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Feet off the Bottom (clip)

Swimming lessons at Butlins

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This training film, part of a series called "Learning to Survive", was made in conjunction with the Scottish Amateur Swimming Association. It was filmed at Butlin's Holiday Camp, Ayr. In this clip we see women learning swimming movements sitting on a chair and then learning various swimming and diving techniques.

Questions & Activities


  • What do you think of the lessons? How much fun does this look?
  • What do you notice about the teachers and the learners?
  • What do you think it would be like to swim in an outdoor pool?
  • What kinds of clothes are people wearing?
  • How easy do you think it would be to learn to swim sitting in a chair?
  • Why do you think outdoor pools are not used so much today?
  • Why do people not go to holiday camps so much today? Has this changed with the credit crunch?
  • Why would people want to watch this film today?
  • What are the most useful things to learn in sports and physical activities?


PSE: Comment on the type of instruction? What would it be like to learn to swim like this?

History / Social Studies / Geography / PSE: Research outdoor pools/lidos in Scotland - how many are left, make a presentation reporting your findings.

Expressive Arts / PSE: Construct a voice-over that explains what is happening and methods of swimming.

English / Drama: Script a conversation between onlookers watching the lesson.

English / Drama: Two learners meet again today and discuss what happened in film. Script and act out their meeting and conversation.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-237-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 1424
Date 1950s
Genre Educational
School Subject Physical Education, Health and Wellbeing, Social History, Social Studies
Who Scottish Instructional Films (producer)
Where Ayr, Butlins
Clip Length 0:00
Film Length 5:30