Teachers take the plunge

Teachers from a number of Merton primary schools were given swimming lessons at Canons pool last week as part of Merton School Sport Partnership’s initiative to get more young people swimming.

Merton School Sport Partnership brings together schools and Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL), and is spearheaded by Merton’s sport specialist college, Harris Academy, to promote and monitor pupils’ swimming. The partnership’s recently launched strategy aims to provide teachers with guidance and support to help them improve swimming in schools. It wants to encourage schools to formally assess the swimming ability of their pupils at key stages 1 and 2. As a result of the strategy, the partnership has also set up a National Curriculum Training Programme ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) Module 1 Swimming Course which is free for the borough’s teachers.

The strategy will be updated annually or as required in order to ensure that pupils are making the most of their swimming lessons and reaching their potential and ideal standard. All schools in the partnership are involved in the swimming strategy in different capacities depending on their school’s needs.

Merton Council’s cabinet member for education, Councillor Martin Whelton said: “Swimming is a vital life skill and one that should be learned early on in life. The swimming strategy that Merton School Sport Partnership have developed is an excellent way to ensure that pupils are at the right swimming standard for their age and are learning in the best and most supportive way.”

Merton School Sport Partnership Director, Nicola Ryan said: “Although many schools are already participating in swimming lessons, this strategy seeks to formally assess pupils and ensure that our schools are reaching the recommended Ofsted standard. The strategy will also provide guidance and recommendations, and help teachers ensure their pupils are confident swimmers”.