Info for School Teachers

Every Child A Successful Swimmer


Familiarisation Session

We have created a video where we talk through an updated School Swimming familiarisation presentation for the 2023/2024 academic year. This covers our vision, the national curriculum, the School Swim group, school staff involvement in swimming lessons, Swimphony, SwimPix cards and the Water Safety Scheme of Work. This is useful for both staff school going to school swimming for the first time and staff school who have been going for many years and can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

School Swimming Information Pack

We have created an new information pack for 2023/2024 which contains all the key information for school staff.

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 (Goodwin Sport Centre video coming soon).

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 2023/2024 Academic Year

The dates for swimming for the 2023/2024 academic year; if you are due to swim when there is a normal 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.

Guidance for Wearing Goggles and Permission Slip

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

Please ensure that parents/carers are made aware that if a pupil has permission to wear goggles then there will be times during the block of lessons that 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.

It’s also important that they are able to deal with water being splashed on their face, have the ability to open their eyes whilst their face is immersed, being able to swim under and above the water comfortably etc. so we do encourage pupils not to wear them unless it’s for medical or other associated reasons.

School Teacher Checklist

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

Demonstration Cards

We are working closely with partners (Links School Sport Partnership and the Sheffield City Trust) on a project called Inclusion 2024. The project is supported by the Youth Sport Trust and Swim England and aims to ensure school swimming and wider opportunities are accessible to every pupil. As part of the project we will; provide SwimPix demonstration cards to every venue, ensure staff have access to specific training and work with schools to ensure pupils with additional needs are able to access our lessons in a way that allows them to be a successful swimmer. To read more about Inclusion 2024 visit the Youth Sport Trust website.

Please ask our school swimming teachers on poolside how you can help with the use of the SwimPix demonstration cards to support the swimming lesson.

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 2023/2024 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

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

School Swimming Jar of Joy

The School Swimming jar of joy is a way to spread joy within our service and beyond. Has someone made your life easier, has someone made you smile, has someone done something great to progress your pupils or gone above and beyond to do something really well? If so, you can nominate them to go into the jar of joy. This could be a swim teacher, a school teacher or someone at one of our fabulous venues. Every nomination will be added to a half termly prize draw to win a £20 Meadowhall voucher. Every nomination counts as an entry into the draw. Please see the jar of joy form for more information and to nominate someone.

Policies & Procedures

Schemes of Work

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

Risk Assessments

We have risk assessments for general swimming, specific swimming scenario’s, each swimming pool and both our transport companies which can be found on our further information for teachers page. Please contact us for the password.


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.

‘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 have created 2 new School Swimming certificates for you to download after your swimming lessons have finished and hand out to your pupils:

We also have a letter for parents/carers you can hand out to your pupils at the same time as the certificate that contains information regarding further swimming opportunities at pools in the city.

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.

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.

Association for Physical Education Resources

The Association for Physical Education, in collaboration with the Youth Sport Trust and Active Partnerships have written a resource that leads school staff through a process of using the Primary PE and sport premium funding to provide additional or top-up swimming. You can download the resource on the Association for Physical Education website.


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.

Support Teacher of School Swimming course

The PESSPA Alliance has a FREE teacher training opportunity for school staff / teachers, who assist with school swimming lessons, to help build teacher confidence and positively impact how well pupils progress in their school swimming lessons. This opportunity will help you to ensure that your investment in school swimming is getting the best results for your pupils.

PESSPA Sheffield Alliance has partnered with Swim England and the DfE to bring you an online training session that will give you the knowledge and understanding to actively assist a qualified Teacher of School Swimming and work in partnership with your school swimming provider to deliver quality school swimming lessons and help your pupils progress further.

The Training – Support Teacher of School Swimming

The training takes approximately 6 hours but this may be shorter depending on your prior knowledge of the subject.  You can also complete the training in sections so you will not have to complete it at one time.

The course covers core aquatic skills and water safety, enabling you to support lessons in line with National Curriculum PE requirements.

