Te Totara Primary School - Growing and Learning Together

Swimming Pool Information

When will my child swim?

Swimming starts in Term 1 and 4.  Each class has a rostered time to swim. Teachers will let children know of the day so children remember their togs.

What should children wear on swimming days?

We recommend that children have:

  • Swimming bag for wet swimming gear
  • Togs
  • Towel
  • Warm school uniform
  • A rash vest that fits well
  • A swimming cap, as 85% of body heat is lost through the head

Can I see my child swim?

Parents are welcome to view from the pool gate, please realise that the instructor is very busy and the focus is on the children.

How does it work?

Each class has a time to swim, with the class divided into three groups, group sizes vary from 6-10.  After initial testing the groups will be split into ability groups to support their needs.  The information is carried over from one year to the next so that your child is in a cycle of continuous swimming improvement.

How do I know what progress my child is making?

During your child's block of lessons the instructor records each step of achievement. At the end of the block of lessons the school then transfers those records onto a swimming certificate. The original copy is kept in each students black folder in the classroom and a copy is given to your child to take home.

What is the pool temperature?

We keep the pool at 28-30C. This is comparable to other heated indoor facilities

How many lessons will they get and what will the charge be?

Children will get at around 10 lessons during a year with the cost being $60 for a year. We are happy for payments to be made over the year, information on payments is at  Account payments or by emailing our Executive Officer, Wendy Bulloch at executiveofficer@tetotara.school.nz to make arrangements to pay.

This supports a qualified instructor and also the cost of power and equipment. It is designed to break even. This works out at around $6 a session, which is considerably cheaper than other options for swimming lessons. Previously our children swam at Waterworld with a cost of around $35 for five lessons, the school based programme is considerably more cost effective.

What does it cost to run the pool?

 Our budgeted annual costs for the pool in 2017 are approximately $91,065, this is comprised of:

  • 62% for personnel...i.e. hire of swim instructor, property staff for maintaining the pool, administrative for running the programme
  • 18% for consumables...Portable toilet, testing, chemicals for use
  • 20% for the running of three phase heat pump to maintain the temperature


 How are the running costs of approximately $91,065 per year covered?

The School, from own funding contributes $25,000 from curriculum budgets, $20,000 comes from the swim school out of school hours, with $39,128 being from charging students, this is 44% of the budgeted income, so the school contributes over 50% of the costs to ensure our children can have high quality swimming lessons.


What happens if I don't want my child to swim?

 If you don't wish your child to swim please email the principal brians@tetotara.school.nz.


What happens if my child is sick during swimming?

 We have to book instructors in well in advance and this takes into account the numbers swimming, so once booked we are obliged to pay, so we do ask that the payment is made for the full amount.  If you have any queries around this please email brians@tetotara.school.nz.


What is the quality of instruction offered?

  • One full time professional instructor based at Te Totara School Pool (8.40am – 3.10pm daily).  Instructor to be qualified in NPLA (National Pool Lifeguard Award), AUST Swim Teacher of Water Safety Qualification, Aquatics Level 3 Award and Swimming and hold a Current Work place First Aid.
  • Swimming Facilities to deliver an Individual Aquatics Programme design and development for Te Totara School.  This programme will utilize various Industry partners and will be based on a sequential Swim the Survive programme.
  • The instructor is mostly in the pool with the children.

Where does my child get changed?

From October 2014 the school has provided purpose built changing sheds located next to the pool. They have separate boys & girls rooms, a privacy screen, hooks and metal seating. Also a skylight helps with the lighting and they can be easily cleaned.

My child has difficulty changing, what should I do?

  • If your child has a challenge changing, then the first  thing to do is liaise with the teacher
  • We encourage children to be able to change by themselves and have provided changing sheds for boys and girls
  • At times parents may be asked to help change students, this is to be decided by a teacher under the direction of the principal
  • The school recognises that there is a need at times to support children, this should be done in a dignified way
  • If adults are asked to help change children, the following applies:
  1. There are at least two adults in a changing room for our younger students
  2. One adult alone in a changing shed with children is not permitted, this is a protection for all
  3. Adults who help with changing should do so with the most minimal support possible
  4. Adults should minimise any direct touching of children and must act respectfully
  5. If a child or adult feels uncomfortable at any stage then they should leave the changing area and report to the teacher


What sort of pool is it?

It is a portable pool that is heated, filtered and is designed as a teaching pool only. In January 2017 we changed our sanitizing/disinfectant agent from Hydrogen peroxide to Chlorine. To find out more visit Pools in Schools.

Why is swimming important for our children -OUR NATIONAL PROBLEM !

  • Only 1 in 5 ten year olds can swim 200 metres – the benchmark for being able to swim and survive in the water.
  • 80% of all ten year olds can’t swim well enough to save themselves. Nine out of ten drownings occur when people are not expecting to be in the water.
  • New Zealand has one of the highest drowning rates in the developed world. Twice as high as Australia and three times as high as the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • Research shows our children simply don’t know how to swim.
  • Changes in the school curriculum mean that learning to swim is no longer an automatic part of growing up in New Zealand.


What do I do if I have a query about the programme?

Please email our Principal, James Murray - principal@tetotara.school.nz