SCHOOL SWIMMING AND WATER SAFETY

TOOLKIT

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This toolkit is designed to support schools, swim schools and the community to deliver high quality school swimming and water safety programs, as required by the Victorian Curriculum.

Questions or can't find what you are looking for? Call the School Swimming and Water Safety Education Team at Life Saving Victoria on 03 9676 6940 or email schoolswimming@lsv.com.au.

The Swimming and Water Safety Toolkit will continue to be updated throughout 2019 and 2020.

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Events Calender

GENERAL INFORMATION

INFORMATION FOR SCHOOLS

The Victorian Curriculum, as implemented by all Victorian Government and Catholic schools, requires swimming and water safety programs to be taught as part of Health and Physical Education.

Included are four focus areas with specific reference to swimming and water safety which schools are required to teach:

  • Fundamental movement skills
  • Safety
  • Lifelong physical activities
  • Challenge and adventure activities.
What does the Victorian Curriculum F-10 say about Swimming & Water Safety?

Development of knowledge and skills relating to survival swimming and basic water safety can significantly reduce a child's drowning risk and enhance community safety. Swimming has been identified as a lifelong physical activity. Programs must focus on building awareness, knowledge and skills, so that students can safely participate in a range of aquatic activities.

What should schools do in relation to delivering Swimming & Water Safety programs?

Individual schools are able to make decisions about how they incorporate swimming and water safety into their curriculum, based on factors such as access to safe swimming facilities/locations, qualified instructors and their broader learning program.

If students don't already have the necessary competencies, schools will need to support them to obtain these.

What is the Victorian Water Safety Certificate?

The Victorian Water Safety Certificate is a Victorian Government initiative, which describes specific competencies that should be achieved by the end of primary school. The certificate describes specific competencies that focus on water safety knowledge, rescue skills, a survival sequence and the ability to swim a continuous distance of 50 meters. The certificate is designed to supplement existing swimming & water safety programs delivered by schools and learn-to-swim providers. A Teacher Guide is provided to support the assessment of the Certificate competencies.

Once a student has achieved the competencies, schools and learn-to-swim providers can order the certificates from Life Saving Victoria (LSV).

More information including a sample certificate and Teacher's Guide can be found HERE.

What Swimming & Water Safety skills are important?

The minimum competencies described in the Victorian Water Safety Certificate are designed to ensure children have a basic level of swimming and water safety skill and knowledge prior to leaving primary school. These skills are important throughout the life span to reduce the risk of drowning. The Certificate describes specific competencies that focus on water safety knowledge, rescue skills, a survival sequence and the ability to swim a continuous distance of 50 meters.

Almost 40% of drowning deaths in Victoria in 2015/16 were due to unintentional water entry, including slips, trips and falls, implying the person did not intend to enter the water. This factor makes the need for survival swimming skills and basic water safety knowledge all the more important. The aim of survival swimming is to prepare a child for unexpected entry into deep, open water, including basic skills enabling them to float, scull or tread water until help arrives, or swim to a point of safety.

A range of funding options are available to support schools to deliver school swimming and water safety programs.

The government has invested $23 million in school swimming and water safety education over the past three years. This has included $19 million for the Swimming in Schools initiative in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 Budgets. This funding provides a contribution towards the costs of programs for schools of $90 per Year 6 in primary school (Government and Catholic schools) and per student in government specialist schools. Government schools will receive this funding through the Student Resource Package (SRP) in 2018 and 2019. Catholic primary schools will receive funding directly from the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria. Schools are encouraged to determine how best to use their funding to ensure students have the opportunity to learn swimming and water safety competencies. More information HERE

Schools can also use the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) for expenses relating to camps, sport and/or excursions for the benefit of eligible students. In addition primary schools can apply for Sporting Schools Funding.

Can schools on-charge the cost of Swimming & Water Safety programs to parents?

The Department of Education & Training (DET) released a revised Parent Payment Policy and supplementary FAQs document in July 2016, to ensure that parent payment processes and practices are fair, transparent and efficient, including mandatory hardship arrangements in all Government schools. Any request for parent contributions to swimming lessons must be in accordance with the Parent Payment Policy.

Parents cannot be charged for instruction costs associated with swimming. The Education and Training Reform Act 2006 ensures the provision of free instruction in the standard curriculum program (Victorian Curriculum F-10).

Missed a workshop? Webinar recordings are available for:

One Stop Shop - A practical overview of the Swimming in School initiative including tips and tricks, helpful resources and best practice ideas.

Hackfest - Showcases how digital learning technology and newteaching approaches can deliver a successful swimming and water safety program for your school, while inspriring you to consider what's possible in the world of 'dry' swimming lessons.

Q&A with Aquatic Experts - Hear from a panel of aquatic industry representatives who share their unique approaches to school swimming and water safety programs.

