Kids’ lessons in living
Walton School pupils learned some important lessons when they ventured into the deep end at the Matamata Pools last Wednesday.
Two senior classes had the chance to practise essential water safety and life saving skills in water that was over their heads. Principal Jeremy Kurth said the number of drownings over summer showed there was a need for children to be aware of the risks of swimming in deep water.
‘‘Our children’s safety is paramount and we, as a school, must do all we can to ensure our kids have lots of fun in the water but also know their limitations and what to do should they find themselves in dangerous situations.’’
The children learned how to use everyday objects, such as buckets and pieces of wood to assist them to float for long periods. They were also taught how to rescue a swimmer using long sticks or a skipping rope.
Kim Laurence from Project Energize was on hand with several lifejackets that the students tried out in the diving pool. She taught them how to work as a team to create a large floating unit – a skill that helps swimmers to keep an eye on each another, while creating a more visual group for rescuers.
‘‘We want our kids to have the confidence to be able to say, ‘no, I’m not going on that boat without a lifejacket’,’’ teacher Helen Little said.
Safety first: A group of Walton School students learn how to survive in deep water.