Dear Parents, here are some answers to your school swimming questions.
At the start of the school year, your child will most likely start swimming and lifeguard class with the school. You probably have a few questions. I understand you. It is a vast subject, sometimes even a little complicated, because swimming is compulsory and part of the school curriculum, just like USA or mathematics. There is therefore no reason to abandon this discipline which mixes the useful with the pleasant.
WHEN DOES SCHOOL SWIMMING START?
Theoretically in cycle 1, that is to say in the large kindergarten section, when the child is around 5 years old. First objectives: to descend into the water by the steps and by the ladder, to succeed in putting the head under the water, and to float. It is above all a first contact with water.
And it continues until high school, with other goals, of course. Swimming is also an option for BA.
Obviously, nothing prevents you from taking your child to the pool first. It is even preferable. the pools are also open to toddlers once their first vaccinations have been carried out.
HOW LONG AND HOW OFTEN DO THE STUDENTS GO TO THE SWIMMING POOL?
Almost every year, from cycle 1 to the end of high school. Each year, the lessons are spread over a quarter, for a total of approximately 12 sessions. At a rate of 40 minutes on average per week and in addition to another sporting activity.
In total, physical and sports education is 3 hours per week in elementary school, 4 hours in sixth grade and 3 hours in other middle school classes, and 2 hours in high school, not counting optional lessons.
Good to know: the volume of swimming sessions may vary, mainly at primary school. The number of lessons may be a little higher for CP and CE1 students, quite simply to allow them to better integrate the basics.
IS IT COMPULSORY TO GO TO THE SWIMMING POOL WITH THE SCHOOL?
Yes. Quite simply because swimming is part of the school curriculum and is one of the compulsory lessons. And then, after a few lessons, your child may take a liking to it and ask you for additional sessions. It’s your turn to put on the swimsuit for a dip in the deep end. The good news is that swimming pool is also good for you.
However, in some cases, students can be exempted, provided they have a valid reason. With an exemption, your child does not participate in the swimming session but must be on site. So no question of going home.
The reasons for dispensation are often medical: ear infections, respiratory or muscle problems, plantar warts, convalescence, etc. And in most cases, you have to provide a medical certificate.
Aquatic phobia does not exempt swimming pool lessons. But it is better to talk to the teacher about it to find a suitable solution. This may be an opportunity to reassure your child about their fears.
Note: knowing how to swim is above all a question of safety. It is therefore in your child’s interest to participate in swimming sessions with the school. In addition, the sessions are free. All you have to do is provide the equipment: a swimsuit, towel, swimming cap, and swimming goggles. Nothing more.
CAN YOU ACCOMPANY YOUR CHILD TO THE SWIMMING POOL?
Yes and no. If your child is in high school, the answer is obviously no. He may not even want to see you step into the deep end. For elementary school and college, it’s a little different. I explain to you.
To become a volunteer pool worker, it is necessary to apply for, and be successful, and accreditation. When it is validated, you have the possibility to supervise a group of children. Not necessarily your child. And not just your child.
As a general rule, the volunteer worker supervises a group and supervises physical activities. At the swimming pool, it can be the accompaniment of students a course prepared by the instructor or the teacher.
To obtain approval, generally issued by the rectorate and/or by the school director, several formalities: a check of “good repute”, which involves, in particular, the control of the criminal record, information meetings, mainly on security, and a physical test. No need to specify that it is better to know how to swim. 😉
SWIMMING INSTRUCTOR OR INSTRUCTOR: WHO SUPERVISES THE LESSONS?
Both. But the organization is often managed by the school teacher or by the physical education and sports teacher. They are the ones who accompany the students to the swimming pool. The instructor intervenes once the students are on the edge of the pool. And that is quite logical. As far as learning is concerned, the teacher and instructor participate.
Safety standards are relatively strict. For a swimming session with kindergarten students, you need 2 supervisors if there are less than 20 children, 3 if there are between 20 and 30, and 4, if there are more than 30 children. For a session with primary school students, 2 supervisors are needed for a group of up to 30 children, and 3 for a group of more than 30 children.
Good to know: the pupils are often divided into groups of levels. And it sometimes happens that the teacher and the instructor divide these groups. there is usually a learning time and free time to play. Often the one preferred by the children. Without many surprises.
SWIMMING AT SCHOOL: WHAT PROGRAM AND WHAT OBJECTIVES?
The program is vast and the objectives numerous. They depend on each cycle and different depending on the level of the child. Throughout schooling, from elementary school to the end of college, the swimming program and assessment are divided into 3 levels.
The first level, at the end of cycle 2, (CP, CE1, CE2): the student must be able to move about 15 meters, without support and without a board. He must also be able to complete a short course: jump in the water, move underwater and let himself float a few moments before regaining the edge, all in a basin with an average depth.
The second level, at the end of cycle 3 (CM1, CM2): the student must be able to move about 30 meters without the support and without a board. He must also be able to make a turn. And to carry out a course: jump in great depth, the passage in a hoop underwater, on-site of 10 seconds before regaining the edge.
The third level, from the 6th and at the latest at the end of the 3rd: the pupil must complete a complete course made up of 5 stages, without leaning on the edge of the pool. He must jump, in deep water, come back to the surface and pass under an obstacle, swim 20 meters on his stomach and on his back, stay 10 seconds in place, and finish by going back under a floating obstacle.
DO ALL THE CHILDREN KNOW HOW TO SWIM AT THE END OF THE PROGRAM?
Not necessarily and it mainly depends on your child’s pace and starting level. Note: Teaching a large group of children to swim can be difficult. Even when the conditions are optimal.
However, in recent years, the National Education has wanted to strengthen learning to swim at school. And that goes, among other things, through the “Savoir-Nager” operation which aims to issue a certificate to children who have acquired the basics of the program. Objective: To reduce the gaps and allow each child to master the aquatic environment. The exam, divided into 3 levels, can be taken at an elementary school or college. It is also a compulsory passage for access to aquatic and nautical activities at school.
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HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD TO PROGRESS IN SWIMMING?
With school, no swimming before 5 years old. It is relatively late. Indeed, a toddler can go to the swimming pool after just a few months if he has had his first vaccines. After a few sessions of baby swimmers or aquatic awakening, it is necessarily a good idea to familiarize your child with the water. And keep him from being afraid.
In the case of an aquatic phobia, it may be better to resolve the problem before the start of swimming lessons with the school, for example by taking a few private lessons with a professional. Same thing if your child has some difficulty learning to swim.
A good idea is also to go to the swimming pool with the family. This is the opportunity to have a good time and see your little one progress and wake up.
In a few words: school swimming, supervised by instructors and teachers, is compulsory and begins in the main kindergarten section. All students are invited to the sessions, except those who are exempt. The objective is vast and will depend on each level: School swimming will allow each child to become familiar with the aquatic environment at the beginning, until knowing how to swim at the end of his schooling.