About Small Steps to Successful Swimming

A Teaching and Learning Resource

I have been delivering training courses for a wide range of learners who want to teach people to swim for over 25 years. The context has mostly been swimming lessons for young children of primary school age.

The teachers I have trained usually go on to work with a local swimming lessons provider.

In recent years I have found myself working with more and more people who work exclusively in a school swimming environment.

My  Message is always that Learning To Swim (LTS) is best experienced and enjoyed as an Adventure and a Voyage of Exploration and Discovery!

A JOURNEY which is all about Learning through Play, Physical activity, Physical Education and taking up a whole range of opportunities for wider participation in Aquatics.

Use the cards in lots of different ways

  • Quickly map and plan lessons and schemes of work for beginners.
  • Re-evaluate the way we measure pupil progress, achievement and success in the water.
  • Develop your subject knowledge.
  • Revisit the ‘building blocks’ for future success in the water.
  • Refresh your understanding of how children master fundamental aquatic skills.
  • Energise your teaching practices and delivery style.

As teachers we can SHARE that journey with our pupils. It can be OUR journey too !

Each card in the resource reminds us that the spirit of that Journey is, to safely PLAY, EXPLORE, DISCOVER AND ENJOY the magic of water.

The cards were originally developed as a comprehensive and easy-to-use training resource for my courses. They are packed with the sort of information and ideas I wanted teachers to be able to take away and use for planning and delivering their programmes- and for measuring and reporting on the success and attainment of their pupils in a less linear way.

Criterion referenced, tick box assessment schemes – usually developed as part of a one size fits all award or certificate and badge scheme – have their place.
But when used exclusively, they are limiting.

School Teachers and staff know that there is a lot more going on than we think when children are learning.

And so, the swimmer’s journey is about so much more than learning to swim or improving swimming skills and confidence.

We see children change and grow as learners. Levels of confidence, motivation, independence, cognitive and creative ability, change. They grow more resilient and extend their personal goals as a result.

Uniquely, the cards and the training model that goes with them have been designed to support these aspects of more holistic, non comparative, self referencing assessment.

Day in and day out through the Primary School years, teachers and Learning assistants demonstrate Good Practice in teaching and learning in the classroom environment.

Going Horizontal’s model begins with the idea that Good Practice in the classroom can be  transferred to the aquatic environment; with positive and successful outcomes for children and schools alike.

Outcomes which are closely aligned to those embedded in all those aspiring and inspiring whole school ‘mission’ statements and policies.

IT HAS THEREFORE ALWAYS STRUCK ME THAT PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS AND THEIR STAFF ARE EASILY BEST PLACED TO TEACH THE SWIMMING ASPECTS OF THE PE CURRICULUM.