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Water safety and swimming

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The Queensland Government committed to providing a high quality water safety and swimming education program and developed the:

From 2019 all Queensland state schools with primary students are required to have a water safety or learn to swim program. Participation in these programs by students is not compulsory. Parents can choose for their child not to participate.

To support schools implement water safety and learn to swim programs, the Department of Education has developed the water safety and swimming education program. All resources are based on current water safety and learn to swim best practice and are aligned to the:

  • draft National Swimming and water safety framework
  • Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education (HPE) achievement standards and content descriptions
  • department's Prep to Year 10 HPE Curriculum into the Classroom (C2C) materials.

The resources include a sequence of competency, teacher guidelines and eight lessons for each band of years: Prep, Years 1 and 2, Years 3 and 4, Years 5 and 6, Years 7 and 8, and Years 9 and 10. Lessons include required learning that prepares students for the instructional activities at water locations, including safety procedures and protocols. The program is available to all schools via Scootle.

The statement of expectations: water safety and learn to swim programs (PDF, 2.6MB) provides additional information about targeted programs, training, qualifications and competencies.

Schools must complete a Curriculum Activity Risk Assessment (CARA) that complies with the requirements outlined in the specific water location guidelines. Additional risks, hazards and control measures supplied by an external provider must be included with this risk assessment.

The Queensland Government also committed to providing additional funding for State primary and special schools without a pool to support water safety and swimming programs. The learn to swim funding is calculated and paid to schools automatically. Further funding via a grant application is now available to State primary and special schools without pools. Applications open in Term 3 each year.

Enquiries can be sent to water.safety@qed.qld.gov.au.

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Last updated 05 March 2019