Surf’s up for St Brigid’s

The ocean proved the ultimate environment for Year 5 and 6 students at St Brigid’s Catholic Primary Marrickville to extend their water safety knowledge.

The group of 88 students enjoyed the first of two days of paddle boarding and body surfing at Manly Beach following an on-land orientation at school, where they discussed signs and symbols present at the beach, sun safety, and how to recognise rip tides.

They get the experience of a still bay and surf conditions.

– Michelle Saville

It is the fourth year that St Brigid’s students have taken part in the water safety program that links to the Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) curriculum.

Year 5 teacher Michelle Saville said the program catered for strong swimmers and those less familiar with the water.

“The children don’t get a lot of beach experience, and there are still some at Marrickville who have never swam in the ocean,” she said.

“We go to both the main beach at Manly and Shelley Beach so they get the experience of a still bay and the surf conditions.

“They also become aware of how to safely carry a board and are taught how to move their legs in the most efficient way to walk through water and how to be safe in the waves – by going under the wave, not trying to go against the wave.

“It has become part of the school culture and Stage 3 experience. These two days are the stuff that memories are made of.”

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