Info for Teachers

Every Child A Successful Swimmer

COVID19 – For information and guidance, please see our COVID19 page.


School Swimming Policy Document

Our school swimming policy document which is also included in the familiarisation pack below.

Risk Assessment

Swimming Term Dates for the 2020/2021 Academic Year

The dates for swimming for the 2020/2021 academic year; if you are due to swim when there is a bank holiday, please see the document for the replacement dates.

Due to COVID19 the start dates for the 2020/2021 academic year will be different for each swimming pool. Please see our COVID19 page.

Parent/Carer Letter

Please complete and send out this letter to parents/carers before their children take part in school swimming lessons.

Goggle Permission Slip

If a pupil needs to wear goggles for medical and other associated reasons, please ask their parent/carer to complete this goggles permission slip and bring it with you.

Opportunity to Book a Parent Assembly

As part of our offer we would like to offer schools a parent’s assembly. This would be for the parents of those children who will be swimming in 2020/2021 academic year.

The assembly would give your parents the opportunity to learn:

  • What the school swimming programme entails
  • The National Curriculum requirements for school swimming
  • What impacts on the child’s progress in school swimming
  • How they can help to ensure their child is ready for their lessons
  • How they can positively impact on their child’s progress
  • Understand how to access information on Water Safety for the whole family

If you take us up on this opportunity your school would need to set up the hall and invite parents to this meeting. A projector would also be very useful so that we can display a power point presentation. This power point will be sent to you beforehand so that you can see the content of the presentation and have it ready on your school laptop.

To book a timeslot please email or call Emma on 07761 058622.

If you would like to deliver the assembly yourself then please email Emma and we will send you the most up to date presentation.

Template Register (for schools not using Swimphony)

Copy and paste your pupil information into the template register and bring it with you to the first lesson. DO NOT send it to the School Swimming Team in advance.

Familiarisation Pack

The familiarisation pack that is handed out at the familiarisation sessions at the start of the academic year.

Please see the COVID19 page for information relating to the 2020/2021 academic year.

Schemes of Work

We work to different scheme’s of work that you download and view:

Pool Familiarisation Videos

We have a familiarisation video for each swimming pool we use on our YouTube channel that you can show your pupils.

Videos of Teaching Practices

We have a number of videos showing a variety of swimming skills pupils will learn during their school swimming lessons. You can view these on our YouTube channel and show your pupils before and between your lessons. You can even get your pupils to perform the skills in PE lessons.

Demonstration Cards

We have created demonstration cards that can be used as a visual aid on pool side, but also shown to pupils before their swimming lessons and incorporated into PE lessons.

Classroom Resources

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

Swim England Resources

SEND Inclusion into School Swimming – Inclusion 2020 Project

Swim England have released a webinar on on their YouTube channel.

In this webinar, the Swim England Learn to Swim team are joined by representatives from two SEN schools who are leading the project’s activities in their areas.

Representatives, Rob and Linda, share their experiences of school swimming and how the Inclusion 2020 project has provided them the right tools and resources to be able address some of the challenges their SEN pupils face in the school swimming environment.

Home-schooling Resources & Lockdown Learning Activities

Swim England have released a variety of home-schooling resources and lockdown learning activities you can download from the their website for free.

DfE Swimming Workshop Resources

Swim England have hosted several workshops focussing on different subjects of school swimming:

  • Guidance for schools and teachers on best practice for school swimming lessons
  • How swimming and water safety links with other national curriculum outcomes
  • Overcoming challenges in accessing swimming due to Covid 19
  • Supporting SEND pupils in accessing swimming lessons

You can download PDF’s of the slides and the recordings of the workshops.

Water Safety

More than 700 people drown in the UK and Ireland EVERY YEAR and many more have non-fatal experiences, sometimes suffering life-changing injuries so teaching children about water safety forms a very important part of Sheffield School Swimming Service curriculum. Much of the information can be delivered by schools in a classroom. This will save lots of time on the pool side and mean our swimming teachers can get children straight in the pool giving them more time to learn the physical elements of swimming.

Due to this part of the curriculum being really important we have prepared various resources and gathered links from the the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) to help you deliver this to your pupils. We want to give you everything you need so please get in touch if you need anything else or need help with delivery / resources.

This part of the swimming curriculum will enable pupils to enjoy water safely, to keep their families and friends safe and to know what to do in an emergency.

Learn to Swim Week Resources

Water Safety Videos

You can view our self safe rescue videos and our video on open water swimming, rivers, Icey waters, the Water Safety Code on our YouTube channel and show them to your pupils.


