What is Waterwise?
The programme has an ultimate goal of the children confidently sailing an optimist in buddies, or towards the end of year six, on their own. It is an experience that is unique to only a few Auckland schools and our location so close to Point Chevalier Sailing Club means we are some of the lucky few participants.
Waterwise takes place twice in Term One and twice in Term Four for all Year 5&6 classes. The Year Five children are initially checked for their water competence and the year fives are asked to swim 50m (wearing a buoyancy aide) and capsize and safely re-surface. This is a really great session to have as many parents as possible for. The Year Fives appreciate the high level of encouragement and of course the more parents to help out with the equipment, the better.
The children also do some land-based work around rigging boats, knot-tying, reading the ocean and working with the wind. They are buddied up with a Year Six for their first outing on a boat, which may be during the first or second session depending on a few factors.
The children thoroughly enjoy their day and all parents that come with us always say what a great day they have. I too, think it is a bit of a treat to spend a day at the beach watching the children experience success with something a little different from normal classroom work.
Parent help needed
Like everything extra we do at school though, we need parents to help. We have a legal minimum requirement of four parents but the more we have – the better the sessions are. The children get more support, boats come in and out quicker and they get to go out more often. (For the first session of the year, more parents are needed as there are a greater number of separate activities running).
We are always looking for more Waterwise Instructors to allow this excellent programme to continue to run for our Year 5&6 children. If you would be interested in training or have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org. No sailing experience is necessary, just enthusiasm.
What is needed for Waterwise?
Parent helpers are required to ensure the safety of all students involved. Please let your child’s teacher know beforehand if you are able to assist.
If there are not enough helpers, the session will be cancelled.
For each Waterwise session your child will need to bring:
- Togs and/or wetsuit
- Old shoes (to avoid cuts from oyster shells)
- A windbreaker jacket
- Warm clothes for afterwards
- Packed lunch and a drink
- Shoes to walk to and from the Boat Club in
Students who do not have the required gear may be placed in another class for the time the class is at Waterwise.
For our Waterwise trip to take place we need at least four parent helpers to assist.
Helpers are required to supervise a given group of children and are expected to help as directed by the Waterwise coordinator. Because you are supervising children around water it is always a good idea to plan for getting wet – at least your feet!
Please see emails from classsroom teachers giving times and dates of sessions for your class.