Water Lilies Swimming School Blog

Articles from July 2014

Be water safe this summer

Be water safe this summer

Water Safety sandTop tips on how to ensure that your child is water safe this summer

As we look forward to the summer holidays, its time for an essential reminder about how to stay safe in and around the water.

Alarmingly, drowning is the 3rd highest cause of death in young children. Here are some top water safety tips for you to help keep you and your children safe this summer: 

1. Spot the dangers

danger no swimmingWhen you arrive on holiday - or on your day trip - do a check of the area and look for dangers in and around the water.



  • What are the general conditions like in and out of the water?

  • Check the tides before you swim and make sure you won’t get cut off from the beach by the rising tides.

  • Are there rocks, piers, or break-waters that may affect paddling and bathing?

jet skiAre there any water sports taking place, such as water-skiing? If so, are these in zoned areas?



Safety at home is important too – ensure that paddling pools and buckets are emptied.


2. Go together

Remember! Don't swim alone.

Ensure children are supervised AT ALL TIMES and swim at life-guarded pools and beaches where possible.

3. Take safety advice

flagsTake notice of warning signs. If abroad, water safety signage can be different so find out what local warning flags and signs mean

Ross from the RNLI provides great tips on staying safe at the beachwatch this short clip

Make sure your child wears a life jacket on boating trips.

Your child could quickly and easily be blown out to sea on a large inflatable toy – try to discourage their use.

4. Learn how to help
Do not enter the water to resuce anyone.

LifeguardLearn how to get help in an emergency: If you see someone in difficulty, tell somebody, preferably a Lifeguard if there is one nearby, or go to the nearest telephone, dial 999, ask for the Police at inland water sites and the Coastguard at the beach.

You can find out about rescue methods here.

Teach your children the importance of water safety

STA stanleyAll children swimming with Water Lilies Swimming School are part way to being safe in the water as they are learning to swim and being taught water safety as part of their lessons. At WLSS we follow the STA’s Learn to Swim programe. However they need your help too – to teach them the importance of water safety.


STA has produced a brand new Water Safety Advice leaflet for new Mums and Dads.

The 8-page booklet contains advice on how parents can get their little one ready for the pool, choosing a swim class, and all manner of tips and advice, from what to wear and how to be prepared.

Download Leaflet Here

10 Top Tips for having a safe holiday aroad this summer - from the STA


Summer has officially arrived and many millions of British holidaymakers are preparing to depart to foreign shores in search of the elusive suntan, which means long days by the pool or on the beach. Inevitably many accidents occur when simple safety rules are ignored or forgotten in the heat of the noon-day sun. So we’ve compiled 10 simple water safety reminders for people intending to ‘chill’ by the pool or on the beach this summer. 

  1. Young children are attracted to water. On arrival, inspect the location for potential hazards – it is not uncommon for a drowning to occur while both parents have been unloading the car or unpacking upon arrival. Don’t take your eyes off them for even one second if they are near water. Parents / Guardians should take turns to keep their eye on children who are in the swimming pool even if they are in floatation devices and can stand up.

  2. Never accept the validity of pool depth markings – they are often wrong or misleading. Get someone to test the depth before allowing weak or non-swimmers near the pool.
  3. If the clarity of the pool is so poor that you can’t see the bottom, then stay out of the water.

  4. Drains and water inlets can trap fingers and hair. Point these out to children so that they understand the danger.

  5. If the children’s pool is adjacent to the main pool, weak and non-swimmers should be deterred from changing pools or using the dividing walls / features to walk on.

  6. Weak and non-swimmers should not go out of their depth – even when they are using armbands and other floatation devices.

  7. At the beach, never play or swim near rocks, or near boats or other crafts.

  8. On the continent a ‘Red for Danger’ or ‘Yellow for Caution’ and a ‘Green Safe to Swim’ flag system is used, but often a bit on the liberal side. It’s better to be safe and swim only when the ‘Green’ flag is showing.

  9. Always swim parallel to the shore rather than out to sea – and stay within your depth.

  10. Don’t take lilos and other inflatables into the water – they can blow you out to sea and they may ‘pop’.

Safety near water is everyone’s responsibility. Following the above advice will help you to enjoy a safe holiday.



Find out more about the Water Safety Code

Rospa logoFind out more about the Water Safey Code on the RoSPA website.

Why not test your knowledge together with RoSPA's  Water Wise Quiz and look through RoSPA's water safety information sheets.

RNLI shorethingThe RNLI has a new website for 7 - 14 year olds called Shorething! with games and activities, visit the website here




WLSS logoWork towards your Personal Survival badge with Water Lilies Swimming School. Find out more here



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Woolnough Trophy Winner Announced

Woolnough Trophy Winner Announced

TrophyCongratulations to all the children nominated for the Spring Term 2014 trophy 

Each term our instructors nominate two children for their enthusiasm and achievement throughout the term. The Woolnough Trophy was donated to Water Lilies Swimming School in 2007 and we have awarded the trophy to one of our swimmers every term since. Winning the Trophy is a great achievement as we teach over 1,000 children.


