The activity caters for anyone interested in scuba diving, from the novice to experienced divers. We provide training and qualifications to enable students to conduct dives themselves, as well as providing opportunities for taking part in School expeditions. The training is based around BSAC Ocean and Sports Diver packages, but PADI divers can cross-train as well. The packages consist of Theory, Pool and Open Water elements: Theory and Pool sections are conducted in School, while Open Water training is generally conducted at the National Diving Centre at Stoney Cove. There have been many successful overseas expeditions, and in addition qualified divers are encouraged to extend their experience by attending shorter UK expeditions; for example, day visits wreck-diving in Anglesey.
Dates and times
The courses are being offered to Fifth and Sixth Form as part of the Thursday afternoon activities programme, or for those who can’t attend these sessions (or simply want to brush-up on their skills) there is training on a Wednesday evening from 7.00 - 8.30 p.m. The Wednesday evenings BSAC Club is open to any students in full-time education, not just members of the immediate school community. If any family members are interested, please contact Rhodri Burke (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details and availability.
We base training around BSAC qualifications (http://www.bsac.com/). Already-qualified PADI divers can crossover into the BSAC system, while BSAC divers can take PADI courses, so the training systems are very flexible.
Training starts with the Ocean Diver course, where students are trained in the basics and once qualified may dive up to 20m deep under the supervision of a more experienced diver. Once a student has attained the Ocean Diver level, they may then go on to take the Sports Diver course which enables them to manage their own dives and teaches them how to dive safely beyond 20m.
Open Water courses
The open water courses generally last two days, returning to school at the end of each day. Equipment is supplied as part of the course costs, so we generally start with kit familiarisation in a swimming pool. Ocean Diver courses start with training dives in 6m depth and then on the second day we go a bit deeper : at Stoney Cove we often end up at the Viscount cockpit (see picture) or the Stanegarth (a small wreck). Sports Diver courses have the same familiarisation process but then quickly move on to more technical skills such as towing and releasing buoys, compass work, the use of distance lines, decompression and buddy-pair leading.