Swimming primary school curriculum

It is the responsibility of primary schools to teach the swimming.  The swimming attainment target states all pupils should swim confidently, competently, and proficiently over 25 metres.  There is no longer ring-fenced money for this aspect of the PE curriculum. Therefore, head teachers must fund swimming lessons from their central school budget.

National Curriculum Requirements for swimming

The guidance in the national curriculum in relation to swimming are clear and can be seen below.   Swimming and water safety – All schools must provide swimming instruction 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 (for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke).
  • perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations.

The attainment targets should be measured and recorded by the time pupils leave in year 6.

How can your PE and Sport Premium Funding be used for swimming?

The Primary PE and Sport premium is not to be used to deliver core national curriculum requirements.  Consequently, you cannot pay for swimming lessons for your pupils.  As part of their swimming provision schools will now need to measure how many pupils can swim 25 metres and safely self-rescue.  Children that do not reach these requirements, can, however, be targetted using funding to pay for instance, additional swimming lessons or teachers professional development.

Swimming primary school curriculum – Recording and reporting data

Schools are now required to record and report on their website the figures relating to pupil progress in swimming.  You can use afPE’s website reporting tool to do this. The form covers all aspects of evidencing your use of the PE and sport premium, including your percentages of pupils swimming.

If your school needs planning to support the delivery of swimming take a look at what we do at The PE Hub.   Our swimming lesson plans and schemes of work offer support from beginners to advanced.  Also, you can also find a considerable amount of useful swimming information on the Swim England website.

Enter your details to receive information on how we work with schools & organisations like yours. Or if you have a question, either contact us or fill out the form below. 

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