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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.

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

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

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.

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?

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

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

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.

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

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

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 21:31:06

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 ?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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

That is state school btw.

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 17:00:12

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.

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 !

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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