30 Oct 2023

When Is The Right Time To Stop Swimming Lessons?

A swimmer should aim to confidently swim lengths of the pool with ease and competency, have knowledge about water safety and be able to make a rescue.

Currently, our concerns are towards the swimmers that have been taken out of their regular lessons too early in their journey to competency. In this post, we are going to explain the standards we expect to keep our swimmers as safe, but to also to aid our families with reasons why swimmers need to continue and to which level.

Lifesaving Opportunities

Not only is swimming a vital life skill, as it can save your child’s life. There are also many additional physical and mental benefits from being a confident swimmer.

  • Physically it will improve your child’s strength, cardiovascular endurance, and co-ordination
  • Mentally they will develop their confidence and perseverance
  • Socially they will meet and stick with individuals with similar interests

There are also plenty of other benefits to swimming, for example.

  • Route to exercise
  • Rehabilitation after a physical accident
  • Family / Friend social time

What Does The National Curriculum Say?

During our School Swimming Sessions, we work towards the National Curriculum which recommends the following by the end of Key Stage 2.

  • Swim competently, confidently, and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
  • Use a range of strokes effectively (for example, front crawl, backstroke, and breaststroke)
  • Perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations

However, this is just the start of their journey, and for the families we see on a regular basis outside of school hours, we expect a lot more. To help swimmers on their journey to competency, there are many different avenues to take with SafelySwim.

What Is Considered A Competent Swimmer?

Ultimately, completing Stage 5 is a good standard to aim for before discussing the option to stop learning to swim. An important part of Stage 5 focuses on being able to swim long distances, demonstrate the skills to make a rescue and attempting to swim whilst wearing clothes.

However, most swimmers want to continue and choose to move into more advance Stages 6/7 to grow their skills, lifesaving, and technique. Alternatively, they join White Cliffs Swimming Club, allowing them to compete and continue in the sport.

To keep kids motivated, we have created several awards that they can achieve throughout their journey:

Awards Week

Throughout the year, we will announce an Awards Week which focusses on achieving a certain award selected by the class instructor. We love these times of the year as they are used to encourage swimmers to push themselves and enables their family to celebrate new achievements with them.

Awards week is announced to everyone a few weeks prior. Keep an eye out on your emails and social media to find out when our next one is!

Why Stage 5?

During our Stage 5 and above classes, we teach important lifesaving skills such as:

  • Performing a rescue
  • Swimming with clothes on
  • Treading water for 60 seconds

Learning these basic lifesaving skills gives your child the best possible chance of surviving if the worst happens.

We also include Drowning Prevention Week in the events we take part in annually.

What If We Stop Too Soon?

If swimmers are taken out before they reach Stage 5, it is likely that their skills will deteriorate over time and will need further support later. As kids grow and develop, so does their balance, height and weight, which are all key parts of swimming. Sticking with weekly lessons throughout childhood increases the chance of their abilities remaining long term so that they can retain being a confident swimmer for life.

Final Positives

We at SafelySwim want to ensure that those who come to us are happy, proud, and confident with their child’s progress. Swimming is a lifelong activity which helps develop healthy lifestyle choices, not forgetting a very rewarding career!

The longer your child participates in swimming lessons, the more competent and safer they will be in, on and around water.