Swimming and the National Curriculum

Since 1994, swimming and water safety has been a statutory element of the national curriculum for physical education in England.

This means that every 11-year-old child should leave primary school with the skills to keep themselves safe while enjoying swimming with friends and family.

The three National curriculum outcomes:

Swimming is the only sport to be included within the national curriculum physical education programme of study. All primary schools must provide swimming and water safety lessons in either Key Stage 1 or 2.

Each pupil is required to be able to do the following:

  • Perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations
  • 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.

At Avanti Park School, children partake in swim lessons in years 5/6 and attainment is judged on these outcomes- as well as a range of distance awards below 25m, so that all can feel a sense of achievement.


Year 6 pupils had six Swimming Lessons in the Autumn Term:

Swimming Objectives: Percentage of Pupils Achieving Objective:
Swim confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres                                             62%
Use a range of strokes effectively                                             42%
Perform safe self-rescue in different water rescue situations                                             72% **


** This was unable to be formerly assessed due to Covid but is a representation of the teacher’s analysis of their swimming capabilities.