Why swimming lessons are so important for school children

This year we have been very lucky to have a few nice blocks of hot and sunny weather. There have even been a few heatwaves where the temperatures have reached in to the low thirties! This weather can make people flock to the beach or pools in desperate need of a dip but sometimes people also choose to venture to lakes and rivers. This can be dangerous especially if you are not a strong swimmer.

It is very important that all children are given the opportunity to learn how to swim from a young age. It is a life skill and one that they may well need a number of times throughout their life. Not only can it help to keep them safe when in the water but also possibly help them save someone else.

Often schools only take the older pupils such as years five and six swimming, so until they are around 10 they may have little or no experience in the water. Some schools have started to see how important it is for all pupils to be given the opportunity and therefore has started taking the whole school swimming for a set number of weeks usually through the summer.

Giving these children the opportunity to get confident in the water and to learning to swim small distances can be a lifesaving skill. 

What will school life be like in September

Many schools are now on the countdown to the last few days of school. The government have announced that they are hoping that from 19th July all social distancing rules will be scrapped and that includes school bubbles. From September, when children return things will hopefully be more like normal. Although each school will be able to decide how exactly they operate, it is likely that children from other bubbles will be able to play together again. It may be that assemblies can resume in the hall, with al years taking part and even Christmas plays may be able to resume this year.

Some children may embrace the changes whereas others may find it a little too much or even worry about the lifting of restrictions.

Teachers and parents all over the country just want their child to be able to resume their education as much as possible and enjoy their time at school. As restrictions have been in place for a long time now, it may take a bit of adjusting back and you could find that there is a noticeable change in your child’s behaviour whilst they adapt to the changes. All you can do is offer support and make sure that you reassure them of any changes that may be taking place.

Should children be made to catch up on their education?

Over the last 12 months many children have missed out on a huge chunk of their education. There have been times when the schools have been shut completely and parents or carers have had to try and home school their children. Some parents did this religiously and others really struggled and found that they couldn’t get the children to concentrate and complete the tasks that were set for them. Most of the children will have fallen behind to some degree due to these missed lessons. The UK is hopefully over the worse of the restrictions and we are hoping that after the summer holidays schools will be able to relax the bubbles and social distancing rules. The government and education authority are now looking at ways in which they can help those students who have fallen behind and also there are a few different ideas being batted around, nothing has been confirmed as of yet. There were talks of cutting down the 6 week summer holiday, but the fact that this hasn’t been announced yet, looks like it is unlikely to happen. The other options may include extending the school day for everyone by 30 mins or running optional class from 8am until 6pm.

Are schools ready for the return of pupils

The government have announced that all pupils (unless ill or isolating) should return to school in September ready for the new term. Some students have now had 6 months off school and this has put a lot of pressure on parents and there is a worry that it is also affecting the mental health of many of the pupils too.

Although many are keen to see the schools return there is also a worry for parents and teachers as to how safe it will be and how social distancing is going to be maintained. Most schools have adopted a policy of keeping children within their own bubbles of either year groups or classes. This will allow them to try and limit the risk of spreading the virus if someone does become infected.

Not only have teachers got a lot of work to catch up on and may find that some pupils require a fair bit of time to re-establish a routine, they also have extra job roles such as cleaning equipment and possibly redoing lesson plans that involved close contact with others.

The first few months of returning to school will probably be quite hard and may require a fair few changes before proper routines can be established again.

What is the job of a supply teacher?

The job of a supply teacher can vary quite a bit. In some instances, you will be expected to just cover a day or so of lessons and not have to do much planning. In other instances, where you are covering a class for a longer period, you are likely to have to plan lessons, mark work and basically do the job of the usual teacher.

If you are qualified as a teacher, then you have the decide to go in to supply teacher rather than a permanent position or this may be a something that you do when you are looking to go part time. A supply teacher will often find that their role varies from school to school and often even from class to class meaning that each day is different and there are new challenges.

Supple teachers are often paid more per day than permanent teachers so often they only need to work three days a week to earn the same as a permanent teacher who works five days a week. It is important to remember though that supply teachers do not get paid for the holidays unless they are on some sort of a contract which states they will.

Many teachers say that they enjoy supply teaching and find it more interesting than teaching the same class day in day out.