School swimming: learning to swim at school


Swimming has become very important in schools and it is a priority of the National Education thanks to the Savoir Nager project.

From kindergarten to high school, find out what the objectives of school swimming lessons and lifeguard trainingare, how children are assessed, who supervises and accompanies children, how transport to the swimming pool is managed, and what equipment is necessary for the smooth running of a school swimming session.

Swimming on the official program of National Education

The National Education has integrated swimming into its official program (Savoir Nager project) and has chosen to highlight it mainly in nursery school and primary school to teach children to swim and thus ensure their safety in the aquatic environment.

The objectives to be achieved are different depending on the age and level of the students:

The mother in swimming (Cycle 1):

•familiarize the child with the aquatic environment

•You help them develop their motor skills through fun activities

• change your balance conditioned by the placement of the head

• modify its movement which is done mainly by the arms the legs

• change their breathing when the child is submerged

• controlling your emotions in the water

The swimming primary (cycle 2 and 3):

• promote social integration within the framework of a sport or leisure activity

• develop psychomotor skills (find new supports, move to a horizontal position)

•develop self-confidence (overcome fear of water, be autonomous in an aquatic environment)

The swimming to college:

• be self-sufficient in water

• know how to travel longer distances

• focus on learning the different strokes

• know the rules of personal hygiene

• familiarize yourself with the internal regulations of the nautical installation

• know and respect the role of supervising adults

The swimming in high school:

swim responsibly in a supervised natural environment

face certain perilous situations and bring help without putting yourself in danger (rescue swimming)

Supervision of school swimming lessons

School swimming takes place in a very structured environment to ensure the safety of children and to promote learning to swim in the best conditions.

In kindergarten: the supervision of swimming lessons must be ensured by:

• a teacher who is responsible for the educational activity

•two adults approved (qualified professionals or volunteers) by the academic director of National Education

In primary school: swimming lessons must be supervised by:

•a teacher who is responsible for the educational activity

•a qualified professional approved by the academic director of National Education

In middle and high school: the supervision of swimming lessons must be provided by:

•the PE teacher (teaching role)

•accompanying persons: qualified sports educator


They can accompany kindergarten children to help them outside the pool (transport, shower, toilet, cloakroom) after authorization from the mayor.

Life assistants: they accompany disabled students to the edge of the pool but including in the water, when necessary. They are neither subject to approval nor to the obligation of a specific qualification. Their role is limited to support.

Volunteer assistants: they can help the teacher on condition of obtaining approval from the academic director (information meeting and technical evaluation).

The necessary equipment for school swimming

To practice school swimming, basic equipment is necessary. The student must equip himself with a comfortable swimsuit, swimming goggles, and a swimming cap. He must also remember to bring a bath towel, a change of underwear, and dry clothes for the exit of the swimming pool.

Swimming exemptions

Even if school swimming is compulsory, it is possible to be exempted in the event of valid and exceptional reason. Following a medical opinion and the agreement of the teacher and the head of the establishment, the child may be exempted from swimming.

Transportation for school swimming

Transportation to school swimming lessons is provided by a school bus that takes children to the pool and then back to school or college. If the swimming pool is located near the school, children can walk there as long as they are accompanied by their teacher. In high school, students can, if they wish, go to the swimming pool, on their own.


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