The safety of all of our pupils is of the greatest importance.
We live in a beautiful part of the world, in Wakefield within the beautiful county of West Yorkshire. We have such wonderful landscapes including many natural and man made open water features. Rivers, canals, lakes and ponds all feature across the city of Wakefield and the surrounding areas. It is lovely on a weekend to see families from school enjoying walks and bike rides around local water spots such as Newmillerdam, Pugneys, Anglers Country Park, the canal from Thornes to Horbury and so on.
In school every half term we hold a water safety assembly where we talk about the dangers of swimming in open water.
In addition we teach lessons in class using resources provided by national and local organisations all with the same key messages on staying safe around open water.
All Year 4 children learn to swim with school. This is paid for from the school budget, this includes the cost of transporting children to Sun Lane Swimming Poll, the hire of the pool and the cost of the swimming instructors.
The only safe place to go for a swim are places specifically designed for swimming.
For details of swimming lessons taking place across the district check out what is on offer at your local Aspire leisure centres.
Top tips for staying safe in and around water
Key Water Safety Messages
Stop & Think
– Take notice of safety information, warning safety signs & flags. Go to a lifeguarded beach or venue and swim between the red and yellow flags
– Do not use inflatables in open water
– No matter how warm it is on land, water is always cold. Be aware of Cold Water Shock
– Stay out of water near locks, bridges, weirs, sluices, & pipes as these structures are often linked with strong currents, do not jump in to water from height
Never go near open water alone
– Stay away from open water when you are alone. Always make sure you are with a friend or family member if you are going for a walk or a day out near open water
– Look out for your friends and family, and ensure everyone is staying safe together
If you or someone else if in danger in the water, CALL 999
– Do not enter the water or onto the ice to rescue someone yourself, wait for help
– Never enter the water or onto the ice to rescue a pet / animal
– You are more help if you remain on the land. Remain calm and call 999. Be a lifesaver!
How to help someone who is struggling in the water
Talk, Throw, Reach & Encourage
If you are trying to help someone who has fallen into or entered the water, you must remain calm and think clearly.
Shout for help and call 999. Always avoid entering the water yourself, instead try following the sequence below:
TALK: Be clear and positive in your instruction. Talk the into a safe place.
THROW: Ideally a piece of rescue equipment, however you need anything that will float. (lifering, a throw bag filled with rope, or other public rescue aid equipment).
REACH: Only if they are close to the edge can you try and reach for them. Ensure you are as close to the ground as possible, so you also do not fall in.
ENCOURAGE: Encourage anyone who has been in open or cold water to go to hospital. If an ambulance has been called, ensure the person is calm and warm until they arrive.
There are lots of hidden dangers underneath the water that you cannot see from the edge, below are some examples:
Undercurrents - Have the ability to pin even the strongest swimmers to the bottom of the riverbed
Submerged strainers e.g. a tree, a shopping trolley, vehicles under the water that water can pass through but humans cannot
Contamination from unclean / unsafe water - this can lead to infections and diseases
Cold water - Even on a scorching hot day, the water will remain cold and could cause cold water shock, which will affect your ability to swim, look after yourself or rescue others. Cold water shock is a key reason why people drown
Underwater equipment, particularly in reservoirs