Your baby starts their journey with Aquatots somewhere between 8 weeks and 18 months old and they begin at our Duckling level. We want you and your child to really enjoy your weekly lesson. We strive to make each session varied, interesting yet informative and most importantly productive! During the first term with us we are going to be teaching you and your baby 28 exercises – this is why our courses are not a “drop in”. We need the structure of the course especially in this important Duckling level, to teach your child the abilities they will need to continue on to learn the skills to save their own life and then later in swimming widths and then lengths of the pool. By the end of the Duckling course your baby will have done at least 5 submersions in one lesson. They will be using their instincts and Mammalian Dive Reflex under the water to build confidence levels and learning new skills above water that will help them with exercises in later levels as well as out of the water i.e ‘holding on’. The Duckling level is such an important starter point and we do encourage the same person to take baby swimming throughout this course as it is as much about the parent/guardian learning as the child!
Once your child had mastered the basic skills we move you up to our Cygnet level, this is when the levels stretch out to 2 terms each….there is just so much to learn and master before progressing on! During the next 12 terms and 6 levels (progression is dependent on individual skills) your child will learn skills that will not only help them in the swimming pool but also on ‘dry land’. We see Aquatot babies regularly grasping Visual Motor Skills and Story Recall earlier than their peers and before their expected milestones. In fact by the time your child goes to school it is likely that that they will have made amazing progression in Oral Expression, Mathematical Reasoning, Brief Reading and Understanding Directions – they may even be 20 months ahead of their classmates! You can read more about this is our ‘Swimming Really Does Enhance The Learning Of Young Children’ Blog post.
Once your child has reached our Swim School level they will already have to learn to swim 5 metres and will be aiming for 10 metres, using over arm crawl, back and breast strokes. Children at this level are diving off the side and doing somersaults in the water but most importantly by the end of this level they will have completed life-saving skills – not just saving their own lives but that of others. We are talking about 3,4 and 5 year olds dressed in their clothing rescuing their parents!
The National Curriculum states that by the end of Key Stage 2 (year 6) all children should be able to swim a minimum distance of 25 metres unaided. On average our 4 and 5 year old children are leaving Aquatots and moving onto primary school with at least a 10 metre badge under their belt, we do have the capability to continue on with our swimmers up to a Swim School Elite level where some school starters are leaving us with their ASA 25 metre Kellogg’s award so already 7 years ahead!
“We have just finished our last term with Aquatots, after almost 6 years. All the teachers we have had have been fantastic, and both my children are confident swimmers and enjoyed their lessons” Gail Hedley
“I like it when I lie on my back and sing sleeping bunnies” Finlee McCann (aged 2 year and 11 months)
“My daughter is now very water confident at just 10months old and it’s teaching her life skills. I recommend Aquatots to all of my friends” Sinead Somerville
“Amazed at how well my son does at 15 months and some of the things he’s learnt in the pool help him in ‘normal’ life, especially ‘hold on’ in the swings when he was tiny!! I can’t recommend the Aquatots lessons highly enough, it’s just fabulous seeing all the children progress so quickly and enjoy it so much” Susan Fulcher