Victorian Water Safety Certificate – Why? What? How? - Join us online to find out the what, why and how; along with novel ideas for awarding and celebrating students who achieve the certificate, and next steps for those who don't.

Engaging CALD students in swimming and water safety - This workshop provides new approaches and tailored strategies for engaging CALD students in swimming and water safety. Hear tips and tricks from aquatic facilities, primary schools and LSV Multicultural Projects to develop culturally sensitive programs and overcome the barriers to participation.

Water Safety Week and Beyond! - The aim of this event was to invigorate school swimming and water safety programs and inspire cross curricular approaches for the delivery of the swimming and water safety component of the Victorian Curriculum. See links below to view event presentations.

Event Date Time Cost Location
Facebook Live: Rapid fire Q&A (aquatic industry)
Join a panel of aquatic industry representatives who will share their unique approaches to school swimming and water safety programs.
This is a great opportunity to ask questions, connect with others and discuss the hot topics in school swimming and water safety; marketing strategies, intensive programs vs. weekly programs, implementing the Victorian Water Safety Certificate and more.
Tues 9 July Start: 11:30am
Finish: 12:30pm
Free Online via Facebook
Engaging CALD students in water safety (Clayton) - Aquatics
With an increase in the number of school students from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, swimming & water safety skills are more important than ever. Hear tips & tricks from aquatic facilities and primary schools who have successfully engaged their CALD students by developing culturally sensitive programs & approaches; overcoming the barriers to participation.
Wed 31 July Reg: 1:00pm
Start: 1:30pm
Finish: 3:30pm
Free Clayton Community Centre – Library meeting room; 9-15 Cooke St, Clayton VIC 3168
Engaging CALD students in water safety (Clayton) - Schools
This workshop will provide new approaches and tailored strategies for engaging CALD students, their families and the local community in swimming and water safety. Hear tips and tricks from aquatic facilities and primary schools who have successfully engaged their CALD students by developing culturally sensitive programs and approaches; overcoming the barriers to participation and ultimately achieving better student outcomes.
Wed 31 July Reg: 4:00pm
Start: 4:30pm
Finish: 6:30pm
Free Clayton Community Centre – Library meeting room; 9-15 Cooke St, Clayton VIC 3168
Victorian Water Safety Certificate: What? Why? How?
The What? Why? How?
The goal set by the State Government is for all Victorian primary students to achieve the Victorian Water Safety Certificate (VWSC) by the time they finish year 6. Join us online to find out the what, why and how; along with novel ideas for awarding and celebrating students who achieve the certificate, and next steps for those who don't.
Wed 7 August Start: 4:00pm
Finish: 5:00pm
Free Online via Facebook
Engaging CALD students in water safety (Sunshine) - Aquatics
With an increase in the number of school students from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, swimming & water safety skills are more important than ever. Hear tips & tricks from aquatic facilities and primary schools who have successfully engaged their CALD students by developing culturally sensitive programs & approaches; overcoming the barriers to participation.
Tues 13 August Reg: 1:00pm
Start: 1:30pm
Finish: 3:30pm
Free Victoria University- Sunshine campus; Gate 1, 460 Ballarat Road, Sunshine
Engaging CALD students in water safety (Sunshine) - Schools
This workshop will provide new approaches and tailored strategies for engaging CALD students, their families and the local community in swimming and water safety. Hear tips and tricks from aquatic facilities and primary schools who have successfully engaged their CALD students by developing culturally sensitive programs and approaches; overcoming the barriers to participation and ultimately achieving better student outcomes.
Tues 13 August Reg: 4:00pm
Start: 4:30pm
Finish: 6:30pm
Free Victoria University- Sunshine campus, Gate 1, 460 Ballarat Road, Sunshine
Engaging CALD students in water safety (Aquatics and Schools).
Missed the recent workshops? Join us online for an interactive session where we will recap the recent 'Engaging CALD students in swimming & water safety' workshops.
This session will also provide an opportunity to ask our panel of aquatic and school experts for their tips on how to successfully engage students from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in school swimming and water safety programs.
Thurs 22 August Start: 4:00pm
Finish: 5:00pm
Free Online via Facebook
Water Safety Week and Beyond!
Water Safety Week (2-6 December, 2019) is an initiative of Play it Safe by the Water. Life Saving Victoria invites primary school teachers and aquatic facility representatives to a day of fascinating speakers and interactive sessions which will invigorate your school swimming and water safety program and help you prepare for a sensational Water Safety Week!
Offering multiple electives throughout the day presented by practicing teachers and industry professionals, this event will spark new ideas for Water Safety Week, while inspiring cross-curricular approaches for delivering the swimming and water safety component of the Victorian Curriculum. Don’t miss this great networking opportunity connecting schools with aquatic education specialists to produce high quality school swimming and water safety programs.
Wed 4 Sep Reg: 8:30am
Start: 9:00am
Finish: 3:00pm
Free

Limit of 2 enrolments per aquatic organisation/facility.

