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Possible Learning Activities

  • As confidence is usually threatened by unplanned submersion, use a range of ball throwing and catching activities so that students catch the ball and then submerge while holding onto the ball for security.
  • Extend this activity so that students jump either up or to the side to catch or tap the ball and submerge for longer periods.
  • In preparation for activities related to buoyancy, practise the following skills, encouraging relaxation at every stage.
  • Individual students submerge and:
    • blow bubbles onto the palm of their hand
    • resurface through a hoop
    • resurface on the other side of a rope or lane markers
    • practise retrieving objects from the bottom of the pool.
  • In pairs, students submerge, and they:
    • use a variety of rhythmic hand games to create a sequence to perform both above and below water (1B1).
  • Use recorded music to accompany all of the above sequences.
  • Students can explore a variety of rolling activities – sideways, front-to-back, and in circles, and making tubs.
  • Students can do jack-in-the-box jumps through a series of hoops lying on the surface of the water. A variation is to have a partner hold a hoop vertically while the other moves through it.
  • Extend the range of challenges as confidence increases, such as introducing more complex rotation skills, spending longer underwater, or travelling a greater distance underwater.
  • Encourage students to reflect on their feelings and attitudes through art work, drama activities, and expressive language.

Suggested Learning Outcomes 

Students will:

  • express their feelings about aquatic activities (2A4)
  • develop ways of moving confidently in and through the water (1B1)
  • submerge themselves completely and exhale underwater (1B1)
  • demonstrate orientation and confidence in the water (2B1).


(particularly taha tinana and taha wairua)

Discovering how positive experiences with water impact on feelings of self-worth and personal confidence.

Attitudes and Values

Developing positive and responsible attitudes to personal well-being by increasing confidence in physical skills.

Teachers’ Notes

  • These experiences help to develop each student’s ability to set and achieve realistic personal goals (self-management skills).
  • Confidence is an integral part of all aquatic activity. The key to success lies in presenting a series of activities that progress in small steps so that students retain their competence and confidence while being challenged to extend their range of skills.
  • Confidence under the water in a controlled situation prepares students for future aquatic activities.
  • Competencies to be observed include:
    • being able to exhale underwater
    • being able to stay underwater for longer periods of time, either sitting on the bottom or moving horizontally for increasing distances
    • opening the eyes underwater. While goggles and masks are acceptable, there should be some requirement to dispense with these on occasions.
  • Teachers should be aware of, and plan activities for, students who may have ear problems.
  • Teachers should be aware that loud music may mask sounds of students getting into trouble or calling for assistance.