Northamptonshire Sport and RLSS UK have found a unique way to promote drowning prevention by helping a group of pupils from Hardingstone Academy in Northamptonshire to improve their numeracy and literacy skills.

The project has been running since January when a group of 22 pupils from yrs 3 – 6 (ages 7 – 11) took part in a two-hour session based around the SAFE code.

Northamptonshire Sport, RLSS UK and two players from the Northampton Saints Rugby team (Kahn Fotuali’i and Ahsee ‘Ace’ Tuala) encouraged the pupils to explore why swimming in open water was more dangerous than swimming in a pool and what to do in an emergency. The adults supported the various tasks by joining in with a session on CPR, helping ‘rescue’ each other and discussing drowning prevention with pupils.

Over the following month the school staff worked with the pupils on worksheets supplied by Northamptonshire Sport to focus on grammar and punctuation as well as using drowning statistics to cover other parts of the maths curriculum.  The pupils used their skills to write a script and make posters that were used to make a short green screen video with the help of the University of Northampton.

As well as being a project where English and mathematical skills can be applied, the pupils have learnt valuable team building skills. Pupils that have acted as Drowning Prevention Ambassadors have worked collaboratively and speaking together has helped to boost their confidence and self-esteem. Above all, their work will help to promote awareness of the dangers of water to the local school community and keep themselves safe.