Our swimming lessons are delivered in 10 week terms. To keep track of the current week within the term, and up to date with essential information, please read the notice board in reception for regular bulletins and developments.
Your Child’s Development
All children are individuals and progress at different rates. Try to be positive and encouraging to your child without putting them under pressure to perform. Their ability to learn can be affected by numerous factors such as body density, lung capacity, proportion of body fat, balance, co-ordination, concentration, confidence, age.
It is normal for children to be nervous at first. Often you will find that a younger brother or sister performs better as they are more familiar with their surroundings and not intimidated by a new and unknown experience.
Most children learn to swim on their back first. This stroke involves less co-ordination and there is no sensation of dropping. Many children will complete 15 metres ‘back paddle’ before swimming a stroke on their front. Progress often comes in spurts as their confidence grows.
Developing Water Confidence
Remember it is not unusual for children to cry or have a tantrum when first attending swimming lessons or following an uncomfortable water experience. This behaviour appeals to your parental protective instincts and is a form of emotional blackmail aimed at avoiding swimming. This situation can be overcome quite quickly and easily.
Our instructors provide plenty of reassurance and as soon as the child realises that crying does not stop them from attending the pool they usually settle down and begin to make progress. It is better “to be cruel to be kind” and deal with any problems during childhood as children are very resilient and the fear is soon forgotten. The reward of a lifetime of pleasure from a great leisure pursuit and peace of mind for safety conscious parents far outweighs a few tears at the start.
Swimming should be fun. Any opportunity to practice between lessons will help. Try to take your child swimming as often as possible. Do not try to teach them to swim, as this can be frustrating for you both. It is far better to play and enjoy quality time relaxing together, reaffirming the fun aspect of water and swimming.
We operate a learn to swim badge scheme which is an effective tool for motivating children, rewarding their efforts and providing incentives to succeed. Children receive a wall chart at the start of the programme, which is ideal for displaying the awards they achieve as they progress through the scheme. On completion of the programme, a rewards package is made available to the child to mark their success.
The awards are a means to an end not an end in themselves. We are promoting good swimmers not badge passes. While it is impossible to predict exactly, if we doubt a pupil’s ability to complete an award we usually inform a parent prior to taking the test. As confidence is the most import factor in swimming, nothing deflates confidence more than failure.
Our swim instructors know when to remove your child’s armbands so please do not encourage children to reduce their swimming aids without a prompt from the teacher. Occasionally we have children who can manage to swim “of a fashion” without aids but whom still wear bands. This is to develop good technique as bad habits are difficult to change once a child is swimming without swim aids. Please be patient and trust in the teacher’s ability. Our staff team is well trained and our reputation is based on perfecting strokes, we do not attempt to take shortcuts at the expense of technique.