5 Lesson Swimming and Water Safety Program Floated

Life Saving Victoria’s (LSV) Swimming and Water Safety Team successfully delivered a 5 Lesson Survival Swimming Program pilot at Dandenong Oasis aquatic facility.

“Funded as part of the Victorian Government’s Public Water Safety Initiative, the program has been developed to address the minimum skills and knowledge required if students were to attend only five swimming and water safety lessons,” says LSV Manager – Swimming and Water Safety, Jane Hill.

Students enjoy the program

Students from Wooranna Park Primary School participated in the program, along with pupils from nearby Silverton Primary School, who, in addition to the practical in-pool lessons, completed classroom based activities within their PE classes.

Targeting students deemed as non-swimmers, those who have not previously participated in a traditional learn to swim program, or who have very little water safety skill and knowledge; the 5 Lesson Survival Swimming Program is designed to bring students a step closer to achieving their Victorian Water Safety Certificate (VWSC).

“The Victorian Curriculum requires students demonstrate the competencies of the VWSC by the time they leave Year 6,” says Ms Hill.

“The aim of the 5 Lesson Survival Swimming Program is to ensure that after five lessons, students have the knowledge to keep themselves and others safe in, on and around water.”

Results from the pilot demonstrated:
• A 65 per cent increase in the number of students that could float for one minute or more by the end of the program.
• Three times as many students could swim 50 metres or more at the end of the program compared to at the start of the program.
• A 39 per cent increase in the number of students that could enter the water safely by the end of the program.
• A 31 per cent increase in the number of students that could exit the water safely by the end of the program.
• That 80 per cent of students could complete a survival sequence at the end of the program*
*Note: this was not assessed in the pre-test for safety reasons.

“What was evident was the dramatic increase in student’s confidence and enjoyment of the water as these vital life skills developed over the five-day period.”

LSV’s Swimming and Water Safety Team will now adapt the resources from the pilot and make them freely available via its Toolkit webpage, so that schools and aquatic facilities can run their own 5 Lesson Survival Swimming Program.

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