I have been thinking about my last blog and started to formulate some ideas as to what quality might look like. What would a parent be advised to look for when starting the search for swimming lessons. Given that many parents can’t afford swimming lessons and then many opt out because they are not seeing value for money, there are some things that might be necessary to consider when looking for a swim school.
First there is the actual environment – just like a kindergarten or doctor’s surgery – we need to look at the surrounds in which the lessons are being conducted. Are they conducive to swimming; is there a good environment where the children are happy and safe? Does the swimming pool come up to health standards in terms of the chlorination of the pool. Does the school show how the levels are to be achieved so that it is possible to see what is being expected of the children for any given level. Are there safety barriers so that children will not fall into the pool while they are waiting? Is the environment warm for the children – both in terms of the temperature but also how it feels to the children?
Second are the swim lessons – what do these look like? Are the teachers encouraging and supportive of the children, do the children look like they are enjoying the lessons. How are the teachers going about giving instructions and encouragement? Are there good conversations between the teachers and children (and parents if they are also in the pool)? How much time are the children engaged in the lesson?
Third are the swim outcomes – are children able to be both safe/confident in the water and are also competent in the water. What outcomes are being expected of the children and the time frames for the children to achieve the outcomes? Are the teachers working with the children so that they can progress, learn new skills and acquire higher certification?
Fourth are the teachers – Are the teachers engaging with the students? Do the children look like they are enjoying being in the class? Is there rapport between the teachers, children and parents? Are there processes for the teachers to be accredited and grow in their learning about swimming so that they can be the best teachers for the children in their classes?
These are some of the questions that can be asked by the parents before they consider.