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19-04-2012, 20:55   #1
Rosemary
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I'm thinking about taking my 4 year old for swimming lessons but would like some recommendations. I would like somewhere that does a lesson which is fun and friendly, not just some boot camp style experience being shouted at in freezy cold water. I have such bad memories of these kind of experiences as a child - not only did it not help me to learn to swim (I finally learnt on holiday floating around having fun in a nice warm pool with my family) but I think it really put me off swimming for a long time. At the same time, I am really keen for him to learn to swim as it is an important life skill. We take him regularly and he is very water confident but I'm a bit stuck about how to move him on to the next stage (ie out of him arm bands). Has anybody had any good experiences?
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20-04-2012, 14:57   #2
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depends where you are in Sheffield, we used Dronfield pool - but it wasnt entirely successful

the instruction was pretty straightforward and the toddler pool is relatively warm. The children who were ok in the water seemed to get on well. There is a viewing area at the pool so you can see how the lessons run before commiting

Alas, one of our children didnt have much water confidence and the lessons didnt really do much to improve things. After over 200 of lessons we gave up. Would be interested on others' ideas here too
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20-04-2012, 15:17   #3
Agent Orange
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They do lessons down Ponds Forge. Might be worth giving them a try.

Can you not do the next step yourself? I can't think of anyone better to teach their child than the parent(s). I wish I was taught that way instead of being taught in a group. I have promised myself that, when I have kids, I will teach them myself by getting in the water with them and giving them all the support they need.
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20-04-2012, 16:39   #4
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Eckington swimming pool was ace for me when I was small (although it's a decade and a half since I had lessons so maybe not the best recommendation ) I was very shy too so it must've been friendly or I wouldn't have coped with it. My dad had the right idea (for me anyway)-I had a lesson whilst he had a swim and then he hung around waiting for me to finish, where I could teach him (lol) what I'd learnt, and therefore get in more practice. I hope you find somewhere suitable soon
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20-04-2012, 16:47   #5
x-GiGgLeS-x
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My little lad goes to Hillsborough and I have to say he loves it and so do I the teacher is great and they play little games like what time is it Mr Wolf and stuff
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20-04-2012, 19:22   #6
KK123
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I took my baby for her first lesson with Ottertots at Mylnhurst School swimming pool. I felt very happy with the instructors and the way they run the lessons. Their website is http://www.ottertots.com/Home_Page.php
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20-04-2012, 19:34   #7
Rosemary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent Orange View Post
They do lessons down Ponds Forge. Might be worth giving them a try.

Can you not do the next step yourself? I can't think of anyone better to teach their child than the parent(s). I wish I was taught that way instead of being taught in a group. I have promised myself that, when I have kids, I will teach them myself by getting in the water with them and giving them all the support they need.
I like the idea of teaching him myself, and I certainly don't want us to stop going swimming together, lessons wouldn't be to replace family splashing about time, but a) I'm just not sure of the best methods for teaching him (any tips or book recommendations welcome) and b) he actually responds really well in a 'teacher' situation and will listen to instructions much better from other people. I just want to get the learning out the way so he can get on and have more fun with swimming.

I'll look at Hilsborough.. when is it on?? And I'll look at the Ottertots. Has anyone got any experience of Splish Splosh at St Paul's Mercure???
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21-04-2012, 20:39   #8
eeejay174
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ponds forge is absolutely dreadful, my daughter started her lessons there 6 weeks ago, she went once, there were too many children, the instructor was apalling, they were poorly taught, I could go on and on, my friend had started her daughter the same time, and shes a swimming instructor herself but just didnt want to teach her own daughter, and she was furious and disgusted at the quality of the lesson. We complained bitterly and got our money back.

