Primary Aquatics Water Safety - PAWS

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Aquatics is a component part of the Physical Education Strand of the Primary School Curriculum. Irish Water Safety has developed a course that incorporates all aspects of the Aquatics Strand – called PAWS (Primary Aquatics Water Safety).

This programme was specially tailored for primary school pupils and is exclusive to schools. Schools now have the opportunity to be part of Irish Water Safety’s fastest growing programme. Teachers have the ability to certify their pupils with nationally recognised awards from our programme that is recommended by the Department of Education and Science.

Teachers can take their class through the first three awards without going near water - Land PAWS 1, 2 and 3. These awards consist of theory of water safety - safe swimming, safety on the farm, safety on open water etc. The awards become more detailed as the pupils progress (Land PAWS 2 and 3) - simulated rescues on land, e.g. throwing a rescue rope into a designated area

National PAWS Certificates are issued free of charge from Irish Water Safety, the statutory voluntary body established to promote water safety in Ireland.

Through PAWS pupils not only learn how to swim they also learn to understand and appreciate the water. They also have fun through the water-based games that are involved in the programme. After completing the PAWS Programme pupils will have the ability to swim, interact with others, and most importantly be responsible around water. As with normal Swimming Lessons children learn how to swim with PAWS but they gain so much more with this programme. Aspects covered in the PAWS Programme range from Water Safety Knowledge to Survival Skills to basic Rescue Skills.

The main aim of PAWS is to significantly reduce the number of our young people lost to drowning each year.

PAWS is the fastest growing Irish Water Safety Programme with almost 35,000 certificates being issued to pupils nationwide in this school year.

Anyone interested in becoming a PAWS Provider should contact your area representative:

Fiona Lynch, Cavan: [email protected]

Anne Ryan, Wexford: [email protected]

Matthew Campbell, Dublin: [email protected]


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