Needs Analysis for Aquatic Education

Needs Analysis identifies what is required from students, staff and the school community in terms of providing a realistic and sequential aquatic education programme that meets the needs of all students.

Traditionally many school’s swimming sports determine what is taught in ‘swimming’. There is often no classroom programme or water safety education in a school’s curriculum.

WaterSafe Auckland would like to see schools adopting a holistic approach to the teaching of aquatic education where there are many aspects to each school’s programme, even when the school does not have a pool.

This section of the Integrated Aquatic Programme can help schools to develop their own holistic programme by exploring needs and then using this information in the action planning process.

The purpose of the Needs Analysis is to:

  • Identify student, staff and community needs
  • Develop a system for setting programme priorities
  • Decide on programme content
  • Determine resource requirements
  • Design the most effective ways to implement the programme

Possible methods of identifying needs:

  • Face-to-face interviews
  • Phone surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Observations
  • Newsletters
  • Rating scales
  • Checklists
  • Public meetings / Hui / workshops / forums
  • Grafitti wall
  • Values continuum
  • Post box

The needs of the whole school community should be met if the programme is to be successful. Student, staff and community needs will differ from school to school so one size will not fit all.

WaterSafe Auckland has developed the several aids to help this process and these include the Skills Knowledge Attitudes and Values Competency Models, Basic Action Planning Template and Needs Analysis Guidelines. See the Resources panel on this page.

Several Teacher Guides (see Teachers’ Toolbox) such as Aquatic Learning, Aquatic Knowledge, Planning a Unit of Work and Planning a Pool Session could also be useful.