Swimming & Water Safety is Included in the
Victorian Curriculum

The Victorian Curriculum, as implemented by all Victorian Government and Catholic schools, requires swimming and water safety programs to be taught as part of Health and Physical Education.

Swimming and water safety is included in the Health and Physical Education Curriculum from Foundation to Level 10. This means that schools must ensure that they are implementing a swimming and water safety program that meets the requirements of the curriculum.

The Health and Physical Education curriculum includes four focus areas with specific reference to swimming and water safety which schools are required to teach

  • Fundamental movement skills (FMS) = Develop foundation movement and skills to enable students to participate in a range of physical activities. E.g. Floating and moving the body through water.

  • Safety (S) = Practise behaviours and skills to keep themselves and others safe in and around water. E.g. Sun safety, use of protective equipment and first aid.

  • Lifelong physical activities (LPA) = Understand that swimming can enhance lifelong health-related fitness and wellbeing.

  • Challenge and adventure activities (CA) = Participate in challenging swimming activities in a range of contexts. E.g. Triathlon, diving, water polo.

Development of knowledge and skills relating to survival swimming and basic water safety can significantly reduce a child’s drowning risk and enhance community safety.

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) has developed several frameworks, including the Victorian Curriculum to highlight what every student in Victorian Government schools should learn during their first eleven years of schooling. The VCAA also supports schools with assessment and reporting on student achievement.

The VCAA has developed sample swimming and water safety activities for Foundation to Level 10. These resources include land-based and water-based activities which can be included in school swimming and water safety programs. Examples of assessment strategies have also been outlined:

For more information about Swimming and Water Safety in the Victorian Curriculum, visit the VCAA website

Life Saving Victoria has collaborated with the VCAA to develop the Sample Swimming & Water Safety F-10 Progression Model. This model defines the swimming and water safety competencies expected to be achieved by students by the end of each level in the curriculum.

Each level in this document reflects the content outlined in the Victorian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education and the National Swimming and Water Safety Framework.

The Department of Education and Training (DET) has developed the Swimming in Schools Initiative to support schools with developing and implementing quality swimming and water safety programs.

For more information about the Swimming in Schools Initiative, visit the DET website

Queries relating directly to Swimming in Schools or swimming and water safety programs can be emailed to school.swimming@education.vic.gov.au

Queries relating to the Parent Payment Policy can be emailed to community.stakeholders@education.vic.gov.au

School swimming outside of school hours voucher program

Swimming vouchers are available to students who had their school swimming and water safety programs cancelled due to COVID-19.

The department has developed a School Swimming Outside of School Hours Voucher program to support schools to continue to meet the Victorian curriculum requirements for swimming and water safety.

Through the Swimming in Schools initiative, schools are funded to provide up to 10 swimming lessons per year for students from Prep to Year 6.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools have had to cancel their planned swimming and water safety programs in 2020 and 2021.

The School Swimming Outside of School Hours Voucher program will provide the opportunity for current primary school students who missed out on school swimming lessons to catch up.