Swimming New Zealand homepage

The start of something extraordinary

Tahatai Coast School

Being only 650m from the beach in Papamoa, the teachers at Tahatai Coast School are big believers in their students learning to make informed decisions around water. Unfortunately Tahatai Coast School does not have a pool so instead they are keen supporters of the Beach Education programme delivered by Surf Life Saving New Zealand and are always looking out for different aquatic opportunities for their children to learn from.

This year the year 6’s were lucky enough to get 10 subsidised learn to swim and survive lessons thanks to Denise Jones from Water Safety New Zealand. Every Monday morning the Year 6’s and three teachers made the bus trip to Baywave, Mt Maunganui where they had lessons from the team at BaySwim.

Using the State Kiwi Swim Safe programme, Erin Fowler (Swim Safe Advisor, Swimming New Zealand) worked with the children on poolside while they waited for their lessons to start. We focussed on mini poolside lessons based on dryland techniques and why we float to keeping ourselves safer around water. We discussed supervision, improvised floatation aids, offering assistance and getting help.

The focus for the last lesson of was  about lifejacket safety. Why we wear them, where and when and how do they fit properly. The children were lucky enough to enter the water from a 2m platform above the water and experience a huddle in deep water. All of the students went away with a prize and best of all everyone left with huge smiles and satisfaction in their achievements and raising awareness about making informed decisions around water in the future.