Another friend had previously recommended upperthorpe swimming pool for 1-1 lessons as they only do lessons from age 5, the lessons were affordable at 18 for 40 minutes and prepared my daughter for the mainstream lessons which she started when she was 5. During the 1-1 lessons the instructor gets in the pool which I think is fab. Shes now in the mainstream lessons, and she loves it, she was left badly traumatised by ponds forge, but this instructor has really brought her on, shes wonderful, its a small pool only 25m long, and its the level 1 in a group of 10, one side, and the level 2 the other, warmer water and a lovely calm atmosphere. My 9 year old has been stuck at level 2 in ponds forge for the last 2 years, hes had 6 weeks of lessons in upperthorpe and is finally swimming without any floats at all, and hes managed to put his face in the water for 20 secs, hes so chuffed. Cant recommend upperthorpe highly enough.
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22-04-2012, 10:00   #9
Rosemary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eeejay174 View Post
ponds forge is absolutely dreadful, my daughter started her lessons there 6 weeks ago, she went once, there were too many children, the instructor was apalling, they were poorly taught, I could go on and on, my friend had started her daughter the same time, and shes a swimming instructor herself but just didnt want to teach her own daughter, and she was furious and disgusted at the quality of the lesson. We complained bitterly and got our money back.

Another friend had previously recommended upperthorpe swimming pool for 1-1 lessons as they only do lessons from age 5, the lessons were affordable at 18 for 40 minutes and prepared my daughter for the mainstream lessons which she started when she was 5. During the 1-1 lessons the instructor gets in the pool which I think is fab. Shes now in the mainstream lessons, and she loves it, she was left badly traumatised by ponds forge, but this instructor has really brought her on, shes wonderful, its a small pool only 25m long, and its the level 1 in a group of 10, one side, and the level 2 the other, warmer water and a lovely calm atmosphere. My 9 year old has been stuck at level 2 in ponds forge for the last 2 years, hes had 6 weeks of lessons in upperthorpe and is finally swimming without any floats at all, and hes managed to put his face in the water for 20 secs, hes so chuffed. Cant recommend upperthorpe highly enough.

