The HEADSTART SWIM SCHOOL was launched in May 2006, and is run according to the Swimming South Africa approved, Learn-to-swim methodology. We believe that adults and children learn better through having fun in a safe, non-threatening environment.
Learning to swim
It is important for children to learn to swim as early as possible, particularly when living at the coast, and in a country where swimming pools are ubiquitous. Both Adult supervision and teaching children water safety and water skills, should be a priority for parents in order to prevent unnecessary drowning.
Every child is an individual and will learn at their own pace and may have different needs in the water. HEADSTART teachers are trained accordingly and our approach is one of promoting water familiarity and learning in a fun and non-traumatic manner. We have seen the extremes – we had a pupil of 2-and-a-half yrs, learn to swim from scratch in 6 lessons, but then another pupil took 2 summer seasons. The Headstart pool is enclosed and heated, providing an intimate environment for adults and children to learn about water safety, build their water confidence and learn to swim.
How long will it take?
This depends on the individual. Children should not be forced to perfect a specific skill in a set time period. Factors that contribute to the rate of learning include pupils personality and determination, any previous experiences with water; frequency and regularity of lessons, whether the child practices at home and lastly, the attitude of the accompanying parent or adult.
When should we start lessons?
There are swim schools which take babies as young as 6 months. While there is nothing wrong with this… it is a good bonding activity, but a baby of this age is not going to learn to swim just yet. What it does do is provide orientation and the basis for enjoying the water which is essential for learning to swim. We recommend that in the bath you familiarize baby with being in water – it should be fun and baby should become accustomed to having water on his face, eventually lying in the water and blowing bubbles.
Start lessons when it is convenient – we recommend from about 18 months.
The myth: drown proofing
We believe that there is no such thing as drown proof – Even when a child is able to swim …they still need to be watched at all times. They could hit their head or fall in with their clothes on. What we can do is to teach our children to swim and about water safety as early as possible.