Swimming Lessons

Our Waves Swim Programme is designed to build your confidence and develop your skills and abilities progressively. There are a wide range of lessons for all ages and abilities, from the very young, to those who might think they are too old to learn - don't worry, you're not!

Learning to swim with us

Delivered by friendly, professional teachers, our swimming lessons build confidence in swimmers of all ages and abilities - babies to adults, complete beginners to improvers.

Lessons run in courses of 10 weeks from September to June, starting in September, November, February and April. During July and August weekly Crash Course lessons are available.

You will have the same teacher throughout your course. Lessons for the youngest pupils take place in our Minor Pool which is separate from the Main Pool, so it is quiet and more conducive to learning with an ideal pool temperature for teaching.

We believe in practising what you've learnt, so free swimming is included in your Waves membership (September to June) while you're a pupil on our programme.

See below for a description of our lessons and the timetable for the current course.

Our Lessons

September 2019 Course

Which lesson should I pick?

There's a lesson for everyone. If you are new to the programme and are unsure what level you should start at, you will be able to show a teacher what you can do and they will guide you towards the appropriate level. To arrange a test contact our Aquatics Officer on 0300 013 3333 ext. 40280, email: pauline.kane@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk.

New pupils can join in the first four weeks of a course. You'll only be able to move to the next stage when you can demonstrate the required skills, and this will be noted and signed by your teacher.

Please see our levels below and the skills taught at each.

Baby Wave - 3 months to 18 months

Involves babies and parent/carer in the Minor Pool. 

This gives young ones a gentle introduction to water.  Parents/carers and children learn skills to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience in the pool.

Lesson ratio 1:12

Baby Wave - 18 months to 3 years

Involves babies and parent/carer in the Minor Pool

Children continue to develop their water skills until they are able to submerge and swim unaided.

Lesson ratio 1:12

Toddler Wave

For 3 to 5 year olds new to the pool and non-swimmers, lessons take place in the Minor Pool.
Armbands used.

An introduction to the pool. Children learn water confidence and propulsive skills they need to progress to Toddler Wave 1. Those aged under five move to Toddler Wave 1 and five year olds move to Ripples, as directed by the teacher. 4 year olds in Primary 1 can move to Ripples.

Lesson ratio 1:8

Toddler Wave 1

For 3 to 5 year olds, non-swimmers/strugglers, lessons take place in the Minor Pool.
Armbands used.

Children develop their water skills, swimming a width of the pool on their front, then their back to progress to Toddler Wave 2.  Under five’s move to Toddler Wave 2 and five year olds move to Ripples or Ripples 1, as directed by the teacher. 4 year olds in Primary 1 can move to Ripples or Ripples 1.

Lesson ratio 1:8

 

Toddler Wave 2

For 3 to 5 year olds, swimmers in the Minor Pool. Unaided.

An introduction to the Frontcrawl. Children swim prone and supine unaided to progress to Toddler Wave 3. Five year olds move to Ripples or Ripples 1, as directed by the teacher. 4 year olds in Primary 1 can move to Ripples or Ripples 1.

Lesson ratio 1:8

Toddler Wave 3

For 3 to 5 year olds, swimmers in the Minor Pool. Unaided.

Development of Frontcrawl and supine skills to 3 metres. Five year olds move to Ripples 1 or Ripples 2, as directed by the teacher. 4 year olds in Primary 1 can move to Ripples 1 or 2.

Lesson ratio 1:8

Ripples

Non-swimmers in the Minor Pool

For school age children. This introduces pupils to the pool environment and develops their confidence in water. They must demonstrate a 3 metres prone swim unaided to progress.

Lesson ratio 1:12

Ripples 1

Swimmers in the Minor Pool

For school age children. This class develops Frontcrawl skills. Children must swim 5 metres Frontcrawl and supine to progress.

Lesson ratio 1:12

Ripples 2

For school age children. More development of Frontcrawl and breathing skills. Pupils must swim one width Frontcrawl with correct breathing and supine to progress.

Lesson ratio 1:12

Ripples 3

Swimmers in the Minor Pool

For school age children. This class develops Backcrawl and refines Frontcrawl to 10 metres to progress.

Lesson ratio 1:12

Ripples 4

Swimmers in the Minor Pool

Develops Butterfly and continued development of Front and Backcrawl to 15 metres to progress.

Lesson ratio 1:12

Ripples 5

Swimmers in the Minor Pool

Develops Breaststroke and refines stamina, breathing and co-ordination of previous strokes. Pupils must swim 20 metres Front and Backcrawl to progress.

