KIDS: Why small swim classes are so important

05 September 2017

As parents, we all know how hard it is to get a child to focus on a task – their attention span is small and they are distracted by the smallest thing! To learn something new, they need to be engaged in the activity and above all, it needs to be interesting and fun.

Therefore, to really master a skill as important as swimming, AND for them to enjoy it as they learn, individual attention and tailored teaching really matters.

Teaching for every level

Learning to swim is such an important life skill, yet kids all learn at different at different rates and have hugely different confidence levels, so unless your child fall in the mid-range of skills, their learning could be hindered in a larger class.

“When teaching large classes, you need to focus on the skill level of the majority of the pupils in the class – which comes at the expense of the children who are either not up to that skill level or who have mastered the skill,” explains Chris Shapland, from Shapland Swim School. “The children who are frightened of the water and how their body is behaving in the water get left behind and the more talented pupils are held back,” he adds.

“With small private classes of three, you are able to easily work three different skill levels in the one class so each pupil gets the individual attention they need to master the skill they are being challenged with.”

Every child is unique

No two children are the same. They have their own individual personalities, skill levels and their reaction to being in the water varies from child to child. “Being in a smaller class of three pupils ensures your child gets the individual attention they need to help them feel safer in the water for the rest of their lives,” Chris says. “Having three pupils has always has always been at the core of our Swim in Five program, a program that started in the late 1930s and something that is constantly being fine-tuned.”

The pool matters too!

Not all learning pools are equal, and having a pool that is custom designed for learn to swim can make all the difference. “The unique design of all our teaching pools, developed over seven decades of industry experience, makes it possible for our teachers to use more of the pool area to fulfil our goals,” Chris explains.

“The large shallow end allows the teacher to work all three students at once albeit at different levels if necessary, keeping kids engaged and on the move while working in a depth of water they feel confident in while they become familiar with being in the water.”

Alleviate boredom

Boredom for a child, as you know, normally results in some form of poor behaviour. “Small classes of three pupils and the purpose-built teaching pool, gives our teachers the tools to help avoid a child getting bored, such as while waiting for their turn or from being held back in their skill development because they are in a large class.”

Learning to swim and being confident in the water is one of the most important life skills we can give our kids, and it’s never too early to start!


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