Info for Parents/Carers

Every Child A Successful Swimmer

Video Presentation

We have created an updated video presentation for parents/carers whose children who will be going to school swimming lessons. This can be found on our YouTube channel.

Home Resources

Our staff have created a range of fun resources for your child/children to complete e.g. crosswords and word searches.

We have also created video’s on swimming activities your child/children can perform and practice while at home on our YouTube channel.

Swim England have released many free resources to use at home and you can download from the Swim England website.

Active Nottingham have written a book called ‘Can We Splash?’ which encourages families to take those first steps into swimming together. You can read this book with you child to introduce them to swimming, easy any worries, prompt conversations and help your child prepare for their first school swimming lesson. You can watch a video and download the PDF version of the book from the Active Nottingham website.


What is appropriate Swimwear?

This guidance has been produced to help you understand what children can wear for their swimming lesson. It is important that they feel confident and comfortable but also that they are safe.

Why can’t my child wear goggles? My child is only happy in the pool if they wear swimming goggles. Will they be allowed? They can wear goggles in their evening lessons?

Pool operators have their own procedures for wearing of goggles. Our School Swimming Service deliver to the National Curriculum (NC) and have an obligation to ensure all children are competent in the water without goggles. Therefore, children need to experience practicing their swimming without goggles, particularly for the water safety element as it is vital children are comfortable swimming without goggles so they don’t panic in an unexpected situation.

Can my child wear goggles for medical reasons?

For medical and other associated reasons some children need to wear goggles – such as prescription goggles. If this is the case then you should complete the goggle permission slip below and hand it into your school for them to approve.

If a pupil has permission to wear goggles then there will be times during the block of lessons when the swimming instructor will ask the child to remove them. It is important that all children experience swimming without goggles especially for water safety and water confidence i.e., if a child falls into open water they won’t have their goggles and may panic.

Wearing goggles it can lead to

  • Children constantly removing and adjusting their goggles leading to a delay for the children, and a distraction for swimming teachers
  • Children asking swimming teachers to adjust or re-position their goggles
  • Children won’t be able to pass the water safety criteria while wearing goggles

What should my child wear for Water Safety Lessons?

Children should wear their normal swimwear and then suitable light weight clothing over the top i.e., shorts and t-shirt. No Demin or items of clothing with zips should be worn. Please refer to the Swimwear guidance for further information.

Why does my child have to wear armbands when they don’t in private lessons?

The school swimming teachers assess pupils on week one and place them into a group based on the ability shown. On the first lesson they may not show their full potential, and may be grouped incorrectly and asked to wear armbands. Pupils can move groups throughout the block of lessons and can progress out of armbands quickly. Also, the school swimming teachers may ask pupils to wear armbands due to factors such swimming in deeper water compared to where they may be taught in their private lessons. The school swimming teachers are an experienced workforce and will put the safety of all pupils first but they will challenge, progress and assess them continuously.

Is jewellery allowed? My child is allowed to wear their earring in swimming lessons at X pool in the evening, what is the difference?

Our swimming service follows the guidelines outlined in the Association for Physical Education (AFPE) safe practice document.

Jewellery (except for an SOS talisman) is not permitted during school swimming lessons to help protect the safety of all children. Jewellery i.e. earrings, bracelets, necklaces, waterproof watches, rings etc. should be removed prior to taking part in school swimming lessons these can still leave scratches and cuts on others swimming nearby.

If a child wishes to have their ears pierced, we advise that this done during the summer holidays to ensure that the earrings are able to be removed for their school swimming lessons. The taping over of studs in pierced ears for swimming is not an option due to the risk of the tape coming off in the water and causing a choking hazard to other swimmers.

If an item of jewellery can’t be removed then the school will take responsibility for the decision as long as the swimming teachers feels that it’s safe for the item to be worn and suitable measures are put in place. For example, an item with sentimental value that can’t be removed should be covered up with a bandage of some sort to avoid it being damaged or lost. Also, if a pupil is unable to remove stud earrings due to them being recently pierced then a swimming ear band could be used.

Evening lessons are managed by separate organisations and have their own policies in place.

My child has X condition, can they still attend school swimming lessons?

A swimming pool is not very different from any other public place. Just as people might avoid work, school or public transport when they are not well – for their own sake as much as for others – so there are circumstances when swimming pools should be avoided.

