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LESSON: Getting in and out of the water

Must see

  • Assisted safe and confident entry and exit, including:

    • Climbing in & out using ladder.

    • Walking up & down.

    • Keeping hands on wall the whole time they lower themselves in.

  • Relaxed and confident in moving around the pool unassisted.

  • Ability to exit pool safely.



Activity One: Safe Entry & Exit

  • Children to get into their togs and wait for an adult before they enter the pool. Discuss why.

  • Discuss safe entry and exit into the pool

Activity Two: Steps Entry & Exit

  • Demonstrate step entry and exit.

  • Walk down the steps and back up the steps. 

  • Sit and turn on tummy to lower self into pool.

Activity Three: ‘Slide In’ Entry

  • Demonstrate ‘slide in’ entry - explain reasons for using this entry.

  • Practise ‘slide in’ entry - face away from the water.

  • Practice ‘slide in’ entries with control.

Game: Ten green frogs

Students line up on the pool’s edge, spaced apart. Each student is given a number 1 - 10.

When their number comes up in the song, they enter the water using a slide-in entry.

Song: “Ten green frogs sitting on the wall x2 and if one green frog should accidentally fall, there will be nine green frogs sitting on the wall…”

Getting in and out of the water
SEE TEACHER RESOURCE - skills to be achieved in the pool


LESSON: Rolling and turning in the water - Orientation

Must see

  • Students confidently walking across the pool frontwards and backwards.
  • Students confidently rotating around themselves in both directions.



Activity One: Orientation

  • Walk in different ways across the pool - forwards, backwards & sideways.

  • Animal walks - perform an animal movement across pool and a different one back.

  • Stand on the spot and twirl to the left once and then to right.

  • Crouch in the water up to shoulders. Twirl to left and right then stand upright.

Game: Spinning tops

Students stand in the pool away from each other.

Standing up they must twirl in the water to the left and to the right (360 degree rotation each way).

When they are done, they bob under the water and stand up. Raise their arm in the air when done.

LESSON: Going under the water - Submersion

Must see

  • Submerge whole face in water.
  • Open eyes underwater.
  • Blow bubbles (exhale through mouth and nose).
  • Blink eyes to remove water on surfacing.
  • Locate objects with eyes above water.
  • Confidence in moving around the pool unassisted



Activity One: Moving in the Water

  • Walk in different ways across the pool - forwards, backwards and sideways.

  • Animal walks - perform an animal movement across pool and a different one back.

Activity Two: Getting the Face Wet

  • Splash hands on the water to create as big a splash as possible.

  • Encourage big splashes.

Activity Three: Breathing

  • Blow bubbles; on top of the water, as you walk.

Activity Four: Submersion

  • Try submerging the face.

  • Pick up objects from the steps (shallow water).

  • Pick up objects off pool bottom.

  • Bob under a hoop held on top of the water.

  • Shake hands with your partner under water.

  • Watch your partner blow bubbles underwater.

Game: In and out

All students line up on the edge of the pool. On signal, they enter the water safely and wade as fast as possible to the designated line.

They submerge, come up, turn around and race back to the start.

First one out of the pool is the winner.

Game: Seaweed

Two taggers stand in the middle of the pool, the rest of the children are in the pool.

The taggers try to tag as many children as they can. When a child is tugged they have to freeze in the pool with their arms out like seaweed.

To be freed another child has to run under their arms to free them.


LESSON: Floating on the water - Personal Buoyancy

Must see

  • Submerge whole face in water.
  • Open eyes underwater.
  • Blow bubbles (exhale through mouth and nose).
  • Blink eyes to remove water on surfacing
  • Hold onto buoyant aid (milk bottle) - front & back with regain to feet.
  • Confidence in body position, eyes up tummy up while on back, eyes down bottom up while on front.
  • Ability to regain feet.



Activity One: Yo-Yo Breathing

  • Hands on pool edge, feet on pool bottom, bend knees for up and down movement.

  • Learners take normal breath, bob under and fully exhale, come up to take another breath.

Activity Two: Floating

  • Floating on front, back and side.

  • See-saw with milk bottles.
  • In very shallow water, encourage learner on front and back. Practise front and back floating in deep water (waist depth) with fingertips just touching the bottom for support (if possible).
  • Use floatation aids to practise floating on front and back.
  • Front float with recovery - float on front with a kickboard under each arm, bring knees to chest, lift head and push down with arms.

Game: Aeroplane races

With one kickboard in each hand, shoulder-wide players kick across to the opposite side and back.

