Scuba diving on timetable for Hull school (VIDEO)
IT'S not an activity you see on the class timetable.
But for pupils at one of Hull's newest schools, scuba diving could soon become a permanent fixture.
Youngsters at Winifred Holtby School were given a flavour of the sport, which teachers hope will prove not just a fun activity, but will also teach them about physiology and other aspects of science as well as open their eyes to career prospects for the future.
The sessions, it is hoped, will also instil teamwork into pupils, as well as the importance of listening and staying safe.
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Steve Liddle, head at the Bransholme school, said: "It is about raising aspirations and giving them the chance to try something different, out of their comfort zone.
"But when you think about all the opportunities that are coming on board now in offshore wind energy and in that area, there is going to be opportunities to go into that business
"There will be organisations where they will need some form of underwater engineer or construction worker.
"We are trying to get them to understand that while it may be a lovely recreational opportunity, there are also other things to be had from doing it."
Six youngsters were given the chance to take part in an hour-long session with three instructors from Above And Below, which has dive centres in Hull and Pontefract.
The company offers a range of diving courses, from beginners' lessons to those for the more experienced.
Martin Ainsworth, of Above And Below, said: "As well as teaching them the basics of diving, this begins to instil in them life skills such as communication and teamwork.
"They are learning about physics and the human body at sixth form level and they are enjoying it, so they are a lot more keen to learn."
The youngsters were shown safety aspects of diving as well as how to use the equipment.
By the end of the session, the pupils were adept at swimming underwater and using the scuba equipment.
Amy Brown, 14, said: "It was really good. I really, really enjoyed it.
"It is harder than you think. When I went under the first time, I was screaming with my mask on.
"It is a great experience to be given in school. Not everyone can afford scuba diving and this allows people to try it.
"But it is not just the fun aspect. We learned about the science of it, as well as basic safety.
"It taught us what to do if we are ever in a dangerous situation, as well as working in a team."
Ellie Kerrins, 15, said: "It was good, but it was quite a challenge.
"I was panicking a bit when all the bubbles were coming out of the mask. "But it was really good. I'm glad we got to do it and I think it is something the school should do.
"It does not just teach you about the fun aspects, it teaches science, too."
Winifred Holtby is hoping to be able to put the course on for more of its pupils.
For those who like it, there will be the chance to take it further and go on to get a PADI certificate.
Mr Liddle said: "Another reason we want to do this is to provide this sort of opportunity for those who don't necessarily get on with traditional sporting subject areas – for example, those who don't like contact sports such as football or rugby, but want to do a sport for fitness and health."
Kieren Ramsden, 14, said: "I would recommend people give it a try if they have the opportunity.
"There is a science element to it, learning about the breathing equipment, but it also helps develop listening and team work skills."