Swimming lessons are a particularly important life skill activity.
As part of the Physical Education curriculum, we are now taking children for weekly swimming sessions at a private pool. Swimming is particularly beneficial for children with special needs because it can increase their confidence, boost physical activity, and teach them a life saving skill. Teaching the children how to swim helps with spatial awareness and balance. Swimming can be a new and exciting experience for children, helping them to discover new abilities and interests. It is also something that all family members can take part in together.
The swimming curriculum schemes we use are especially adapted for our children; planning for small steps of progress in a new environment. Swimming sessions can help children improve a range of different social behaviours including sharing equipment, cooperating, taking turns, making friends and keeping physical boundaries.
Each time the children are in the water, they are developing their muscles and building strength. This is particularly beneficial for children with disabilities as it increases their coordination and enables development of motor skills. Exercising in an environment that is less restrictive can help them achieve their physical goals. This is an amazing opportunity for children to gain confidence in water skills and also to have fun!
How is Swimming used at Broadmeadow?
The swimming timetable operates on a half termly basis. Children are supported by school staff including some of their class team members. Broadmeadow has qualified swimming instructors and pool side rescue staff who will accompany the children each week. The instructors follow the STA swimming association standards. The STA Awards are specifically designed to recognise and motivate children who are making smaller steps of progress or who require additional support. The programme also teaches children the abilities of how to be confident, competent and safe in the water.
Each child is fully observed each lesson and instructors will adapt teaching practices to ensure their programme is fully inclusive. During swimming lessons, they can learn at their own pace and have a dedicated instructor, who is there to help them progress whilst also having fun. A full risk assessment and pre visits to Westcroft school’s swimming pool have been undertaken in order to prepare for swimming sessions.