Educational Innovation: Nadeen School Swim Safe Programme


Education_BH: Innovation and Excellence celebrates the remarkable innovations implemented in Bahrain’s schools and universities. We learned about these innovations, the process, the challenges, and the lessons learned from some of the leading educational institutions in the Kingdom. Read more in our latest issue.

An initiative to impart basic swimming skills and raise water safety awareness among students.

We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Safer Community Partnership and Royal Lifesaving Bahrain. Addressing a significant gap in water safety education, the initiative focuses on the fact that 95% of children in government schools do not learn how to swim. Furthermore, at least 50% of adults and 47% of children in Bahrain do not possess essential swimming survival skills. In response, we had committed to serving our school community, the Dilmunia community, and the wider population through the launch of the Nadeen School Water Wise project. The project aims to provide crucial swimming skills and enhance water safety.

How was the innovation planned?

The Nadeen School Swim Safe Programme was planned in various steps. Commencing with staff training, safety assessments, and resource allocation, the programme laid a robust foundation. The curriculum was then tailored for students from Year 1 to 9, ensuring a comprehensive approach to water safety education. The inclusion of a Swimming Academy for all, EY Splash Days, and hosting Royal Lifesaving events, including training sessions, broadened the reach of the programme. We also conducted a Swimming Gala, and other swimming events in and for the community.

To guarantee the acquisition of basic swimming survival skills, we targeted specific groups, encompassing Nadeen School students and staff, key family members and care providers, Dilmunia residents, and the broader Bahraini community.

Taking the program to the next level involved expanding beyond traditional swimming settings. This included venturing into open water, collaborating with Royal Lifesaving Bahrain (RLSB) volunteers, integrating RLSB Water Safety Programmes, incorporating marine ecosystem and environmental studies, and promoting water sports.

What were the challenges faced during implementation?

The challenges faced during implementation included training our coaching team and ensuring they were well-prepared. Hiring qualified swimming instructors posed another challenge, requiring a meticulous recruitment process. Ongoing efforts were necessary to continually raise awareness about the crucial importance of water safety for all stakeholders involved.

 Give us a brief assessment of your results.

68 per cent of our students enrolled in our Swimming Academy for additional lessons outside of regular school hours. Notably, all primary students received swimming lessons in Term 1, achieving a 100 per cent participation rate and ensuring comprehensive water safety education. Early Years students also had a 100 per cent exposure to a ‘Splash Day’ in Term 1, with plans in place for similar events in the subsequent terms. Moreover, we have signed a commitment to a safer community partnership with Royal Lifesaving Bahrain.

In hindsight, what were the most valuable lessons learned while implementing the innovation? Could things have been done differently?

We could have spent more time promoting the facts above, which are very hard-hitting and surprising, to show the lack of people in Bahrain who do not know how to swim safely yet. A wider promotion and awareness campaign could have reached further before we launched our programme.

We are now communicating directly with all staff, parents, and students about the importance of swimming and water safety.

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