Fundamental Water Safety - How to Check Whether Students are Competent

To check whether a student is competent in water safety, ask them to choose two sets of five of the 21 skills to perform in sequence.

Each set must include at least one of the three ‘starred’ skills

They should be able to perform the five skills in continuous sequence, preferably in open water.

Assessment suggestions

  • You could give students situations so they can apply their critical thinking and decision-making skills to choose and perform the most suitable skill combinations. (The two sets must be different combinations of skills)
  • For example, say ‘boat capsize’. The student could decide to (1) tread water to control panic, (2) perform a vertical rotation to find the boat, (3) move themselves 50m towards the boat, (4) do a surface dive, move underwater to get under a wave, and (5) climb onto the boat (safe exit)

Some more information

A student would be assessed as having achieved Water Skills for Life when they can perform two sequences of their own choice.

Each set must show a different combination of skills and include at least one of the ‘starred’ skills (for example, treading water for at least three minutes or moving non-stop through the water for 50 metres or three minutes).

Top tip 

Children must demonstrate critical thinking skills so they need to choose the two sequences to perform themselves.

Develop a series of ‘scenario cards’ such as ‘a boat capsizes or someone is caught in a rip’, and let the students work out individually or in small groups which sequence of skills to use and demonstrate.


View 'Water Skills for Life' Skill Sets