Benefits of swimming for young children

Howells, K. and Jarman, D. (2016) Benefits of swimming for young children. Physical Education Matters, 11 (3). pp. 20-21. ISSN 1751-0988.

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The Swimming Charter (DfES, 2003) developed a national top-up scheme for children who were struggling to swim 25 metres unaided by the end of primary school. This particular scheme was used for the children within the case school setting who were unable to swim unaided. 25 children (15 girls and 10 boys) undertook 7 consecutive top-up swimming lessons, during one school term, during the Spring. The lessons were taught by the same class teacher and undertaken in the local swimming pool, lasting 45 minutes. The primary school was located in the South East of England and followed the English National Curriculum (DfE 2013). The head teacher and class teacher (who taught the swimming) felt that it was important to offer the top-up national Swimming Charter (DfES 2003) scheme to the children within the school who were not able to swim 25 metres.

The children were from two different classes, so the swimming lessons, not only provided the children with a positive learning environment in which children were able to improve their swimming skills and self-esteem, but also interact with peers they would not normally encounter. Within every lesson the children undertook stroke development, life-saving skills and structured play at the end of the lesson, with an emphasis on enjoying being in the water. The class teacher who taught the swimming lessons had specialised in physical education during their training and completed extra swimming teaching ASA module qualifications. It is recognised that not all primary schools have this level of primary physical education specialists as class teachers (Carney and Howells, 2008).

The children in the swimming sessions did not normally have lessons together, therefore this gave the class teacher the opportunity to consider the impact of not only the top-up scheme on developing swimming skills, but if there were any other potential benefits from using the scheme. The children completed a questionnaire and the 4 areas presented within this report are the children’s successfulness at being able to swim 25 metres unaided; well-being and safety; learning outside the classroom, and social interaction and self-esteem.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV0201 Physical education
Divisions: Faculty of Education > School of Childhood and Education Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Kristy Howells
Date Deposited: 08 May 2017 16:04
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2019 17:00

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00