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(24 Posts)
Bitlost Sat 03-Sep-16 17:39:51

DD, age 7, has been stuck on the same ASA level for 6 terms. We've just started term 7. She's a beginner 2 ( not sure what actual level - between 3 and 5, I guess). She can barely swim, mainly doggy paddle.

Anyone been in this situation? I'm paying £110 or so a term so my patience is wearing thin.

Thank you.

dancemom Sat 03-Sep-16 17:40:53

Do you take her swimming between classes to practice?

BikeRunSki Sat 03-Sep-16 17:44:11

Barely being able to swim is not ASA level 5. Possibly the beginning of 3.

She needs to practise between lessons.

Ninasimoneinthemorning Sat 03-Sep-16 17:46:00

WOWZERS that's a lot for lessons!

What colour is her hat and how old is she?

Ninasimoneinthemorning Sat 03-Sep-16 17:48:13

She should actually be able to swim/travel with no aids five meters front and back with face submerged to get out of level 1. In level 2 she should be aiming for 10 meters with an over the water arm stroke. Level 3 is 25 meters.

Bitlost Sat 03-Sep-16 17:58:26

Thank you for the quick replies!

We used to practice between lessons but have stopped, mainly because of work.

I'll try to find out her actual level. They just call it beginners 2 - kids don't wear a hat...

Ninasimoneinthemorning Sat 03-Sep-16 18:03:16

How old is she?
I thought swimming for ten years and seven terms is a lot - even if the child was very young when starting. The lessons are very expensive. Are you in a private health club?

Ninasimoneinthemorning Sat 03-Sep-16 18:06:57

They should be wearing hats. ASA level 2 is orange (I think - could be orange)

ASA frame work

Bitlost Sat 03-Sep-16 18:16:19

She's just turned 7.

Definitely no hats.

We're in the sports club of a private school in London (which might explain why it's so expensive - I will investigate.)

BombadierFritz Sat 03-Sep-16 18:21:59

we dont do hats either. those lessons are expensive!! dd has taken 5 years to cover 7 levels if thats any help? another of mine, poor swimmer, took 6 years to do 7 levels

BombadierFritz Sat 03-Sep-16 18:23:00

he got stuck on level 5 I think for about 5 terms. I despaired!

elderberryflower Sat 03-Sep-16 18:25:36

Might be worth booking an intensive school holiday course where they go every day for a week? One to one ideally. That is a lot of lessons to barely be able to swim. Any signs of dyspraxia the rest of the time?

shouldwestayorshouldwego Sat 03-Sep-16 18:29:33

Ours don't wear coloured hats. Just any hat. It's a private pool and just swim school so easy to keep track of who is in which group.

A few questions - how many in each group? She might need a smaller group.
Is she otherwise well co-ordinated? One of mine is struggling with swimming but I think that he is generally poor at gross motor skills and hypermobile.
What does she say about the lesson? Can she hear the teacher? Are other dc disruptive?
One of mine stalled around that age until we discovered that it coincided with the teacher standing on the side rather than in the pool. She thought that because the teacher never came into the water then maybe she couldn't swim and there would be no one to save her if she was drowning.

Goggles also helped her getting her head under as her eyes reacted badly to chlorine. She's finished her gold now.

DropZoneOne Sat 03-Sep-16 18:36:28

Six terms at the same level is a lot. Our swim school don't use ASA but they expect a child to move up a level every 2-3 terms. Ours is a similar cost, but I don't mind because I can see DD improving.

Do you sit in on the lessons? What are they teaching her? Doggy paddle isn't a stroke, no swim school should be encouraging this, they should be using flotation aids to teach basic strokes (front and back crawl), ideally floats or noodles rather than arm bands as arm bands impede arm movements.

In your situation, I'd be calling to speak to the manager of the swim school to express surprise / disappointment that your DD isn't improving and see what they suggest. Some children take longer than others to "get it" but 6 terms is still a long time, I'd have expected them to speak to you before now. If they aren't aware of a problem, or don't have any suggestions, I'd be looking around for a different swim school.

DropZoneOne Sat 03-Sep-16 18:43:46

Just read some other replies ... the comment about teacher being on the side of the pool is a good one. The previous school we used, the teacher was Canadian and stood by the side, whilst another lesson was going on at the other end of the pool, and the pool was very echo-y. He was a great teacher, but DD just couldn't hear / understand him and would copy the other children, whether they were right or wrong. He never gave specific feedback, so she didn't know what she was doing right or wrong.

We switched schools. The new teacher was in the pool, and pretty scary TBH, but in a group of 8, she would get 4 to swim across, give them individual feedback, then get the next 4 to swim across. She'd move their arms / legs into the correct position if they were struggling to understand just by looking at her.

