about nursery swimming? and wwyd?

(64 Posts)
WandOfElderNeverProsper Fri 06-Sep-13 00:08:00

I'm doubting myself as I'm not sure if there's something I'm missing here...

DD has been given a place at a school nursery. Good school, but out Of our catchment so we chose their nursery to improve her chances of getting in to the school.

The school has a swimming pool, and they take the nursery children in once a week for lessons. I asked the teacher how it works, and she said that there is an instructor, at the side of the pool with one or two teachers (I'm going to assume lifeguard trained) at the side, then two teachers in the pool with the kids.

I asked how many kids are in the pool at a time and she said 13?

Am I right in thinking a ratio of 2:13 in an adult-waist high swimming pool is nuts??? How is one teacher supposed to hang on to 6/7 kids by herself, never mind instruct them in any way!

DP seems to think I'm worrying over nothing, so I wanted to canvas some opinion and also ask wwyd? I'm very tempted to say she can't participate in the lessons or at least only if I can come and watch them? (I'm lifeguard qualified if they wanted a volunteer). Or is there something I'm missing here?

DD is just turned 3 if that makes a difference - the youngest in the class.

Booboostoo Fri 06-Sep-13 07:21:20

I don't think you are over-reacting at all - far too many young children for the adults to properly supervise. And it's very easy for one adult's attention to be focused on the child who is scared of the water, or the child who refuses to sit in the floating thingey. They should have a parent with every child IMO.

ArabellaBeaumaris Fri 06-Sep-13 07:25:55

My DD's first swimming lessons were a group of about 12 3-4 year olds with one teacher out of the pool. Flotation devices on. Didn't bother me but they could stand up. Are you sure they can't stand up?

ArabellaBeaumaris Fri 06-Sep-13 07:26:59

Just re read your OP. attending a nursery has no bearing on a reception place!

SHarri13 Fri 06-Sep-13 07:28:04

My 3 year old has swimming lessons and they have a 1:4 ratio for 3-4 year olds. Once they start reception they're in on their own!

I wouldn't have an issue with what you describe if they are qualified swim instructors?

Sounds fine to me.

Attendance at a nursery school has no bearing in school admissions though so prepare to have to send her somewhere else next year.

SHarri13 Fri 06-Sep-13 07:35:45

Just thought I'd make my pst clearer, there's a class of 15 3-4 year olds and four swim instructors, three in the pool and one on the side. The pool is shallow enough for them to stand apart from the very end where the in pool teachers swish them across or they swim if they're able to. They all wear swim discs.

I'm in awe of the school taking that many pre school aged children swimming, the logistics must be very difficult. It's hard enough with one wet child and a toddler. I suspect your talking private here OP? as cost alone for one child would be him so times that by 13!

RedHelenB Fri 06-Sep-13 07:46:33

YABU - council pool run lessons 12 children under 4 to one swimming teacher (stood at the side) & yes they all had armbands/flotation devices. DS when he started could hardly touch the bottom, don't think depth is the issue.

RedHelenB Fri 06-Sep-13 07:47:45

Actually I tell a lie, it is possible some may have been 5 but most weren't.

Mutley77 Fri 06-Sep-13 07:54:20

Sounds fine to me. My kids have gone for swimming lessons since they were 3-3.5. Ratio is one teacher to about six children - with either a lifeguard or a water helper as back up.

Swimming teachers know how to manage the risk. When they were out of their depth the kids all sat on the side and took their turn so the teacher was effectively only supervising one at a time. Obvs she had a very close eye on the others too to ensure that they weren't in danger (they were also watched by the back up person)

You are probalby worried as your DD is only 3 - she will be the very youngest there - remember nursery is for age 3 and 4 - most of them will be sensible enough to manage this and follow those kind of instructions. The point of lessons is also to learn water safety so this will become easier as the year progresses.

3 and 4 year olds are definitely not toddlers - I would not agree this being safe for toddlers (eg 2 year olds) but is probably why you feel anxious as your child is only just 3 and therefore at the youngest age this would be an appropriate risk.

Thumbwitch Fri 06-Sep-13 07:59:01

That would bother me loads.
DS1 has swimming lessons in a local pool, the water is not above their head level, and there is a max ratio of 4:1 children per teacher.

YANBU. I would ask if I could volunteer to help out or something, maybe - I wouldn't want my child to miss out but I don't like that ratio at all.

