Learn to Swim Welcome Pack

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Thank you for choosing Inspiring healthy lifestyles to provide your child’s swimming lessons.

Swimming is one of the most important life skills your child will learn and a great way to improve your child’s fitness.

Our Learn to Swim programme follows the Swim England Learn to Swim Framework. This is a national syllabus produced by Swim England to assist and support the delivery of swimming lessons.

In this welcome pack you should find all the information you need to ensure your child, and you as a parent, get the most out of this experience.

Rebecca Mazey

Rebecca Mazey, Development Manager Aquatics

Some children take to swimming like a proverbial duck to water. Others take a little longer. For more support we also offer intensive courses during the summer holidays or one-to-one lessons on request. Speak to your instructor for more information.

check your child’s progress online at swim.leisurecentres.org


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Lesson One All you need to know

Please try and arrive for your session approximately 10 -15 minutes before your start time to give you time to get your child ready for their session. Once ready, proceed onto poolside just before the session is about to start. Before the lesson help them get their bag ready!

Things to pack:

Swimming costume /tight fitting trunks

And remember...

Please remove all jewellery

Shampoo, shower gel and hair brush Towel

Long hair should be tied back or a swimming cap can be worn

Healthy snack and a drink for after the lesson

Don’t eat before a lesson but do shower and use the bathroom before getting into the water.

Top tips for parents of children going to swimming lessons for the first time.

• Keep it simple – don't force the issue. They are going to have fun and build confidence. Take them when they are ready.

• Most children love water – talk about how much fun they can have.

• Don't focus on the lesson part – they learn through having fun

• Talk about any siblings who have already learnt to swim.

• Don't worry if you can't swim – parents only watch, they don't have to get in the water.

How you can support your child during their lesson?

Watch them whilst they are in the water but please don’t shout instructions to them, they need to learn to listen to the teacher.

Please appreciate that being corrected by the teacher is part of their learning process

Enjoy watching them grow in confidence and make new friends.

Make a fuss when they achieve an award - especially their first. It’s a huge achievement for them!

check your child’s progress online at swim.leisurecentres.org


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Stage by Stage

We teach the Swim England Learn to Swim Framework which means as a parent, you can understand easily the progress made by your child in the pool.

Here's a guide to the various Swim England Learn to Swim stages.


Swimmers will develop basic movement skills, water confidence and safety awareness. Don't forget the swimmers will be able to use aids e.g arm bands and floats to help complete all outcomes at this stage.


Swimmers will focus on swimming all four strokes to the Swim England expected standards over a distance of 10m. Swimmers will also develop skills in sculling, treading water and complete rotation.


Swimmers will develop safe entries to the water including jumping in, floating practices, rotation skills and be able to travel over a distance of 5m in the water on their front and back without the use of aids.


Swimmers will focus on developing effective swimming skills including co-ordinated breathing for all four strokes, water safety and an understanding of how to prepare for exercise.


Swimmers will work towards being able to swim 10m on their front and back and will be able to fully submerge to pick up objects from the bottom of the pool. Rotation skills and water safety knowledge will also be developed.


By the end of this stage swimmers will have developed quality stroke techniques up to 100m, incorporating skills learnt and combining them to develop a linked routine and an obstacle course that combines a variety of skills accomplished throughout Stages 1-7


Swimmers will develop a better understanding of buoyancy through a range of skills, refining kicking techniques for all four strokes and swimming 10m on one stroke to a given standard as directed by Swim England.

STAGE 8-10

Once your child has mastered the basics which allow them to be competent and confident in the water there's plenty of reasons why they should keep on developing their swimming skills into adulthood. Why? Because it's a great way to keep fit, improve performance in other sports and even get a job.

check your child’s progress online at swim.leisurecentres.org


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Frequently Asked Questions


Should my child wear goggles?

Children are discouraged from wearing goggles initially until they develop water confidence and are able to submerge into water. Goggles can be worn at a later stage if required to assist and develop stroke technique

What should I do if my child is unable to attend the lessons due to sickness?

My child’s making little progress, what can I do?

Please contact the centre if your child is unwell due to illness. For sickness and diarrhoea your child will need to be 48 hours clear of illness before returning to lessons.

Some children become stuck on a particular skill and cannot fully complete the stage. When this happens teachers will have an idea of how to move things on Speak to your child’s teacher to see if there is anything you can do in family swimming time that will help. A more intensive course during the summer holidays or one-to-one lessons could be the answer

Can I watch the lesson?

How can I check my child’s progress?

Yes – all our sites have viewing areas.

Sign in online, anytime and check your child’s progress As soon as your child is booked in for lessons you’ll be able to register for HomePortal, which allows you to check your child’s progress online, instantly Registering is easy All you need is a valid email address and your child’s lifestyle card number. Simply visit our website or type in swim.leisurecentres.org and follow the directions on screen As part of the registration process the on screen prompt will ask for your lifestyle card number This is the number on the back of the card, below the barcode You can also discuss your child’s progress during our regular ‘meet the teacher’ sessions.

