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Staff also take plunge

ONCE a week at Meadows primary, Oswestry, the day starts with a swimming lesson for all pupils - and their teachers.

That means, instead of turning up at the Shropshire school, parents must take their children to the local leisure centre for 8.50am. They get changed and the register is taken at the poolside.

Every teacher at the school is qualified as a swimming instructor, as are most of the teaching assistants.

Swimming has been a key part of the curriculum since the school opened 11 years ago with just 10 four-year-old pupils.

Sandie Pare, the headteacher, said: "We asked: 'what things did we want to do in school which would be skills for life?' And we came up with swimming." Meadows holds its own swimming galas with novelty races and serious competitions and Year 2 have a pirate day which begins with the children walking a foam plank into the pool.

Although the school budget only covers 10 swimming lessons per pupil each year, parents pay voluntary contributions that enable each child to have 30 lessons.

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