  • Nobody suffering from diarrhoea should swim. That message is crucial; it must be clearly delivered and never compromised. Attention to ill children is particularly important. Gastrointestinal bacteria and viruses are killed by pool disinfectant. With the protozoa Cryptosporidium, even after diarrhoea has stopped, chlorine resistant infective particles can be passed for up to 14 days. The risk of contamination will be less, but people should not swim. Solid stools, once removed, are not a problem.
  • Children should not go to public pools if they have open wounds, severe eczema or any infectious skin complaint.
  • Colds, flu, Covid19 symptoms and other infectious illnesses are a sufficient reason not to swim.
  • Children whose illness or treatment makes them susceptible to infection, or affected badly by it, should take medical advice before swimming.
  • If children have a verruca, check it to see if there are any dark brown or black seeds/spores in it, if there are please get them to wear a pair of pool shoes from the change area to the poolside and back again. If not, they can just swim as normal.

If your child has any of the above condition/illness or a condition that is not listed please make your class teacher aware, and they will either decide whether your child can attend their lesson or gain further advice from the School Swimming Team.

Can I withdraw my child from school swimming lessons?

For schools who follow the National Curriculum (NC), Physical Education is a statutory subject, and within this, swimming must be provided for all children so that they can meet the statutory requirements by the end of Key Stage 2. Therefore you will not be able to withdraw your child from school swimming lessons.

Swim England has launched a challenge to highlight the importance of children remaining in swimming lessons until they become a competent swimmer (beyond their school swimming lessons). The ‘swimming competency challenge’ saw a group of parents, who are all regular swimmers, take on the four minimum water competency skills – ‘float to live’, treading water, swim in clothing and swim 100m without stopping and with ease. It demonstrates how difficult these water competencies can be to complete, showing why children should remain in swimming lessons until they have completed Learn to Swim Stages 1 to 7, as a minimum. To watch how the parents got on in the swimming competency challenge and for more information, please visit the Swim England website.

I have a question/enquiry/complaint, who should I contact?

You should contact your school, who will respond back to you. If needed, your school may contact the School Swimming Team to help answer your question/enquiry/complaint, but it is your school who will respond back to you.

Further Opportunities

Young people of all ages and abilities in Sheffield have the opportunity to access a variety of Aquatic disciplines whether that’s learning to swim, training and competing in a competitive swimming, diving or water polo club or simply enjoying a family swim at your local swimming pool. Below are some of the opportunities that you can access in Sheffield.

Learn to Swim

Swimming lessons are important to help children be water confident and learn a life-saving skill. Lessons are offered to all ages and abilities, and are taught by Swim England qualified teachers. For further information please visit the websites below:

Sheffield City Trust (SCT) Venues: Swimming Lessons | Swimming Classes in Sheffield with Sheffield City Trust

  • Concord Sports Centre
  • Heeley Swimming Pool
  • Hillsborough Leisure Centre
  • Ponds Forge International Sports Centre
  • Springs Leisure Centre
  • Westfield Sports Centre

Places Leisure:

  • Graves Leisure Centre
  • Thorncliffe Leisure Centre

King Edwards Swimming Pool:

Stocksbridge Leisure Centre:

Zest Centre:

Mylnhurst School:

Swimming Clubs

There are four competitive swimming club’s in Sheffield that provide young people with the opportunity to learn to train and compete in swimming. Swimmers normally join a club when they are 7 – 8 years of age that have completed Stage 6 of the Learn-to-Swim programme. For further information visit the websites below:

Diving Club

The Sheffield Diving Learn to Dive Scheme is based at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre and taught by experienced and passionate diving teachers. Junior Diving Lessons are available for anyone aged 6-15 who want to learn and develop diving skills, whilst working through the Sheffield Diving Awards Scheme. Sheffield Diving runs FREE try diving taster sessions on a weekly basis. These one-time bookable sessions are aimed at complete beginners or those with little experience. The sessions provide participants with a progressive and safe introduction to the Olympic sport of diving. Anyone taking part in diving must be comfortable swimming 25 metres in deep water without goggles.

Telephone: 07557 991824

Water Polo Club

City of Sheffield Water Polo club has an Academy and Mini Monsters session that young children can be taught the basics of the sport from movement, shooting and passing.


Swimmer in a pool