How to choose a good Swim School for your child
Swimming is a great recreational activity and as parents you may be looking for a good teaching facility. Asking around is usually the fastest way to get an insight into the possible options you have. Opinions however may be subject to personal prejudices, so it is helpful to understand what you need to pay attention to when getting information from various avenues.
Ten distinguishing factors a good Swim School has:
1. Warm and friendly atmosphere:
Swim classes are most times about 1-2 days a week and maybe more, so it should be a place where you are comfortable and happy to be at. A warm friendly smile and a willingness to address any concern or question you may be having is primary. Sometimes a child may be going to the water for the very first time and an assuring tone and a smiling face goes a long way to building up active interest levels.
2. Well maintained facilities:
The pool and the facilities around like changing rooms, rest areas etc. need to be well maintained, clean and proper checking procedures for checking water quality to be adopted at timely intervals. The access for outsiders into the pool areas also needs to be restricted to keep a level of security for children at the pool.
3. Well-qualified staff:
The instructors must have necessary and valid teaching credentials as needed the age groups that they are teaching given by competent and recognised national or international organisations as prevailing in the industry for that region.
4. Structured programs and teaching aids:
The teaching programs and method of teaching should be appropriately structured for the age and skill levels that they cater to. In addition, teaching methods which have necessary aids like toys and other floatation devices help to encourage and speed up learning skills.
5. Water Safety skills:
Any good swimming program should have essential training of water safety skills. These are essential because both the parents need to understand that just swimming lessons alone will not make your child ‘water safe’. Parents are also to be educated about the importance of active supervision to prevent drowning accidents.
6. Performance based learning:
The teaching and grading of students to different levels should be in a progressive manner. Children should not be stressed to perform any tasks but rather encouraged to try new activities to strengthen their skills. Repetition of the taught skills should be made to help children learn, remember and use the skills appropriately.
7. Recognition and operational procedures:
The Swim school should have well designed policies and methods of operations which help to maintain standards of teaching as may be needed for international recognition. Swim schools that adopt international standards and are recognised by international organisations have better and more comprehensive operating procedures.
8. Pathway of learning:
Swimming programs designed for each level should be able to allow for the progression of key stages of learning. A child of 4 years learning swimming should have a pathway to progress to a competitive swimmer depending on their development.
The school should have a system of rewards and encouragement in place for completion of levels as children advance through levels by completion of skill training. They could be either certificates of appreciation or signatures in logbooks etc.
10. Child safety:
Safety of children at the pool and its surroundings is very important. The swim teachers and administration should be actively supervising all participants in and around the pool, and also taking care of other safety procedures like obtaining medical information about allergies etc. of the children, and also being familiar with the emergency procedures.
D Swim Academy (DSA) is Malaysia’s largest AUSTSWIM recognised Swim Centre. DSA maintains high standards set by AUSTSWIM, Australia’s national organisation for the Teaching of Swimming and Water SafetyTM.
DSA’s various programs are from internationally acclaimed organisations. In addition to specialised tools and equipment to suit students of all ages, DSA also provides Certificates of Appraisal which track progressive levels of achievements by students. The DSA Swim Team is affiliated with PRAKL (Persatuan Renang Amatur Kuala Lumpur) with lots of opportunities for students to experience competitive environment through inter-club, state-level and national-level competition participation.