PADI Open Water Course at Rye St. Antony School, Oxford | Easter 2018

I had a lovely weekend in Oxford and really enjoyed teaching the students and teachers of Rye St. Antony, a lovely private school based in Oxford. They asked us to complete the PADI open water referral for them so that when they went to Honduras on the summer school trip they had the ‘boring’ part of the PADI course already completed.

Saturday 14th April 2018

Mark, our instructor, started the course off by doing some basic theory in one of the classrooms. While he was doing that myself and Scuba Paul, the other instructor were busy placing all of the dive kit by the side of the schools’ outdoor heated pool.

After successfully completing the first knowledge reviews and quizzes the students came down to pool where we showed them how to set up their equipment. It wasn’t long before they were jumping in the pool and started the process of learning to dive. The pool was heated to a balmy 31 degrees and the sun shone for the entire duration of the confined water session.

With the shallow water skills successfully completed and the students familiar with their dive kit, we headed to the 3m deep end of the pool. We finished of the open water diver skills which include d removing and replacing the scuba equipment on the surface and underwater, learning how to become weightless, how to clear water out of the mask and what to do if you are irresponsible enough to run out of air.

After a good 4 hours in the pool we sat on the grass and enjoyed a well-earned packed lunch while soaking some more of the sun’s rays.

For the rest of the afternoon we watched another of the PADI videos and completed section 2 of the theory.

Looking at and hearing the students when they were being collected by their parents you could clearly tell that they had really enjoyed their day, found it interesting and very rewarding. They were clearly looking tired as they had been both mentally and physically challenged. The course continues tomorrow….

Sunday 15th April

A nice leisurely 9.30am start and we resumed our diving course in the classroom. All of the girls commented on how early they went to bed and how well they slept. We find that this is always the case when we teach at schools and parents are always very grateful to us and want to know the magic secret!

After successfully completing sections 3 and 4 and learning about the risks of decompression sickness and how to avoid it, we headed back to the outdoor pool to complete the 200m swim and 10 minute float/treading water. Keeping their heads above water for 10 minutes gave the students enough time to discuss the previous evenings good and bad acts of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’.

After some lunch and some dive videos on YouTube showing some of the worlds best dive sites we settled down for the final afternoon session. Having completed section 5 there was quiet in the room while they sat the 50 question multiple choice exam. I am very happy to report that all of them passed with flying colours!

We handed them their log books that contain their referral forms which they’ll need to complete their open water dives.

We find teaching at schools is the most rewarding course we do. Nothing beats looking at the face of youngsters when they take their first breaths underwater, seeing them overcome the challenges and watching them learn about how scuba diving opens up a whole new world for exploration and adventure. We would like to thank David Williams, Head of Science, at Rye St Antony for giving up his time to organise the dive course and allowing us to teach their students. We’d also like to thank all of the students who participated for listening so well and being fun, friendly and interested.

It was a great weekend and we look forward to returning again next year.

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