All of our lessons are pre-planned and structured to fit with each child's current level. Our lessons are grouped by ability rather than age to allow children to progress at their own pace.
If your child is over 3 years old but is not ready for independent lessons they can join one of our very popular and successful transition classes. Classes aim to give water confidence and help children to get ready for beginner lessons. Classes are more relaxed and allow the child a bit more freedom to explore the water with their familiar adult, all while learning the basic aquatic skills.
Beginners learn in deep water with the help of buoyancy aids. We find by teaching them in water where they cannot stand up, they quickly learn that they can move around in the pool safely by their own steam without the temptation of walking. They gain good body position for the best progression across the pool.
They do not fear the deeper water, always having a teacher and a helper close by should they need assistance.
Our Stanley reward charts and stickers keep us progressing each week towards the next badge with plenty of blowing, jumping, stars, games and toys along the way.
Once children have gained the basics and are happy to swim a little unaided they can progress to the next level, learning the foundations of front crawl, back stroke and breast stroke. Body position is all important at this level so there is plenty of push and gliding, swimming with our faces in, stars on our fronts and backs, sculling and good strong kicking going on.
All that blowing practice comes in handy here when we learn to jump in, tread water for our own safety and get ourselves back to the pool edge. You will find us rolling around too as we learn to turn over to catch our breath before continuing our swim across the pool. Once children can swim across on their fronts submerging their faces and swim across on their backs too, unaided, it's time to move on to the next level.
Now we're learning the full strokes; Front crawl, Back stroke, Breast stroke and Dolphin kick ready for butterfly when we reach the higher levels. Teachers are still in the water at Level 3, but swimming is becoming much more independent. The water is deep and we are working towards swimming across the pool and back in one go, initially using floats to help us. Stroke technique is coming now, breathing to the side on our front crawl, correct pull on our back stroke and getting those feet turned out on the breast stroke.
It's still early days, but by now we can happily jump in and tread water, swim front crawl with our arms recovering over the water and swim a recognisable breast stroke type kick and pull. Children will stay in this class untill they have completed Stanley 7 or can competently swim 10 metres of back stroke and a recognisable front crawl.
All lessons are pre-planned to fit in with the STA's progressive badge scheme. All the teachers follow the same lesson plans for each level which the teachers have put together as a team, so if your child's teacher is unwell one week, you can be assured that the planned lesson will still go ahead and your child will cover the full curriculum their next award requires.
Our swimming levels are set by our own swim school and go up to level 7 which progresses to our advanced 40 minute classes. At level 5 children are swimming down the 18 metre length of the pool still learning the finer points of the strokes. At level 6 they have moved onto circuits and starting to build stamina with correct stroke starts and turns.