Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) provides the perfect opportunity for students to develop aquatic competencies. Bringing learning to life and finding out first-hand how to stay safer in, on and around the water.

Drowning Prevention Auckland (DPA) works with schools to implement drowning prevention competencies into existing educational experiences – providing teacher Professional Learning and Development resources and programme support.

Stanmore Bay School shares their story

Part-way down Auckland’s Whangaparāoa Peninsula, Stanmore Bay School is only minutes walk from Stanmore Bay and a short drive to popular beaches like Orewa Beach and Red Beach.

Knowing how accessible water is to their community, the school engaged with DPA in 2023 to upskill their teachers on aquatics education. But with their school pool out of action for the foreseeable future, they decided to focus on implementing water safety into their Education Outside of the Classroom (EOTC) programme.

They began by working closely with DPA educators on what resources and key learning ideas would best suit their students. It was decided that a focus on beach safety would be appropriate.

“We live on a peninsula and the majority of our students go to the beach on a regular basis,” says Senior Leadership Teacher Robyn Bennett.

“Every second year we organise a surfing day at Orewa Beach for our senior students, it helps with supporting classroom relationship building and water safety.”

After an initial consultation with the school, DPA provided them with learning resources on rip currents and beach risks and hazards to implement into their beach day programme.

Students learnt how to spot a rip and what to do if they were caught in one, there were also hands-on activities to be done at the water’s edge.

“It’s a lot better to learn out here (at the beach) than in the classroom,” says Teacher David Wood.
“It doesn’t mean much to them until they actually get out here and make those connections. Also, its fun, they get to have a great time experiencing the beach with their friends.”

Parent Courtney Gallen, who was a helper on the beach day, was impressed with the learning she saw. “It’s great that the school are doing this, it’s really valuable as we are surrounded by water so the kids need to be confident in the water.”

Robyn Bennett is encouraging all schools to consider implementing water safety learning into their next school camp, field trip, sports day or any EOTC event.

“Do it!!” she says.

“It is part of the health curriculum and it can be so easily integrated into other areas of learning.”

If you would like more information on how Drowning Prevention Auckland can help you implement aquatics education into your Education Outside of the Classroom, please contact Helen Meyrick [email protected].

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