18th February 2020
Guardian Balmain Cove Dives into First Swimming Lesson
“We are fortunate that Jump Swim School is a very short walk from our Centre, and I’d been wanting to organise to take the preschool children to swimming lessons there for quite a while,” says Jacinta, Centre Manager.
“Offering swimming lessons is a great outing for the children and gives some time back to the families on their weekends.”
“The local Jump coordinator was as enthusiastic about the lessons as we were, and organised special rates for the families if they signed up through our Centre, making it more cost effective and convenient for families to go through us.”
Despite Jump being a few short minutes away, there was plenty for the children to think about and do before, during and after their first lesson.
Children participated in tasks such as changing into their swimmers, preparing for a walk in the rain by putting on gumboots, shoes, and raincoats, walking in the rain while remembering road safety rules, participating in swimming lessons, and getting showered and changed at the pool.
“We are working with the children to build their independence, so rather than collecting all the children’s belongings for them and changing them, the Educators supported them in being responsible for their own belongings and dressing themselves,” explains Jacinta.
“During the lesson, the children were assessed to see what level they are at, began learning new skills in the water, such as how to float on their backs, blow bubbles in the water, how to get to the edge of the pool, and how to climb out of the pool if there are no stairs.”
Prior to the swimming lesson, the Educators established a meeting spot at Jump, which the children could return to when they were either not in the pool or unsure of where to go. Jacinta is happy to report that all of the children did really well, and there were no safety concerns during the excursion.
Organising the lessons took quite a lot of planning, as the Centre needed a minimum number of children to participate.
“Some of the parents had concerns about how their children would go during the lessons, particularly when it came to lack of experience or toilet training,” says Jacinta.
“Before we locked anything in, there was a lot of communication between myself and Jump so I could give as much background information to the families and answer any of their queries.”
“Once we had enough interested families, the team had to prepare a risk assessment, which was exceptionally detailed as the excursion was around water.”
“There was a lot of coordination and planning initially, but now that we’ve completed the first lesson and know what to expect it should be smooth sailing from here.”
Jacinta and the team will be continuing swimming lessons with Jump throughout 2020 on a term by term basis.