do you attend your child's school swimming lessons? If so, why?

(61 Posts)
umbrunion Thu 13-Jun-13 09:46:29

Just a thought. It has never occurred to me to attend and yet some parents do. This is assuming your child is nt and that the school hasn't asked you to go.

School are trying to discourage parents from attending btw.

Leeds2 Thu 13-Jun-13 10:47:34

I used to go to my DD's swimming lessons outside of school, because it wasn't possible time wise to go home. I think an adult did actually have to be in the building in case there was a problem.

Would never have dreamt of going to a school swimming lesson, and am surprised that some parents do. Unless of course they are helpers.

With PFB a group of us Mums used to be 'accidentally' in the swimming pool cafe every week when the school lessons were done.

Didn't bother with DS2. blush

kilmuir Thu 13-Jun-13 10:53:59

I go on school swimming lesson, but help on bus, in changing rooms etc. some parents used to be there as spectators but numbers have reduced as term gone on

jo164 Thu 13-Jun-13 10:57:14

I teach PE in a Prep school and unless a parent was actively helping - in our case in walking children to the pool, then they would not be allowed to come and watch. There are all sorts of child protection issues to consider plus parents don't go and watch any other lesson when they feel like it - I don't think it's appropriate. Incidently any parent helpers (only with pre school class) are not allowed in the changing rooms and phones/cameras are not allowed on poolside, even if they have been CRB checked.

umbrunion Thu 13-Jun-13 16:01:27

Thanks. I don't like the idea of parents going to watch for some reason. School say they have asked parents not to attend but if they persist there is nothing they can do as it is a 'public place'. Wouldn't have thought a school swimming lesson would be open to the public though.

The cafe we went to was behind windows overlooking the pool, and it was a public cafe, used by all at the Leisure Centre.

middleagedspread Thu 13-Jun-13 17:24:33

I used to help out with swimming lessons when mine were at primary. I had to prove my qualification & be CRB checked. Spectator parents were not allowed, although some did help with transport on occasion.

LEMisdisappointed Thu 13-Jun-13 17:26:06

Why on earth don't you like the idea of parents watching? I daresay they are watching their OWN children and aren't in the LEAST bit interested in yours!

I go (or used to, she finished last week) and watch chat to other mums and then help walk the kids back to the school. Her lessons were first thing in the morning so we would take them straight to the pool, may as well stay and watch, my DD liked me to do this. If anyone else has a problem with it - tough!

amothersplaceisinthewrong Thu 13-Jun-13 17:28:21

I used to help with summer swimming - I got in the freezing cold water with the kids to do this. But when it was not my turn to help, I certainly did not show up. I had better things to do. I did attend the out of school lessons at the leisure centre becuase not enough time to go home - but actually quite often I had a coffee in the cafe and read a book.

adeucalione Thu 13-Jun-13 17:45:28

I've never done this but can't see the harm in it - maybe their child has asked them to watch, or they want to see how their child is improving, or they're in the area at that time, or they live nearby. If it's a public pool, and they're watching from the spectators' area (rather than going into the changing area or the poolside) then I'm not sure that they could be stopped. How is it any different than any other leisure centre user or member of the public sitting to watch?

Exactly adeu. There were lots of other people in the cafe. And TBF we were so busy gassing one day DS1's class had long gone before we noticed. blush

umbrunion Thu 13-Jun-13 18:33:26

its a school lesson. not a out of school activity. Would you go and sit in a maths lesson? Anyway, whether you think its fine is irrelevant as the school has expressly asked parents not to.

umbrunion Thu 13-Jun-13 18:34:51

There isnt a cafe that overlooks the lesson, you have to go and sit in the seats by the pool. Personally I find it utterly bizarre that anyone would helicopter parent in this way.

Marmitelover55 Thu 13-Jun-13 18:41:04

I have only watched when I have helped. Despite CRB check, I wasn't allowed in the changing rooms (thank goodness). The school always seem desperate for parent helpers, and I often get calls at work the previous day to see if I am free.

Silly question, but what is a "helicopter parent"? Thanks - relative newbie here.

CointreauVersial Thu 13-Jun-13 18:46:04

Well, our pool is on school premises, so I'd no more watch the swimming lessons than go in and watch PE.

