• Babies

    • Why don‘t you have definite levels for baby swimming like other institutions?

      All babies are unique and develop at different rates. We have a guideline for development milestones, but do not place any stress and pressure on babies to conform to a particular level at a particular age. Our babies are given an opportunity to enjoy being in the water and are encouraged to increase their skills at their own level of development without coercion.

      • Why can’t my baby swim in the afternoon with their older sibling?

        We do our best to offer convenient scheduling for busy parents with complicated schedules but are often unable to offer baby classes in the late afternoons. We have to allow these times for children who attend school and as it gets very busy, the noise and distraction are not conducive to baby swimming.

        • Why don‘t you provide private lessons for babies?

          One of the benefits of baby swimming lessons is social interaction – not only for babies, but also for new parents.

          • When is a good time to start baby swimming programmes?

            Babies can begin as early as 6 weeks, however, 3 or 4 months is the general age after all vaccinations, and when babies gain more head control.

            • My baby is 8 months old - have they already lost their dive reflex?

              No, it is never too late. In our opinion, babies never fully lose the dive reflex and ability to hold their breath underwater. Even as an adult, the ability is still innate – do you breathe when under water or hold your breath?

              • What are the benefits of baby swimming?

                The benefits are numerous but in brief, infants can perform movements in water that they cannot on land. Movement fosters healthy development physically, emotionally and mentally. Social sensory development is also stimulated naturally by exposure to water. Early introduction to water and swimming classes significantly aids the learning process.

                • Will my baby forget how to swim?

                  No, your baby will not forget. Everything experience that your baby has, as well as their emotions at that time, are recorded. It may just take a little while for these memories to re-establish themselves.

                • General

                  • How many pupils per class?

                    No more than 5 mothers and babies in a baby swim class
Up to 4 non-swimmers per class. Up to 6 swimmers per class.

                    • Who benefits from private lessons?

                      Anyone who is a beginner and nervous about being in or around water. Those wanting to perfect particular areas of their swimming, or who require preparation for a special event such as a gala or scuba diving test. Also, children who have a fear of water or require special attention as well as those with special needs.

                      • How long does it take to learn to swim?

                        This is entirely dependent on the pupil; however our step by step method generally results in shorter learning periods. Babies of a few months old will typically learn over a period of 2-3 years. By this time they should have full control of their breathing, and will most often be able to swim independently over a 10-meter distance.

                        • Why do some babies and children cry?

                          Introducing something new is often cause for concern in a baby or a small child’s life. Be it a new skill, new face or new environment. By crying, a baby is communicating. It is up to the parent and/or the teacher to read the situation and dispel any worries or discomfort the child/baby might have.

                          • How often do we need to take our child to a pool to practice?

                            Frequency and consistency have a huge effect on physical and mental development. The more practice (and play), the better.

                            • How long should we practice for?

                              Never overdo it. All swimmers, young or old may not always be in the mood to swim. Emphasis should be on play with a small amount of time dedicated to practicing what they learn in class. Always leave little swimmers wanting more.

                              • Can I feed my child before the lesson?

                                In the case of infants – breast milk is necessary. Please avoid feeing your toddlers and children less than 1 hour before their class.

                                • Why can’t we practice in another pool before coming to swim?

                                  It is not advisable as children, especially younger children/toddlers will get very tired, and will therefore be less receptive to learning.

                                  • My child can swim now. What comes next?

                                    Once your toddler is able to swim a 12-metre distance without stopping, in other words, swimming comfortably and happily with controlled breathing. The basics of the 4 stokes are introduced.

                                    • My child doesn’t want to wear a swimming cap - why does he have to?

                                      Caps are not only required to prevent hair falling into children’s eyes face, but are also necessary for reasons of hygiene. Hair clogs the pool water filtration system and makes it less effective. Mothers with long hair are also required to tie it up, or to wear a swimming cap if going under water.

                                      • Must we phone if we cannot attend a lesson?

                                        Notification if you are missing a class is always appreciated especially if your lesson is a 1:1 private lesson.

                                        • How long is the duration of the lesson?

                                          All classes are of 30 min duration apart from our Level 9 class which is 45 min and Level 10 (Junior Swim Squad) which is 1 hour long. Should you require more information on the format of a class, please do contact us.

                                          • Why was my lesson cancelled with such short notice?

                                            It is very rare but sometimes the swimming pool is fouled and we are forced to cancel lessons immediately. Our main priority is to clear the pool of bathers. A rapid decision is then made as to how many classes need to be cancelled in order for us to deal with the incident appropriately - any parents affected are then telephoned straight away. An incident such as this is totally unforeseen - we will do our best to contact you as quickly as possible. Make up classes are then arranged accordingly.

                                            • Why are we not allowed to take photos/videos?

                                              Video and Photography falls under the Protection of Children Act 1999 therefore this is not permitted under any circumstances.

                                              • Where can we park? Is there free parking space?

                                                Prebend Gardens has pay and display areas. Please note this a one way street. Additional parking can be found in the car park at the end of Welstead Way.

