More than 60 school students jumped, splashed and even "drowned" at Thirroul pool and beach on Monday when learning about water safety.
The Merrylands High School students were part of an education program organised by Surf Life Saving NSW to teach young people, many of whom have never been to the beach, about how to be safe through activities and theory.
SLSNSW community events support officer Jacob White said the program was a mix of education and fun so the students felt comfortable at the beach and near water.
"Hopefully they will take the skills back home, tell their family about them and will be safe at the beach the next time they go," he said.
"We hope the program helps them build a familiarity with the beach."
The group did kickboard racing, collected tubes from the bottom of the pool, used flotation devices and saved their "drowning" friend using a rope.
On the beach the students learnt how to assess waves, float and dive to the bottom.
Merrylands High School teacher Andrew MacNamara as the school was from western Sydney, many students were from a refugee or asylum seeker background and had no experience in the pool or open ocean.
"Learning those vital skills through the program in Australia, especially coming into summer, was important for our school to organise," he said.
Students Dianne Qutami and Tara Mogueira said they learnt basic swimming skills, beach safety such as staying in-between the flags, how to dive properly, how to save people, what to do in real-life situations.
"It has been very cold but fun. It is a good program," Dianne said.
The program aims to minimise the risk-taking behaviour of young people including swimming outside patrol hours and influence sensible decision-making when they come to the beach.