King's Hawford

27 January

Canal and River Trust Assembly

We are lucky to have received two visits from the Canal and River Trust so far this term. Last week Pre-Prep were taught about the importance of water safety and this week it was the turn of the Prep School pupils. We were delighted to welcome Eliza and Louise from the Canal and River Trust to our assembly in The Barn on Wednesday. Year 3 joined us in The Barn whilst the rest of the Prep School took part via Zoom.

Eliza and Louise kicked off the assembly by asking the children if they could name our local waterway; plenty of hands shot into the air in The Barn. Once the Droitwich Canal had been identified, the children discussed the differences between canals and rivers before considering what other types of water could be found nearby. Answers ranged from lakes, ponds and streams to taps, brooks and geysers!

The main purpose of the visit was to highlight the dangers of water. When asked if water was dangerous, all pupils agreed that water has the potential to be dangerous. For example, a bottle of fresh water wouldn’t be classed as dangerous but other types such as canals, rivers and the sea could certainly be classed as dangerous. It was noted that some water was unpredictable due to currents, depths and hazards that can’t always be seen.

This took us nicely into a slide show presentation. First, the children were asked to look at a picture on screen and identify the dangers in the picture. Pupils across the Prep School were keen to voice their opinions and point out the many hazards they could identify. As well as the more obvious ones, there were a few that required some more thought.

For the next part of the assembly Mrs Phillips selected four volunteers: Pippa, Arthur A, Thea and Louis. First, Arthur tried on a life-jacket to demonstrate the importance of having a well fitted buoyancy aid. The one Arthur tried on was an adult size and the children were able to see the hazards of having a life jacket that was too big.

The four volunteers then helped Eliza and Louise to show the audience what to do if someone were to fall into a body of water. Louis was the “victim”, who had dramatically slipped into the canal. The children learnt that the first thing to do if a friend fell into the canal would be to shout for help or call 999 and ask for Fire and Rescue. The children were reminded that it was important to be able to give the Fire and Rescue Service accurate location details. Once they had enlisted help, the children were told to encourage the person in the water to help themselves, either by trying to reach the edge, floating to keep their face out of the water or by putting their feet down where possible.

Eliza and Louise stressed the dangers of cold water shock and how even the strongest swimmers could struggle if they were to fall into a body of cold water. Once over the initial shock, if the person in the water is able to float with their face out of the water this will in turn bring their heart rate down and stop them gasping for air.

Pupils were also told about the dangers of trying to rescue the person in the water themselves. In canals in particular the water is often a lot lower than the edge, and the person in the water will be heavier due to waterlogged clothes. This could result in the rescuer also being pulled into the water.

At the end of the assembly Year 3 pupils were very proud to present the Canal and River Trust with a cheque for nearly £2,800. This money was raised through fundraising events last academic year, and it was brilliant for our pupils to hear first-hand about the fantastic work that the Trust does. Both our Pre-Prep and Prep School pupils are now armed with some super water safety tips, and we are very grateful to the Canal and River Trust for taking the time to come and talk to our pupils.