Children should wear a suitably fitted swimsuit or trunks. Baggy clothing is likely to hinder progression.
Goggles can be helpful to encourage your child to put their face in the water. There may be times in the lessons when the instructor will ask for goggles to be removed i.e. diving or jumping practices.
Long hair should be tied back and ideally a swimming cap should be worn. This has many benefits including allowing your child unrestricted movement to do skills such as breathing in frontcrawl.
If your child is attending lessons for the first time and has been used to wearing their own swimming aids; please bring these along as this may provide some comfort to them in the first few lessons. The swimming instructors will remove these when your child is ready. Otherwise, the facility will provide the swimming aids for each lesson.
We recommend bringing your child to the pool during a public session. This will help your child get used to the feelings, sounds and smells associated with the swimming pool. Have fun in the water and boost your child's confidence by practicing simple skills such as blowing bubbles, floating on their front and back and submerging in the water. Here is a guide to some fun games you can do together.
We advocate coming swimming once a week out with lesson times to practice. This can significantly increase the rate of progression. Look out for the Open Teaching Sessions at your local pool where there is a swimming instructor on poolside to give you advice.
The lessons are generally divided into three main parts. A warm up activity, a main activity focused on key aquatic skills and some structured fun at the end.
Games are frequently used to help develop confidence in the water, introduce the core aquatic skills and are a great way for children to learn.
There are six main levels in the Junior lesson programme and each level has a set of exit criteria which are used to assess your child's progress. Information on your child's progress will be issued three times a year - at the end of term two (December), term three (March/April) and term four (June/July). Assessments are only issued at the end of term one if your child is ready to progress to the next level. If you would like to know more about the skills you can practice with your child, speak to your local swimming coordinator.
Open teaching sessions are available for any age or ability at four of our swimming pools. Come along as a family to receive additional instruction in how to practice key swimming skills together.
Our swimming instructors are fully qualified and certified to National standards. We run a comprehensive programme of training to keep our swimming instructors up to date with the latest developments.
If you are interested in joining our team check out our training and jobs pages.
We do actively encourage parents to watch their children's swimming lessons to assist in practicing skills out with lesson times. The available spectating area does differ between swimming pools and you may not be able to sit directly beside your child's class.
We have found the best learning environment is one that is distraction free, safe and fun. Help us to create this by positively encouraging your child(ren) before / after the lesson and avoid creating distractions during the lesson time. Speak to the swimming coordinator on site if you have any questions.