Here at British Vietnamese International School, Hanoi, we are extremely fortunate to have the sole use of our own indoor, international competition standard swimming pool allowing us to teach swimming lessons throughout the year in PE lessons and as an ECA.
The importance of swimming lessons for water safety can’t be overstated in any country, but is even more important in a country such as Vietnam with so many lakes, rivers, swimming pools and a fantastic coast line. Tragically, drowning is one of the leading causes of death in children over the age of one in Vietnam and the Vietnam Ministry of Health Statistics state that at least 10 children drown here every day. Clearly, swimming is not only a fun activity or just sport but a vital life skill and here at BVIS we want to start making a change to this statistic.
During our PE lessons at BVIS we prioritise personal safety and awareness of the dangers of water, also teaching the main swimming strokes (front crawl, backstroke or breaststroke) whilst always placing a huge importance on improving confidence in the water. Swimming is also a great low-impact activity to keep fit, stay healthy and have a lot of fun.
The progress of the students this year has been amazing to witness and I cannot speak highly enough of their efforts and determination to improve. The national standard that all primary school students should meet by the end of Year 6 in the UK is being able to swim 25m using a recognisable swimming stroke. I am delighted to say that over 70% of Key Stage 2 students and a handful of Year 2 students have already met that standard and am very confident that those numbers will improve year on year.
I am so pleased at the children’s progress and want to say a big thank you to parents supporting us by sending their swimming kits each week and ensuring the children get access to this vital skill. Through our swimming lessons, swimming galas, invitational galas and ECAs we will continue to work on this essential skill to ensure that our children do not become part of those terrifying statistics.
Mr Gareth Slight – Primary PE Teacher