Children’s swimming lessons are available for children aged 5 and upwards (to 16 years), divided into 4 ability groups with one instructor for each ability group. These are Seahorses, Otters, Salmon and Dolphin. Progression through the levels depend on a number of factors and the teachers are aware of this and factor this in when assessing a childs progress or development.
Seahorses are those who have no ability in the water at all. Here they are taught confidence exercises, safety issues and basic introduction to strokes with the aim of achieving free movement through water without arm bands or floats and to get used to being completely submerged.
Children in the Otters group will start off able to swim on their front albeit with little technique, be confident with submerging and blowing bubbles and may not be able to swim on their back. Front crawl, breast stroke and swimming on their back are all taught in this class.
Salmon must be free swimming on their front and back and able to swim 7m continuously. Here complete strokes are taught and developed so that the child is able to swim comfortably and able to breathe while swimming. Other strokes can be introduced depending on the ability. Children are also taught to be comfortable out of their depth.
In Dolphins, children can tread water confidently and they need to be fairly good at Front crawl, back crawl and breast stroke. These strokes are refined and other skills are developed such as Butterfly, Side-stroke, diving and underwater swimming. Children who have achieved a good standard here are ready to progress to life saving, lane swimming or competitive swimming or simply be able to go and enjoy their new skill as they choose.
Swimming skills are good ground work for all the other water-based recreational activities and sports like kayaking, scuba diving, surfing and more.