The only exceptions are parents drafted in to help infants get changed, and you need to be CRB checked (and not work full time!).

exoticfruits Thu 13-Jun-13 18:50:55

I have never had it happen when I have taken classes- the pool hasn't been open to the public at that time, so it hasn't been an option even if they wanted to.

kilmuir Thu 13-Jun-13 19:42:14

Jo164 whats the problem with CRB checked parent helping in the changing rooms? I only dry feet and make sure children leave changing room with all their own clothes on! Very surprised at number of unmarked clothes out there.
Thankfully the dreaded swimhat not used

I wouldn't have sat in the spectator seats right next to the pool.

TheBuskersDog Thu 13-Jun-13 20:37:39

It's never even occurred to me that any parent would do this, not even our most neurotic mums have thought of actually turning up at the pool!

LEMisdisappointed Thu 13-Jun-13 20:42:43

A hellicopter parent is a parent that is always there, never letting their children get on and do things on their own. I am a SAHM i suppose the OP would describe me as a helicopter parent. I stay to swimming lessons as we drop them off. I usually chat to the other mums but my DD LIKES me being there. I then walk back to the school - if there were no parent helpers to assist with this then they couldnt go as the ratios wouldn't be enough. I do not go into the changing rooms - I am CRB checked but the school don't know that. I help out with school trips as much as i can, i like being involved with DDs school, i am often in school during the day doing bits and pieces - i think its nice for DD and helps her to feel at home in school and she certainly likes me to be there. I also get to know her classmates as well. If that makes me a helicopter parent - err, i'll get over it! Many of the parents stay, not every week some when they can - all the kids really like it and enjoy waving to mum and dad etc.

Personally i find it utter bizzare that anyone would have a problem with this!

LynetteScavo Thu 13-Jun-13 20:43:30

DS1 hated school swimming lessons to the point where he really didn't want to go to school on swimming days. The school suggested I go to watch, and I was gobsmacked to discover a load of mums regularly watched.

One swimming teacher was so horrid to the children in the class, if DS had been in that class I would have pulled him out of the pool, and told her exactly what I thought of her attitude. It wouldn't have been pretty.

TeenAndTween Thu 13-Jun-13 20:56:37

When DD1 was learning I watched 3 out of her 9 lessons.
- it was at a public pool, other members of the public were using other areas of the pool at the time
- I watched from the cafe viewing area
- it was good to see what she was being shown/asked to do, so when we went at weekends we knew what to get her to practice
- it was interesting to watch, and something to do with pre-school DD2
- I was very careful to not try to catch DD's attention or distract her in anyway
- and yes, if I had the opportunity I would go in and watch a maths lesson!

crunchbag Thu 13-Jun-13 21:09:06

No, and I have never heard of anyone doing it. The only parents there are helpers.
I don't even know what time DD's swimming lesson is.

adeucalione Thu 13-Jun-13 21:35:21

Why are school 'trying to discourage parents from attending' OP?

Are they distracting the children or something?

What have school done to discourage them, asked them not to or sent letters home?

Sommink Thu 13-Jun-13 21:58:36

We have lots of parents watching our school swimming lessons, the spectator area is upstairs over the pool so doesn't intrude. It's a public building, we can't stop them, but we make sure no one takes photos etc of the lesson.

jo164 Fri 14-Jun-13 16:53:45

kilmuir - I don't think there is any legal reason why they cannot go into the changing rooms to help if CRB checked - it just satisfies neurotic parents that only the class teacher's will be in there.

ShoeWhore Fri 14-Jun-13 16:59:22

I've been on a rota of parent helpers who help escort the children to and from the lesson - but scarpered for a coffee for half an hour while they were actually swimming!

piprabbit Fri 14-Jun-13 17:03:04

Dear god - I can't imagine deciding to gatecrash a school lesson, just because it wasn't on school premises.
It's akin to the loony mums who hang around the playground fences and wave at their PFBs during PE lessons. Or the carload that followed a class trip to the zoo and then loitered around the children.

RoooneyMara Fri 14-Jun-13 17:06:13

OP, why does it make you uncomfortable?

I couldn't care less if any of the other parents went along to watch.

I've only been once and it was a mixture of, I'd been worried about the level of supervision and wanted to reassure myself that they were being properly looked after. (the teaching was good, but not enough adults around imo, I don't think they were trained to rescue anyone who got into trouble either - or dressed for it!)

