Bishopsgate School

Swimming Information

for Bishopsgate pupils only

Frogs & Friends and Bishopsgate School are committed to providing high quality swimming lessons within the school curriculum.

Our aim is to be recognised as a ‘High Achieving Swimming School’. In order to become this, we will select talented children to train with the school swimming squad. We will also include additional training for those deemed talented enough to represent the school at the IAPS competition.

Development Pathway and Opportunities

All swimmers will be provided with the same opportunities to represent Bishopsgate in school galas. However, team selection will be carried out by identifying the fastest swimmer for each individual event. Typically swimmers are invited to attended additional swimming squad training from Year 3 onwards although talented swimmers in Year 2 may also guest in the squad.

When do children start swimming lessons at Bishopsgate?

Students take part in swimming lessons at Bishopsgate whilst children are in Nursery. For many, this may be the first time they have undertaken any formal swimming lessons so we understand how daunting or exciting this may be for them.

Initially, children are assessed to ascertain their confidence and skill level in the water. Once our instructors have an understanding of each child they are then placed into small groups with children of a similar ability.

Swimming lessons for those children in Nursery are based on developing confidence, having fun and being safe in the water. Once children become more confident and are capable of understanding instructions, the instructors will then work on specific swimming skills for example:

  • Flotation
  • Rotation
  • Aquatic breathing
  • Propulsion (kicking and breaststroke leg action on both front and back)
Who will be responsible for teaching my child to swim?

Swimming instructors from Frogs & Friends will be teaching your child to swim. They have a dedicated Swimming Pool Manager based at the school and a team of experience and highly qualified instructors to ensure your child receives the very best tuition.

Frogs & Friends have been providing swimming lessons in the local area for over 50 years. They are also an Approved Training Centre for the Institute of Swimming and The Royal Lifesaving Society. This means they have both experience in teaching children to swim as well as teaching adults to become swimming teachers and lifeguards.

Evaluation and Collaboration

In order to ensure your children are receiving the very best tuition, Frogs & Friends and Bishopsgate work together by undertaking regular reviews on all aspects of swimming delivery including:

  • Schemes of work
  • Lesson delivery and lesson planning
  • Class behaviour and behaviour management
  • Instructor professional development plans
At what point are they likely to be swimming unaided?

Children will be given the opportunity to swim unaided as soon as they are confident in the water and their Instructor believes they are competent enough to perform this task without compromising any skills they have been working on.

At the early stage of a child’s swimming development it is important that the quality of the technique overrides any requirements for distance. Our instructors use a vast array of swimming aids depending on the swimmers:

  • Confidence
  • Competence
  • Skill or stroke being taught
  • Position in the swimming pool i.e shallow or deep water

Often a child will use a variety of different aids throughout the term. Not only will this help with progression it will often improve confidence and make for a more interesting lesson.

It is important to remember that swimming aids also help provide a safe environment for children to learn in. Class sizes range from 6 to 12 so making sure swimmers are safe is our primary concern.

How often will my child swim at school?

Each child will have one lesson per week included in their school fees. This lesson will last approximately 35mins allowing time for children to get changed etc. Children in Years 3 & 4 will also have an additional lesson on a Wednesday afternoon, as we feel this will add great benefit to their swimming development at this vital age.

In addition to the above, the school runs three morning training sessions for those children in swim squad and who are likely to represent the school in galas.

After school swimming is available to all children during the week and is run by Frogs & Friends. There is a charge for these sessions and they are booked directly with Frogs & Friends.

What will my child need to bring to their swimming lesson?

Children will be expected to bring the following equipment to swimming lessons:

  • School swimming costume or shorts
  • Towel (towels cannot be shared and unfortunately the school does not have the facility to launder towels on site. This enviably means that we do not stock spare towels)
  • A pair of good fitting goggles. We ask that parents make sure goggles fit before bringing them to school. Please see paragraph below which specifically relates to the use of goggles in lessons
  • Ear plugs if required

For those children that require aids, these will be provided by the school.

Can my child wear swimming goggles during their lessons?

Bishopsgate adopts the same policy as Swim England and the Swimming Teacher Association with regards to the importance of children being able to swim with and without goggles.

Swim England state ‘it is vital children are comfortable swimming with or without goggles so they don’t panic in an unexpected situation’.

Children may bring swimming goggles to the lessons but at times will be asked to swim with or without them.


What will it take for my child to represent Bishopsgate School?

In an ideal world we would like to see swimmers improve at the same rate but this is never going to be the case. Our experience has shown that children who only take part in the school curriculum swimming will be less likely to represent the school, compared to that of a pupil who swims outside of the school academic day.

Like many sports and skills the more time you spend practicing, the better you become. Unfortunately to become a very competitive swimmer you need to be swimming between 3 and 5 times a week.

Our swimming staff can help identify the best development plan for your child. We run many after school sessions and have strong links with a number of local clubs. We are passionate about swimming and are more than happy to help individuals become great swimmers.

What strokes will my children learn?

Children will be taught the skills necessary to perform all strokes right from their first lesson. The table below indicates what we hope each child will be able to perform if they have attended lessons at Bishopsgate since enrolling in Nursery.