Try on back as well.

Game: "Am I hot or cold?"

All participants sit along the edge of the pool. One person is turned away with their eyes closed.

The teacher submerges the object somewhere in the water. The person enters the water and commences looking for the submerged object.

The rest of the participants kick with their legs. They kick hard and fast when the person is close to the object (hot) and softly when the person is far or moves away from the object (cold).

This continues until they find the object and submerge to collect it.

LESSON: What to do in an emergency - Safety of self and others

Must see

  • Students able to recall / identify an adult must be there at all times when they are by the water.
  • Correctly answer oral questions. 
  • Responses may be prompted.
  • Lifejacket is fitted correctly and student knows why.



Activity One: Discussion

  • Discuss the importance of always having adult supervision in and around water.

  • Discuss who can help if you or others are in trouble in the water.
  • Discuss why the students must NEVER enter the water to help someone in trouble. 
  • Discuss the depth of the water and the best entrance and exit point.

Activity Two: Safe Entry & Exit

  • Students to decide their best entry point and advise teacher of their exit point.

  • Enter the water via the steps or slide in entry.

Activity Three: Signalling for Help

  • Demonstrate the Signal for Help gesture – Arm up and waving. Yell ‘Help’, ‘Help’ ‘Help’.

  • Students practice the Signal for Help gesture – Arm up and waving. Yell ‘Help’, ‘Help’ ‘Help’.

Activity Four: Throwing a Regular Object in the Water to Help Someone Float

  • Discuss how some objects can float and help someone in trouble in the water. 

  • Students to look around and select an item to throw.

  • Have a number of objects at poolside such as: a chilly bin, empty milk bottles, plastic chair, ball, bucket.

  • Students to line up and practice throwing the object into the water safely. Ensure students are positioned away from the edge of the pool and show them how to throw without stepping into the pool.

Activity Five: Fit a Lifejacket
  • Demonstrate fitting a life jacket.

  • Discuss when and why life jackets must be worn by them (and others).

  • Students select their own lifejacket and put it on themselves. Does it fit correctly?

  • Show students whether their choice fits well and if not explain why. 

  • Once lifejacket is correctly fitted, students to enter the pool safely.

  • Students to bring up their legs in a huddle position and float.

  • Students to experience floating in their lifejacket and trying to move by paddling

Game: Naming dangers

Can children name a danger around water?

Game: Floating objects

Children to name items which could float in the water. Why or why not?


LESSON: Moving through the water - Propulsion

Must see

  • Relaxed and confident in moving around the pool unassisted.

  • Ability to exit pool safely.



Activity One: Moving in the Water

  • Walk across the pool, holding onto the edge.

  • Walk back out without holding onto the edge.

  • Walk out away from the edge.

  • Run across the pool forwards, sideways, backwards, skipping, hopping and jumping

Game: Pirate Pete

Players start at one end of the pool, out of the water.

‘Pirate Pete’ is in the water walking to and fro, asking “Who’s afraid of Pirate Pete?”
Players answer “Not I.”

When Pirate Pete answers “Yes you are”, all players must enter water and try and reach the opposite side without being caught by Pete.
Those caught become pirates and help Pirate Pete catch the rest.

Winner is the last player caught.

Game: Siamese Wanderers

In pairs and holding hands, lined up with backs against the wall.

On “Go” signal, they wade as fast as possible across the pool - keeping their hands together.

The first Siamese Twins to make the round trip are the winners.

Game: Hopping Collisions

Players fold arms and stand with one leg hooked behind the other.

On the word “Go”, each player attempts to knock the nearest rival off balance by bumping and pushing (with arms still folded).
If a player falls or touches the bottom with both feet, he or she is considered OUT.

The last one standing is the winner.

Game: Magic Ball

In teams, one person a time tries to move a ball from one side of the pool to the other as fast as they can.

Can they move the ball by blowing on it, using on their chin with their nose?

Game: Bobbing Race

Players line up in chest-deep water. At the “Go” signal, they bob up and down keeping both feet together, push off and straighten.

Arms are used for balance and extra forward speed.

The first to reach the opposite side wins. Can do as a relay.


LESSON: Water safety and awareness

Must see

  • Students should be able to recognise when someone or themselves are in trouble in, on or around the water.
  • Students should only take part in water activities under adult supervision and never swim alone.
  • Play safely without hindering others. 
  • Listen to lifeguards.
  • Know how to read, follow and understand signage around water. 
  • Know to wear appropriate clothing / gear for the activity.
  • Swim between the flags.



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