First and foremost, we are a Swim England registered swim school. Swim England is the UK's governing body for swimming and has formulated a framework to ensure that the best teaching practices are followed. All of our teachers are qualified to teach these practices. Without any doubt, it is the best way to teach children to swim and most schools will teach to this framework.
So, how do we teach and how do our lessons fit into Swim England's framework?
We looked long and hard at how Swim England's framework was constructed and how the average child would learn to swim. We also looked at how other schools have adopted and adapted it to suit their way of teaching. We all have slightly different ideas but we felt that in some areas the framework pulls up short and the individual badges don't fully reflect the progression that needs to be made in order to learn to swim effectively.
So, we adopted and adapted the framework as in its base form it is the best way to teach children to swim. We created our own courses so that once a child had completed the course they would have all the necessary skills to go to the next course with confidence. So, what we did was to create our own set of courses to incorporate all parts of Swim England's framework so the child still get's their badges but in a longer set of courses. Let us explain.
Swim England's framework consists of the "Duckling" award scheme for children of 3 - 5 years of age and the "FUNdamentals" award scheme for children who are starting slightly later, maybe 5 - 9 years old. We have combined these awards as we feel that the skills learned in the Duckling scheme are essential for all those learning to swim.
Most swim schools will teach individual badges in the early steps of learning to swim and this is how they lack in their teaching. The linking of base skills together is essential for progression in swimming, weather it be for a life skill, a hobby and fitness sport or something more serious.
How do our courses work and how do they correspond to the national framework?
So, each child will complete a set of skills before moving on to the next course. It really does make perfect sense and children will progress more quickly as they will be fully equipped to go to the next stage. It is impossible to say how long each child will be on each course as they are all so very different. There are so may factors to take into account such as natural ability, practice outside of school, the want to get into the water and many other factors besides.
This will give you a good idea of what is to be achieved at each stage.
CRAB A basic introduction to the environment and the emphasis is on learning through fun and games. Children are given the opportunity to discover under the strict supervision of a fully qualified instructor.
JELLYFISH Developing basic safety awareness, the ‘class’ scenario, basic movement skills and further water confidence skills. Developing safe entries to the water, including jumping in, basic floating, travel and unaided rotation to regain upright positions.
DOLPHIN Developing quality stroke technique up to 100 metres, incorporating skills learnt and combining them to develop a linked routine and complete successfully an obstacle course that combines a variety of skills accomplished throughout stages 1-7.
Unlike most other schools we do not hold assessment days. Each and every child is assessed continually, without them knowing. This takes the stress out of learning and leaves the children to have fun and learn at their own pace. We feel that assessment days are a mistake as some children do not perform well in these conditions and it can hold them back. It's more work for us but that's great, we love to be kept busy. It's also satisfying for us to see children enjoying their swimming and not continuously thinking about "exam days". When a child is ready to move up, they will be given their badges and they will move to the next course wherever it may be in the term subject to availability of course.
What badges do you issue?
We issue the official Swim England badges and certificates and we do not charge extra for these. If you are transferring from another school, please let us know which badges your child has so we can start them on the appropriate course. We will of course credit them with the work they have done with another school. If you have been at a school that runs a different badge scheme (such as STA) we can map these awards across to Swim England scheme that we run. If we are in any doubt as to a child's ability we will ask you to bring your child in for a free water based assessment. These take around 10 minutes and will give us a very good indication of skill level.
Because we run the national curriculum, any awards that we issue will be fully transportable to a different school or swimming club.
Finding out more.
As a parent, it is nice to know exactly how we teach and you will probably have a few questions. So, why not come and speak to us at your session and we will explain exactly where your child is in the framework and the progress that is being made. We will be more than happy to show you Swim England's Framework which is part of the UK's National Plan for Teaching Swimming (NPTS). Just come to reception and we will take it from there.
LICHFIELD DOLPHINS SWIM SCHOOL First class swim lessons in lichfield