by Jay Brownrigg, Aquatics Program Manager and Gr. 11 Tutor
Exciting times are ahead for everyone in the YIS community, with the move to the new purpose-built campus. We will have many new facilities for our students to use and learn in and for the first time in 97 years, we will have an amazing aquatics facility. Over the past six months we have been busy planning, ordering equipment for and organising what our aquatics program will look like at YIS.
We are using the word ‘aquatics’ as our students will be doing more than just swimming laps in a pool and being taught how to swim. At YIS we are designing our program around the many components of a successful aquatics program. Aquatics involves learning an important life skill and teaching people how to be safe in and around water. Our students will participate in many experiences including water safety skills, water familiarization, water-based games, problem solving challenges, swim stroke development and goal setting.
Over the past week, the PE teachers and I have been going into High School and Middle School Physical Education classes and talking to our students about what aquatics will look like for them as we really want our students to feel comfortable with the program be prepared and to also ask questions if they are feeling anxious or want to learn more.
Since the beginning of this school year, we have been collaborating with the Japan Lifesaving Association (JLA) to organize a Water Safety and Lifeguarding training course that is recognised throughout the world for our PE teachers and other elementary and secondary teachers to participate in. This is a fantastic opportunity for YIS to work with a local agency to train, gain knowledge and promote the importance of water safety.
From January until June, one of our main goals is to get all of our students to experience being in the swimming pool and this will be done through our PE program. All students will get an introduction to water safety and water familiarization. This will look different depending on the students’ age and experience. The curriculum is being designed in collaboration with the PE team and with the knowledge gained by our professional learning with the JLA and also with my experience in teaching the AUSTSWIM way of swimming and water safety.
In order to help answer any questions parents may have in regards to swimwear, pool usage, curriculum, swim teams, and water based activities, please feel free to read this Aquatics Program FAQ.
These are very exciting times for YIS and I’m proud to be able to help establish and create a culture of comfort, enjoyment and learning for all our students and staff in and around water through our Aquatics program.