                                                • How early should I arrive before my first lesson?

                                                  Ideally you should arrive 10-15 minutes before your lesson giving you enough time to get ready for class without rushing. Please bring your child to the pool area a minute or so before your scheduled class. Please deliver your child directly to the teacher when they are ready, then wait downstairs.

                                                  • What must my baby wear for their lesson?

                                                    Appropriate swim wear must be worn for you and your baby. A swimming nappy with a fitted swimming costumer over, will ensure that you have the double layer required. This is mandatory for baby and toddler swimming.

                                                    • Should I report the child at the reception upon arrival?

                                                      Yes, please give our receptionist your child’s name so he/she can register them as ‘attended’. This is important for health and safety reasons and in the event of fire.

                                                      • Can I freeze my membership if I go on holiday?

                                                        Unfortunately we do not freeze memberships.

                                                        • Can we use the pool outside of our scheduled class time?

                                                          We pool has classes scheduled all day, every day. There is unfortunately no available time for ‘free’ swimming.

                                                        • Health/Medical

                                                          • Can I attend swimming when my child has had symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea?

                                                            Under no circumstances must anyone suffering from vomiting or diarrhoea attend swimming until they have been clear from all symptoms for at least 48 hours prior to their lesson. Confirmation to swim again from your doctor is also strongly advised.

                                                            • Can my child swim with a verruca/athlete’s foot?

                                                              Yes - provided a swimming sock is worn at all times in the ‘no shoes’ areas and around the changing and pool areas. Swimming socks can be purchased from reception.

                                                              • What about ear infections - can my child still swim?

                                                                We advise that pupils do not swim if they have an ear infection. Please consult your doctor before returning to swimming.

                                                                • Why should we not put oils or lotion on babies before entering the water?

                                                                  This makes handling of babies slippery and hazardous.

                                                                  • Why does my child often need to use to the toilet 5 minutes into their lesson?

                                                                    Hydrostatic pressure of water can stimulate the need to use the toilet, as does exercise and physical movement. It is advised that every pupil visit the toilet before their lesson. Blowing noses is also advisable - these are important for pool hygiene as well as the pupils comfort.

                                                                    • My child has grommets/valves - can they still swim?

                                                                      Yes - but only after taking advice from your GP or ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) Specialist.

                                                                      • Should I attend or stay away when my child is unwell with a cold?

                                                                        Attending swimming with a little sniffle because of teething or an allergy should be fine. It is however best to stay away if your child is unwell and not feeling themselves or has a fever. If you are unsure we advice that you check with your GP first.

                                                                        • My paediatrician has said that my child, who is an asthmatic, should swim - why?

                                                                          Swimming increases lung capacity. It also improves and strengthens exhalation, which is an important function that encourages the release of carbon dioxide and toxins from the body.

                                                                          • How long do we stay away if we’ve had chickenpox?

                                                                            Depending on the severity of the spots, typically children should be able to return to swimming after 2 weeks. We do however we do advise that you to check with your GP before returning to swimming. In the case of chickenpox, doctors notes are not required. Make up lessons will be arranged for any classes missed due to their illness.

                                                                            • Why do we need to shower before getting in the pool?

                                                                              Fibres from clothing and skin can affect water quality greatly. To ensure high standards of water quality and hygiene are maintained, all teachers, pupils and accompanying adults must shower before entering the pool.

                                                                              • What is UV light water treatment?

                                                                                Ultraviolet light (UV) is highly effective at inactivating bacteria and viruses and also for oxidising organic species in water. Ultraviolet disinfection consists of a physical, chemical-free process, attacking the vital DNA of the bacteria directly, including examples such as parasites, Cryptosporidium or Giardia, which are extremely resistant to chemical disinfectants such as chlorine. In addition, it reduces chloramines by a variety of mechanisms. UV technology has advanced to the point where it can easily enhance the disinfection and oxidation of all sorts of pools.

                                                                              • Membership

                                                                                • Why does my child need an assessment - he‘s a beginner/he can swim?

                                                                                  The assessment is a prerequisite to assess the personality and level of comfort of your child in the water. All aspects are taken into account when selecting a suitable class. If joining us from another swimming institution, please note that our levels are unique to us, and do not match those of other swimming institutions.

                                                                                  • How much and how long is the assessment?

                                                                                    15 Minutes and it is free of charge.

                                                                                    • Why do we have to give ‘4 consecutive swimming weeks’ written notice for cancellation?

                                                                                      4 consecutive swimming weeks written notice is necessary for us to process the relevant paperwork. Providing sufficient notice also allows us to refund your deposit in full.

                                                                                      • I don‘t want to pay by Direct Debit, can we still have lessons?

                                                                                        Only our private lessons are exempt from the Direct Debit system. All other lessons must be paid via Direct Debit.

                                                                                      • Method

                                                                                        • What is the Sevenus Swimming Method?

