In recent weeks, students from Early Years through to Key Stage 3 have demonstrated a variety of components of swimming, all while having fun, at the annual British International School, Phuket (BISP) Swim Galas held at the 25m pool.
BISP students look forward to these events every year, and while they are a great source of fun and entertainment, they are also an opportunity for students to display the essential swimming and survival skills they have learnt throughout the year in PE.
Early Years students took part in their exhibition events on Thursday 9 May in front of a large crowd of parents and spectators. Swimmers in Nursery, followed by Reception, rotated in small groups around six stations – spending approximately 10 minutes on each. Stations for these age groups involved activities like safe entries and jumps, star floats, rocket pushes, a boat kicking race, object collection, tunnel swimming and deep water jumps.
Next up was the Key Stage 1 Gala, featuring students in Years 1 and 2. Once again, the main focus of this gala was to create a fun, comfortable environment where the swimmers felt confident to demonstrate their skills and ability. Along with a games zone and skills station, students completed 25m races in a variety of strokes, including freestyle and backstroke for the Year 2 students.
Children in Years 3 and 4 were the star performers at the pool on Wednesday 15 May, before a weather alert caused the Year 5 and 6 event to be postponed. On 22 May, the Year 5 and 6 students were able to complete their gala, taking part in swim races of various strokes and length based on times taken from their PE classes and in line with their curriculum learning. Every swim, regardless of placing, earned points for their House Colour team. At the end of the session, classes swam in a non-point scoring novelty relay.
Key Stage 3 students in Years 7, 8 and 9 took to the water on Thursday 16 May, competing for their House Colour teams in 25m, 50m and 100m swimming races. A highlight of this event is often the final race of the day – the big board relay, as well as the non-traditional ‘reverse swim’ and other novelty events. View the 2019 Swim Galas Flickr album.
BISP Learn to Swim Coordinator, Luke Curtis, said: “Our galas reinforce to students the key message that skill based fundamentals are the key to their aquatic development.
“For us as coaches, it’s fantastic to see so many of our Primary students beginning to understand that it’s not about how fast you swim or where you finish, but how you apply the skills you learn.”
BISP Aquatics Director, Hayley Palmer, commented: “To have this type of engagement and excitement in a sport across so many year groups is a credit to the teaching staff and the students themselves. The level of respect and support these students have shown for each other, and the pride in themselves and their teams, is just as important at the pool as it is in classroom.”