Our style of lessons are designed for maximum development for their age and stage of development. In preschool, we recommend 25 minute lessons in a group setting where children are not having to move/focus the whole time, but it is balanced with time to explore how their bodies move in water for safety and technique, as well as time to assimilate the learning that they gain from observation as well.
Once a child is at a cognitive stage to be able to move and focus repetitively, we reduce the lesson time and number of students in the class. This maximises movement time and feedback can be provided that is specific to that child.
We have trialled 20 minute lessons for two children in the past, but the teachers and parents could see that their children were tired and lost concentration after 15 minutes, and their technique and performance actually went backwards due to muscle fatigue and the intense concentration it takes during the ages of 5-10 when they are learning the most complex aspect of the strokes. Our programme is designed for children to focus on 1 -2 aspects of their swimming within the 15 minutes. If they are kept busy with movement that is of high quality, balanced with appropriate feedback, they will make faster gains with their technique. Research from the Oxford University shows that short bursts of learning gives the brain time to embed the learning.
For ultimate improvement, it would be ideal if swimmers can have two swimming sessions per week. The second swim can be a ‘play’ swim as they will naturally explore how their bodies move and if they are playing, they are moving seamlessly from air to water without noticing. If they can do this, it will help that relationship with the water where learning to breathe in freestyle will be that much easier for them. A major barrier for children learning to swim is having the water so close to their mouth and once they become comfortable with this, their freestyle breathing will be so much more efficient.
We understand that some children need more time to assimilate their learning and less ‘active’ time. We are open to discussing the best lessons for your children, even if that means looking at other programmes. Our strength is the small ratios with a quieter environment and we are proud of the swimmers that leave here with more confidence, water safety skills and a high standard of technique.
All children go through periods of stagnation. Sometimes depending on other developmental areas/issues occurring for them in other areas of life (such as our 2-3 year old independence stage or boys about 5-7 years of age), they appear to not be making ‘gains’ in swimming. It’s not the time to take them out of lessons, it’s the time to help them learn as during the apparent ‘stagnation’ is where the neurons are actually processing the skill. At any time you have questions about your child’s progress, we are happy to talk about that. Please catch us poolside for immediate feedback, or send us an email to come and watch.