Mollywashup Fri 06-Sep-13 08:05:24

my niece is a swimming teacher she only has four three year olds at a time and is in the pool with them these are private lessons plus two other swim teachers in the pool doing other lessons and a lifeguard on the side i am also lifeguard qualified the teachers on the poolside are only there to watch and not to rescue and some (not all) prefer to chat i would be very wary

bruffin Fri 06-Sep-13 08:19:03

Sounds fine to me as well. I think there was 1 to 8 in the 3 & 4 classes at our council pool. Teacher is in the pool with them.

thegreylady Fri 06-Sep-13 08:28:47

YANBU but I think that if they have been doing this for a while they are unlikely to have continued if any child had been hurt or regularly severely distressed. I would go and watch a lesson without your child.

tiggytape Fri 06-Sep-13 08:33:33

we chose their nursery to improve her chances of getting in to the school.

I don't know a lot about swimming but know a bit about school admissions and, in the vast majority of cases, attendance at the nursery gives no priority for a reception place. Even when the two are on the same site with a shared playground and even when you can demonstrate the child is settled.

You presumably need to apply for her reception place by January 2014. Please ask the school for their admissions criteria and your explore local school options to see which ones you are likely to be able to get into.

There's no point only listing impossible schools - they definitely aren't obliged to give you your first or even any of the choices you list if you don't qualify. By all means list the one your at as your first choice but list some back-ups too as it is unlikely attendance at the nursery is going to help you.

flowery Fri 06-Sep-13 08:34:40

Go and watch a lesson so you can see the set up and how it's managed. If you're not happy, pull her out or make sure you attend each time if that's an option for you.

And yes, attendance at the nursery v unlikely to have any bearing on reception admission.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 06-Sep-13 08:36:39

I'm surprised children can't stand

Most training pools are shallow enough for 3yr to stand

But often lesson when over 3 are 8/10kids and adult teacher on edge

Maybe volunteer to help so can see for yourself

Cakebaker35 Fri 06-Sep-13 09:22:51

Why not ask to go along to a swimming session and observe? You can then see how it works /put your mind at rest, or if you still have concerns then you can raise them with the full knowledge of the situation.

DeWe Fri 06-Sep-13 09:45:20

DD1 did lessons with 10 children to 1 adult at that age. She could sit on the steps in the shallow end, but nowhere near touch the floor even half way down the pool.
She was very nervous at first, but it did work.

And actually when I watched, I noticed that the children who were the shallow end often just walked across the pool, whereas those at the deeper end (done randomly and changed each week) would be trying to swim.

TopOfTheMorning1 Fri 06-Sep-13 16:42:55

Hello I'm a swimming teacher and take a class of six (occasionally seven) three yr olds at one time with a lifeguard supervising the pool. In terms of getting great teaching it's not ideal as I only take two at a time for each exercise in case they need support but in terms of safety its ok. The pool is 1.2 m deep so children cant stand but for the first few weeks they all had shark fins and noodles. As i get to know the group that changes but in general I prefer deep water teaching as it encourages the children to work out how the water supports them and gets then swimming faster. They sit on the wall or on the steps between swims so an extra person on poolside to keep an eye on them sounds perfect! But if your worried speak to the teachers and put your mind at rest.

arethereanyleftatall Fri 06-Sep-13 16:59:24

I might be wrong and I haven't read the full thread but I think you have all misunderstood. I think by floats they don't mean the large squares that older kids ride on, but rather individual floats per child. Ie the ones that go round their tummies and arm bands. So they'll all float and 5 adults can easily watch if anyone flips over !

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Fri 06-Sep-13 17:00:12

Nursery attendance is a criteria for an admissions at dd1's school, so it does happen.

I think the situation sounds dodgy - if she was not out of her depth, then ok, but I don't see how the situation you've described could be safe. I would take her out of lessons.

gordyslovesheep Fri 06-Sep-13 17:02:31

2 teacher in the pool - other adults on the side watching ...the kids will hold onto the side and the instructor will take 1/2 at a time across - it will be fine

and no - sadly, going to nursery wont get you a place in reception x

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Fri 06-Sep-13 17:03:38

That is state school btw.

starfishmummy Fri 06-Sep-13 17:15:41

It seems odd that a primary school swimming pool would be too deep for the children to stand up in at the shallow end.

hippoherostandinghere Fri 06-Sep-13 19:59:54

Attending the school nursery is very high up the criteria on the admissions policy to my DC's school. Perhaps it's dependant on area, it's certainly common here in NI. I'm sure the OP checked that out at the time of application.

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