Bitlost Sat 03-Sep-16 18:49:40

To be clear the doggy paddle is what she reverts to when she's swimming with us, not at the swim school. They're not that bad.

She just told me she doesn't understand what he says, just like she didn't understand one (particularly shambolic) teacher at school so I'm starting to get the picture.

Teacher never ever gets in the water with them. There are about six kids in the group.

Her coordination is ok but she's not good at sports. We've just stopped gymnastics because she hated it (and was hopeless - shouldn't say that but there you). She never seems to put any strength or power in anything physical activity she does. On her bike for example, she never uses her weight to go up a slope. No idea if this is all related to the poor swimming.

Ninasimoneinthemorning Sat 03-Sep-16 21:30:45

op change where she has her lessons. If she has normal mobility she should have progressed a lot further by now considering her age and how long she has been swimming for.

Six kids in a group is a dream (I used to have 20-25 school kids 😱)

If you were to go to a council swimming pool where they teach ASA swimming it would possibly be more stricter, I went and worked for David Lloyds for a bit after leaving our community pool (ASA standards) and the standard of lessons was not the same. In most pools that teach ASA swimming, coloured hats are advised to let other bathers know what level the child is at, to let other teachers know and life guards. It also keeps hair out of the face and the child to be able to focus properly.

I'd be looking at finding other lessons in your area. She is too old be in stage two - your looking at being 5/6 years old and getting stuck there.

If the teacher is worth his salt he doesn't have to be in the water. He should be able to communicate efficiently enough. Besides - if he gets in the water there has to be a life guard specifically watching him and the kids in the water. Being in the water does help but it's not a magic wand - neither is 1-2-1.

It sounds like you are in a really shit swim school. I'd be looking st finding a better one. This isn't your child's fault.

Regarding her strength - it doesn't really matter and the basis of ALL swimming is floating. If she can push, glide and float she can swim. What is she like at swimming in her back? My weaker swimmers used to build their strength up on their backs as it was easier to float and breath.

Ninasimoneinthemorning Sat 03-Sep-16 21:35:05

I'd also look for swim schools that are affiliated with swim clubs as these schools are used as feeder classes so you will get good quality teachers There

Bitlost Sat 03-Sep-16 21:37:53

Thank you all for her replies. She's ok on her back, so when I take her back swimming perhaps we should do that to build up her strength.

I'm going to look at the council options - though I worry about the waiting list.

Rojak Sat 03-Sep-16 21:40:46

£110 X 6 terms is £660 - you should just spend the money on a week or 2 of intensive one to one swim sessions. And then put her back into an ASA level type programme.

I agree with the poster who mentioned looking for swim schools attached to competitive clubs.

Ninasimoneinthemorning Sat 03-Sep-16 22:01:57

bitlost have a ring round on Monday and see what's available most places will try and squeeze some on in as its in their best intrests. I'd also speak to the swimming co- ordinator and explain the situation. You may need a evaluation on her (any good school will do that to make sure she is in right class)

Have a look at that link I posted and look st stage one. Can your dd successfully and confidently complete it. If not she may have to go back as she might not have done of the fundamental skills to move forward through stage 2.

Three things I'd do

1) Google Good swimming schools in your area - especially ones affiliated with clubs.

2) phone and call coordinator of school and explain situation

3) be open to the possibility of a few 1-2-1 for the teacher to get a good gauge of your dd skill set and also good catch up lessons.

Really pisses me off when parents throw good money after bad on shit teachers which ends up with the child hating swimming.

Good luck op

Bitlost Sat 03-Sep-16 22:37:11

Thank you. I'll be looking around and making phone calls but friends are telling me it's really hard in our area. I took my eyes off the ball with her swimming and feel really awful about it now.

Oblomov16 Sat 03-Sep-16 22:44:11

I have similar issues.
Ds1 learnt to swim inn2 terms, in year 1.
Ds2 has had some lessons, is a total water babe, loves jumping in. But lessons have been useless.
So, I'm going to put him into one of these one week swimming lessons.

Ninasimoneinthemorning Sat 03-Sep-16 23:05:00

Don't feel bad op you expect proffesional to know what they are doing but some just don't. If you have to wait a short while I'd do that rather than waste good money. Some swimming clubs take in non swimmers as feeder classes so it's worth a try even ringing them up and if not asking for any recommendations of swim schools.

oblov one week crash courses are not a guaranteed fix all. Some teachers are pushed by parents and co-ordinators to give out achievements (what kid doesn't love a certificate) so the classes can be focused on 'passing' a level rather than getting a good solid understanding of the skill you are trying to learn, and that's when the trouble starts - they go up a stage/level and fall to pieces.

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