School level

Aquatics overview

The aquatics programme is concerned with gaining competence and confidence near, in, under and on water. It provides unique opportunities for enjoyment, allowing the child the sensation of buoyancy. The term ‘aquatics’ is used to include not only the teaching of swimming strokes but the provision of opportunities for enjoyment of water play and other aspects of aquatics. The emphasis on enjoyment should be maintained as proficiency is acquired in specific techniques, including learning to swim a stroke or a variety of strokes. The concern for water safety permeates all aquatic activities and needs to be stressed throughout the programme. The aquatics programme is presented as one complete unit, without division into class levels. This allows for adaptation by schools related to their access to a local facility. The programme can be implemented progressively at whatever stage the child has an opportunity to begin water-based activities.

Primary School PE Curriculum, page 5.

Aquatics Resources

PAWS Water Safety

Water Safety Ireland has created a free educational resource for primary schools called PAWS (Primary Aquatics Water Safety). PAWS outlines life-saving guidelines for children of every age and is available digitally to every school in the country. It teaches children how to be safe around water in homes, farms, pools, beaches and on our waterways.

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