Great lengths

Great lengths

Without access to adequate facilities and lessons Britain is on course to become a nation of non-swimmers. UEA researchers are determined not to let this happen; they’ve designed an innovative model that equips trainee teachers with the skills to teach children to swim.

Britain could become a nation of non-swimmers if drastic changes aren’t made to ensure all young people have access to adequate lessons and facilities.

Lack of funding, cost of transport and limited access to a pool are some of the reasons for a decline in swimming provision for primary school students.

Researchers, from the School of Education and Lifelong Learning, at UEA have come up with an innovative model to help teach children this important life skill.

Dr Craig Avieson and Dr Penny Lamb’s model uses the Amateur Swimming Association’s National Curriculum Training Programme to prepare trainee teachers to teach swimming.

The model provides trainee teachers with the confidence to teach swimming and an increased awareness of ways to support lower-ability children.

“Ensuring children have basic swimming skills is the responsibility of both primary and secondary schools and this is a chance to do something about it,” said Dr Avieson. “Teaching children such an important life skill should be a priority and there should be joined-up thinking between primary and secondary schools to address this issue.” 

‘Preparing trainee teachers for teaching swimming: an innovative model of delivery’, Dr Craig Avieson and Dr Penny Lamb, is published in Physical Education Matters, (2014) Vol.9, No 1, 75-78 May 6, 2014.

How will you rule the waves?

The Expert

Dr Penny Lamb

Senior Lecturer
School of Education
My research interests lie in applied research in Education (mainly but not exclusively within Physical Education) and centres on pupil voice, exploring pedagogy in relation to minority groups, such as Gifted & Talented pupils, disengaged and disaffected pupils and pupils with Special Educational Needs. I have also developed an interest in teacher identity, especially how trainee teachers develop their abilities to reflect on their own and others' professional practice.