On 28th March 2015, ten Year 8 pupils and three beaks started their journey to Pulau Tioman, off the east coast of Malaysia, with the aim of returning as PADI Open Water divers. We arrived in Tioman with no problems and settled into the Berjaya Hotel with ease before jumping in the pool and trying out the water slide. After a delicious BBQ buffet dinner we were tucked up in bed ready for a good night’s sleep ahead of our first day of diving.
The PADI Open Water course starts with theory, so we headed straight to the classroom for a morning of watching videos and completing quizzes. Once everyone had passed we made our way to Tioman Dive Centre. Needless to say, excitement levels were at an all time high when we arrived and saw all the equipment ready to be put together; they reached fever pitch levels when everyone was suited and booted in their kit and heading into the water for the first dive of the trip.
The next 2 days rushed by in a blur of confined water dives and underwater skills, punctuated with lots of laughter, as preparations for the boat dives and final exam were made. The day of the first boat dives was a very exciting one. Everyone awoke eager to get on the boats and head to our first ‘proper’ dive sites. Both dives that day were very special, not least because we were lucky enough to see turtles, sharks, barracuda as well as a plethora of brightly coloured tropical fish. Everyone came out of the water enthused and ready to tackle the final exam of the course the next day.
Nerve and excitement levels were high on the morning of our last two dives and the final exam. Another two fabulous dives with turtles, sharks, cuttlefish and more gave everyone the confidence they needed as they sat down to write their exam, which everyone passed with flying colours. This meant that all the pupils had succeeded in becoming PADI qualified divers!
As we made our way back to school on Friday 3rd April, we all had time to reflect on what a huge achievement this was; to come back from the trip with every single one of the ten 12 – 13 year old children as PADI qualified divers is something quite extraordinary, and an achievement which the pupils will be able to cherish.
Miss Martyn-Fisher, Miss Cox and Mr Webber