Henry Cavendish Primary School

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Swimming at Henry Cavendish

At Henry Cavendish all children in KS2 have weekly swimming lessons all year round. Years 3 and 4 swim at the swimming pool located at our Balham site and are taught by our swimming instructor, Miss Palmer. Years 5 and 6 progress on to swimming at Streatham Leisure Centre, a 25m pool which enables the children to work on distance swimming and deep water skills.


Every child at Henry Cavendish is encouraged to flourish and build confidence in swimming in their own way. As well as offering differentiated and challenging lessons on a weekly basis, we regularly take part in initiatives such as the School Swimathon, which encourages each child to 'Swim their best'. In April 2018 we had a motivational talk and swim session from Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew and we have taken part in Brockwell Lido's 'Art and swim' project.  In the summer of 2018 we held our first multi-school triathlon, a highly successful event in which schools in the cluster came to compete against one another in the disciplines of running, cycling and swimming.


It is very much our aim to meet the government guidelines of having every child swim 25m by the end of Year 6. To assist in this aim, we also have parent lessons to encourage previously non-swimming families to become more confident in the water and see this as a fun, safe activity. We also encourage children in Year 4 and 5 of all abilities to become swim leaders, who mentor and encourage Year 3 children during their lessons.


At Henry Cavendish, we pride ourselves on the skill and the confidence the children develop as they move through the school.  Swimming is acknowledged as both an important life skill and a fun, competitive sport, which every child should access and enjoy. We enjoy taking part in both inter class and inter school swimming galas and are proud to be Lambeth Schools Swimming Champions for the last 5 years running.  In the summer of 2018 we ran a ‘Get City Kids Surfing’ programme, in which selected children had the opportunity to develop basic open water skills, learn about tides, water safety and coastal environmental issues, culminating in a week’s residential surfing trip in Devon.

Swimming Galas

Each year children in Key Stage 2 will have the chance to participate in swimming galas organised by Miss Palmer, which give the children the chance to put their new skills into practice in a competitive environment.  These lively events might be whole classes competing against other classes in their year group, or a select team competing against other local schools. Children race against one another in a range of different strokes which enthusiastic team mates cheer them on!  In the summer of 2018 we also trialled our first cluster school triathlon, which was a great success.