Waterwise Cumbria

Waterwise Cumbria is the opportunity for students from local schools to transfer their swimming skills from the swimming pool environment to the open water environments of our lakes, rivers and tarns in Cumbria. We aim to develop their confidence around open water with the use of fun and games but with an underlying message about water safety.

The building blocks of learning will come in the form of 3 water based sessions with some classroom work aswell. This will lead into a final challenge to be decided by the school. For example the challenge could be a swim across a small tarn or across Coniston Water. This challenge will obviously be dependent on the students swimming ability.

The swim session will be based either on Lake Windermere or Coniston Water unless you have a specific venue in mind.

Head teachers that use Kym Allan Health & Safety Consultants Services will need to approve my programmes based on my qualifications and experience and the quality of my risk assessments. They have copies of my certificates and risk assessments but I am very happy to provide them on request.

The session will be managed by myself and a qualified lifeguard or equivalent with a maximum group size of 24 with up to 12 children in the water at a time. I would also need you to bring a teacher/parent who is happy to lead a classroom based session for the students who are not in the water. It would also be advisable to have 2 other parents/teachers who are happy to assist with the students changing. 

Clothing list for the children

Children should come with the following kit as a minimum:

  • Swimsuit, swimming hat (can be provided)
  • Wet suit – ideally with long sleeves and leg - Waterwise Cumbria has 30 wetsuits but please encourage the children to bring their one if they have them
  • Shoes that can get wet, ideally old trainers or wetsuit booties
  • Towel, Warm clothes
  • Windproof jacket (especially for week 2)
  • A snack

I will provide the following:

  • First aid kit, Rescue aids
  • Floatation aides – Noodles, Tow Floats
  • Teaching Resources
  • Wet suits - with long sleeves and legs - I currently have 30 wetsuits
  • Swim Hats
  • The price of the course will be dependent on the venue, number of sessions and whether you can supply me with a qualified lifeguard for the sessions. For the final challenge further safety cover will be needed depending on the challenge.


    Session Plan

    • WEEK 1


      • Introduction to open water safety.
      • Introduction to open water swimming, transferring skills learnt in a swimming pool environment.


      • Fun and inclusive acclimatising to open water with games
      • Develop of survival stroke
      • HUDDLE position
      • HELP position (Heat Escape Lessening Position)
      • Small swim challenge
      • Possible jumping off the jetty

    • WEEK 2


      • Further development of water safety skills and learning how to help someone


      Review of Week one skills:

      • HUDDLE position
      • HELP position (Heat Escape Lessening Position)
      • Teaching of SIGNAL, SHOUT, THROW, REACH rescues and practical exercises
      • Swim challenge

    • WEEK 3


      • Overview of water safety and rescues but with an emphasis on swimming a further distance


      • Review of Week one and Week two skills
      • Distance swimming


    Student from Leven Valley School promoting safe open water swimming