POLICY ON SWIMMING
The school has regard to both the physical and mental development of each of its pupils. Believing that a healthy body promotes a healthy mind, the school arranges for a six/seven week course of swimming instruction in the swimming pool for 3rd to 6th class students, during the school year. Some years, it may be necessary to re-arrange the classes going swimming, depending on class sizes and class splits.
- To enable pupils to acquire basic swimming skills while they are at St. Patrick’s N.S. (Scoil Phádraig).
- To comply with the requirements of the Revised Curriculum in aquatics.
- As swimming is now part of the school curriculum, all children must take part.
- St. Patrick’s N.S. (Scoil Phádraig) arranges for a course of swimming instruction in the Aura Leisure Centre, Letterkenny or Finn Valley Swimming Pool, Stranolar.
- Each pupil will attend a 6/7 week session in a swimming pool annually from 3rd – 6th class (depending on class sizes and class splits)
- Costs incurred by hiring of bus necessitate a charge being imposed on each pupil. The amount depends on the number of pupils attending.
- Parents/guardians will receive a standard letter providing information on school swimming before their child starts their swimming term. A consent note, granting permission for a child to participate in swimming must be returned to the class teacher prior to the start of the swimming term.
- Where a parent/guardian has a health concern regarding their child’s participation in swimming, professional advice must be sought before the child participates in the swimming lesson.
- In the best interest of the child, it is the duty of parents/guardians to inform the class teacher and/or Principal with regard to any health condition that may affect the child in the pool. This information will be held in confidence and provided on a need to know basis to the swimming instructors.
- Pupils, while swimming, are in the care of their class teachers.
- Pupils may wear tracksuit bottoms. They must however, wear the school t-shirt and jumper.
- All items brought to the pool must be clearly labelled with the child’s name.
- Each child must have their own togs, towel, hair brush and swim cap, all of which must also be marked.
- A teacher from the school signs in the class indicating school name and number of pupils that week
Instruction in the pool will be provided by the pool instructors.
Pupils who have Special Needs:
The S.N.A.’s may be required to assist pupils who have special needs to undress and dress before and after swimming lessons in the Swimming Pool. They may need to assist the child to enter and exit the pool and be available at all times during the swimming lesson to take the child from the swimming instructor, if he/she is no longer taking part in the lesson.
The S.N.A.’s are not required to enter the water with the child. They do not have sufficient training to do so. It is the responsibility of the instructor, be it an individual or group instructor to teach the pupil with special needs their swimming lessons. It is the decision of the swimming pool whether or not the pupil is capable of being in a group swimming situation or an individual one. This depends on the ability of the individual child in the water. This decision may be reached before or after the child’s first lesson in the pool.
In relation to school tours, where classes are visiting a swimming pool or a water area e.g. an adventure park the same procedures apply. S.N.A.’s are not required to enter the water with the special needs pupil. If the parent/guardian feels that their child needs individual assistance in the water, a staff member from the given establishment may be employed. Alternatively the parent (if Garda vetted) may go on the school tour to support the pupil.
At The Pool:
- Pupils will line up at the entrance to the changing area. Pupils who are changing themselves may enter first, followed by pupils whose require help from assisting adults.
- Teachers observe and supervise the class groups from the designated area.
- Adults are not permitted in the changing area during the swim lesson. When the whistle has gone at the end of the lesson, assigned adults who are assisting children can then come in from the designated area.
- Due to time restraints, children have enough time only to have a quick body wash after swimming. Therefore, pupils must not bring shampoo, conditioner, talc or body lotion. Spray deodorants etc. must not be brought to the pool as the dressing rooms are confined spaces.
- On exit, pupils line up in the hallway of the changing room area, then exit into the lobby area.
- Pupils board the bus in an orderly fashion.
- Pupils should not eat or drink while on the bus or in the swimming pool building. When the pupils return to school, they have their snack and drink.
- On occasion, parents may need to collect pupils from the pool. Written permission for the pupils to travel home from the pool with their parents, signed by the parents/guardians, should be given to the class teacher prior to the swimming lessons.
Health and Safety
Health & Safety and Child Protection
Best practice in relation to the supervision, instruction and child protection procedures as outlined by the Irish Sports Council, Swim Ireland and the National Safety Council will be adhered to at all times. Staff will follow the guidelines of our own Health & Safety Statement and Child Safeguarding Statement at all times.
One adult will not be supervising the children on their own at any time. The boys will use one dressing room and the girls will use a separate changing room. A pupil will have an option of using individual dressing cubicles. The class teacher will stand in the link corridor outside the dressing rooms and supervise. The teacher will not enter the dressing room.
Pupils are required to behave at all times in a manner that ensures the safety of all involved in school swimming. Pupils must obey the instructor’s orders at all times and comply with the school’s Code of Behaviour Policy and the pool’s Health and Safety Guidelines.
Monitoring / Evaluation / Review:
Policy is revised annually or at other times if deemed necessary.
Implemented: 19th June 2018
Signed on behalf of the Board of Management
Signed: ______________________________ Date: ______________