Diving into the deep end of school swimming programs

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15 February 2022

When Adele Vesty became principal of Christ the Priest Catholic Primary School, Caroline Springs, and began talking to parents in the community, she quickly realised how her previous positive experiences with school swimming programs could benefit her new students.

Since 2020, the school has gradually implemented a comprehensive water-based swimming program for all students that takes place at the local swim centre.

Adele says that, by offering school swimming lessons and the school swimming program, ‘you can see the improvements in student independence, ability to self-manage, resilience, organisation skills and time management skills, alongside the obvious swimming and water safety proficiencies’.

‘It’s great for students to share the experience with their school community because everyone learns together. By having to be on time, bringing the right things to school, being organised and managing themselves in the change rooms, they also learn about being responsible.’

Even COVID-19 and remote learning did not stop the school from sharing the important lessons of swimming and water safety with students. Christ the Priest Catholic Primary School used the School Swimming and Water Safety Toolkit offered by Life Saving Victoria to deliver classroom-based water safety lessons.

Adele and her dedicated staff also prepared students for their swimming experience by making them a slide show filled with photos of the pool facility and its surrounds, so that students know what to expect and how to navigate the new setting. Children are prepared for the procedures of finding a place for their bag and belongings, changing in the change room, and making their way to and from the pool, significantly reducing anxiety and making the experience positive for everyone.

To find out more about the swimming program and the high-quality Catholic education offered at Christ the Priest Catholic Primary School, contact Adele on avesty@ctpcs.catholic.edu.au or 9361 8600.