The second reason was that me and ds2 & 3 had to be somewhere nearby to meet my mother at an awkward time, so we dropped off ds1 and hung about for half an hour.

It was fine - I watched ds putting one foot on the floor, and other swim fails grin and also watched my friend's son who is practically a professional swimmer, doing his turns and so on which was amazing. And had a good chat with her, as she was standing in as a 'walk back to school' person.

Seriously - what is the problem?

RoooneyMara Fri 14-Jun-13 17:09:09

I would draw the line at getting into the pool and joining in though. grin

It's like this family we know...every time one of their children is invited to a party, the whole family turns up and STAYS... and wait for it... brings their own FOOD.

It is hilarious grin Everyone is mucking in and there they are sat next to it, having a picnic.

exoticfruits Fri 14-Jun-13 18:52:07

There is no need for anyone to help a child get changed (unless they have SN) they all just get on and do it if they know that no one will do it for them.

bluegiraffe Fri 14-Jun-13 19:40:32

parent's are forced to be at our school swimming lessons, seeing as we are responsible for getting them to the pool, getting them changed and then getting them back for school afterwards! ... and there is a Rota of parent helpers to assist in pool where required and on poolside.

sandiy Fri 14-Jun-13 19:53:57

I spent 3 summers in the pool helping.Its an outside pool and it was freezing.Why? Because I was convinced they would drown while no one was looking.Since my kids learned to float and swim I stopped bothering.Even with a small but dedicated group of helper mums I still thought it was chancy at times and pulled up a fair few tiny ones who were convinced that they could swim but really could nt.

We have one lesson per term where parents can watch the lesson, but you have to stay on the viewing balcony and can't help with changing etc.

piprabbit Fri 14-Jun-13 20:06:12

bluegiraffe shock what on earth do working parents do?

RosemaryandThyme Fri 14-Jun-13 20:34:49

Those that hang around are just nosey.

They are totally there to compare their kid to others, and trying to claim your not and just coffeeing with mums is tripe - no one in their right mind would voluntarily go to a noxious swimming pool cafe for real mum chat time.

Same as the "art" displays in every class - parents just are soooo not looking at their own kids work, its' voyueristic snooping.

As for LEM and the "I'm a helper" brigade - just accept you've too much time on your hands and unglue yourself from your poor smothered children.

I wasn't Rosemary but thanks for saying I am not in my right mind grin. DS1 could swim at that point and the pool was half a mile away so it was no big deal. As I said upthread we were so busy chatting we didn't see anything in the end.

Nothing noxious about the cafe either. Nice tea and wholemeal toast IIRC.

RoooneyMara Fri 14-Jun-13 20:55:56

Eh? Rose I think you need a brew

Without the 'helper brigade' some schools couldn't go swimming.

RosemaryandThyme Fri 14-Jun-13 21:26:13

Well perhaps you are nice - but I really felt for one of my Dd's friends when two pool-side mums' actually sniggered at her from the safety of the viewing balcony, she is the class chubby girl and as a previous class chubby myself, my heart went out to her.

bluegiraffe Fri 14-Jun-13 21:28:50

piprabbit, I AM a full-time working mum! The lesson is at 9am, so same as dropping them at school anyway, Then a lot of "us" (working parents) arrange for another non-working parent to do the return to school part. Luckily, I can WFH that day too, saving time travelling.

lljkk Fri 14-Jun-13 21:29:36

If MN threads are any guide, a lot of people attend because they don't trust the school to conduct the lessons safely.

I think we started going out of curiosity more than anything. He was my PFB which probably didn't help. We just wanted to know what sort of form the swimming would take. School communication wasn't great and DS1 never told me anything.

As the weeks went on it was more about the chatting and eating than anything the pupils were doing in the pool.

Ds1 would throw me his wet gear on the way out to the coach. grin

LEMisdisappointed Fri 14-Jun-13 21:45:30

RosemaryandThyme, gurl - you got issues hmm

Chubfuddler Fri 14-Jun-13 21:54:15

Blimey. I don't give a monkeys if other parents are hanging about but really, it seems a bit Klingon to me.

NB ds's school has a pool and has never requested parent helpers. Doesn't stop some of them weirdos.

