Quality or Quantity?

Is the number of children in a lesson the most important issue, or is the quality of the teacher more important?

Quality or Quantity? The perennial question.

Should you get your child on the waiting list for the lessons at the local pool as early as possible and then once they have a place keep going regardless until you are happy that they can swim to the level you want them to?

Should you start parent and baby lessons from 6 weeks old?

Would they do better with one-to-one lessons?

The answer to all those questions is maybe, possibly.

The most important thing is that the quality of the lessons is such that the children are engaged and swimming . Yes it’s that obvious, given that most beginner lessons are about 30 minutes, the amount of down time a child has in each lesson is highly significant. If they are spending a lot of time hanging onto the side of the pool waiting for their turn or chatting and playing with the child next to them then this obviously impacts their learning.

Children need to be engaged and swimming if they are to learn, observe how long your child is actively engaged with the teacher and actually swimming.

The lesson needs to be happy and the children need to want to be there and engage with the teacher.

Unhappy children do not only not engage or learn, they distract other children in the class. How does the teacher/swim school deal with this issue? Do they have a no crying policy? or does the teacher have to try and teach while comforting a distressed child?

Does the teacher praise the learners for good work BUT also be proactive in addressing areas of need

Is there variety in the lesson? Children need predictability in terms of expectations of behaviour but they also need some variety so that different skills are practised and they are kept interested in their lessons.

Teachers need to be engaged with their pupils, they should know their names and make them feel part of the lessons. (Does the teacher know anything about ‘Jodie’….that she has a sister? or hates chocolate? or goes swimming regularly with granddad?) These minor details make a lot of difference when it comes to the child trusting the adult and feeling valued.

The teacher should also have clear goals this assists not only the teacher and children but also the parents in knowing in understanding the progression being aimed for.