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Aquatics program eligibility and types of activities

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The Department for Education aquatics program provides an accessible and cost effective learning program for schools in a range of different aquatic activities for year 6 to 9 students.  In addition a pathway through SACE is available for years 10, 11 and 12.

Program access


Year 6 to 9

  • 6 hours
  • Years 6 and 7 in SA government schools can choose swimming or aquatics but cannot do both in one year. Non-government schools can pay for more programs.

SACE practicals

Years 10 to 13

  • 12 or 18 hours

Access conditions

  • SA government school students can only access 1 program a year.
  • Schools that want to access the aquatics program outside these guidelines must pay a fee.
  • Non-government schools can access the aquatics program for a fee.

Aquatics focus

As part of the aquatics program for years 6 to 9 the focus is on:

  • water confidence
  • water safety in, on and around the water
  • survival in the water
  • rescue of others
  • developing a range of aquatic-specific skills.

Aquatics SACE practicals

The range of aquatic activities available for years 10 to 13 includes:

  • canoeing/kayaking
  • fishing
  • sailing
  • surfing
  • small boat handling
  • snorkelling
  • waterskiing
  • windsurfing.

The activities offered by each centre are determined by location and the expertise of its instructors. Day and camp style programs can be accommodated with some centres having on-site accommodation and others able to provide a range of accommodation in the immediate area.

Aquatic centre information

See the swimming and aquatics centre contact page for location details.

Double aquatics

There are specific guidelines relating to accessing a double aquatics program (12 hours):

  • Students in years 6 to 9 are able to access a single aquatics program (6 hours) annually. If the program is not accessed by any year level in any particular year, those hours cannot be carried over to the following year or transferred to other year levels.
  • Schools that use more than the single aquatics program without prior approval in writing from the manager of Sport and Water Safety will be charged for all additional hours accessed.
  • No school can access a double program without prior written approval from the manager of Sport & Water Safety. The instructor in charge cannot approve a double aquatics program.
  • There is a clear expectation that schools and instructor in charge understand and operate within these guidelines.

A double aquatics program is usually sought by schools in a camp situation and generally at a country aquatics centre.

Only years 6 to 7 and 8 to 9 students have the option of accessing a double aquatics program, which can be through 2 options:

Option 1

One year group (either year 6 or 7, or year 8 or 9) can access a double aquatics program if the other year group does not access any swimming or aquatics program in that year.

For example:

  • Year 6 has been allocated 24 hours and uses none.
  • Year 7 has been allocated 24 hours and can access 48 hours of the swimming, aquatics or surf education program.

Option 2

Both years 6 and 7 or years 8 and 9 can access a double aquatics program once every 2 years if they don’t access any swimming or aquatics program in the alternate years. This arrangement depends on the department being able to pair your school with another that wants to do the program in the alternate years.

This pairing is not necessary if your school is willing to pay a fee for an additional program.

Water Safety Team

Phone: 8416 5920
Fax: 8115 5558
Email: Educationswimaquatics [at] sa.gov.au