Not all of our swimmers have joined from Baby Level 1 and we are very often asked about classes for new beginners over 18 months of age.
This is where the Aquatots unique Foundation programme comes in. We are very aware that children over 18 months and new to swimming may require a very different approach than a baby and may often take more persuasion being naturally more cautious of new things.
Therefore we have created a separate education programme split into 4 age relevant levels, suitable from 18 months to 6 years, with smaller classes allowing a more gentle and personalised approach. Teachers work individually with each child and parent to suit the varying degrees of water confidence.
Building trust between the child and Teacher is paramount and ensures each child receives a personalised introduction to swimming lessons. Once comfortable in this environment their Teacher will prepare them for joining the appropriate Aquatots core swimming level.
Like all Aquatots levels, the Foundation programme runs over a 9 week term. Throughout this nine weeks, all Foundation level swimmers are continually assessed to monitor their progress and help provide the perfect level of support and learning to prepare them for the core Aquatots programme. Some swimmers may need just one term of introduction to our skills within a foundation course however many will complete two terms of Foundation allowing more time for the Teacher to prepare them with key skills to assist in a fast track to join the core programme with their peers who may have been swimming since a much younger age.
Of course this programme isn’t just suitable for new beginners but is also a great reintroduction for any swimmers that may have had a very extended break from swimming lessons or perhaps lost confidence along the way and need that gentler approach to encourage them back into swimming.
Lola below is an example of just what Foundation can achieve.
Lola's Story supplied by Teacher Gaynor
"I first met Lola Lopes (pictured here) when she attended my Foundation class at Whyteleafe aged 2 years old. She had no previous experience of swimming lessons and wouldn't put her face in the water or blow bubbles and was quite anxious. We worked through our Foundation course for a couple of terms until she was wearing goggles, holding her breath, jumping off the side and best of all really enjoying her lessons.
At this point we moved her into our regular toddler classes and Lola thrived, her confidence soared and within a couple of terms she had swum 5 metres independently, on her own. At 3 and a half years old Lola swam 25 metres of the pool what an achievement! She has now joined my child level classes at Woldingham and is learning front crawl 'big rainbow arms', so I can't wait to see what else she will achieve."
The Foundation programme is separated into 4 age specific courses: