A significant aspect of the IGBIS Physical Education programme is swimming. This is taught from EY – Gr10. Elementary classes have one swimming lesson each week all year round, whilst the secondary school have 6 week block swimming units.
So why all of this swimming?
As a PE department we recognise that a student can for example get away with not being a football player with all the skills that the game entails, but to leave IGBIS (or any school for that matter) and not be able to swim is serious. With many apartments, houses, house complexes and hotels having a swimming pool, being able to swim, reach the side or stay afloat can save your life.
Being comfortable and confident in the water is a goal we want to achieve. Last week we saw a turning point where many of our students showed greater confidence in the water. Our Early Years 1 students typified this where all of the students were laughing at some point during their lesson. It may have been the boat sinking challenge, the pirate treasure retrieval or even ‘motoring’ around on the mats. Whatever it was, swimming has started to capture their imagination.
In Kindergarten and Grade 1 there has been a combination of ‘fun’ learning engagements and stroke development. Students have been ‘super spies’ navigating underwater, retrieving objects without making any splash entering, swimming and exiting the pool. Their stroke development has centred around freestyle and backstroke. Depending on what each student can already do will depend on the complexity of their tasks. Some students freestyle focus will be the arm action or leg kick others combining breathing with arms and leg actions. Those students whose focus has been backstroke have been videoed using an underwater camera to analyse how they currently swim. The students were excited to see themselves swimming and highlighted where they may be finding difficulty, for example their streamlining/body position in the water may have started flat and straight, then their legs sank. Discussions then ensued as to why this might be the case. They then tried to solve this problem.
In Grade 2 they have continued to work on forces and how their knowledge can help them swim more efficiently. They have been considering water resistance and their hands. Some students pointed out that if they close their fingers together there is greater resistance against the water and they can swim faster as opposed to having open fingers. Others investigated the distance they need to pull to have a strong arm action.
Whatever the challenge students are having fun, exploring and improving their swimming all the time!
Mr. Simon Millward,
Primary Years Curriculum Coordinator