Aquatic Activities

Aquatic Activities

All schools should provide swimming instruction. In particular, pupils should be taught to swim competently, confidently and proficiently in working towards the use of a range of strokes effectively e.g. front crawl, backstroke, breaststroke. Pupils should also be taught to perform safe self- rescue in different water-based situations In this unit pupils learn to enjoy being in water and become more confident.

They learn how to keep afloat, move in the water, meet challenges and breathe when swimming. At first they use swimming aids and support – in time, some pupils will manage without these. In all swimming activities, pupils have to keep afloat and propel themselves through water. Learning to swim enables them to take part in a range of water-based activities.

It is helpful if pupils have:

• Some idea of what swimming is.

• Developed the ability to travel in different ways on land.

• Played in pairs and groups.

• Developed the ability to listen to instructions.

In the next unit, for developing and competent swimmers, pupils will be introduced to specific swimming strokes on their front and on their back. They will learn and use:

• Different kicking and arm actions.

• They will also be introduced to some personal survival skills.

• Will set and complete water-based challenges.

TIME ALLOCATION This unit is expected to take 8–12 hours to deliver so can be used in half term blocks.

Knowledge and understanding of health and fitness

Pupils should learn:

  • That being active is fun and good for them.
  • To recognise what their bodies feel like during different activities.

Acquiring and developing skills Pupils should learn:

  • To work with confidence.
  • To explore and use skills, actions and ideas individually and in combination.
  • To remember, repeat and link their actions.

Selecting and applying skills, tactics and compositional ideas

Pupils should learn:

  • How to choose and use skills for different swimming tasks.
  • To improve the control and coordination of their bodies in water.

Evaluating and improving performance

 Pupils should learn:

  • To watch, copy and describe what they and others have done, and to use the information to improve their work.
  • Ask the pupils to describe how their bodies feel when they are swimming and what happens to their breathing.
  • Ask the pupils how the temperature of the water makes them feel, and how their bodies react to the temperature.
  • Talk to the pupils about the rules they need to follow in and near water.
  • Talk to them about both the fun and the dangers of being in water.
  • Tell them how to keep an eye out for others and to help them feel safe.
  • Encourage the pupils to go into the water and move around confidently. Ask them to hold the rail at the side of the pool and move as they would on land. Ask them to hold hands with someone else and help each other to travel in different ways.
  • Teach the pupils to use their arms to pull and push the water, to use their legs in kicking actions, and to use their arms and legs together to stay upright and to move along.
  • Show them how to move around in the water in a number of ways with their feet on the ground and the help of swimming aids.
  • Teach them to hold their breath and open their eyes underwater. Ask them to put their heads under water and move short distances without touching the ground.
  • Teach them to stretch out on the water on their front and back, so that they lie flat
  • Help the pupils to feel how the water supports their bodies. Help them to feel safe enough to put their heads and then their bodies under the water.
  • Show them how their arms help them to stay upright and balanced.
  • Ask them which way they would push against the water if they wanted to move in a particular direction. Encourage them to use different types of leg kicking action to help them move.
  • Show them how to coordinate their arms and legs to help them move through water with support.
  • Listen to the pupils’s ideas on ways to travel in the water, and their ideas on what challenges to set themselves.
  • Ask the pupils to describe and copy swimming actions that they are shown.
  • Ask them what the difference is between actions.
  • Help the pupils to choose what swimming aids to use.
  • Listen to their comments on how to get their arms and legs to work together.
  • Ask them which activities they enjoy most in the water.

Pupils are able to:

  • Describe how the temperature of the water affects their bodies.
  • Explain what they do to feel warmer in the water.
  • Know and explain the rules and routines that keep them safe near water.
  • Take care of themselves and are aware of others in and around the swimming pool.

Pupils are able to:

  • Enter the water carefully, as taught.
  • Move around and across the pool, eg walking, running, hopping, with swimming aids and support.
  • Move on and below the surface, showing confidence and enjoyment in the water.
  • Begin to swim short distances of between 5 and 20 metres, using aids and later without them.

Pupils are able to:

  • Talk about what their body feels like in the water and describe how it feels different when moving in the same way in water and on land
  • Use different arm and leg actions to propel themselves through the water, at first upright and then horizontal, using swimming aids and support
  • Gradually coordinate these actions, so that they remain balanced and in control of their bodies
  • Stretch out and keep afloat on the surface, using a number of body shapes

Pupils are able to:

  • Use actions and words to explain what they and others do in the pool.
  • Copy and describe what they see in short demonstrations.
  • In every lesson, most of the pupils’ learning should take place through physical activity.
  • Most lessons should start with short warm-up activities that help the pupils remember what they did in the last lesson and prepare them for what they will learn next. Most lessons should end with cool-down activities.
  • Limit instructions and keep the pupils active, so they do not get cold.
  • Give the pupils enough time to explore and practise their skills and ideas.
  • Give the pupils specific guidance on the skills they need to use and how to use them correctly, as well as general feedback and praise.
  • Make sure the pupils have an opportunity to watch, copy and describe what others do. Resource cards and other visual images could be useful. Back in the classroom, give the pupils opportunities to talk about what they have done.

The pupils should keep a personal record of some of their attainment and achievement. They could use ICT to design their own certificate, or use a word-processing package to design a poster about water safety or pool hygiene.

Out of lessons, at home and in the community, pupils could be encouraged to:

  • Swim regularly, to help develop confidence.
  • Go swimming with their parents, guardians or carers.
  • Swim after school and at weekends. Find out about going to local pools, and about swimming lessons in clubs and the community.

This unit could be linked to:

  • Science – understanding floating and sinking, exploring forces
  • Mathematics – measuring and recording distances
  • Literacy – using specialist language.
  • PSHE – learning to work safely with others

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