Here at Splash Stars we are constantly thinking of ways to improve our programme and ways we can better support the children that swim with us and their parents.
This means working very closely with the STA and Birthlight who are pioneers in not just child swimming lessons but also the treatment of children during those lessons and how we all play a part in making that the best experience we can for all our swimmers.
Birthlight say “We believes that a lifelong love of water and enjoyment of swimming are best generated by a confident and loving handling of babies in water, by swimming with babies and by imparting gentle progressive methods towards unaided swimming, without ever resorting to forceful conditioning. The sooner a child discovers the freedom of buoyancy and underwater swimming, the more relaxed and independent he or she will be in water”
If you are an avid reader of our blogs, you may have read our post all about why we are a child led swim school and how we are revolutionary in the way we teach our Stars to swim. This starts from your very first lesson with us as a new born baby and continues right the way through our programme. We don’t just teach your child how to swim under the water and resurface themselves, we also teach them correct and effective strokes to swim on top of the water efficiently from their very first lesson.
This starts with us encouraging our pupils to splash and reach with their arms which then leads to their swimming arms and correct strokes. Teaching children correct strokes from a very early age is vitally important to their swimming journey and this enables them to gain independence and a respect for water from day one.
We make sure that submersions and underwater play are normalised from very early on which presents itself in many ways, one of the ways in which we do this is by encouraging you, the parents or carers, to go under the water to meet your little ones when they do their teacher to parent swims, this incorporates fun and play and they see from early on that this is a normal behaviour and a fun thing to do whilst in the pool. We believe this is a very important aspect in our programme and you may hear your teacher reminding you of this a little more and here is why;
Like anything, your children learn by imitating you and others around them. They pick up on behaviours, tone of voice and of course routine in every day activities very well and very quickly. (How quickly do they learn our signal?!) For your child to see you under the water when swimming back to you means your little one feels safe and secure seeing a familiar and loving face in a different environment. This builds on their confidence and they see this as a normal yet enjoyable thing to be doing.
Here is what the STA say about submersions “When submersions are carefully introduced by specially trained teachers, they can be beneficial towards creating the best foundations for swimming, as well as helping develop water confidence and water safety skills”
Our teachers also and obviously play a huge part in this for your children, they are highly trained to recognise when a child doesn’t want to go under water at that particular time and they are watching for ques about when a child is open or closed to learning. This means we never push a child to do something they seem reluctant to do, thus reinforcing our child led approach in teaching your child to swim. Being child led is in the heart of everything we do, our programme is structured around our ethos which is teaching in a nurturing, respectful and progressive environment and the way we teach stroke technique and how that develops through the programme is done gently and efficiently. We start by working on alignment, making sure your little Stars are swimming flat to the surface of the water to ensure an efficient swimmer, we also, as mentioned above, incorporate reaching arms which eventually leads to their swimming arms and using correct stroke techniques, we focus on blowing bubbles in the water this teachers children how to exhale in the water, which leads to breath control and relaxed aquatic breathing which in turn creates a child that is confident swimming with their face in the water, swimming head down is not only effective and leads into correct stroke technique it means that children taught via our revolutionary methods will ooze water confidence and go on to have a lifelong love and respect for the water. These techniques amongst other vital aspects of our programme creates an aligned, confident swimmer who not only swims efficiently and effectively they move through the water with ultimate style and grace!