Click here or on the image below to access our full suite of aquatics resources on our updated Scoilnet PE page. 


The strand units of the Aquatics curriculum include:


  • Hygiene

  • Water safety

  • Entry to and exit from the water

  • Buoyancy and propulsion

  • Stroke development

  • Water-based ball games

  • Understanding and appreciation of aquatics


The aquatics curriculum recognises that there is more to swimming than learning to swim strokes and competing in swimming competitions. The emphasis is on acquiring a set of fundamental skills, attitudes and understanding before becoming competent in traditional strokes.


Play in the water assists the child in learning and is the preferred path for helping the child experience the beneficial aspects of water. Many of the strand units in the curriculum contain sample games which can be used to introduce, reinforce or develop the skills to be taught. Games can augment learning by serving as a means of practice, feedback and reinforcement.


The aquatics strand is not divided into class levels but is presented as one complete unit , allowing implementation progressively at whatever stage the child has an opportunity to begin water-based activities.


Planning an aquatics programme for most teachers will differ from planning for other strands of the curriculum, as it involves liaison with other personnel who may deliver the programme. However, this does not diminish the role of the class teacher, who should ensure that the programme cater for the needs of the class and forms part of the school plan for aquatics. Consideration needs to be given to the number of qualified swimming teachers required to meet the needs of the class and how the class can be organised to cater for a wide range of abilities if necessary. Time for travelling to and from the pool also needs to be taken into account.


Emphasis in the Athletics proramme should be on providing opportunities for the child to challenge him/herself to run faster or for a longer period, to throw an implement further and to jump further or higher.


The approaches and methodologies for PE, outlined in the PE ‘Teacher Guidelines’ on pages 42 -100 are an excellent reference for teachers in organising Athletics lessons.


An aquatics lesson suitable for any mixed-ability class is outlined on pp96-97


In addition the PSSI lessons offer a tips page on Aquatics which is a useful resource for teachers.


Irish Water Safety has developed a course that incorporates all aspects of the Aquatics strand –PAWS (Primary Aquatics Water Safety). Teachers have the ability to certify their pupils with nationally recognised awards from the programme that is recommended by the Department of Education and Skills. A class can be taken through the first three awards without going near water –Land PAWS 1, 2 and 3. Through PAWS pupils not only learn how to swim, they also learn how to understand and appreciate the water.


Find out more: or call 1890 420 202