Wolverhampton school sets up temporary 55,000-litre swimming pool in playground due to shortage

A primary school in Wolverhampton has set up a temporary 55,000-litre swimming pool in its playground to ensure pupils have the opportunity to learn how to swim.

Pictured left, Alisan Knott and Will Brown
Pictured left, Alisan Knott and Will Brown

Bhylls Acre Primary School in Castlecroft had the 32ft x 16ft pool installed due to a lack of options in the area, with the first swimming lessons in the pool taking place on Monday.

The main aim of the pool is to offer a three-week intensive swimming course, ensuring as many pupils from years 3, 4, 5 and 6 reach the Ofsted recommended swimming ability of 25 meters.

Headteacher Jane Woodall said: "Swimming is a statutory element of the National Curriculum for PE, meaning that every 11-year-old child should leave primary school with the skills to keep themselves safe while enjoying swimming with friends and family.

"Since the pandemic, we have tried in vain to get our children back into swimming lessons.

"The pool we used to use is no longer available to primary schools.

"Many local pools have closed down. Therefore, the choice of pools to use is very limited."

After trying to find a solution for more than a year, the school met with Will Brown who runs Splash Swim School, a well-established swim school that has been delivering swimming lessons in the Wolverhampton area for more than 20 years.

As there were no places at any of the pools which Will teaches at, the headteacher was forced to take matters into her own hands.

Jane said: "Will and his team have set up a temporary pool for us to use for the next few weeks. All our KS2 children will be swimming every day, for 25 minutes per session.

"The pool is heated to ensure that the temperature of the water is at the recommended level for children’s swimming lessons and is monitored every 2 hours by qualified staff to ensure all the correct chemical levels are maintained.

"Benefits of using a temporary swimming pool on site means that no transport is required and therefore the time out of the classroom is significantly reduced.

"It also only causes minimal disruption to the timetable over a period of 3 weeks rather than being spread over the full year.

"In addition, the pupils will benefit from a greater number of lessons than they would traditionally get in the normal one term of weekly lessons."

A Swim England qualified instructor will be teaching the lessons which will be delivered in groups of up to 10 pupils. Children will be assessed daily alongside the primary swimming curriculum and better progress should be made because of the intensive style of the programme.

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