Better School Swimming Programmes will be delivering a wide variety of Water Safety activities, linking to the annual national Drowning Prevention Week run by the RLSS (Royal Life Saving Society). Drowning Prevention Week this year runs Monday 17th to Sunday 23rd June 2019.
The aim of this week is to increase awareness, knowledge, and understanding of water safety to enable pupils to stay safe in and around water, which is fundamental to reducing the number of drowning and near drowning incidents. With the warmer weather over the summer periods, the number of individuals playing in the water increases – unfortunately, this results in an increase in the number of drownings and near-drownings compared to any other time of the year. We want to help prevent this.
The primary aim of Better School Swimming Programmes is to ensure all children learn essential swimming skills and are able to achieve all three KS2 School Swimming outcomes:
- Swim competently confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25m
- Use a range of strokes effectively (for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke)
- Perform safe self-rescue in different water based situations
However, data from the Swim Group found that around a third of Year 6 pupils are still unable to swim and perform basic water safety skills. Their report also found that when surveying parents of Year 6 children, around two-thirds fear that their child could not save themselves in water. The RLSS also noted that 56% of drownings never intended to be in the water.
With these figures in mind, our approach to Better School Swimming lessons is to ensure that pupils learn the essential water safety skills to ensure that they are aware of the dangers of water and know what to do if they or others get into difficultly. This week is about cementing these skills and knowledge in a fun and proactive environment in preparation for the summer holidays, where unfortunately the most drownings occur.