At GEMS CIK, we are committed to supporting all children by giving them an equal opportunity to learn how to swim and stay safe in and around water. By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know / understand and apply the skills specified at the respective stage. This way, they develop competence to excel in a broad range of swimming activities. All pupils have one hour of a formal swimming lesson per week and it is mandatory for all to take part in the lesson unless if they have medical reasons that hinder them to do so.


In particular, pupils are taught to:

  • Swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 meters
  • Use a range of strokes effectively [for example, front crawl (freestyle), backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly].
  • Perform starts (dives) and turns for the different strokes.
  • Perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations.
  • Play aquatic games.
  • Observe pool rules.


 “The primary goal is to have every child swim freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke competently, confidently and proficiently for at least 25meters by the time they finish primary.” Below is a breakdown of our units from foundation stage to Y6.
Foundation stage (2.5 to 4years)
Children in the foundation stage are taught the basics of water confidence in shallow water which among others include; pool entries, walking, submerging, floating on the front, floating on the back, kicking (freestyle kicks).


Key Stage (5 to 7years)


In Key stage 1, children build on their water confidence and start to learn basic freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke. We start our learning journey of strokes with freestyle which is commonly referred to as front crawl. The children also get introduced to the dolphin undulation and diving at this stage.


Key stage 2


In Key Stage 2, we carry on with learning the complexities of the 3 strokes covered in key stage 1. At this stage, we graduate from the dolphin undulation to learning/ swimming butterfly. We also cover starts (dives) and turns, basic lifesaving (water rescue) and water polo for years 5&6.


We provide children with the opportunity to participate in competitive swimming against other International schools. A high-quality swimming program inspires pupils to succeed and excel in competitive swimming and other physically demanding activities. It also provides opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness. Opportunities to compete in swimming build character and help to embed values such as fairness (sportsmanship), time keeping and respect.