The National Curriculum Training Programme

The Swim England National Curriculum Training Programme (NCTP) has been developed for class teachers, support staff and other adults who have established relationships with pupils. It gives them the skills and knowledge needed to support the delivery of high-quality school swimming lessons, helping schools meet curriculum requirements.

There are two NCTP courses:

  • Support Teacher of School Swimming
  • Teacher of School Swimming

We encourage school staff to qualify as a support teacher as this course will develop the individual skills needed to actively assist and support a qualified teacher to deliver school swimming lessons. If you are interested or would further information please please contact the School Swimming Team.


Who should I contact about my schools swimming lessons? Should I contact the swimming pool?

Please contact the School Swimming Team to discuss your school swimming lessons. We hire the pool space from the swimming pools, therefore please do not contact the swimming pools about your swimming lessons.

Who do I call if the coach is late before or after a lesson?

We have two transport companies providing coaches for school swimming, Ashley Travel and Linburg. Please see your SLA which displays the transport company assigned to your school. You should contact the transport company directly and they can let you know the status of the coach.

Ashley Travel: 0114 251 1234 (pick up times are 30 minutes before the lesson / 10 minutes after the lesson)
Linburg: 0114 261 9172 (pick up times are 20 minutes before the lesson / 10 minutes after the lesson)

If you have a complaint regarding transport, then please contact the School Swimming Team.

Why can’t pupils wear goggles?  My pupil is only happy in the pool if they wear swimming goggles. Will they be allowed to do so?

This is due to the fact that we are delivering the National Curriculum and we have an obligation to ensure all our pupils are competent in the water without goggles. Where a pupil has a documented medical condition affecting their eyes or an other associated reason which means goggles are required for protection, you should ask their parent/carer to complete the google permission slip above. When pupils who do not have a documented medical condition affecting their eyes or an other associated reason wear googles it can lead to:

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

Why do pupils 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.

What is appropriate swim wear?

All swim wear must be tight fitting and be of an appropriate material. This may be a swimming costume, trunks or shorts (must be swimming shorts). Bikinis/shorts below the knee/cut off jeans, underwear and heavy materials are not acceptable swimwear. Bermuda shorts are not allowed as they give a false sense of buoyancy and the swimming teacher will be unable to clearly see leg movement in the water. If pupils are required to wear long sleeve tops and leggings then these must be lightweight and swim wear i.e. a costume must be worn underneath or on top.

Pupils are required to wear a t-shirt and shorts/tight leggings during water safety week. Pupils will not be allowed to wear any clothing that could hurt others/themselves or any loose clothing.

Example swim wear: A tankini (left) is appropriate, a bikini (right) is not appropriate.

Swim Wear

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

Jewellery is not permitted on the school swimming programme, including stud earrings, bracelets, necklaces etc. This policy is in place for safety reasons and AFPE (Association for Physical Education) safe practice is the legislation we follow. If a pupil wants their ears pierced, we advise this to be done during Summer holidays therefore they will be able to be removed for their school swimming lessons.

Who should parents questions be directed to?

Parental questions/enquires/complaints should be submitted to your school. If you cannot answer their questions/enquires/complaints, please contact the School Swimming Team for guidance and advice.

What if I have questions about Swimphony or I can’t get it to work properly?

 If you require support to access Swimphony please email:

A parent/carer’s child can already swim to a higher standard than the National Curriculum standard. Can they withdraw him/her 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.

One of my pupils 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.
  • Pupils should not go to public pools if they have open wounds, severe eczema or any infectious skin complaint.
  • Colds, flu and other infectious illnesses are a sufficient reason not to swim.
  • Pupils whose illness or treatment makes them susceptible to infection, or affected badly by it, should take medical advice before swimming.
  • If pupils 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 a pupil has a condition not on this list and you are not sure if they should attend, please contact the School Swimming Team.

Can you complete a provider form for EVOLVE?

Over 2/3 of the form is not relevant in this instance and we can provide appropriate assurances in the statement below (as agreed with Sheffield’s Outdoor Education Advisor).

1) If you are a Sheffield LA maintained school

We are all part of the same employer, all following the same rules and procedures, so the provider form is not relevant in this instance.

2) If you are an academy, independent or other institution outside the LA

Sheffield Swimming service is a council-run swimming provider that follows all council rules and procedures for the vetting and hiring of staff. Our staff have all necessary qualifications and appropriate checks for working with young people, and we are insured by Sheffield City Council. We can answer “yes” to all the relevant questions on section A and C of the provider form, which are the sections that are applicable in this instance. The primary responsibility for the facilities lies with the pools themselves.