Our swimming pool is a 25m x 8.5m four lane heated indoor facility with a depth range of 0.9m to 2.6m. The pool temperature is maintained at a comfortable 30 degrees and the facility is open all year round.
Junior School Swimming
Pupils in the Junior School have swimming lessons from Nursery all the way through to year six.
Infants (Nursery and Reception) swim once a week with an instructor, and an assistant in the water at all times. A third member of staff remains on the side offering additional observation and assistance. Focus is on Foundation learning through games and play and to add to the enjoyment and fun the OLA Junior School now has its own Infants award Scheme called “Little Swimmers”. These awards promote water confidence and non-dependency of water-aids.
Year 1 through to year 6 currently swim twice a week. There are two instructors on poolside and classes are divided into two ability groups with an instructor for each. Focus is on developing the key swimming fundamentals, stamina, stroke- technique and swim skills. As well as our “Little Swimmer Awards”, we have also developed an exciting award scheme for older pupils in the form of swimming licenses which include an appropriate certificate and a medal.
Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 children also have the opportunity to join an after-school swimming club and in addition we now have an early morning swimming training session operating each Wednesday between 07.00 – 07.45. This session is invitation only after swimmers complete a simple swimming assessment.
There is an annual Junior School inter-house swimming competition for years 3 – 6 and the emphasis is on each child being given the opportunity to swim for their house, with events created to suit all abilities.
Senior School Swimming
Pupils have one timetabled lesson per week. Girls are timetabled swimming for one half of a term and boys for the other half of a term. However, the school offers a series of before and after school swimming clubs so that pupils can swim all year.
Swimming lessons focus on stroke technique, stamina and general water skills as well as swim fitness. We also offer an introduction to Water Polo and Lifesaving.
Senior School Swimming Clubs
07.00 – 07.45 Early Morning Training
16.00 – 16.45 Synchronised Swimming
16.00 – 16.45 Swimming Squad
16.00 – 16.45 Fun Club. A great opportunity for pupils to relax and swim with their friends at the end of a busy week
There is an annual Inter-house swimming competition for our year 7 and 8 pupils and a series of interschool swimming competitions held throughout the school year.
Professional Life Saving Courses
At the age of sixteen pupils have the opportunity to enrol on RLSS (Royal Life Saving Society NPLQ – National Pool Lifeguard Qualification). These courses are held locally throughout the year.
This is a valuable and nationally recognised qualification. The NPLQ is a key addition to a student’s personal statement and a great way to earn money whilst studying. With swimming clubs operating at the OLA pool throughout the year, there is a big demand for qualified lifeguards. The School also employs life guards to help out with School swimming clubs.
Our Lady’s Abingdon also runs a monthly two hour top up training sessions. This additional training is vital to sustain the active status of the NPLQ award throughout its 24-month period of validity (minimum additional training over 24-months is 20 hours). This additional training also ensures that students maintain a sound level of first aid knowledge and rescue skills. In addition, if the minimum training hours are met students are not required to complete another full course when refreshing the qualification.
The OLA swimming facility is extensively used by external clubs, offering lessons for swimming Monday to Saturday. This includes adults and babies swimming provided by “Swim Kids” on Wednesday’s 09.00 – 10.00 during term time.
Holiday Courses and Casual Swimming
During the summer holidays OLA provides swimming crash courses for 5yrs+. These cater for beginners and confident beginners. Details of these courses can be obtained from our Bursary office on 01235 524658.
There are also casual swimming sessions provided during the summer break, for pupils of OLA their family, friends and invited guests.