  • Confidence
  • Aided kicking on front and back
  • Flotation
  • Basic breaststroke leg and arm action
  • Jumping in
  • Understanding of pool rules


  • Confidence
  • Kicking on front with aquatic breathing
  • Unaided kicking on back
  • Flotation
  • Correct breaststroke leg and arm action (aided or unaided)
  • Jumping in and swimming a short distance to the side

Year 1

  • Basic action for back crawl over a distance of 5m
  • Basic action for front crawl over a distance of 5m
  • Correct action for breaststroke over a distance of 10m
  • Sitting dive
  • Push off and glide on front and back
  • Tread water for 30 seconds

Year 2

  • 25m front crawl with or without aid
  • 25m back crawl
  • 25m breaststroke
  • 5m butterfly
  • Standing dive
  • Sink, push off and glide
  • Understanding of streamlining

Year 3

  • 50m front crawl
  • 50m back crawl
  • 50m breaststroke
  • 25m butterfly
  • Forward roll
  • 25m sculling
  • Racing dive
  • Understanding of starts, turns and finishes

Year 4 to 8

  • Development of all strokes to include improved efficiency, stamina and speed
  • Awareness and ability to perform legal starts and turns
  • Basic lifesaving and water safety
  • Basic water polo
  • Basic synchronised swimming

Do you think you have what it takes to swim for Bishopsgate?

Bishopsgate Swimming Team Selection
School Swimming Squad Requirements

In order to be selected to train with the School Swimming Squad, children need to meet the following criteria:

Children in Year 3 & 4 must be able to:

  • Swim continuously for 10 minutes without stopping.
  • Swim front crawl, back crawl and breaststroke for a minimum of 100m with good technique.
  • Swim 25m butterfly.
  • Swim 25m in butterfly, back crawl, breaststroke and front crawl in under 30 seconds.
  • Perform a streamline dive from the side of the pool.

Children in Year 5 & above must be able to:

  • Swim continuously for 20 minutes without stopping.
  • Swim front crawl, back crawl and breaststroke for a minimum of 200m with good technique.
  • Swim 50m butterfly.
  • Swim 25m in butterfly, back crawl, breaststroke and front crawl in under 27 seconds.
  • Perform a racing dive from the block.
  • Demonstrate the correct starts and turns for all four strokes.

Speed Awards

Students at Bishopsgate will be able to receive speed awards through Swim England. These awards cover all four strokes with Bronze, Silver and Gold award categories.

If a child achieves a Gold from the Speed Awards, this is a good indication that he or she is potentially of a club standard.

  • 25m Front Crawl - 23.5s
  • 25m Back Crawl - 27.0s
  • 25m Breaststroke - 29.4s
  • 25m Butterfly - 25.6s

Those children in Year 3 & 4 that are able to achieve these times will be invited to join school swim squad training.

  • 25m Front Crawl - 21.0s
  • 25m Back Crawl - 24.7s
  • 25m Breaststroke - 27.2s
  • 25m Butterfly - 23.2s

Any children that are able to achieve these times will be invited to attend school swim squad training.

  • 25m Front Crawl - 18.3s
  • 25m Back Crawl - 21.5s
  • 25m Breaststroke - 23.8s
  • 25m Butterfly - 20.3s

Children that are able to achieve these times are likely to be invited to attend additional swimming training in preparation for IAPS Swimming. Please note selection for IAPS is based on internal qualifying times.

Swim England Expected Standards PDFs

Teaching points

Backstroke PDF Breaststroke PDF Butterfly PDF Front crawl PDF

The Independent Association of Prep Schools

The Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) is a schools association with around 650 of the world’s leading prep schools in membership.

IAPS Sport

IAPS believes passionately in the importance of sport as part of an all-round education for its pupils. Many Olympic stars and national representatives in a vast array of sports began their careers in IAPS schools where their enthusiasm and talent were first nurtured.

IAPS Swimming Competition

The IAPS’s swimming gala is the largest event in the IAPS calendar with more than 400 teams entering the qualifying galas. All swimmers are aiming to qualify for the largest prep school swimming finals, competing against the fastest 20 individuals in the country. For some swimmers, this may be the first time they have represented their school in a sports competition.

Internal Qualifying Times PDF
Rules and Regulations

The competition will be run under ASA laws and technical rules.

Winning an event at the QR does not guarantee a place at the finals.

All competitors must attend an IAPS school.

Children should be entered into races based on their DOB on 1 September 2024 and not based on their year group.

Swimmers may swim up but must only compete in one age group for the duration of the competition.

Schools may enter one swimmer per school per event.

Children are only permitted to swim in one individual race and two relays.

All relays will start in the deep end of the pool. No diving at the shallow end.

The event referees decision is final.

Qualification for the finals will depend on times achieved by participation in an official IAPS QR. No submitted times or times from individual time trials held outside of an official IAPS QR will be accepted.

A competitor is tied to the school that submits their QR time. If a child moves school between the QR and finals, the child must represent the school for which they swam their QR.

Video Demonstration

Expected stroke standard for 25 metres.

Bishopsgate Contact

For more information about swimming at Bishopsgate please call 01784 480 224 or email us at info@frogsandfriends.org