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We teach children from the age of 2¾, or straight from the Bubble Babies programme, in our group sessions.
There are no more than 6 children per group, and always plenty of lifeguard cover on the poolside, watching the swimming platforms.
Children are taught on an individual basis, working one at a time in level 1, and up to two at a time in level 2, always with the teacher in the water and with no more than 6 children per teacher.
In level 3 and 4 our instructors are at poolside, where they can watch, assess and guide your child to their higher levels of swimming ability.
All parents are encouraged to watch from the poolside café and to share in and reward their child's progress.
When a child comes along to their first swimming lesson at Making Waves, we will meet you at reception and give your child a card to give to the coordinator at poolside. This identifies your child as a new swimmer at Making Waves.
Please watch our walk round tour video before coming along, as this has lots of small instructions to help your first class go swimmingly.
It is important that you, as the adult, do not go onto poolside. There is a cafe with full viewing access and a coordinator on hand to help with any queries. We ask that children remain dry until they are in the pool, for two reasons. Children can get cold standing wet, no matter how warm the facility is, and they are more likely to fall if they have wet feet.
We will assist your child to get into the water and onto a platform, where they will be supervised by a lifeguard. When it is their turn to swim, we will ask them to step off the platform and will pick them up again.
From here, we will develop their swimming ability and confidence.
Some children find the first few weeks of learning to swim a little tricky, which can be difficult for some parents. It is really important to keep bringing your child along, as this will soon pass and they will become very confident and capable in the water.
We will develop their front and back crawl, often moving your child along platforms to a more competent group until they are able to swim 5 metres front crawl and 5 metres back crawl. Then we will move them to a level 2 class.
This is not dependant on age, but on swimming ability.
When a child moves to level 2, we will try to speak to you at the time, and the reception team will email you too.
At this level, we introduce and develop Front Crawl breathing practices, arm action in Back Crawl, Breaststroke and Butterfly action.
Children will work from the side of the pool nearest the cafe, and swim out to our white platforms at the lane rope. This allows children to stand in the water and wait to go again.
This level can take some time. We are developing motor programs and breathing practices that are difficult to learn, and require repetition and practice to get right. Just as any other sport takes time and patience. You’ll notice that the distance we expect children to swim at the start is about 2-3 metres further than in level 1. It is important to keep these distances short, as the skills required to swim distance in these take time to build up.
At the end of level 2, a child will be able to swim 15 metres of front and back crawl and demonstrate a good breaststroke arm and leg action, as well as a powerful butterfly kick.
Some advise that at the end of level 2, a child is considered a ‘safer swimmer’. This means that supervision can be less concentrated. It doesn’t remove the need for supervision though.
When a child moves to level 3, we will try to speak to you at the time, and the reception team will email you too.
At this level, we build up the swimming distance to swimming half the length to the whole length at a time.
The instructor is not in the water now, except for occasional demonstrations. This class takes place in the lane at the far side of the pool.
Children in this level are able to take part in other swimming activities and will do well when going to school swimming lessons. They can also go swimming with friends to the local pool, although they must be at least 8 years old to do this under local swimming pool rules.
At this stage, the stroke is further developed, as well as the stamina to keep going.
We develop breaststroke, introducing breaststroke breathing which allows children to take part in a wider range of swimming pursuits.
Butterfly arm action is also introduced at this level and it can look quite impressive!
By the end of level 3, a child will be confident swimming in a water park, taking part in water based activities and quite good all-round in the water. Their stroke will still need developing to be able to compete, and needs regular practice to keep skills current.
When a child moves to level 4, we will try to speak with you at the time and the reception team will email you too.
At this level, we develop all four strokes to a competitive standard, introducing starts and turns and readying a child for competitive swimming.
We will develop the swimmer’s stroke, particularly the recovery, active and propulsive phases to ensure that not only is the swimming beautiful to watch, they are proficient enough to think of competition.
Other water pursuits, such as rowing, sea kayaking, scuba courses, swimming out to sea, rafting on outdoor holidays with school trips are all now comfortable pursuits, however, care will always be required when assessing the safety, your swimmer will be what’s known as a ‘safe swimmer’ Accidents are always possible, so encourage your swimmer to take care and always swim with a ‘buddy’.
You will note that we are still advising caution. Water is always something to respect and take care around. A simple slip near water can be a disaster no matter the water experience, so it is important to remind children to take care.
By completing this stage, you have given your child the best possible chance to be able to stay safe.