Info for Teachers

Every Child A Successful Swimmer

Sheffield’s School Swimming Service will operate under pre-covid-19 conditions. Please refer to the venue risk assessments, policy document and walk-through videos/written procedures before your first lesson. However, as agreed with the venue providers, we will incorporate the following Covid-19 conditions into our risk assessments/procedures to ensure the swimming lessons continue to be safe.


Familiarisation Pack

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

Swimming Pool Video Walk Through Guides

We have created walk through videos on our YouTube channel for you to show your pupils on the way to travel within each venue and the changing room protocols.

Swimming Pool Written Walk Through Guides

To accompany our video’s we have written walk through guides for you to download:

Swimming Term Dates for the 2021/2022 Academic Year

The dates for swimming for the 2021/2022 academic year; if you are due to swim when there is a bank holiday, please see the document for the replacement dates.

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.

Template Register

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.

School Teacher Checklist

We have created a checklist for you to go through before and after your swimming lessons:

Medal of the Week

The school swimming teachers will select a pupil that deserves recognition for their efforts on a weekly basis, and presents them with a medal to positively reward and praise them. The teachers rotate the medal winner weekly around the groups so it’s important that the medal remains in school and then returned the following week so that it can re-presented to another pupil.

Class teachers can also reward the pupil at school by there own school reward scheme e.g. house points or using our ‘WOW’ card below.

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 2021/2022 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.

Policies & Procedures

School Swimming Policy Document

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

Schemes of Work

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

Risk Assessment

Our general risk assessment is available to download below. We have a risk assessment for each pool which can be found on our further information for teachers page. Please contact us for the password.

Transport Risk Assessments

Please note that the wearing of face masks for coach drivers will be their personal choice.

Our 2 contracted transport companies have created risk assessments and received their ‘Good to Go’ certificates that you can download:


Ashley Travel

Swimming Teacher’s Teaching Stations

Our swimming teachers will teach from pool side, we have created ‘teaching stations’ at each pool, you can view these by downloading the document:


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.

‘WOW’ Card

If you feel any of your pupils deserve a special award for example overcoming a fear, performing a new skill or even helping out another pupil; you can download and print the ‘WOW’ Card and present it to your pupils in assembly:


We normally print and hand over certificates to each school at the end of a Block of swimming. As we are now trying to reduce the passing of physical paperwork to school staff; we are asking schools to download and print the certificate below. Please write – ‘Participated in school swimming and achieved [insert distance]’ on the certificate; the distance can be found on the class register. It would be fantastic to hand them out in assembly to your pupils.

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 & Learning Activities

Swim England have released a variety of home-schooling resources and 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 Covid19
  • 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.

What is appropriate Swimwear?

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

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.

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

The service following 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 pupils. We ask school teachers to inform parents/carers that jewellery i.e. earrings, bracelets, necklaces, waterproof watches, rings etc. should be removed prior to taking part in school swimming lessons as 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.

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

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, Covid19 symptoms 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 a parent/carer withdraw their 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.

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.

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.