When considering kids swimming lessons for your child, you want to be sure they are entering classes at the right level.
Complete beginners in the pool need a comfortable and supportive environment in a class so that they don’t develop any fear in the water. Kids with water experience need to be sufficiently challenged, and be learning and developing new skills and endurance.
When it comes to determining your child’s level, Kingswim can allay any worries you may have. We’re adept at assessing childrens’ swimming capabilities (it’s what we do every day). Before you enrol in kids swimming lessons, we can chat about the most suitable level, and start from there. If we notice your child would benefit more from a different class, we won’t hesitate to recommend a change.
If you want to start planning some swimming lessons for your child and you need help determining what level they will be best most suited to, the following advice might help.
My child is completely unfamiliar with the swimming pool
If your child has barely or never been to the pool before, they’re considered a swimming novice. Regardless of age, they will benefit from a fresh introduction to swimming and water safety. We would recommend our Foundation Program for this.
The Foundation Program consists of three modules. The first is Baby Play, which are baby swimming lessons designed for babies between 12 weeks and 6 months. These classes are an easy introduction to the water and a great way for you to bond with your infant in a relaxed environment, while doing a healthy activity.
Baby Play takes place in a lovely warm pool, and Baby Whisperers are on hand to guide you in helping your baby in the water. These baby swimming lessons are very low pressure and everyone understands if you’re late etc.
The second module in the Foundation program is Parent & Child, which is designed for 6 month old babies through to 3 year old toddlers.
Again, parents join in the toddler swimming lessons and your little ones work on entering and exiting the pool confidently, with a goal to do it unassisted. They also learn to float on their front and back, kick and paddle on their own, and put their face in the water.
Teachers are there to assist in recognising your child’s development capabilities, and in knowing when to encourage them to extend their capabilities to move on to next levels.
My child has some water skills, but won’t swim alone yet
The Transition module is for young ones who have some level of comfort in the water and a few swimming skills, but still want a parent by their side.
The Transition module also suits older toddlers and children who have little to no experience in the water. For instance, if your child is too old for a Baby Play or a Parent & Child class, they can still participate in the Foundation Program by joining a Transition class. They just need to be tall enough to safely reach the bottom of the TPC (Transition from Parent and Child) area of the pool.
Any child at Transition level will receive an assessment of their current capabilities by a skilled teacher, and have the opportunity to stay in this module until they feel comfortable to move on to swimming without a parent. There’s no rush, and this may take some time for your child.
- By the end of the Transition module, your child will:
- have some balance and stability in the water
- be ok putting their face under
- be able to get in and out of the water safely, and without assistance
- be able to listen to the teacher and take turns
- be ok to learn without a parent in the water with them.
Once completing the transition module, your child can move to the Independent Program.
My child can confidently enter the water without me
If your child is comfortable playing in the water, and seems ready to move on to a more independent level of water exploration, they might be ready for the Independent Program at Kingswim.
To move to this level, they’ll need to have achieved the aforementioned Transition competencies, and meet the size requirements.
The Independent program includes 4 modules:
- K1– your child works on body position in the water, kicking, and building confidence.
- K2– further work on the above, with the challenge of completing 3 metres of front kick with a kickboard, floating on back with assistance, and front push gliding with face in the water.
- K3– your child tries the Rocket-Glide and Kick, Back Kick and Scull, and Front overarm using a board.
- K4– your child works on Freestyle breathing and body position, with Freestyle overarm action with correct breathing using a Kickboard, Back Push-Glide, and independent Backstroke.
With the Independent Program, a strong focus is on having fun and gaining water confidence. Your child will work on the building blocks of some swim strokes, but there’s little pressure, as generally speaking, if a child is under 4 years of age, it’s too early to learn formal swimming technique. So we focus on fun and getting used to being in the pool solo.
Note, whilst your child will be in the pool without you for the Independent Program, you are required to be poolside.
My child is ready to learn some swimming strokes
If your child is independent in the pool, and has some stability and breathing skills, it may be time to move on to some formal swim technique.
At Kingswim, we cover swimming strokes in our Competent Swim Program, which your child can enter once they’ve built their confidence in the water, and learned the basic skills covered in the Foundation and Independent programs at Kingswim (or equivalent program elsewhere).
During the Competent Swim Program, your child moves through four levels.
- K5– they work on their body position in the water and are introduced to Freestyle, Lateral kick and Backstroke.
- K6– they work towards swimming 16 metres Freestyle using bent arm recovery, 16 metres Backstroke with continuous arms, and on side breathing using Lateral kick and a board.
- K7– they solidify their knowledge of swimming strokes and ability to remain balanced and buoyant in the pool, working towards the goal of swimming 25 metres freestyle and backstroke.
- K8– they move on to swimming 50 metres Freestyle, and on Breaststroke and Front Dolphin Kick in a streamlined position.
My child can do most strokes, and can easily swim 50 metres
When your child has a higher level of swimming proficiency, you might question whether or not further swim lessons are still needed.
Whilst it’s possible for your child to improve their swimming skills on their own, completing further swimming lessons will give them a much greater advantage. Here’s why.
- Your child may have learned some swimming strokes, but may not have perfected those strokes (they may even have developed poor swim habits).
Having further lessons will advance their skills and ensure they’re swimming efficiently, with less likelihood of developing swim-related injuries due to poor form.
- More advanced swimming lessons enable your child to work on their endurance in the water. It’s one thing to be able to perform a swim stroke, but to do it over time, using correct positioning and breathing techniques, is another thing altogether.
If your child wants to compete in swim squads in future, or even just wants to enjoy swimming efficiently as a form of exercise, developing endurance over longer swims will serve them well.
- More advanced classes cover swim survival techniques, which may not be available to less confident swimmers. These experiences include a clothed swim, which is vital to ensuring your child understands how to handle themselves in a situation where they end up in the water unexpectedly.
Our Graduate program provides the perfect training ground for swim students who are at this confident level. Again, taken in 4 modules, the program moves your child through from confident swimmer, to a swimmer who can take care of themselves in the water with all the knowledge they need to continue to perfect their swimming skills well into the future, without requiring further lessons.
The modules are:
- K9- a focus on developing endurance, and water survival skills. By the end of the module, your child easily completes 200 metres Freestyle, Basic Butterfly, and Breaststroke with correct timing.
- K10- Adding to endurance training, your child will swim 400 metres Freestyle, do Butterfly stroke with correct timing, and experience a Survival clothes swim.
- K11- Technique across all strokes will be perfected. 1000 metres Freestyle will add to endurance skills. As your child graduates, they’ll be invited to join the Kingswim Platypus Squad.
- K12- Your child has reached their peak!
At K12 level, they don’t need to take further lessons. They can attend the annual Graduation ceremony to celebrate their swimming commitment over the years they’ve worked so hard (you’re invited too of course!). They also take part in the Kingswim Platypus squad (KPS), if they wish.
Chat to us
If you want further advice on what level of swim class best suits your child, contact us. We can do an assessment and match them to the right program.