The year-seven and eight students from Shoreham Academy completed the Beach Safety Project.
Research by Swim England and Royal Life Saving Society UK found almost two-million children were unable to access swimming and water safety lessons during the pandemic, and only 30 per cent of parents surveyed said they were ‘very confident’ their child knew how to stay safe in and around water.
The students worked in the classroom and at Kingston Beach, Shoreham, and Southwick beach as they learned to risk assess a beach for swimming. The project also saw them getting into the water to practice survival skills based around the Water Safety Code.
The Beach Safety Project is a new venture formed by a collective of local swim coaches, lifesaving instructors and beach lifeguards.
Spearheaded by the King Alfred Lifesaving Club, all involved gave their time voluntarily, seeing this area of education as hugely important for young people who live by open water but one which is currently not included in the curriculum in schools along the coast.
Shoreham Academy principal Jim Coupe said: “Thank you to RNLI and The King Alfred Lifesaving Club for providing this opportunity for our students.
"Living in a seaside community, beach safety is always in our minds. I hope that we can scale up the project to benefit more of our young people in the future.”
Jim Clarke, head of PE at the academy, added: “I was really impressed with the Beach Safety Project sessions. The project team were fantastic – both the instructors in the water and the beachside support staff.
"The students thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and learned a great deal. We would definitely like to repeat the experience next year and are considering ways to integrate water safety lessons into our school timetable in 2023.”
Made possible by generous contributions from The Hove Soiree Rotary Club and SeaSure Brighton, the Beach Safety Project team is now looking for funding to expand the project to more schools next Summer. Anyone who would like to help should contact Kath Lambert – [email protected]