed on the poolside with swimmers unless you have attended the pools safety training which involves work in the water. Many years ago, in a different area, I taught a group when ours went swimming and though I had training I did not hold a qualification so I had to ensure that there was the required number of qualified pool staff there who held the necessary qualifications.
  7. smallschool

    smallschool New commenter

    I take the whole school swimming R-y6 and teach a group myself. We then employ 2 swim coaches one for the deep water end and one who takes the beginners group, who is supported by 2 TAs in the water. All staff have the shallow water rescue certificate. I love teaching swimming but I did spend a lot of time observing swimming sessions at the local pool first!
  8. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    My father was a teacher (Junior) who took his pupils to swim (1950-1970 ) but never learned to swim. He relied on a long bamboo pole and rubber rings to keep the kids from drowning !!
  9. lardylady

    lardylady Star commenter

    I take my Y2 class each week. There is one trained instructor who works at the baths, me (I can only manage a width on a good day) and a retired TA who has taken some kind of swimming course. We have 10 children each. I do the same thing every week with my group. I get them to swim a width, climb out, walk along the side, then get back in, swim a width, climb out... you get the picture.
  10. KelRilon

    KelRilon New commenter

    I've always taught swimming. However, that's because I enjoy it. (I used to swap with other PE staff and take their classes for swimming, while they took mine for cricket...which I don't particularly like.) I'm trained, but my NPLQ isn't up to date. This hasn't been a problem in the last few years, since we've always had lifeguards and a qualified swimming coach available anyway.
    I'm at a new school now and don't get to teach swimming (or PE for that matter) anymore. :(
  11. asnac

    asnac Lead commenter

    It's great for school staff to be involved in helping the children learn this vital safety skill as you know the children best, but you are right to be concerned about this situation. It's common sense that without training you cannot teach a subject that requires such specific progression. You and your colleagues are not swimming instructors and therefore you should consider your roles as supporting the coach in his/her teaching and acting under his/her direction.

    If it's too much for the coach to instruct the school staff as to what to do with their groups, you need to take this back to the HT and explain that more coaches are needed if the aims of the swimming programme are to be achieved.

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