Coronavirus (COVID-19) - how it is affecting our services

Swimming lessons FAQs

Swimming lessons FAQs

Swimming lessons returning - FAQ’s for parents


Returning to swimming lessons:


I have seen that my child must arrive for their swimming lesson ‘beach ready’, what does that mean?

‘Beach ready’ means having their swim attire on underneath their clothing when they come into the centre. On arrival a swimmer will be directed to go straight to their allocated lesson waiting area (on the pool spectator balcony) and there they can remove clothing and wait to be collect for their lesson.

Please note there will be no access to any changing facilities for incoming swimmers as there will be a one-way system in place for lesson drop off and pick up to ensure social distancing can be maintained safely.

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Will I be able to watch my child’s swimming lesson?

Unfortunately, at this time we cannot safely accommodate spectators for swimming lessons as we need these areas to ensure safe entry and drop off points can be maintained for swimmers.

One adult may accompany one child to the waiting area (on the poolside balcony) and stay with them until they are collected for their lesson by their teacher. Your child’s teacher will then assume ‘loco parentis’ for your child until you return to collect them from the changing rooms (exit point) at the end of their lesson.

We are asking all parents to help us keep numbers of people waiting around the centre down by leaving the building whilst your child is in their swimming lesson returning in time to collect them at the end. Please make sure we have an up to date contact number should we need it to contact you during the lesson.

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 Swimming lessons at Queen's Park Sports Centre


Can we use the changing rooms after lessons?

Yes, one adult can collect their child from the changing rooms at the end of their lesson and the swimmers may use cubicles in the village change area to dry and get changed. There will be no access to showers after lessons at the current time.

We would ask you to help us maintain a safe environment for all customers by getting your child changed and exiting the building via the one-way exit in a timely manner after their lesson. We appreciate both swimmers and parents may be keen to catch up with fellow swimmers and parents, whilst we certainly would encourage you to do this, please be courteous to others and do so in a safe space outside the building.

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 Swimming lessons at the Healthy Living Centre, Staveley:


What are the main changes due to COVID-19 that we can expect to see within swimming lessons?

  • Teachers and assistants will now be delivering all lessons from the poolside
  • Lesson times have altered to 25 minutes (55 minutes for stage 8+) to allow time to safely clean down equipment and teaching stations between classes exiting and entering
  • To ensure the same contact time between teachers and children during lessons we have reduced the occupancy of most classes (see below)
  • We will no longer be able to provide armbands for lessons – If your child is in preschool or stage one swimming lessons, we are asking you to provide your own disc arm bands, please visit the website here to watch the video around armbands and expectations.
  • Teachers will no longer be allowed to fit children’s goggles or help them put them back on, if your child is wearing goggles please ensure they are fitted correctly and they understand if they come off they have to stay off for the duration of the lesson unless they can get them back on themselves. 

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Will my child be able to swim on the same day and time and with the same teacher?

Where possible we have tried to keep teachers’ days and teaching times as close to the old programme as possible but there are some parts where it has been necessary to make changes.

To accommodate our full programme and maintain social distancing, we will now have staggered start and finish times. Some lessons will start on the hour and at half past whilst others will start at quarter past the hour and quarter to.

Most lessons will run in the same area of the pool as they did previously however there will be some changes to allow the programme to run safely. Some stage three and duckling classes at Queens Park will be relocated to the shallow end of the main pool during weekday lessons and all stage six lessons will be in a deep end pool (space to swim a 25m circuit round). You will be notified of any changes to your class in a separate email.

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Will there be fewer children in each class?

Yes, most lessons will see a slightly lower occupancy number, so we are able to run lessons safely and in line with government guidelines and governing body guidance.

  • Stage one – three will now operate at a ratio of 6:1
  • Stage four-five will now operate at a ratio of 8:1
  • Stage six and above including lifesaving classes will now operate at a ratio of 10:1
  • Preschool lesson will remain at a ratio of 8:1 (with adult in water with child) but will have a larger area of pool to accommodate safe spacing.

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What steps have you put in place to make sure swimmers can socially distance in their lessons?

To ensure we have enough space within the pool to accommodate social distancing there will be no general swimming on offer in the main pool whilst swimming lessons run. There will also now only be 2 pods operating in the small pool at Queens Park Sports Centre.

The teachers have been training and working hard to plan safe lessons for when we re-open; taking on board government and governing body guidance, looking at the best ways to manage, adapt and organise different stages safely for our sites and keep the lessons developmental and enjoyable for all participants.

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My child is nervous about coming back to lessons, is there anything I can do to help them?

We understand that some swimmers (and parents) may feel nervous returning to the pool after such a long break and with some necessary changes in place coming back to lessons. Our teachers will do all they can to help ease the nerves when you return to the water.

In the meantime, here are a few things you could do at home in preparation:

  • Speak to your child about what will be different when they come back so they know what to expect
  • Read/look at the ‘rules for staying safe’ poster with them at home (this will be on poolside on their first lesson back) it could help if they see something they are already familiar with
  • Remind them their teacher is there to help and support them and it’s new for everyone to get used to, they are not on their own (teacher can still support verbally and provide good instruction and reassurance from the side)
  • Don’t worry if they feel like they can’t remember how to do everything, we will be re-capping lots of skills and working at their own pace
  • Most importantly is that we just want them to try their best and enjoy being back in the water

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When can I expect my child’s assessment be updated?
In the first few weeks teachers will use ongoing assessment with swimmers (not recorded) and focus on aspects such as safety skills, re-capping core aquatic skills, confidence building, getting comfortable with new ways of swimming, travelling and spacing out in the water and on poolside, as well as enjoying being able to be back in the water of course!

Once swimmers have had a few weeks to settle back in, teachers will begin to update the online portal assessments. Please don’t be alarmed if there is a drop in percentage on your child’s initial re-assessment. Swimmers will be returning with differing levels of stamina and skills to where they were previously at and it is important for teachers to have an accurate record of assessment for each swimmer so they can plan their lessons accordingly to cover the needs of each child in that group. Swimmers will be supported and encouraged at their own pace of learning by our teachers.

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What if my child really struggles returning to the stage they were in?

Our main priority will be ensuring all of our swimmers have a positive and safe experience returning to lessons. We will work with all swimmers to progressively build them up at their pace. As teachers and assistants are not going to be in the water to give manual support, swimmers may be asked to wear or use buoyancy and/or teaching equipment in some situations where they previously may not have.

If a teacher deems any swimmer to be unsafe, or you as their parent/carer have any concerns we will organise making alternative safe arrangements for your child’s lesson. 

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Contact us

Please contact Rebecca Truman via email if you have any concerns. Teachers will make contact via email or telephone either directly or through Rebecca should they need to contact a parent.

Last updated on 31 July 2020