Bishop Perowne will become the first secondary school in the country to achieve the new Water Smart Schools accreditation, in partnership with the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK).
To achieve the accreditation, we must commit to a number of requirements, which include involving the whole school to ensure everyone learns about the importance of being safe around water.
Additionally, Bishop Perowne must drive awareness and deliver first aid education, involve parents and carers in the programme, engage with RLSS UK’s Drowning Prevention Week, and more.
Since the beginning of the school year, students from every year group have been learning about staying safe around all types of water. This has included practical lessons researching signage at the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, water safety announcements published in student bulletins, and lessons about the dangers of being around frozen rivers and lakes.
During computer science lessons, students completed a survey about their current understanding of water safety, which they will revisit in six months to see how the programme has enhanced their knowledge. We will also be welcoming The Canal & River Trust to provide a water safety workshop.
Andy Lane from RLSS UK commented:
“Drowning is unfortunately the second-highest trauma-related cause of death in children in England and is largely avoidable through education and positive experiences around water. The Water Smart Schools programme is a framework to provide schools with an excellence standard to facilitate essential water safety knowledge in their pupils. We are extremely excited that Bishop Perowne has chosen to fully embrace the teaching of this essential life skill and become the first secondary school to achieve this new national award.”
Pauline Mason, subject leader for personal, social, health and economical (PHSE) learning, and organiser of the programme at the school, added:
“Our students have always taken part in an inland water and summer safety lessons during PHSE lessons before breaking up for the summer holiday. But we wanted to make the message louder and instil lifelong water-safe habits, especially after the recent tragedies that have taken place in rivers and lakes across the country, and this is where the Water Smart Schools programme comes in.
“We are in the early stages of working towards the accreditation, but it has been an extremely positive experience so far, and our students have been very engaged in the conversations. Remaining safe around water all year round is an important issue, and we hope more secondary schools get involved and begin working with the RLSS UK.”
RLSS UK is a charity that aims to enhance communities so everyone can enjoy being in, on and around water, safely. Part of the Water Smart Schools programme accreditation is to raise awareness about water safety, so we will be fundraising for the charity during our annual summer fete.