Swimming at St Edward's
Why have St Edward's decided to trial a swimming pool on the school grounds?
As a school we always review our offer of the curriculum each year. We are aware that many schools across the country and in Birmingham have used the swimming pool on site successfully last year and all said that it was a very memorable experience for the children. We have booked our pool for a warmer time of the year and of course have considered the fact that we have the space and grounds to do this. The main reason for this switch is to reduce the travel costs and time taken from the school day but actually increase the available swimming time. This year, we are able to have all children from Year 2 to Year 6 swim and for 2 weeks rather than the usual one. The availability of staff also increases, if we are on site. Let us review how it goes this year.
Here are some questions that have been asked by parents. If you have any other questions, please let us know.
(1) Who has carried out the risk assessments? especially when it comes to COSH and RIDDOR.
Extensive risk assessments have been carried out by the company itself. The risk assessments have been very carefully thought through and reviewed by Miss Avery and Mrs Kennett.
(2) What changing facilities are available for the children? How will the children be separated when changing? This also incorporates the actual swimming area, Is it undercover? If undercover, is that area heated? Is the pool heated?
The classrooms will be used for changing. Each class will be split up into 2 groups- boys and girls to allow each sex to use the classroom at different times e.g. whilst the boys are swimming, the girls will be changing. The classroom door windows will be covered to ensure that it is private and a member of staff stood outside to ensure everyone is safe.
The swimming pool will be under a marquee with sides to keep it protected. The swimming pool will be heated also. If the children are sat out on the side, they will have access to their towels to wrap around themselves. We have booked it during September/ October to ensure it isn't too cold for the children to walk back up to their classrooms.
(3) How has the pool access been managed for disabled children and how will this be managed?
The school is liaising with the pool company to ensure ALL children will be able to swim. We will make the adaptations necessary and instructors and lifeguards are aware of any needs the children have.
(4) Who are the swimming instructors and how many swimming instructors will there be per group?
The swimming instructors have been hired by the swimming company and are fully trained. Each also have a DBS check. For each lesson of 15 children, there will be one instructor and one lifeguard. There will also be an accompanying member of staff to manage behaviour and to support.
(5) Will there be lifeguards on site?
(6) As each child's level of ability is being assessed, how is the safety of the other children in the pool being managed, and by whom?
As it would at the University, the children will be assessed during their first session. The children will wait at the side for their turn before doing 1 length and getting out where they will be wrapped in their towel within the enclosed marquee unless instructed by the instructor or lifeguard.
(7) Will there be safety information and signs displayed for the children?
All children will have a safety briefing before going in the water. This will include necessary water safety instructions such as what different flags mean as per the national curriculum. The depth of the pool is 0.9m across the pool so children will be made aware that there will be no jumping OR diving in! The school will provide safety posters to ensure visual reminders.
The safety of the children is also considered throughout the school day and no children will have access to the pool unless supervised by an adult.