                                                                                          In brief, the difference with our way of teaching is that we observe our students individually and then facilitate in helping them to develop their own natural swimming ability. By not leading or forcing the pace in any obvious way, our pupils do not feel limited or constrained and results can be achieved faster. They intuitively release their skills and abilities without too much interference, only with guidance. The confidence derived from knowing that “I did it” builds and supports the learning process. Self confidence acquired in this way is immeasurable.

                                                                                          • Why do you use games/play instead of having a fully structured lesson?

                                                                                            Play is an important form of learning for everyone. Play and fun are essential for the development of a child’s positive attitude towards his or her world. Such experiences help children stay interested and provide an opportunity to practice skills and very importantly, to explore the water.

                                                                                            • Is it wrong to continue the lesson if my child is crying?

                                                                                              Crying is a form of communication and babies/children cry for many reasons. If appropriate, it is certainly worth trying to staying in the water and calm your baby/child. It’s best to find the reasons why they may be upset, so they can be solved and understood.

                                                                                              • Why do you recommend group lessons instead of one-on-one?

                                                                                                The average child is far more comfortable in a group environment than in a one-on-one environment. Attention is divided and the the pupils tend to relax more. Children are naturally competitive and therefore generally tend to do better. They are also encouraged to explore by watching others, and it’s a bit more fun.

                                                                                                • Why is my 5-year old in a group of 7-year olds?

                                                                                                  Your 5-year old will not compare age, but will try to do as well, if not better, than the older/bigger children. This is due to the average child’s naturally competitive nature. This motivates and stimulates desire to achieve equally or better. Our levels are not directed towards age, but mainly around skill and ability.

                                                                                                  • Why is swimming during winter so important?

                                                                                                    Swimming is a skill that needs constant practice and honing to perfect. This can only be done if the swimmer is water-fit. Stopping during the winter interrupts water-fitness.

                                                                                                    • Why is routine important? Can‘t we attend when it suits us?

                                                                                                      Routine and continuity aid the learning process. Missing lessons simply means it may be more difficult and take longer for your child to learn to swim.

                                                                                                      • My child is crying and only I know why. Should I go over and comfort him?

                                                                                                        If possible, it’s best to wait until the teacher calls for you. Our teachers have been trained to deal with situations like these and if they are given the opportunity to calm your child themselves, it helps to create a bond. This bond is invaluable when learning to swim.

                                                                                                        • Why is it best for parents to be outside the pool area during the lesson?

                                                                                                          Children require full concentration in any learning environment. Being fully focused on the teacher without distraction will help to produce successful results.

                                                                                                          • Why can’t we request a particular teacher?

                                                                                                            Our teachers are all trained in the Sevenus Swimming Method®. The scheduling of our teachers and pupils is finely tuned and therefore we are unable to guarantee a particular teacher for your child.

                                                                                                            • Why do we sometimes have a change of teacher?

                                                                                                              We try out best to maintain continuity of both teacher and classes however change in teachers due to illness for example, is unavoidable. We will always do our best to replace your teacher with a familiar face.

                                                                                                              • We have never used swimming aids before, why do you?

                                                                                                                Our method of teaching that we use has been proved highly successful over many years. It supports the natural desire and necessity for children to move about independently in the water as nature intended. To facilitate this, swimming aids are used for part of the lesson. When babies are given swimming aids, freedom of movement is encouraged and they immediately start learning a life skill. They learn to cope in the water on their own while we are no longer restraining but just at their side we ensure their safety and comfort. Once the baby or child discovers the art of self-propulsion, their confidence is assured. We use only specially selected swimming aids according to the pupils age, level of experience in water, and the physiology of the pupil.

                                                                                                              • Scheduling

                                                                                                                • Why are all the classes rescheduled each September?

                                                                                                                  This end of year reschedule is most necessary. Family schedules change when children start school and nursery, and this results in an abundance of requests to change of swimming times and days. In addition, as children all progress at differently, we take this opportunity to further streamline our pupils into more suitable classes.

                                                                                                                  • If I cancel lessons for the summer break, why can I not keep my place or book in advance for the next term?

                                                                                                                    Unfortunately if you cancel lessons we are unable to keep your place. Existing pupils who need to change times as well as siblings and children on the waiting list will take priority for placements. If you wish to return, a request to restart can be issued and we will do our best to find a suitable class for your child at that time. Another assessment may be necessary as their level may have changed since last attending.

                                                                                                                    • Why can’t we keep our baby swimming day and time indefinitely?

                                                                                                                      Whilst babies grow and develop, their sleep and feed patterns change. This in turn effects the class structure and the pupils ability and need to progress. As this occurs, lesson times naturally need to change. Your old class times are then re-allocated to allow entry for our younger babies. Likewise, older pupils are moving to later class times allowing space for the necessary progression of your little one.

                                                                                                                      • Why don’t you offer make up classes?

                                                                                                                        Make up classes effect the pupils progress and disrupt the structure (including the regular scheduled pupils) of the temporary class they are joining. We only schedule make up classes for lessons missed due to illness, providing a doctors note is issued.  The doctors note needs to clearly state that your child is unable to swim due to their illness, and for a given period of time.