Phillimore Primary School, Sheffield


Family Swim after School Club

Aim of the project

To escort parents/carers plus children after school to the local swimming pool using public transport and guide them through the process of engaging with swimming as a family activity. This would include either joining in or watching a lesson with a qualified swimming instructor using identified flat water time (3-4pm). Included would be a chance to discuss all areas concerning swimming and the journey back to the local community. A six week programme would be offered to groups of 6-10 parents/carers plus child with the option of a new groups starting depending on popularity of the project.

Project Success

Phillimore is in an area of high socio-economic deprivation. For most families English is an additional language and swimming sits outside familiar family activities. Recognising the lack of awareness and in some cases distrust, it is therefore vital we provide an extension to the school swimming programme. To move the programme to the next level, we need to enlist the support of our parents to help change the mindset of the local community. As a school, we know we can teach children to swim, but to become strong swimmers, children need to be taken regularly to pools by their parents.

With this in mind, we applied for a Swimathon Foundation grant to start an after school family swimming club. Six weeks later with 99 child footfall and 67 adult footfall, we have created an activity with the potential for long lasting impact. 94% of families involved had not visited Ponds Forge before the start of the club.  We demonstrated that via a short walk and a ten minute tram journey, a world class facility was on their doorstep. Parents were introduced to swimming, beginning with the changing facilities and then were given the choice to share lessons with their child or watch from the viewing gallery. 100% spoke enthusiastically about the activity and asked for signage to ‘Learn to Swim’ for both their child and themselves. Parent/school relationships were strengthened as were community relationships. Requests to extend the club have been made.