The course covers how to:

  • Identify activities that will positively impact student learning
  • Engage with pupils, helping them to progress
  • Use aquatic activities to support and enhance learning in other areas of the PE National Curriculum.
Don’t delay, sign up now

If you would like to take advantage of this training, there are two things you will need to do:

  1. Create an account by clicking this link Register to join | The Swim England Identity Service . Instructions of how to do this are attached to this email.
  2. Once you have created an account please complete this google form so that we can credit your account to cover the cost of the course.

There is one course per school. If you would like more than one, because you have more members of your team who want to complete this training, please complete steps one and two above and second place vouchers will be awarded if we have spare vouchers. Teachers in school can work together to complete the training and cover contact together, but Swim England will only issue one certificate to the account holder on completion of the course.

Let’s all work together to make School Swimming in Sheffield the very best it can be and every child a successful swimmer. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us or Learn Sheffield.

Swim England – Supporting Pupils with SEND in School Swimming CPD

We are working with Sheffield City Trust, Links School Sport Partnership and Swim England to deliver the Swim England – Supporting Pupils with SEND in School Swimming CPD.

This is an accredited course and the majority of the cost of the course is being covered due to Sheffield’s involvement in the Inclusion 2024 programme.

Who is the course for?

  • School Teachers / any school staff working with pupils in a school swimming lesson. Mainstream or special schools.
  • Swimming teachers

What will you learn?

This course is a 6-hour course with 4.5 hours of theory followed by 1.5 hours of practical in the pool and the objectives of this CPD are:

  • Identify barriers to participation for pupils with SEND.
  • Identify ways to adapt swimming lessons.
  • Identify good practice in health and safety.
  • Support effective communication methods and resources for pupils with SEND, to help to introduce the main swimming strokes and other aquatic skills.

When, Where and how much?

Date: 11th December 2023
Time: 10:30 – 16:00
Venue: Concord Sports Centre
Cost: £25 to cover accreditation and venue costs*

*this is a funded place. If you are unable to attend we need to know in advance so we can offer your place to someone else. If we can fill your place we will not charge the course fee. 

How to register

To register for the course please complete this online form:

Completion of this form is not a guarantee you will be awarded a place. We will email you to confirm you have a place on the course and send through your joining instructions. There are only 20 places on this course and they will be awarded first come first served. 

Please contact Emma Banks with any questions:

Yorkshire Water – Live virtual events on the national curriculum, citizenship and water safety

Yorkshire Water are offering live virtual assemblies covering key themes relevant to the national curriculum, citizenship and water safety throughout the academic year. For further information and a timetable of the events can be found on the Yorkshire Water website.


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?

TM Travel

  • Ponds Forge ISC
  • Springs Leisure Centre

The coach pick-up time is 30 minutes before your swimming start time unless we inform you otherwise.

Contact number: 0114 263 3890

Beewise Travel

  • Thorncliffe Leisure Centre

The coach pick-up time is 20 to 30 minutes before your swimming start time unless we inform you otherwise.

Contact number: 0114 245 3535

Linburg Touring

  • Concord Sports Centre
  • Graves Leisure Centre
  • King Edwards Pool
  • Hillsborough Leisure Centre
  • Stocksbridge Leisure Centre
  • Zest

The coach pick-up time is 20 to 30 minutes before your swimming start time unless we inform you otherwise.

Contact number: 0114 261 9172

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.

What should pupils wear for Water Safety Lessons?

Pupils 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 can’t pupils wear goggles? My pupil 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 pupils are competent in the water without goggles. Therefore, pupils need to experience practicing their swimming without goggles, particularly for the water safety element as it is vital pupils 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 pupils need to wear goggles – such as prescription goggles. If this is then case then you should ask their parent/carer to complete the goggle permission slip above for you to approve.

Wearing goggles 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 goggle

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?

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 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 these can still leave scratches and cuts on others swimming nearby.

If a pupil 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 should 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.

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.