Do I need to go in the water with my child?

Should I speak to someone if I am not happy about my child’s swimming lesson progress?

There is no need for you to enter the water, there is a seating area close to poolside for you to view the swimming lessons.

Yes! Customer feedback is very important to us Talk to us immediately if you have any concerns.

check your child’s progress online at swim.leisurecentres.org


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Our Teachers

All our teachers are fully qualified to Level 2 and are professional, passionate and pupil focused. Our experienced, qualified teachers follow the Swim England framework and go through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for your peace of mind and the safety of your children.

Teachers also have Continual Professional Development (CPD) to keep them up to date with all the latest aquatic developments.

With the focus on fun and enjoyment, swimmers progress faster with greater confidence and with increased self-belief.

How to spot good swimming lessons

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Good swimming lessons are made up of five key elements:

1. The Swim England Learn to Swim Pathway – this ensures your children are receiving the best possible instruction with qualified teachers

2. Qualified knowledgeable teachers – ask about the Swim England qualifications your child’s teacher holds

3. The seven Learn to Swim stages – good swimming lessons will use the Swim England Learn to Swim Pathway seven stages. Each stage carefully takes your child from learner to competent swimmer by Key Stage 2.

4. Fun and games – a good swimming lesson will take a games-based approach. If it is not enjoyable your child is less likely to learn

5. Water skills and awareness – teachers should be aware of your child developing water skills such as buoyancy and moving around in the water They should also stress the need to understand swimming as fitness and a way to keep fit.

More information about good swimming lessons

As a parent you’ll want as much information as possible to ensure your swimming lessons provider is good As well as the five elements, here are a few more basic facts about good swimming lessons

1. Most lessons last around 30 minutes and children should be as active as possible throughout the lesson. All children should be having fun.

2. Swimming strokes should be introduced gradually once your child has acquired the basic skills. These should not be introduced immediately.

3. Under no circumstances should teachers force children into activities. Children have to understand why they are doing it to be able to consistently carry out the skill

check your child’s progress online at swim.leisurecentres.org


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Swimming Direct Debit - Frequently Asked Questions

Please read the following information carefully.


How long is the membership agreement for?

The agreement, under the name Debit Finance Collections is for a minimum of 3 months, along with an up-front pro-rata payment. Please ensure that you read the terms and conditions on the front and reverse of the service contract before you sign it

What happens after the 3 month period? Payments will continue to be taken from your bank account under the name of Debit Finance until the Leisure Centre receives written/email confirmation that you wish to cancel your Direct Debit. Please allow a month’s notice for cancellation

Are there any additional benefits to paying by Direct Debit? Yes. It’s hassle free and your child will be entitled to free swimming during casual/family swim times

How do I get free swimming for my child?

Once your Direct Debit has been set up you just need to bring your child’s lifestyle card with you when you want to come swimming

Are there any conditions to the free swimming pass?

Yes You must bring your child’s lifestyle card on each visit in order to get the free swimming If you fail to do so you will be charged full junior price (no exceptions). Lifestyle cards are non-transferable and should only be used by the named person All under 8’s must be accompanied by an adult

Do lessons take place during holiday periods?

We currently run a 50 week learn to swim programme. Lessons continue during all school and bank holidays, with the exception of a 2 week break over the Christmas period

What happens if the lessons are cancelled?

no alterations to your monthly payment will be made as this has been factored into the monthly fee. Your child will continue to access free casual swimming at any Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles pool If lessons are affected for a continuous period of more than 2 consecutive weeks you will be entitled to a pro-rata refund in respect of the period of unavailability.

What happens if my child is unable to attend swimming lessons due to injury or illness?

A pro-rata refund payment would be made for any injury or illness supported by a doctor’s note that prevents your child from attending lessons for a period longer than two weeks This must be requested at the beginning of your child’s illness/injury.

Can I change the day/time of my child’s lesson?

Yes, just contact reception and they will be able to advise you on availability. If a convenient day/time cannot be arranged immediately you will be placed on a priority waiting list and contacted as soon as a space becomes available

What happens if I miss a payment?

You will be informed by Debit Finance Collections (DFC) that a payment has been missed and a late payment fee will be issued. Failure to make payment after being notified will result in your child being removed from the programme. It’s your responsibility to ensure that contact details are kept up to date

How do I cancel my Direct Debit?

It’s essential that you inform the Leisure Centre prior to cancelling your Direct Debit at the bank, as this will incur charges from DFC. Cancellation requests must be put in writing to the Leisure Centre, providing one month notice.

check your child’s progress online at swim.leisurecentres.org

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