Water, Water, Water Safety

In New Zealand, as an island nation with many rivers and lakes, we are surrounded by water. For our last swimming session at the AC Baths we had a water safety day.  


All legs into the middle of the huddle

Our swimming instructors taught us what to do in a boating or water emergency. While we were learning some very important safety messages we also got to have a lot of fun.  


Don't let go remember to stay together

First of all, we learnt about life jackets. We learnt that anyone who is out on the lake, whether they are on a big boat, a little boat, a paddleboard or a raft, they must wear a life jacket. The only time you don’t have to wear a life jacket on the lake is when you are swimming.


Floating on our backs in our life jackets

Then we learnt that you must wear a life jacket that fits you. All of the children in Room 14 either wore a small or an extra small children's life jacket.  We cannot wear our big brothers or mums life jacket because if they are too big they will just float off us.


Here comes the Room 14 water safety train

Another great thing we learnt about life jackets is that they keep you warm if you are floating in the water.


Here is the huddle. It keeps us warm and all together

When all of Room 14 was wearing the right-sized life jacket we sat on the edge of the pool and learnt to do a life jacket entry. To do a life jacket entry we cover our nose and mouth with one hand, pull our knees up to our chest and then lie back into the water. 


It is important to stay together and work together

When we were in the water the first thing we had to master was a relaxed float on our back. Then we had to get together and make a huddle. A huddle is like a cuddle, everyone puts their arms around the waist of the people next to them and we join together in a big circle. The purpose of a huddle is to keep each other together and warm.  We are much safer if we stick together and use each others body heat to keep warm.   


One arm in the air the international signal for help


Listening to the instructors


Life jackets make us float and keep us warm

After the huddle, we broke into two groups and practised moving together in a train. We had to hold onto the life jacket of the person in front of us. The instructors made waves and splashed us so it was more like we were out in the lake. We had to concentrate to all stay connected.


The instructor telling us about the dangers of not wearing the right-sized life jacket


Some of us needed a little bit of help to feel safe floating on our backs in our life jackets


Ready for the life jacket entry


Practising the huddle on dry land before we get into the water

Lastly, we learnt to raise one arm and yell “help” as the international signal for needing help in the water.


The Room 14 train has made it safety to the shore


The instructors make the water wavy so it is more like we are lost in the lake

Thank you swimming instructors - Room 14 will be safer on the lake this summer. 

I liked floating on my back in the life jacket.  Kiara

It was fun falling on my back into the pool and I liked the waves the teachers made.  Zahn

If you need help you put your hand up and shout “help”.  Tom

I enjoyed getting pulled around in the boat train.  Annabelle was holding on to me I was at the back so I didn’t have to hold onto anyone. Juno

I learnt how to fall backwards into the pool in my life jacket. Sam


We must cover our nose and mouth when we do a life jacket entry into the pool


We are learning but man this is fun


Violet and the instructor show us how to make sure a life jacket fits correctly

Curriculum Links

Health Physical Education

Strand A – Personal Health and Physical Development

3. Safety and Risk Management

Students will describe and demonstrate simple health care and safety procedures, for example, simple hygiene practices, procedures that relate to fire, roads, sun, and water.

Strand D - Healthy Communities and Environments

4. People and the Environment

Students will identify and discuss obvious hazards in their home, school, and local environment and adopt simple safety practices, for example, in relation to fires, heaters, water, passive smoking, household chemicals, pools, drains, rivers, and the need to wear protective clothing in certain situations.

Key Words

Water safety, life jacket, huddle

Dont let go remember to stay together