Swimming can be lots of fun for all the family, and is a great way to exercise and keep fit. Our swimming facilities offer a variety of activities for all ages, including public swimming sessions, aqua aerobics classes, swimming lessons and a range of fun sessions for younger swimmers.
During our public swimming sessions we will normally have three lanes set aside for lane swimming (slow, medium and fast), and the remainder of the pool will be open for families and more casual swimmers. We also have a separate learner pool, open at varying times through the week, which provides a safe haven perfect for introducing babies and younger children to the water.
Both swimming pools are always attended by Lifeguards, who may on occasion ask swimmers to switch lanes to ensure the best efficiency for all swimmers. Please do not be offended if you are asked to move, as this is standard practice.
Our Swim School is one of the biggest in Cornwall, and our highly experienced Swimming Teachers provide the perfect platform for your child to learn confidence and competence in the water. Our group lessons run every day during term-time, with lessons available for children from just 3 months old!
In addition to group lessons we also offer:
At what age should my child learn to swim?
The earlier that a child experiences being in and around water the easier they will find it to develop their aquatic skills. The great thing about swimming is that you can introduce a baby to the water, and once they have developed their skills they can continue to access swimming for the rest of their life.
How long will it take for my child to learn to swim?
Like any new skill that we learn, different people take different amounts of time, and find some skills easier to learn than others. If your child experiences more time in the swimming pool environment outside of lessons there is a high probability that they will progress much quicker, as they will have additional opportunities to practice. In the early phase their confidence can also be greatly increased by being surrounded by friends and family in the water.
What does my child need to wear for swimming lessons?
Your child will need appropriate swimwear - for girls ideally a one piece costume is recommended; tank top swim costumes can be used but swimwear with tie ups should be avoided. For boys ideally trunks or tight fitting shorts. Board shorts can actually make it a lot harder for children to learn to swim as they increase the resistance in the water.
Should my child wear goggles?
Goggles are optional. Some children may prefer to wear goggles in the pool, and for other children, if they have prescription goggles or wear contacts, it is essential. If goggles are worn please ensure your child can safely put them on themselves.
Does my child need to wear a swimming cap?
It is not compulsory to wear a swim cap in Swim School lessons, but it can be beneficial and can improve your child's swimming experience. Long hair is heavy, and can make swimming more difficult, and, if your child is working on breathing and head rotation, it can make it very difficult for them to take a breath. We recommend that you braid long hair or pull the hair back into a ponytail if not wearing a swim cap.
What about equipment?
Carn Brea Swim School will provide any equipment required during the lessons such as buoyancy aids, toys and floats.
Can my child eat before swimming?
Just like any other exercise, you wouldn't want to feed your child a large meal just before getting into the water. It's fine to have a small snack before class, as long as they have had at least 20 minutes to digest it.
What if my child cries or is afraid?
It's very common for a child to cry or be afraid when starting something new. All teachers will be trained to deal with the most fearful of students, and there should always be someone on hand to assist if necessary. We recommend the use of simple distraction techniques; toys, songs and games to help calm and reassure them, and we will never dunk a new swimmer under the water. A child may cry for several weeks in a row, but be patient. Consistency and praise are key in your child's progress. If you need help getting your child into the pool, please ask our staff for assistance and be sure to let us know any information that will help us get to know your child better.
We would recommend that you take your child to the pool where they are having lessons prior to the lesson so that they are familiar with the environment and the more often you can take them to the pool before commencing lessons the easier they will find the transition into learning new skills. At worst case scenario where your child doesn’t seem to settle a credit for the remanding number of lessons will be credited to your child’s account to use in future term.
What should my child do to get ready for their session?
Before their session they should change into their swimwear using the appropriate changing facilities, go to the toilet, remove any jewellery and have a shower to rinse off any dirt on their body – remember, the swimming pool is to be enjoyed by many people and all users need to display high levels of personal hygiene whilst using the facility. Ideally children should be familiar with the environment, know where their lesson will be taking place, and also where the accompanying adult will be during the lesson for reassurance. Parents of children under the age of 8 years must remain in the building throughout the lessons. Children should only come onto poolside 5 minutes before the start of their class.
What if my child is unwell?
Use your best judgment, but if your child has flu-like symptoms such as a fever, vomiting or has stomach or digestion problems, you should not bring them to class. We are unable to offer refunds or credits for any lessons missed unless a medical note is provided. It is the parent’s responsibility to inform / update the centre of any medical conditions that the child may have which would affect the child’s performance whilst attending swimming lessons.
How is my child assessed?
Each stage in the Learn to Swim pathway has around ten goals. Your child will need to perform each of these goals three times so that the teacher is confident in their abilities. The teacher will record what your child has achieved each week.
How is my child rewarded?
The Learn to Swim Framework outcomes should be continually assessed as your child attends lessons. There should not be a final assessment, however to progress into the next level all outcomes need to be achieved competently and consistently. As your child progresses through the programme their achievements will be rewarded with different awards in the form of badges and certificates, which can be purchased at reception.
Private or group lessons?
Carn Brea Leisure Centre offers group lessons and individual one to one lessons. It is up to you which option you choose, but there will be differences in price. It will also depend on your child as to what method of delivery will enable them to thrive.
Group lessons offer children another opportunity to increase their social interaction with different children that they do not necessarily go to school with and to learn and develop from.
One to one lessons can be useful where there is a specific skill or outcome that they are finding difficult.
How many children will be in the group?
The recommendation for non-swimmers and beginners, young children, (normally of primary school age) or adults learning to swim is that a pupil: teacher ratio should not exceed 12:1. This is taken from the ASA Safe Supervision for Teaching and Coaching swimming document. Carn Brea Learn to swim ratios are:
Parent & Baby = 1:8
Toddlers = 2:6
Stage 1 = 2:8 (less confident swimmers) or 2:10 (more confident swimmers)
Stages 2 & 3 = 1:8
Stages 4/7 = 1:10
As you can see our rations are below recommendation, ensuring pupils get maximum potential out of our lessons.
Lessons can be adapted as necessary to help all children achieve their potential. If your child has specific needs please discuss them with the Activities Manager so the best decision can be made to meet your child’s needs.
Why does my child need to learn all four swimming strokes?
There are four recognised strokes used to move through the water. Different people naturally find different strokes easier to learn than others. It is necessary to teach and learn all four strokes to demonstrate competency and confidence in the water.
Why does my child need to be considered a safe swimmer?
Ensuring your child learns to swim at an early age not only provides endless health and social benefits, but could also one day save their life. Sadly, drowning is still the third most common form of accidental death in children, so learning to swim really is an essential life skill. The great thing about swimming is that children of any age, size or ability can take part - and it is more accessible to children with disabilities than most other sports.
Will the teacher be in the water or on the poolside?
The recommended teaching position is from the side of the pool, as this provides the best position to oversee the whole group in terms of safety and to provide appropriate feedback on the performance of each person in the group. In our Leaner Pool all classes that are without the need of a parent in the water will be provided with an assistant teacher who will be in the water at all times.
What if my child's class teacher is absent?
We will always try to provide a suitably qualified swimming teacher to cover classes but in the event of centre cancellations a lesson credit will automatically be applied please ensure you update the centre of any changes in contact details, especially email addresses.
Can I sit on poolside to watch my child swim?
For weeks one and two we do allow parents to sit on poolside whilst their child makes the transition into a new environment. We do ask that parents after this point use one of the viewing galleries for the desired pool. The Lifeguards on Duty may approach parents to ask them to use the designated viewing location.
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