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Primary School Swimming

Teaching swimming and water safety during Key Stage 1 or 2 is a requirement of the national curriculum PE programme of study.

Since 2017, there has been a requirement to publish the attainment figures of all year 6 pupils for swimming and water safety on the schools website.

Schools are required to publish information on the percentage of their pupils in year 6 who met each of the 3 swimming and water safety national curriculum requirements below.

·        What percentage of your current Year 6 cohort swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres?

·        What percentage of your current Year 6 cohort use a range of strokes effectively [for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke]?

·        What percentage of your current Year 6 cohort perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations?


It is important that schools share the attainment figures for swimming and water safety to ensure parents are aware of their child’s abilities. We would also encourage Primary Schools to share this information with local secondary schools.

The national reporting template for the Primary PE and Sport Premium contains a section on swimming which requires completion. The template is quick and easy to complete. Schools are responsible for collecting the data for each pupil. If swimming and water safety lessons are provided by a third party (such as a pool operator or swim school) teachers should request this information at the end of each swimming term.

To plan, monitor and report on the impact of your spending, it’s recommended that you use the following template to record your activity which can be downloaded below:


Click here to download the pdf version

Click here to download the word version

Useful Resource - School Swimming Guidance - Covid19 - Return to the Pool

Raising attainment in primary school swimming

The Primary PE and Sport Premium can be used to fund the professional development and training that are available to schools to train staff to support high quality swimming and water safety lessons for their pupils.

The premium may also be used to provide additional top-up swimming lessons to pupils who have not been able to meet the national curriculum requirements for swimming and water safety after the delivery of core swimming and water safety lessons. At the end of key stage 2 all pupils are expected to be able to swim confidently and know how to be safe in and around water.

Further guidance and support has been developed by Swim England (The national governing body for Swimming in England) on how to use the Primary PE and Sports Premium for swimming and water safety provision. This can be downloaded here.

Further information can also be found at: https://www.swimming.org/schools/about-school-swimming/

Case Studies

Examples of good practise from schools across the Black Country can be found on the Black Country Schools Hub at http://blackcountryschoolshub.co.uk.

This includes approaches of how schools are meeting the national curriculum swimming requirements (NC) as well as further examples of additional provision for swimming and water safety funded through the Primary PE and Sport Premium.


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