Swimming Lessons FAQ

What Age can my child start?

For our Adult and Child classes children start when they are 4 months old. Government Health experts now believe that it is now no longer necessary to wait until your child has had all their jags before going into the pool. Please always consult your health visitor if you are unsure. To start in Level 1 children must be at least 5 years old. Exact cut off dates are advertised in the relevant sections on our website.

How do I enrol for Lessons?

We run three terms per year:

  • Autumn term runs from August to November
  • Winter term runs from late November to March
  • Spring term runs from March to June

Information on how to apply for lessons can be found on the web page 'How to Book'. This will give full details on how and when to apply for all lessons. We do not hold any waiting lists for group lessons.

When I try to use the online Booking Form it won’t allow me to put in my child’s date of birth

Check you are using the correct form. If you are unable to put in your child’s date of birth it is likely that they are outwith the age groups for the class

I think my child can swim, do they need to start at level 1?

Not necessarily. We offer assessments for children who have had previous swimming experience prior to the start of a new term to ensure they are placed in a class appropriate to their ability. Please contact us to discuss.

What happens at the end of the term?

Adult and Child / Pre School

If your child is remaining in the same age group class they shall be automatically re-enrolled and you shall receive a ‘priority period’ in which to pay.  After this time, If you wish to move class within the same age group or are moving up an age group bookings will be taken. All bookings are done on our ‘Horizons’ system.

All other lessons:

Information on how to book is advised in an e-mail around 2 weeks prior to the term start.

If your child has successfully completed all the learning outcomes they can move on to the next level.

If they have not yet achieved all the skills, children will stay in the same level until they can demonstrate the skill consistently. Children must demonstrate to their teacher that they can achieve all skills consistently over the term and if they cannot do this, they will not move up. All our teachers are very experienced and will only move a child when it is the best interest of the swimmer to do so. It is very poor practice to move children up a level when they are not ready- better to wait until a child is competent before moving on to a more complex skill.

What if my Child achieves all the skills in a level within the term?

If a child has achieved all the learning outcomes within a term the teacher will give them more difficult drills from the following level allowing them to advance within their current class. This will allow children to possibly skip a level or ‘fast track’ through the programme

Why has my child not achieved some of the learning outcomes this term that they achieved last term?

Children can often achieve skills one term, but not the next, and so children must demonstrate the skills consistently and to the standards required by us for the next level. It would be poor practice to move a child up if they had not achieved the necessary skills in a lower level as this will affect their ability to work on more complicated tasks. As with any skill, ‘practice makes perfect’. We would always encourage you to visit the pool as often as you can between lessons to help with your child's swimming. Try thinking about a time you learned a new skill, a language or a musical instrument, remember that feeling of, 'I could do this last week, why can't I do it now?'

How long will it take my child to learn to swim?

How long is a bit of string...

On average it takes a child 3 years to go from non swimmer to one ready to move to a Club. However, we must remember that every child is an individual and learns at a different pace, some will move through the programme quickly, where others may take a little longer. Take your child to the pool as often as you can between lessons, keep encouraging them but above all, it must remain fun - this is the best way to learn!

My Child has completed all 8 levels what do they do now?

After Level 8, children are encouraged to join ‘AQUA ACTIVE’ this introduces them to the disciplines of mini polo, synchro, survival and lifesaving and diving practices. We also have an Introductory Synchro class.

Alternatively, we can advise you on how to join one of the many Clubs offering Swimming, Lifesaving, Synchronised Swimming or Water Polo.

I sometimes have problems at rebooking. Can the system be made simpler?

Unfortunately rebooking over 1600 children is time consuming and there are also limitations on spaces available, but we are always looking at ways to improve the system. We have refined the process based on the feedback we have received, now offering online bookings for our Adult and Child / Pre School lessons and for all other lessons,  electronic booking forms, e-mail notifications  and class confirmations. We also publish electronic booking forms on our website for new applicants rather than holding mailing lists. This paperless system has proved very popular.

We also give step by step instructions to support you through the booking process.

I have had problems getting through on the phone, why is this?

Telephones are very busy, especially at rebooking. However, we do aim to return every call as quickly as we can, but as we have teaching commitments there may be times when the phones are unmanned. If a message is left we aim to return the call the next day, but no longer than 5 working days. Please be aware that when we return your call it will show up on your phone screen as an '0300' number so please do not dismiss this as a marketing call. We always leave a message where possible if the call remains unanswered.

I know lessons fill quickly as it’s first come first served, should I bother sending in my application if I am late in applying?

YES! Absolutely! We may not be able to offer you your first choice of class but there may well be something available that gets you into a class. The majority of customers get their first choice of class.

Why are teachers not in the pool when teaching children?

The recommended position for teaching groups of children is from the poolside as this offers the best position to observe the group both in terms of safety and in order to give appropriate feedback to each child. Our Governing Bodies do not advocate the need for teachers in the water where teachers have the responsibility for more than 2 children. For Adult beginners it is common practice to have a teacher in the water initially.

There are too many children in the class, can't you make them smaller?

Our classes sizes are significantly smaller than the recommended guidelines. What is important tis the quality of the tasks being set and the feedback given to each individual. If classes had to be smaller the cost would reflect this, and we believe that our classes strike a balance and offer excellent value.

We do have a ‘Bespoke Class’ and these run during School holidays. These classes cater for between 1 and 4 children, ideal for a group of friends, whether adults or children. This is an ideal alternative to an Individual Lesson as the pool is booked solely for the group.

Why don't you do mid term reports so parents can help their children?

Children often will not have the necessary skill set to demonstrate the learning outcomes mid way through the term, it takes time to put the techniques into practice. If a child is struggling in a particular area or having specific difficulties then the teacher would contact you directly. Due to the number of pupils each teacher has it would not be practical to offer mid term assessments to all children. We offer an assessment report at the end of the term to give you an idea of what your child needs to practice and what they have achieved.

For FAQ’s relating to the Online booking process please visit Sports Development FAQs