Water safety and swimming skills result in a reduction in young children drowning
Teachers say water skills training at school is vital so all school children can develop an understanding of being safe in, on and around water.
Over half of the comments made by over 1500 teachers and other educationalists in the 2016 Water Safety New Zealand Aquatic Education in Schools survey conducted by NZCER, mentioned the importance of aquatic education in schools. Many referred to safety in the New Zealand environment in which children are often around, including lakes, rivers and beaches, being paramount.
Schools have largely borne the responsibility for teaching children to swim and water safety in general, with the New Zealand curriculum expecting students to have basic aquatic skills by the end of Year 6.
But over a third of all New Zealand students may be missing out on vital water safety education with just over a quarter of the schools surveyed (27 percent) having achieved the acceptable combination of eight or more lessons of at least 30 minutes and a further 40 percent managing just eight or more lessons of between 26 – 30 minutes.
The top five barriers to providing
For the majority of New Zealanders, being around water is a part of everyday life. Activities such as swimming, boating and fishing are amongst some of
Water Skills For Life - coming to a school or pool near you
Following an extensive review of current aquatic survival skills programme delivery in New Zealand and a close look at international best practice, in 2015, Water Safety New Zealand developed Water Skills for Life, an initiative aimed at teaching 5 – 13 year olds the skills they need to help keep themselves safe in, on and around water. This review found that the acquisition of a combination of water safety and swimming skills resulted in a reduction in young children drowning.
Research confirms that there is a need for a greater emphasis on teaching water safety skills prior to stroke and distance focused swimming
Read more about Water Skills For Life.
Water Skills For Life was developed for children in Years 1 - 8 to learn water safety. Based on 27 core skills, it establishes broad fundamental competencies for life-long water safety.
Children are taught Water Skills for Life at school, either by their school teacher in the school pool or community or by a swim teacher at a community pool. Schools can decide how they teach their students Water Skills For Life.