Teachers from Gov/Catholic/Special Needs primary schools will be provided with 50% CRT subsidy (at current DET rate), upon receipt of a school issued tax invoice.
Life Saving Victoria; 200 The Boulevard, Port Melbourne, VIC
Water Safety Tech Time!
It’s time for teachers to join the fun. Life Saving Victoria will take you through a series of tech zones, where you can experience the future of swimming and water safety, to take your school swimming and water safety program into the future. From VR to drones; sphero balls to dry swimming; learn what can be done in the classroom, on pool deck and in the water to teach swimming and water safety education to a tech savvy generation.
Wed 23 Oct Start: 4:30pm
Finish: 6:30pm
Free Life Saving Victoria 200 The Boulevard Port Melbourne
Water Safety Tech Time!
It’s time for teachers to join the fun. Life Saving Victoria will take you through a series of tech zones, where you can experience the future of swimming and water safety, to take your school swimming and water safety program into the future. From VR to drones; sphero balls to dry swimming; learn what can be done in the classroom, on pool deck and in the water to teach swimming and water safety education to a tech savvy generation.
Thurs 24 Oct Start: 4:30pm
Finish: 6:30pm
Free Bendigo Discovery Centre 7 Railway PlaceBendigo 3550

Helping schools make the right decision about developing a high quality and cost effective swimming and water safety program is essential.
Unsure where to start? Use either the ‘School swimming and water safety options' online interactive tool or poster to help build your school's swimming and water safety program.

The following free options are available to support schools to deliver water safety programs/resources:

  • Education from Anywhere - An online resource portal with free resources including; activity sheets, videos, posters and cross-curriculum lesson plans for Prep - Year 10.
  • The Everyday Lifesaver App - The free App uses gamification to make learning water safety, emergency response and CPR more engaging.
  • Water Smart Award - A Royal Life Saving program designed for primary school classroom delivery that includes three key modules; Water Safety, Rescues and Resuscitation.
  • Bronze E-Lifesaving - A Royal Life Saving free online program targeted at Years 7-10, focusing on risk-taking behaviour, peer influences and alcohol.
  • VR Water Safety Education - Life Saving Victoria (LSV) is using virtual reality (VR) technology to educate the community about water safety. You will find a range of great educational VR Tours (a series of 360o images), each complemented by engaging curriculum aligned teaching resources.
Additional fee-for-service options include:
  • Open Water Learning Experience (OWLE) - A school excursion which teaches practical and engaging water safety, lifesaving and emergency response skills.
  • Sink or Swim - This interactive 1-hour incursion teaches students about water safety from the expertise of a Surf Lifesaver. The program empowers students of all ages to keep themselves and others safe in a range of aquatic environments (beaches, rivers, lakes, pools and home), through engaging practical activities.

This program is designed to complement and not replace formal swimming lessons.

There are options available to schools for delivering practical swimming programs as outlined below:

  • Out-source to an external provider: A school outsources delivery to a public or privately owned aquatic facility and the aquatic facility's appropriately qualified staff fully deliver a program.
  • Hire lanes at an aquatic facility: A school hires lanes from a public or privately owned aquatic facility and uses the school's own appropriately qualified staff to deliver a program.
  • Self-contained onsite program: A school uses its own school aquatic facilities and appropriately qualified staff to deliver a program.
  • Deliver in a natural water venue: A school delivers the program in a local natural water venue such as lake, river or inland waterway.

Click on the tiles below to view best practice case studies which will inspire new ideas for your school swimming and water safety program.

St James Primary School, Vermont - Lessons beyond the pool.

View
Loch Sport Primary School–Maximising time

View
Airly Primary School - A small school doing big things in creativity.

View
Clayton South Primary School - Engaging newly arrived students and their families.

View
Skipton Primary School - All hands on deck.

View
St Thomas Catholic Primary School - Celebrating achievement.

View
The Pre-booking checklist is a useful guide to help you plan your school swimming and water safety program and engage an aquatic facility.
As a school, are there risk management guidelines to adhere to with regards to swimming and water safety programs?

Schools must ensure they carry out the appropriate planning with regards to supervision and risk management prior to undertaking swimming and water safety programs, regardless of whether delivered by the school or outsourced to an external provider. The Department of Education and Training (DET) School Policy and Advisory Guide provides Victorian schools with access to governance and operational policies and advice. The following are relevant policies found within the Guide:

Swimming provides physical, social, and emotional benefits which allows students the opportunity to experience an extensive range of recreational activities. Download the Pathways Beyond School Swimming poster to find out where swimming skills can take you!

INFORMATION FOR SWIM SCHOOLS

Aquatic facilities that deliver school swimming programs must comply with the Child Safe Standards, to ensure student safety.

INFORMATION FOR PARENTS

More Information

INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS

CONTACT INFORMATION

Contact the Education Team on
03 9676 6940 or schoolswimming@lsv.com.au

© Life Saving Victoria