School excels in safe swimming teaching

ISOBEL EWING
Last updated 05:00 28/02/2013
Swimming teaching, coaching
ROBERT CHARLES/Fairfax NZ

TAKE THE PLUNGE: Bell Block Primary is a finalist in the State Kiwi Swim Safe School of the Year. Teacher Don Freebairn-Read instructs Bell Block pupils in swim safety.

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Bell Block Primary has been placed in the top three schools in the country for the swim safe school of the year.

At the end of last year the school put forward an application for State Kiwi Swim Safe School of the Year and have just found out they are one of the three finalists.

Bell Block Primary swimming co-ordinator Aleisha Parkinson said they started the programme 18 months ago to educate teachers on how to teach learning to swim.

She said the success of the programme was reflected in the improvement in the swimming level with the school.

She was thrilled with the school's progress in swim safety.

"It's evidence of how we've embraced it and the changes made in that time."

Teacher Don Freebairn-Read said the programme taught teachers to work on specific skills such as floating and how to breathe while doing freestyle to get kids confident in the water.

He said part of the training involved getting in the water themselves and going through the skills which was beneficial.

"We can pinpoint what the children are not doing and focus on their needs."

State Kiwi Swim Safe is a programme developed to give school teachers the necessary skills, knowledge and confidence to deliver a learn to swim, water and beach safety programme.

The winner will be announced at the an awards dinner on March 23 at the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland.

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