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.

bababababoom Fri 06-Sep-13 20:43:02

I have 3 children, and can't take them swimming by myself, because the pools all insist on a 2:1 ratio of children:adults for children under 8. They can stand up in the small pool. I don't know why the ratio would be any different for a group having a lesson?

Mandy21 Fri 06-Sep-13 20:54:21

Haven't read all the replies but sounds very similar to my children's old nursery - they went swimming at the pool across the road from the nursery in their pre-school year - so a mixture of 3 and 4 yr olds, with similar staffing ratios.

It was brilliant - all the children had arm bands (swimming school ones rather than blow-up ones) on if they couldn't swim, just a couple of the children doing the exercise at any one time. I would let her go, its great for being independent, getting dressed, responsibility for clothes etc, but if you have any concerns, go and watch the first session to put your mind at rest.

ReallyTired Fri 06-Sep-13 20:59:53

I think that the swimming willl be fine. DD has had swimming lessons at the local sports centre with a ratio of 1 to 8 (plus a lifeguard)

"They can stand up in the small pool. I don't know why the ratio would be any different for a group having a lesson?"

Can they access the big pool if the child chooses to be naughtyl? Swimming lesssons are more regrimented than free swimming so the potential for disaster is less.

bababababoom Fri 06-Sep-13 21:05:09

I have three children, and can't take them swimming by myself because all the pools insist on a ratio of 2:1 children:adults for children under 8. Even in the little pool where they can stand, and I can watch them all easily. I'm not sure why the ratio should be so different for a lesson - and only just 3 is so tiny.

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Fri 06-Sep-13 21:26:13

DS started swimming lessons aged 3 in a local council pool, I'm pretty sure the ratio was 1:4, with two instructors in the water to 8 kids plus a lifeguard poolside. They all had shark fins on until they were ok without them, though.

acer12 Fri 06-Sep-13 21:31:06

I'm a swimming teacher and your dd has a fantastic opportunity!
I regularly teach 8 under 4s with me on the side of the pool, they all have correct floatation and I manage wonderfully. Teachers in the water is even better!!
The lessons should have lots of fun games and learning through play she should have a blast!

ducky your pool and badge system sounds like one of my sites, are you in Trafford ?

acer12 Fri 06-Sep-13 21:32:47

babbaboom the ratio is different as each teacher will be fully trained in life saving and pool safety

acer12 Fri 06-Sep-13 21:34:03

You would be surprised at how able three year olds can be grin

NewNameforNewTerm Sat 07-Sep-13 11:14:15

It is worth checking out how big / deep the school pool is. That may calm some of your concerns. Our school pool is tiny and shallow and even nursery children can stand up with heads well clear of the water. It is a nightmare to teach bigger children in it as incorrect body positions means knees hit the floor (and it is painful) but great for the younger ones. We have similar ratios. One qualified swimming teacher actually teaching the session, two adults (TAs) in the pool with the children and the teacher and nursery nurse pool side. It is easier for us spot all children if you are not in the water and we monitor happiness / confidence as well as safety so we can reassure and encourage as soon as we see a sad or anxious face.
One difference is we invite parents poolside to watch, but for safety they have to stay behind a particular line so we can get around the whole poolside quick. Plus they can dry and dress their own child afterwards leaving us staff fewer children to help.

NewNameforNewTerm Sat 07-Sep-13 11:15:48

Forgot to say every member of staff their is rescue and resusc qualified.

TeaLadyExtraordinaire Sat 07-Sep-13 11:25:09

So, actually, there are 5 staff and 13 children. A ratio of just over 2:1.

Where did your figures come from?

MmmmWhiteWine Sat 07-Sep-13 11:29:41

I don't think YABU but I do think your worrying unnecessarily. The swim school our girls attend has one teacher to approx 6 pupils and it seems to work really well. The pool is too deep for them to stand but they all wear flotation rings on their arms if they need to. And it makes them learn to swim so much quicker. If I was you I'd discuss my concerns with the nursery and hopefully they'll reassure you.

forevergreek Sat 07-Sep-13 11:47:32

5 staff, 13 children sounds fine. Especially as all trained

I take my 2 and 3 year alone and have no training

NoComet Sat 07-Sep-13 12:09:51

I'm sure our public pre school lessons are just one instructor in the pool with just the life guard on the side. Around 8-10 DCs in arm bands.

DD2 never did even that, she went straight into the reception group, teacher on the side because we were collecting DD1 during the preschool lesson.

Both my DDs had swam from being absolutely tiny with me. DD1 didn't do formal lessons until 4-5. DD2 had done a bit of a baby and toddler class, but she was a menace and had to be kept right at the back because she was far too confident and scared the babies blush

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