As part of the National Curriculum, all schools must provide swimming instruction either in Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2. Pupils at Dean Close Airthrie are fortunate to be able to use the 25m Cheltenham Ladies’ College swimming pool, a short walk across the playing field, for weekly timetabled lessons. We believe that all pupils should become both comfortable and proficient in the water, both above and below, and have developed a programme of improvement that spans the full age range.
All pupils are taught to:
For Key Stage 2, the initial focus during the autumn term is on stroke technique and improvement. Years 3 and 4 have swimming lessons on a Monday and Years 5 and 6 on a Friday. Children move into three groups of differing ability with a minimum of three staff teaching these groups – often more if a member of staff is present in the water. The groups are not rigidly set and as they progress children may move from one group to another.
During the spring term the focus for Year 3 is the continuation of stroke technique and building-up stamina, while for Years 4 to 6, during the first half of the term, the focus is on the build-up to completion of the ASA Distance Award Scheme. This Distance Award Scheme requires Year 4 to complete 20 minutes of continuous swimming: Year 5, twenty five minutes of continuous swimming and Year 6, thirty minutes of continuous swimming.
During the second half of the term, Years 3-6 practice for our annual School Swimming Gala. All pupils participate in:
In the summer term we concentrate on improving the stroke technique as well as stamina and distance/length of swimming. We also cover basic lifesaving techniques and survival skills.
In addition to the regular school galas, the swimming tutors arrange a series of friendly galas with local schools such as Cheltenham Ladies’ College and St Edward’s.
Our Year 5 and 6 pupils also compete in the Cheltenham and District Primary Schools swimming gala in the summer.