Year 4 make a splash during free swimming lessons to learn water safety skills & boost wellbeing

Learning doesn’t have to be restricted to within the classroom, and at Oriel Academy West London, it certainly isn’t!

Alongside the everyday curriculum learning, Year 4 students at Oriel have recently been participating in free swimming lessons at Hanworth Leisure Centre.

For the students, this isn’t just an opportunity to have fun, but an opportunity to learn vital life skills of how to be safe in the water.

Being challenged outside of the classroom not only keeps learning exciting, but also boosts a positive mindset and wellbeing.

The partnership with Hanworth Leisure Centre provides Year 4 students with 13 half-an-hour long swimming lessons running throughout the whole summer term.

No matter their ability level, students are given dedicated coaching to enhance their swimming capability.

Students have been learning different techniques, strokes and water safety skills.

The free lessons mean that children who may not have had the chance to go swimming otherwise are able to take part in the experience and learn the skills, thus boosting both physical and mental wellbeing for all.

Chloe Butcher, Year 4 teacher and Wellness Lead, said: “It is incredibly important that Oriel Academy provides the opportunity for children to have swimming lessons, as some of the children might not have had the chance otherwise.

“With swimming being such an important life skill, we feel it’s vital children learn how to be safe (and have fun!) in the water.”

Water safety skills are not the only skills developed during these lessons. Aside from swimming, students also have the chance to strengthen a range of other skills when attending each session.

Chloe said: “As well as being safe in the water, the children are also developing their personal organisational skills too by taking responsibility of their bags and swimming kits, and trying not to lose anything along the way.”

The children also have the chance to practise their road safety skills every week by walking to and from each swimming lesson.

The regular trips to Hanworth Leisure Centre have become a guaranteed weekly highlight for most students.

Phil, Year 4 student, revealed: “I really enjoy swimming because I enjoy being in the water, it allows me to be energetic.

“Each week we learn something new. Swimming is a highlight of the week!”

Hajar, Year 4 student, commented: “Swimming is fun because the instructor makes me smile. I have learnt different techniques to make me a better swimmer.”

The joy that the swimming lessons bring to the students is felt by all. Chloe Butcher, Year 4 teacher and Wellness Lead, revealed: “With boosting the children’s wellbeing at the core of everything we do at Oriel, swimming is another opportunity to do so.

“It allows us to build on the children’s experiences and improve their physical and emotional wellbeing too.”

Children at Oriel Academy are actively encouraged to learn outside of the classroom and develop new skills, passions and experiences.

Chloe explained: “Taking the children’s learning outside of the classroom and into the water could not get any more hands on.

“They all really look forward to what each weekly swimming session has in store for them!”

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