School Swimming Scheme
Common Operational Procedures
The Teaching Program
Lessons are conducted for 45 minutes each day for ten consecutive school days.
The School Swimming Scheme Suggested Activity booklet has been developed specifically for the School Swimming Scheme. Alternative lesson plans maybe used for varying conditions such as inclement weather when teaching outdoors, disruptive pupils, insufficient equipment, or a class that learns rapidly. The Suggested Activities are a guide only.
An overall structure that could be a basis for most lessons might include:
With an average of 15 children in a group the option to teach from the pool deck or in the water is governed by one question: how many students can be seen at any given moment? If the teacher when standing in shallow water can safely observe the entire class at all times, then this may be appropriate. However to be in the water at the same level as the students, so that only a few of them can be seen, is considered an unsafe practice. It is beneficial for instructors of beginners to be in the water.
For groups of higher ability that are swimming distances, the instructor needs to be on pool deck so as to observe from an elevated position, for stroke correction and to enable a speedy intervention when required.
Skill Assessment and Evaluation
Evaulation and testing are an integral part of any program and may be formal, informal or ongoing. The testing and evaluation requirements should be integrated into the program rather than direct it. Ongoing assessment allows time to teach new skills and also to determine whether the students are learning the skills thoroughly and developing at their own pace. After a student performs a skill with confidence several times, it can be passed by the teacher.
Whenever possible, learners should be assessed in groups rather than individually. A group or subgroup can be asked to demonstrate a particular skill together, repeating it several times until the teacher has observed each individual. This system can avoid cold and boredom for those awaiting assessment, and allows for further practice and refinement of skill.
Always test from the poolside, not in the water. Skills must be assessed without assistance.
As students progress through the skill levels, the depth of water increases. This ensures that skills performed confidently in shallow water are also performed confidently in deep water.
Evaluation is essential in any successful program. Teachers should evaluate the lessons, each student, the program and their teaching performance.
Additional Supportive Strategies
Principals of schools participating in the School Swimming Scheme are encouraged to provide their students with follow-up instruction from within school resources. It is generally acknowledged that the impact of the intensive course is enhanced with follow-up instruction and practice. Schools choosing not to participate in the Scheme are encouraged to provide alternate opportunities for their students to participate in learn to swim programs.