Kids’ lessons in liv­ing

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

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.

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