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Pupils in a swimming lesson in their school's pop up pool

Pop-up pool helping pupils learn to swim

by Laura Johnston

A pop-up pool has been installed in a Huyton school playground to help more children learn to swim.

Roby Park school installed the temporary pool to give all pupils access to swimming lessons.

The pool was on site for the month of November, providing free swimming lessons for the whole school; from Nursery through to Year 6.

Year 2 pupils enjoying a swimming lesson in Roby Park's temporary poolYear 5 pupils swimming in Roby Park's temporary pool.

Kat Allen, Headteacher at Roby Park, said:

 “We all know swimming and water safety is an essential life skill but it is even more important when children live close to large bodies of water such as the River Alt and the River Mersey.

 

“We want to equip all of our children with the relevant skills to enjoy swimming safely and ensure they leave Roby Park as competent and confident swimmers who know how to keep themselves and others safe around water.”

Chris Swatman, the PE lead at Roby Park, added:

 “By having a pool on site we’re able to provide all children from Nursery to Year Six with high quality, structured swimming lessons, plus we are able to maximise the children’s learning time by reducing transport times and transport costs.”

 The children’s enthusiasm for swimming has been infectious. One pupil commented:

“I’m so proud that I’ve conquered my fear of swimming. It’s really fun and I can’t wait to go swimming again next week.”

Cllr Harvey, Knowsley Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said:

“Roby Park’s pop-up pool in the playground is a brilliant way to build confidence in the water and get pupils swimming – and the children are clearly having a wonderful time in the pool.

 

“Swimming is not only a fantastic form of exercise, but also a vital life skill and this is such a great way for the school to teach pupils these important lessons.”

The school used Elite Swimming UK’ Pools to Schools programme. Elite provided the pool, swimming aids, a qualified swimming teacher and a qualified lifeguard for the four weeks the pool was at Roby Park.

The pool allows the school to provide lessons for each year group with one instructor and a lifeguard, and there were heated changing areas within an extension of the marquee for the children to get ready.

The school would have provided swimming lessons for Year 4 to Year 6 children as part of the national curriculum, but with the pool in the playground it was able to start teaching all the children in the school. The school has topped up its national curriculum swimming fund to cover the extra cost of the pool hire.