My son went to trampolining at Ponds Forge and it was dreadful too. Absolutely no fun at all. It was that experience that made me want to be really careful about the swimming lessons we picked, particularly as swimming is potentially much more traumatic than trampolining. Upperthorpe sounds good but he is only 4.... I would be happy to pay for some one to one somewhere if I thought it was going to be really good.
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23-04-2012, 19:09   #10
Corbyn
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I don't know where in Sheffield you live so I don't know if this would be viable for you but my son goes to The Swin School in New Whittington Chesterfield. It is a small pool but the tuition is very good. The class is split into 2 with 6 children per instructor and the instructors are in the pool with the children. It is 75 for the first 10 week block (you get a welcome pack with this), then 65 (60 if you pay week eight) for the next ten week block. Had it recommended by lots of people.
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23-04-2012, 22:45   #11
sheff@
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Not sure on wether it's too far out for you, but I take my little boy to lessons held at Brunswick school woodhouse s13, David rents the pool there he runs his own swimming school buisness and has classes in other areas too but not sure on the locations. At the lesson he is in the pool with the children and you sit at the side of the pool at most it's 6 children I think per class and I pay 6 a lesson, very freindly and relaxed, my youngest has been going since he was three. I used him for my other son too then as he got really confident and aid free I moved him into Westfield school baths so he could progress in the deep end. (he hated Westfield and stopped going don't think it was the lessons think he'd just had enough).
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24-04-2012, 19:44   #12
Rosemary
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Originally Posted by sheff@ View Post
Not sure on wether it's too far out for you, but I take my little boy to lessons held at Brunswick school woodhouse s13, David rents the pool there he runs his own swimming school buisness and has classes in other areas too but not sure on the locations. At the lesson he is in the pool with the children and you sit at the side of the pool at most it's 6 children I think per class and I pay 6 a lesson, very freindly and relaxed, my youngest has been going since he was three. I used him for my other son too then as he got really confident and aid free I moved him into Westfield school baths so he could progress in the deep end. (he hated Westfield and stopped going don't think it was the lessons think he'd just had enough).
That sounds good, I'm really keen to go somewhere someone is in the water with him. Woodhouse is doable for us, we are in S3. Can you tell me how I get in touch with David? Thanks
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24-04-2012, 20:12   #13
sheff@
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he has a web page called 'DJR swim school' with all his details on there, just been tonight and my little one has just took his last armbands off yay! like you say its nice he's in the water with them and your right at the side as i find nothing worse than my kids in water especially the young ones, there has been moments at other baths ive used where ive seen my kid struggling and the instructor on the side oblivious and your behind glass in the spector area, horrible feeling. You dont really come across instructors in the pool anymore so i find this great for little ones and older ones too who are starting out.
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25-04-2012, 07:14   #14
kirstyp86
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My son started at Dronfield when he was 3, but once he started school in septembet, we swapped to eckington as its nearer to our home. I am not happy at all there so we are putting him into Myrtle springs academy as I have heard good things from there.
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25-04-2012, 08:11   #15
sazzle31
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You could also try Dave Lambert on 07748113999 he is a swimming teacher and also my father in law
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06-05-2012, 21:32   #16
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Hi,we use DJR at Brunswick and couldn't recomend it enough. I have 3 girls there who are doing well. I also have a disabled grandson who has lessons and he loves it. David is wonderful with them, professional, strict but fair. For the younger ones it's almost like playing as the kids learn with nursery rhymes. My youngest can put her head under water now which also makes hair washing easier in the bath. I used to get soaked while trying to wet her hair as she paniced. The kids don't realise that the songs and actions give them confidence in the water. He is in the water and if you want to get in too that's ok. My 2 older girls are in the gala training which involves timing and propper swimming strokes. It's tiring but keeps them fit. The pool is small and shallow at Brunswick, not overwhelming for the kids. Give them a ring, we aren't disappointed with them, very impressed.
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06-05-2012, 21:54   #17
AnnaSpanna73
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I don't know where in Sheffield you live so I don't know if this would be viable for you but my son goes to The Swin School in New Whittington Chesterfield. It is a small pool but the tuition is very good. The class is split into 2 with 6 children per instructor and the instructors are in the pool with the children. It is 75 for the first 10 week block (you get a welcome pack with this), then 65 (60 if you pay week eight) for the next ten week block. Had it recommended by lots of people.
We go here too, and have to say after Ponds Forge and Dronfield, these have been the best lessons so far. More expensive but so worth it. The staff are encouraging and very positive with the children and reward them frequently. The only downside, it's very hot in there!!! The best ones we've found so far, highly recommended.
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07-05-2012, 08:15   #18
Cyclone
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Originally Posted by eeejay174 View Post
ponds forge is absolutely dreadful, my daughter started her lessons there 6 weeks ago, she went once, there were too many children, the instructor was apalling, they were poorly taught, I could go on and on, my friend had started her daughter the same time, and shes a swimming instructor herself but just didnt want to teach her own daughter, and she was furious and disgusted at the quality of the lesson. We complained bitterly and got our money back.
I was talking to a friend last night and he was saying something similar about the lessons for his boy. There are about 15 kids in the group, and they have them swim individually across the pool, so most of the time is spent waiting at the edge...
He doesn't want to teach him himself because when kids are in the pool with their parents they just want to play, not learn.
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08-05-2012, 09:41   #19
lauren84
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My son has started at Aston Lodge School and he loves it.

It is 5 per 30 minute lesson and you pay in half term blocks. There are 2 instructors who get in the pool and there are 8/9 kids per session, so it isn't too long between their turns.

The pool is warm and it is small (10m x 5m - i think) and you can sit right at the pool side on a stool.

My son is 4 and was a bit dubious of whether he would get in without me, but he did and after 3 lessons is already confident of the water. He has jumped in and swam a length of the pool with a swim fin following the instructor down the pool
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09-05-2012, 12:41   #20
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My brother is at Brunswick as well and loves it. Hes getting a bit big for it now so hopefully will be moving him on to a "proper" pool at some point, but they've done an absolutely fabulous job of building up his confidence. At first he wouldn't even get his hair wet - and now when we take him swimming he tries to sit on the pool bottom! Cannot recommend enough.
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