And the winner is...

We are delighted to announce the January–April 2014 term winner is Chloe Goodswen who swims with Water Lilies Swimming School in the Harleston pool. Congratulations Chloe! 

Rhian Earrye, Chloe's instructor said:

"I nominated Chloe for her commitment and dedication to her swimming. From week to week Chloe remembers all teaching points and is keen to work hard and improve her swimming, proving herself as a great listener. She comes to classes with a positive attitude, setting an example to other members of the swim school. We are currently working towards her first Angelfish badge, having passed her Personal Survival with flying colours. An overall joy to teach." 

The owner of Water Lilies Swimming School, Treacle Griffin, and Chloe’s instructor Rhian Earrye joined Hannah Cooke in presenting Chloe with her award during the school assembly on Friday. Chloe's Mum and Dad were there too - it was a great surprise! Picture coming soon...

Well done to all of the children who were nominated for the Woolnough Trophy - recognising their effort and achievement during the Spring 2014 term. We are delighted to announce the following children are runners up, congratulations to you all.

Spring Term 2014 Woolnough Trophy Runners Up

Edward King

Matthew Oakin

Leo Brooks

Ava McPhile

Amelie Brousson

Annabel Birtchnall

Oakley Palmer

Jennifer Allen

Leo Rowland

George Seaman

Holly Brice

Ella Devereux

Keeley Clarke

Iris Theobold

Charlie Barker

Louis Gardener

Jack Farrington

Violet Davies

James Newstead

Lucy Emsden

Ewan Staniforth.

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Meet our instructors: Chris Arnold and Sara Tovell

Meet our instructors

Every term we introduce you to two of our Water Lilies Swimming School instructors. This term we find out more about Chris Arnold and Sara Tovell. Read their profiles here.

A summary of each is also in our July 2014 Newletter – out now!

Christopher Arnold

Chris Arnold"I am 59 years old and a Father to three girls and a boy. I am also a Grandfather of two boys.

I was brought up in Chile, Trinadad and Singapore. I remember being taught swimming by a very large Australian called Johnnie Johnson. He as a teacher sowed the seed that has given me my love of swimming. It would be nice to be remembered for the same reason.

When I first qualified as an art teacher I taught at a special school in Guildford. They had a lovely swimming pool. As a staff we trained so that we could teach our own classes swimming. I loved it. I could see the children's confidence grow. Their progress was clear to see.  

I have been teaching with Water Lilies Swimming School for about two and a half years now. I retrained as a swim teacher when I found out that the Middle School I taught at was going to be closed. I began covering the odd lesson while I was still teaching and have continued since.

I have a passion for anything swim, cycle or run and have competed in many triathlons, aquathlons, duathlons, swim and run events. In 2012, I qualified for - and competed - the World Duathlon Championships in Nancy, France.

I am very lucky to have the time to swim every morning at Beccles Lido. I still can't help but look at the other swimmers technique. Do all swimming teachers do this? I think so."

Sara Tovell

Sarah Tovell”Ironically I was the child in school who didn’t particularly want to go to swimming lessons. While all the others lined up excitedly I would rather stay in the classroom and draw!

I grew up very close to the beach in an hotel in Eastbourne and went with my family to Spain often. My friend’s mum taught me to swim in the sea. So although I had learnt to swim and enjoyed the pool, I didn’t enjoy the large classes and structure of school swimming lessons. Nor did I particularly like getting my face wet.

I moved to Suffolk when I was 20. When my eldest daughter was born 21 years ago I could not wait to take her swimming and she loved it. I have three children and regularly took them to the local pool. By this time, my parents were living in France so summer holidays were spent there and in the pool every day. 

Six years ago I received a phone call from Treacle. We were friends already and she knew I was a competent swimmer and really enjoyed working with children. However it was a big surprise when she asked me if I fancied training as a swimming instructor. Immediately I agreed and started my training.

I am so lucky to have found a career that is so rewarding and I feel that my experience of swimming lessons as a child has made me a more sympathetic instructor. I love the fact that the Water Lilies Swimming School classes are small and building up a rapport with the children certainly contributes to their success. A lovely warm pool is an added benefit!

The water is a big part of my life now. I recently completed a 5K Swimathon for charity and still swim regularly with my grown up children. I even lifeguard alongside my son and he has recently qualified as an instructor so it has become a family affair.

I am looking forward to becoming a granny in a few years time and have already pledged to teach all my grandchildren to swim as it is such and important and pleasurable sport.”


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