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All Saints’ Church of England Primary School Putney

Rooted in Faith, Growing through Learning

Swimming Guidance

Swimming is a statutory part of the National Curriculum, with its aims being that:


  • All schools must provide swimming instruction either 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


We also believe that, as part of the PE curriculum, swimming contributes to the personal and social development of children and to their health and well-being.


As you know, thanks to the government’s Sport Premium Fund and with support from FOASS, we are able to offer swimming lessons for both KS1 and KS2; we believe being able to swim is a key life skill. We want the children to be able to take full advantage of this opportunity. Swimming lessons should be considered in exactly the same way as any other PE lesson, and parents do not have the right to withdraw them from this statutory element of the curriculum.


The main reason parents request that their children do not go swimming is due to illness; however this is an area which needs further clarification:

Parents of children returning from an illness which would prevent them from swimming for a short period of time must provide the school with medical evidence of the illness in order that they may be excused from the lesson; for example, if your child has an infection which requires antibiotics; or a wound or injury which must not get wet or another condition which has needed consultation with a doctor, that would be considered an acceptable reason not to swim.


However, if your child simply has a cold and is judged well enough to attend school, then they should swim. There is no evidence that swimming will cause a cold to develop or get worse. Of course, if your child has a sore throat, a temperature and/or diarrhoea along with the cold, they should not be in school.


If you have any further queries, please do contact the School Office.


Thank you for your cooperation in this area, which helps with the smooth running of activities such as these within the curriculum.