At Waverley Junior Academy we are very lucky to have the Waverley Lakes right on our doorstep. We also have Ulley Reservoir and Rother Valley Country Park just around the corner. The waterways are wonderful places to visit, you can exercise, hunt for bugs, spot wildlife and enjoy water sports with your family and friends. However, it is very important you know how to stay safe near and in the water.
Tip for parents/carers - One of the best ways to help children learn about staying safe is to talk to them when you’re out and about near water. Whether you’re walking or cycling, having a picnic or out on a trip to feed the ducks, repeating safety messages regularly will help young children remember what to do.
The SAFE Rule
The SAFE rule is very important. This reminds us to Stay Away From the Edge. We know it can be exciting being near the water but standing too close to the edge can be dangerous. It is a good idea to always take one step back to make sure you are safe.
Foundation Stage - This Rosie and Jim episode is all about staying safe near the water and includes a simple song about taking one step back that you could sing.
The Water Safety Code
As you grow older you may learn to swim and find new ways to enjoy the water. Water can be dangerous, no matter how strong a swimmer you. You should not swim in open water and it is very important to follow The Water Safety Code:
1. Spot the dangers - Look out for any potential hazards. This could include slippery rocks, sharp objects or machines.
2. Take safety advice - Look out for any warning signs around reservoirs, canals and rivers to help you stay safe.
3. Go together - When you are going to be around water, go with friends or a family member. Don’t visit the waterways alone.
4. Learn how to help - If you know what to do in an emergency, it will be easier to stay calm.
Key Stage 1 & 2 - This video from the Canal and River Trust explains the Water Safety Code in more detail, supports you to spot hazards and shares advice on what to do in an emergency.
If you see someone in struggling in the water you should…
1. Shout for help from a nearby adult.
2. Call 999 - ask for the Fire Service. Explain your location, use road names, bridge numbers and describe landmarks.
3. Never get into the water.
4. Encourage them to stay calm and float.
This video from the Cambridge Fire and rescue Department tells the story ‘Jet and the Water Rescue’ and how Jet the Dragon helped a friend who got in to trouble when playing near a river.
Water safety challenges can be played on the Canal and River Trust website
Clive from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution visited the academy to talk to pupils about the important job the RNLI do and how many lives they save each year. Clive explained how to stay safe near the sea, what the different flags we see represent and what we should do if we see someone in trouble in the water.
The Canal and River Trust held assemblies for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. They spoke to the children about the SAFE rule and how to spot potential hazards. The children enjoyed the activities they completed and asked lots of interesting questions.
We have regular lessons to ensure all pupils remember how to stay safe near water. Additional lessons take place relating to current events.