Swimming Season

3rd May 2024

Meldreth Primary School Swimming Pool is funded by our PTA for the benefit of the children attending our school. It is completely self-funded with no additional funding from the Local Authority or school. School staff are trained to teach swimming and have annual First Aid training  so that all children from Early Years to Year 6 have the opportunity to have swimming lessons whilst at Meldreth Primary School.

The original open air pool was built on the school site nearly 53 years ago and has since provided swimming lessons for all primary aged children.  The pool was built by voluntary contributions with a massive fundraising effort in the 1960s. Click here  to find out more from the Meldreth History site 

Our dedicated staff maintain the pool on a daily basis as Pool Carers. Our parent volunteers currently help fund pool maintenance,  do the accounts and constantly fundraise to keep the pool open.

The national curriculum stipulates that all schools must provide swimming instruction as part of the curriculum in either KS1 or KS2. Here at Meldreth we provide swimming lesson from Reception to Year 3 in our school pool and the school provides deep water swimming at McSplash  for pupils in Years 5 and 6.

All schools must provide swimming instruction either in key stage 1 or key stage 2. In particular, pupils should be taught to:

  • swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
  • use a range of strokes effectively [for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke]
  • perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations
Lessons include fun activities and games in the pool, and staff adapt these to help all children achieve their potential. 

What our Parents say...

"I am thrilled to report that as a result of the swimming sessions my daughter participated in at Meldreth Primary School she has progressed to the next level in her out of school lessons. It has been a joy to watch her go from being nervous in the water and reluctant to get her head wet to seeing her jump into the pool with a big splash and then swim under the water. Swimming regularly with peers has provided her with a new confidence and allowed her enjoy swimming as a physical activity."

Frequently Asked Questions
How deep is the pool? 
The water level in our pool is 75cm deep, which is roughly chest height for our youngest children and waist height for our oldest.
How warm is the school pool? The pool temperature is kept at approx 34 ⁰C/35 ⁰C.
Who teaches my child’s swimming lessons? Our class teachers who know your child well teach the lessons. They have attended swimming training and have water specific first aid training each year.

Is the teacher in the water? All lessons are led from the side of the pool.

Does the whole class swim at the same time? Group sizes vary depending on children's water confidence and ability but children are taught in groups of less than 12 children.

What programme will my child follow? Our lessons follow the scheme of work for teaching Physical Education written by  Cambridgeshire County Council.

Will my child be working towards a level or badge? Children are awarded certificates as they progress through our scheme of work.

Will the class be taught at different levels according to confidence and ability? As in all lessons, learning is adapted to meet the needs of the children.

How long will my child spend in the water during each lesson? In a  typical session the children will spend 20-25 minutes in the pool.

My child has swimming lessons locally, do you liaise with other centres to discuss ability/progress? We liaise with parents to inform us how confident their child is and will communicate progress back to you as children earn new certificates.

If I come into school to help, will I be expected to swim? We very much value your support but would not ask you to come into the pool.

What can I do as a parent to further support my child’s swimming? 

By far the best way we’ve found that builds confidence in the water is getting kids to know that they can go under the water and get up again safely.  This removes a huge learning block when it comes to swimming.

If you take your child to organised swimming lessons you’ll find diving games will be a part of the lessons for that very reason.

Essentially you throw something into the pool and your child has to dive down to get it (goggles essential of course!).

Start in the shallow end and just get them to retrieve something from under the water.  In your first few sessions it may only be deep enough for them to bend over and pick up, but try to get it just deep enough that they have to put their head just under the water.  This will teach them to hold their breath correctly.

Gradually move deeper.  Not too deep at first – they still need to be able to stand up – but this time get them to dive down.  Teach them how to dive under the water.

If they are not too sure about going underwater at this stage try the “rocket“:

  • Take them to water that is mid-way up their chest.
  • Get them to squat so that their head is just under the water (you may want to ‘say hello’ so they feel safe – see below)
  • Then get them to jump up and launch out of the water like a rocket.

When they start to swim you can go a bit deeper with diving games, but this will come much later. (Don’t push it as it may erode their confidence).