Between Wednesday 17th and Friday 19th October, every child in the school from Nursery upwards (who wishes to be involved) will take part in a non-stop sponsored swim to help raise money to support the School Astro-pitch fundraising project. This will be the fifth Sponsored Swim we have organised at Copthorne, (although the last one was held in 2014) so some older children may already have an understanding of the challenge they are being asked to undertake!
There is no time limit for each child, but rather a maximum distance limit as follows: – Nursery & Reception ¼ mile (24 lengths or 48 widths, with aids if appropriate) Years 1 and 2 ½ mile (48 lengths) (with aids if appropriate) Years 3 and 4 1 mile (96 lengths) Years 5 and 6 2 miles (192 lengths) Years 7 and 8 3 miles (288 lengths) This is the maximum distance children can swim. It does set a demanding challenge (a little like asking parents to run a marathon!) but there is no obligation or pressure put on anyone to complete more than they wish.
Equally, any child who does not want to take part can opt out totally. Swimming at a steady non-stop pace, one mile per hour is a realistic target although many experienced swimmers will swim much faster. To cover three miles means a child could be in the water for three hours or more so swimming goggles are probably essential! The lifeguards and supervising adults will stop any child from continuing if they feel he or she is struggling. Parents are encouraged to come and support their children whenever they are swimming.
For some (Years 7 & 8 in particular), this is likely to be late evening/overnight/early morning, and certain children will be allowed to board if they wish to on Wednesday/Thursday night if they are swimming at an unsociable hour. From experience at Copthorne and other schools, (Minnie & I have organised over 10 of these events in previous schools) parents do throw themselves wholeheartedly into supporting their children, coming to watch/count lengths with picnics/liquid refreshments etc. whatever time their children are swimming. Some will even swim themselves – which I am actively encouraging!
Tea/coffee/refreshments etc. will be available throughout the day for supporters, and children will receive hot chocolate and a chocolate bar (if appropriate) on the completion of their swim to boost their energy levels. Depending on the end time and the distance swum, children may be able to go home with parents after their swim, and enjoy a late start time the following day if necessary. A timetable with start times is enclosed, although please note that changes can be made to accommodate parental wishes. Please simply email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your requests.
Obviously, there will be considerable disruption to the normal school day, with swimmers missing lessons when they are in the pool. Teachers will be encouraged to bring classes to support and encourage their peers if they feel this is appropriate, and some children will assist in counting lengths on a rota system. Children not swimming can visit the pool at break/after school to encourage their friends and staff will be very relaxed about work/prep missed.
The timing of the event has been carefully planned to coincide with the period towards the end of the first half or term, so all children and staff can enjoy a good rest afterwards. I hope that you will support this exciting event by helping your child to get as much sponsorship money pledged as possible, and by visiting school to see the event in action if this is appropriate. Any parent who wishes to join in the swim should let me know, and I will willingly find them a suitable start time!
I hope your children will all look forward to the challenge, and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible supporting the event.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do raise them with me.