Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Year 9 Rowing

My son has done a Learn to Row/Improver Summer Course. Does he still need to do the Swim and Capsize Drill?

Yes.  We will have a lot of boys at the Swim and Capsize drill, and the evening is a real introduction to The Windsor Boys' School and the Boat Club.  There will be a lot of TWBS staff participating.

There will be a BBQ and hot soup for those who have been in the river.  You will meet lots of senior boys who will be out in force to support the new boys.  It is a great evening.

If your son is already experienced with the swim test he will be able to lead the way and use that experience to give confidence to other new boys.  It is all part of being at TWBS.  Don't miss it!

My son has not completed a Learn to Row Course. Can he still take part?

Yes he can - while the courses do give them a small start, we have many boys each year start from scratch in September. After a few weeks they will catch up. Those who have completed the courses will be leading the way for a few weeks to help develop those who have not.

When is the Year 9 Swim & capsize Drill evening and where do they go?

The Swim & Capsize Drill evening is always on the very first Friday of term which in September 2023 is on Friday 8th September. Boys will be spoken to in assemblies through the week, and in registration. 

After school at 15:05 they need to walk to the Boathouse, which is located next to Windsor Leisure Centre. They will get changed at the Stovell Pavilion which is opposite the Leisure Centre carpark. They will leave their belongings in there (security in place), and walk to the boathouse which is right next to the river alongside the leisure centre, and in the same building as the Windosr Canoe Club and Windsor Sea Cadets.

Activities will start roughly 15:45 once everyone is changed and by the river.

What does he need to bring to the Swim and capsize Drill evening?

All participants should bring with them

Can Parents/Supporters/guardians come to watch the Swim & capsize Drill evening?

Yes and it is encouraged. The evening has grown into a fantastic event for new boys and supporters. Senior Staff, other staff, senior boys and more will be down to watch. Please allow your sons plenty of space though to be fully invovled. Supporters are politely requested to stand behind the taped off areas to ensure we can operate efficiently. Please do cheers them ALL on and support them

Is it safe to swim in the River Thames & is the event supervised?

The event is highly supervised by an abundance of staff and senior boys, inlcuding being in the river with year 9. There is extensive risk assessment in place for the event, and participants safety is of top priority at all times.

Numbers are controlled in to the river so as to ensure a high level of supervision. The reason for doing it in the Thames as it provides a much more realistic experience of what it is like to fall into the river, which can happen when rowing, particularly in a single. It is important that all particpants are fully trained on good procedure in the event of falling in.

The river can be cold, depending on recent weather, so it is important to bring plenty of additional clothjing for after.

SHOWERING after being the river is important and there are showers available at the boathouse and in the pavilion. All particpants MUST shower after being in the river.

Water Bourne Illnesses

As with any outdoor body of water, there is always the risk of water bourne illnesses, but with good practise this is greatly minimised. 


Mrs Warrior, Lead First Aider TWBS will be in attendance on the evening and located at the bench to the left of the boathouse as you look at it.

Where shall spectators park?

Please park at the leisure centre car park, observing the local parking regulations 

When will they be finished?

Depending on numbers and where they are in the register. Once they have completed the Swim and capsize drills they need to ensure they have been signed off. At this stage they can get changed, warm and dry, and have a free cup of soup. Items are then available from the BBQ at £3 per item cash or card. they are then free to leave. Normally all particpants are finished before 18:00.

My son is a bit unsure.  He might try it later - is this possible?

The advice is to get stuck in straight away.  It is normal for boys to be nervous or anxious.  The best way is to get involved right away and not miss out.

My son plays lots of other sports or music, can he still row?

Yes, he can. TWBS is about taking the opportunity.  Lots of boys row and do other sports, and indeed other activities such as music.  However, does take some organising!

Welfare & Safeguarding - What procedures are in place?

All TWBS safeguarding protocols and procedures are inplace. Any concerns should be reported to the Mark Wilkinson, Director of Rowing, Mr Paul, Designated safeguarding Lead TWBS/WBSBC welfare officer, or the Head Teacher.

Safeguarding & Security of the Boathouse and Stovell Pavilion is also important. Parents/Supporters are politely requsted not to go into the changing rooms at eiother facility.

When will he actually start rowing?

The swim & capsize drills evening is always the first Friday of the September/Autumn Term.  Rowing will commence the following Monday. Look out for sign-up forms!

See the year 9 termly plan here - CLICK HERE

If you have any other questions please contact