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The TJ's Swim Way

Ever wonder what makes one swim school better, faster, more attractive then the other.

Click here to download TJ's Swim Way

Or is it convenience, the fact you can get everything in the one place or it is close to school or just around the corner from where we live, ie. AquaFit classes for mum or squad sessions for dad.

Click here to download the AquaFIt timetable

Well the TJ's Swim way is to ensure every child learns to swim whether with us at TJ's Swim or with Mum or dad in the back yard pool, or maybe grandma takes them for lessons in the holiday blocks, maybe it is at one of the other 9 swim schools in Toowoomba. It doesn't matter where, as long as your child LEARNS. There is 149 512 people living in Toowoomba on the 2016 census, of those 9 596 are children under 5 and 10 483 5 to 10 year olds, so in my calculations that is far too many children to fit into TJ's Swim, and even if you divide the 29 000 between the 10 swim schools I still don't think we would fit them all in! So where are the children learning to swim. OOHH NO they aren't!

Lots of school swimming coming up BUT yes I am going to say it so hold on to your seat. It is not up to the primary schools to teach your child to swim it is your responsibility as a parent to ensure the safety of your own child. Is your teacher going to the beach with you?

Over the holidays we were involved in a wonderful program with Laurie Lawrence and Poolwerx to offer FREE swim lessons to the Under 5's . Do you know what the most dissapointing part was that

1. we were bagged for only offering 1 week, OMG how dare we only offer 1 week!

2. parents booked in and didn't show up, it was FREE!!!!!!

3. That not every parent in Toowoomba believes swimming is essential. What you don't think your child's life is essential.

After the wonderful week with the 127 children that did get FREE lessons, what a wonderful effort, that's $7620 worth of FREE lessons our wonderful staff provided to our community. Well done Guys! Our staff are amazing in the way the lessons flowed this week and the wonderful progression of the children.

I look at some of the Thank you emails from parents that really appreciated the lessons and think that is what the TJ's Swim Way is.......... to ensure we have safe children around water.

Your probably thinking by now, holy Jodie what are you saying. I believe that we all need to start taking responsibility for ourselves.

OK so what do we look for in a swim school. This is a list from the ASSA website to help you.

What To Look For In A Swim School

  1. A reputation to be proud of. A good swim school will be pleased for you to see their program before enrolling. They will also have lots of happy customers prepared to tell you about their experiences and children’s success.

  2. Friendliness and helpfulness. As a provider of early childhood and educational services, the school will have a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Staff will strive to meet your family’s needs, answer your questions and address your concerns.

  3. Well maintained, clean pool and facilities. Pool water will be clear and well sanitised. Good swim schools will test their water quality at regular intervals throughout the day and be happy to share the results.

  4. Comfortable water and air temperature. Babies, young children and beginners need very warm water and warm air. The warm atmosphere may be uncomfortable for spectators, however this is only for a short time and they usually appreciate that learners need to be comfortable and relaxed.

  5. Well qualified staff. All teachers should have a nationally recognised swimming teaching and/or coaching qualification, and a current resuscitation certificate. Qualifications should be appropriate to the level being taught. A good school will also have a core of experienced teachers with specialist qualifications, and will have consistency of philosophy and methods throughout the school.

  6. National certification. A good swim school will strive to achieve high standards through certification with Swim Australia and ongoing development of their staff and their programs.

  7. A child-centred teaching philosophy. Skills will be appropriate for the child’s age, development and ability. Children should never be placed under stress during a swim lesson. Nervous beginners will be reassured and gently introduced to new skills as they gain in confidence.

  8. Parental involvement. Young children need the security of having a parent close by. Until around 2 or 3 years of age babies need a carer in the water providing physical and emotional support. Having a parent in view and showing positive interest is important to all young children, especially preschoolers and nervous beginners. A good school will welcome your positive involvement.

  9. A progressive approach. Classes should be based on a sound progression of swimming and water safety skills. A good school will provide parents with written information explaining the schools philosophy, levels and skill progression.

  10. Water safety skills. A good school will teach children appropriate safety and survival skills whilst acknowledging that no child is ever water safe. Children must not be placed in stressful situations in order to teach survival skills. Parents will be taught that constant supervision is the only way to ensure a child’s safety.

  11. Well grouped classes. All children in a class should be at approximately the same level. This allows the teacher to better cater for individual needs. A good school will give consideration to children with special needs.

  12. Small class numbers for young children and beginners. Water depth will affect the number of children that can be safely and effectively catered for in a group. A maximum class size is recommended for each level. A good school will adhere to the guidelines and be pleased to make them available.

  13. Short lessons for learners. Young children and beginners may become cold and tired if lessons are longer than 30 minutes. Advanced swimmers will benefit from longer sessions to build fitness and endurance.

  14. Maximum ‘time on task’ Children need to repeat skills many times to learn and remember them. A good school will provide repetition and ‘quality practice’ — they are the key to developing good swimming technique.

  15. Interesting and challenging activities. Activities should be varied and fun. Children must be motivated and challenged to learn well. Games and activities will be carefully planned to develop and practice aquatic skills.

  16. A comprehensive and professional program. Programs should be ongoing, providing a range of programs from beginners through to advanced swimmers.

  17. Opportunity to participate in competitive swimming. A specialist swim school will be able to recommend a good coaching program and club. Many swim schools will provide higher level coaching programs and will encourage developing swimmers to pursue swimming competition.

  18. Safety at all times. The good swim school will always use equipment wisely and ensure children are vigilantly supervised when under their care.

  19. A motivating system of rewards/awards. Children in a good swim school will be confident and happy to participate. Most schools will have a system in place marking progression between levels, eg. certificates. Smiles and laughter will be the norm and praise will be given in large doses.

These guidelines were researched and developed by Julie Zancanaro, BAppScOT (Syd)

Children progress at their own pace, TJ's Swim way is to let all children learn at their own pace, if you are still reading then you truly care about what I am saying so read our story a child's playground

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