What if you fell in the water with your clothes on in a controlled environment? It would be far less frightening than if it happened by accident and you weren’t surrounded by Swim Instructors and experts, right?

This is what happens during Survival Week at British Swim School. Survival Week is one week every quarter where we focus on teaching survival skills in the water, should something happen outside of our lessons.

Each Survival Week, we encourage our students to wear additional clothing on top of their swim suits so that they can become familiar with how to deal with a water emergency. Every student is included as they experience a potential life-threatening situation in a controlled setting.

After completing Survival Week training, our students will know:

  • How it feels to jump, roll and float in the water with their clothes on
  • How it feels without the goggles that they’re used to wearing
  • How to be better prepared for water activity outside of lessons

Initially, students are not used to the additional weight of their clothing, but they soon realize that they need to use the same skills that they have learned in order to float.

After learning how to float with clothing on, we introduce other safety skills. Strategies such as “throw don’t go,” the “monkey walk,” treading water and emergency 9-1-1 are taught, among others. Should our students ever fall into the water outside of a controlled situation, it won’t be their first time and, they will be better prepared.

All students, regardless of their ability, take part in this training. Even if students have participated in past Survival Weeks, there will be new skills to learn and more difficult survival skills to master.

While our students understand that this is a potentially life-saving learning experience, we also make it fun, which we know improves knowledge retention. We change what clothes to wear for this week, from pajamas to superhero outfits to jeans and t-shirts.

At British Swim School, we want our students’ reactions to a frightening water situation to be automatic. Reiterating and repeating movements and skills will make it natural for them. Being prepared is the most important skill that our students and parents can have.