My swimming lessons

> My lessons are about fun and acclimatising your child to water initially. The lessons aren’t pushy or forceful as I work with you and your child, at your pace and confidence levels. Swimming lessons are probably the first “formal” learning experience your child will have. The lessons are structured and repetitive to enable you and your child to practice your skills so you feel confident about progressing to the next level. However there is no strict criteria that your child has to reach, instead the lessons are tailored each week according to their needs in order to slowly build their independence and confidenct.

> Classes are paid for termly and need to be paid before the start of term. Typically this comes to £135 per term, but can varying depending on the number of weeks in each term. Click here for term dates. I accept cash, cheques or bank transfer. Payment by credit card is not available at this time.

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Puggles level is the Beginner level for children from 3 months old who are just starting their swimming journey. Puggles level is about being in the water with your child and enjoying that special time. You will learn the various holds, observing your child's reaction to being in the water and learning to read their non-verbal and verbal cues.

Puggles/Beginner classes start from 3 months old and are broken down into age ranges due to childhood developmental milestones.

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Pups classes are Intermediate classes. We build on the skills they previously learnt in Puggles classes and introduce progressive practices and skills as appropriate for their age. By the time they start in Pups they will probably be moving confidently through the water using some form of swimming aid, learning to hold on, kicking their legs and are comfortable being splashed. In following the Birthlight teaching method I am sensitive to their individual abilities and there is no strict criteria for them to follow.

It's much nicer for them to develop in their own time in a fun and flexible way.

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Platypus classes are Advanced level and therefore are only available to children who have already had several terms of swimming lessons. They don’t have to have done them with Puggles Swim School, but you need to provide evidence that they have had regular lessons for several terms. To be in Platypus classes they need to be really enjoying their lessons and happy in the pool, willingly and voluntarily submerging, have some safety awareness and be moving independently through the water - with or without swimming aids.

We can now really progress them with patience and encouragement.

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How does my Child Progress?

> Learning how to swim is a skill and is achieved by constant repetition and it takes time and perseverance and you should expect to be in Adult and Child Classes for at least 3 years if starting with an infant.

> Puggles classes use lots of songs, colourful toys and movement. The lessons are child-focussed and there is no pressure to perform, thus ensuring you and your child have a positive and fun experience. I want you to enjoy this swimming and bonding time with your child.

> The lessons will change within the age ranges. An eight week old baby is foetal, the head is heavy proportionally to their bodies and they have weaker neck muscles. As they grow they are able to hold their heads up, hands can grasp toys, they can grip the poolside and their bodies naturally lengthen and straighten. All the while they also develop their land-based ability to roll over, sit, crawl and then walk. The progressive classes take this into account at each level so they only work within their physical ability levels.

> In Pups classes, whilst still working within their age groups, their skills are further developed so that they can splash, chase toys, learn to balance and swim using noodles/kickboards.

> Throughout all classes, as your child's confidence and ability increases so does our Safety Awareness

What happens after Platypus?

> Once your child has reached the age of 3-4, depending on your child, it will be time to move to independent lessons. By now we would expect them to be able to follow instructions, float, submerge and swim a short distance by themselves.

I aim, where possible, dependant on your individual child’s ability, to move children up to independent classes with our sister swimming school Seahorses Swim School by 3-4 years old. Seahorse Swim School and Puggles Swim School work very closely together to ensure your child has a seamless transition up to independent swimming lessons without you in the water.

> Seahorses Swim School and Puggles Swim School share a common philosophy about swim teaching and where possible your child will initially start their lessons with me and a Seahorse instructor to help them transition and to feel comfortable without you.

Be Prepared!

> Please bring Swimming Nappies. Without exception all children must wear a double nappy system – either a reusable cotton nappy or disposable paper nappy as well as a Happy Nappy on top. Your child cannot enter the pool without this. Considerable disruption and cost is incurred if a “poo” escapes as the lesson has to end immediately and all subsequent lessons cancelled whilst the pool is closed for cleaning. Click here for information on nappies

> It’s wise to bring a hat or a hooded towel to cover your child’s wet hair after the lesson.

> You might want to bring a changing mat (or spare towel) as you will be changing your child on the floor.

> Don’t forget your swimming kit! To avoid embarrassment it’s best to avoid a strappy costume as your child could undo it accidently! It’s also preferable to have a well fitting costume especially with a child who is still breastfed as they might be hungry and attempt to feed during the lesson!

> You may like to bring goggles for your own use.

> A drink and/or snack for after the class for your child

> Don’t forget a spare swimming nappy and a normal one for after the lesson!

> For newborns you might like to use a baby wet suit to keep them warmer but it isn't essential since the pools are heated to at least 30 degrees Centigrade. If your child is very small or you feel that they need one, please feel free to bring them in a wet suit. They will still need to wear the double nappy system.