TheBuskersDog Fri 14-Jun-13 21:55:50

I'm rather concerned at the amount of people saying they were helping with changing or actually in the pool, or are concerned at the adult child ratios.
When we take a class of thirty children we have four members of staff, three who instruct and then usually the class teacher who stays away from the pool. We also have a higher level external instructor. The children are then taught in four groups according to level of ability. Nobody is even allowed poolside (including the class teacher) if they have not been trained.

The children do not need help with changing apart from an occasional child who has SEN, and then we have an extra member of staff to meet their one-to-one needs.

exoticfruits Fri 14-Jun-13 22:05:52

I have found the same TheBuskersDog, except that we have taken parents to fulfil the adult/child ratio. However they do not help with changing- there is no help with changing -and the children are taught by staff at the pool. The pool isn't open to the public in a schools session therefore there are no spectators.

LEMisdisappointed Fri 14-Jun-13 22:06:55

Why the fuck is anyone "concerned" about this?? My DDs school needs four helpers to take the kids back to school as they walk. I live 2 minutes walk from the school - i stay to walk them back. The pool i separate although we can see through glass partition. No one really watches the kids, too busy gassing. The ratio has to be 6:1 otherwise they are not allowed to walk them. Parents drop off at the pool, it takes ooooh, all of an hour out of my day. No cafe though, just a minging coffee machine

Startail Fri 14-Jun-13 22:09:17

I've done standing in the rain at the outside pool, purely because I couldn't think of an excuse quickly enough.

Last year they wanted volunteers in Wimbledon week, it was definitely someone else's turn.

Certainly didn't go to watch DDs, they are both fish, who could swim before starting school.

RoooneyMara Sat 15-Jun-13 08:41:59

Rose I am sorry for what happened to you and to the little girl in the pool. I can understand why it would bother you very much.

I just want to say that no one, NONE of the parents I know would turn up to laugh and point (except me at my own child, possibly)

There is definitewly no helping with getting changed and we sat, the one time I went, in a steep row of seats well above the pool. I waved at ds once or twice but mainly was just chatting.

RoooneyMara Sat 15-Jun-13 08:43:34

Actually I kind of wanted to check it was being done reasonably as I'd witnessed some rather unhappy swimming lessons before, at the same pool.

I didn't want to find my child in a group of worried or unhappy children being shouted at.

Maybe a lot of parents feel worried on similar grounds - maybe their experiences of learning to swim were such that they don't easily trust it to a stranger.

The thing is once all the boys were in the pool with wet hair I couldn't work out which one was DS1 anyway. blush

RoooneyMara Sat 15-Jun-13 08:56:12

LOL grin

I could see mine as he was about 10 feet behind everyone else sad

He doesn't care, he's quite happy. And I love him even if he can't swim.

littleducks Sat 15-Jun-13 08:59:35

I think I would find it a bit weird if uninvited there were mums hanging around every week. Especially if my kids started pestering me to come too, I find it hard enough to attend all the school events we are actually supposed to.

But our school doesn't going swimming till they are in the juniors, so hanging around parents would probably be declared 'embarassing' anyway and they currently walk to a local private school and use their pool so I doubt anyone would be allpowed in anyway.

ShadeofViolet Sat 15-Jun-13 09:01:22

I go as a volunteer with our school - help on the bus, help them get changed etc.

My DS2 wont have swimming lessons for another 2 years, but I have been helping since DS1 had his nearly 5 years ago.

Yes, I only went because it was a public cafe at the local Leisure Centre, I wouldn't have gatecrashed if it were at another school/private pool. That would have been weird.

Llareggub Sat 15-Jun-13 09:31:40

It would never cross my mind to go and watch. My DS had lessons in reception and none of us went, apart from a few SAHM who were good enough to help with changing. If I had concerns about the school keeping them safe then I'd change schools.

But then I am as far from a Klingon parent as you can get.

Ds isn't old enough for school swimming lessons yet, but I have to say this is the most bizarre thing I've ever heard!

laineylou Sat 15-Jun-13 16:34:27

I was a parent always desperate for parents as they needed bods for the coach and getting swimming hats on. We weren't expected to actually help take the class. I did get very miffed when there was a gaggle of mums happy to pitch up to watch their kids but would never offer to be on the swimming coach rota.

There was no rota lainey. I would have quite gladly helped but the school kept parents at arm's length on the whole. sad

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