Lesson ratio 1:12

Ripples 6

Main Pool

Develops and improves pupils' stroke techniques and heightens their confidence. After swimming 25 metre practices through deep water, you can progress to Personal Survival Bronze. Lessons take place in 2 metres deep water to ensure swimmers are competent in deep water before they progress.

Lesson ratio 1:10

Personal Survival Bronze, Silver & Gold

Main Pool. Clothes worn throughout the lesson

Successful completion of personal survival at Bronze level leads on to the Silver and Gold levels. All three require a clothed skills assessment. Those achieving Gold can progress to Stroke & Stamina.

Bronze level lessons take place in 2 metres deep water to ensure swimmers are competent in deep water before they progress.

Lesson ratio 1:10

Stroke & Stamina Training

Swimmers 100 metres in the Main Pool

Pupils receive instruction on how to improve their stroke technique whilst swimming drills. Stamina improved through gradual progression in distance for aerobic fitness.

Lesson ratio 1:10

Adults 14 year olds & over

Non-swimmers and Improver lessons in the Minor and Main Pool

These lessons follow the same format as Ripples to Stroke & Stamina but they are structured to reflect the different needs and abilities of adult non-swimmers and improvers. 

Adult Men and Adult Ladies lessons take place in the Minor Pool with a ratio of 1:12

Adults Mixed lessons take place in the Main Pool with a ratio of 1:10

Active Ageing

Lessons exclusively for over 60s.

Lessons take place in the Minor Pool with a ratio of 1:10.

The Benefits of Waves:

  • all our teachers hold A.S.A, I.A.S.A or S.T.A. Teacher Certificates and Lifesaving qualifications and follow specific course guidelines to ensure a consistency of high teaching standards.
  • you can take the programme at your own pace.
  • progress can be followed on the Home Portal (available from October 2019)
  • successful completion at each level is recognised
  • instruction is given by a team of dedicated teachers who motivate pupils and ensure they fully enjoy their lessons.
  • incorporates the National Curriculum Water Skills Programme.

Lessons

Course Duration

Courses are held over 10 weeks (except where Bank Holiday closures occur) starting in September, November, February and April. Crash courses are held in one week, Monday to Friday during July and August.

Lesson Duration

All lessons are 30 minutes long, except for some adult lessons which are 45 minutes. Crash course lessons are one hour long.

Teacher Pupil ratio

  • Baby Wave, Ripples and Adult lessons in the Minor Pool 1:12, Adult 30 minute classes 1:10
  • Toddler Wave lessons 1:8
  • all Main Pool lessons 1:10
  • where lessons are held in the Minor Pool, the pool is split to allow two (Ripples) or three (Toddler Wave) lessons to run concurrently.

In the interest of pupils’ progress, parents/carers are only allowed on poolside for 15 minutes in the first and last weeks of lessons.

Enrolment

Our Waves Swim Programme runs from September to June. For September courses everyone must enrol at the complex.

September 2019 course dates:

Courses start from: Saturday 31 August

Priority enrolment opens from: Saturday 17 August

Open enrolment opens from: Saturday 24 August

Enrolment at the complex for priority and open enrolment in August is strictly from 8.30am Monday to Saturday and from 10.30am on Sundays and Monday 26 August.

It is important that you enrol for lessons on the dates given in the timetable and that they are strictly adhered to. To enrol you will have to fill in the Swimming Lesson Enrolment form and a Direct Debit Mandate form if paying monthly.

Priority Enrolment: in August, pupils who have been on the previous April or Crash Course lessons over the summer will have priority enrolment for the September course. Priority enrolment opens one week before open enrolment for new pupils to the programme. Please note that priority pupils who fail to enrol on a course within the priority time will have to apply in the usual manner along with other new pupils.

Open Enrolment: for new pupils opens one week after priority enrolment. 

 

Enrolment for November, February and April courses

Course Start Date
November 2019 from Saturday 9 November
February 2020 from Saturday 1 February
April 2020 from Saturday 18 April

For the November, February and April courses, pupils will be informed, on the last week of the course, via the Home Portal and email if they are moving to the next level. Teachers will award all swimmers every 10 weeks.

Non-movers - pupils who are not moving up a level will be kept in the same lesson on the next course, with no need to re-enrol.

Movers – pupils moving up a level will be given a slip from their teacher detailing the next level to be booked. Enrolment can be done immediately either at reception or online.

New Pupils – those wishing to join the programme can start in the first four weeks of a course.

Payment and Price

Payment is monthly by Direct Debit or by cash for blocks of ten weeks.

If paying by Direct Debit, at the time of enrolment payment for the first month is by cash, payment thereafter is by Direct Debit on the 1st working day of the month and will continue until June or enrolment is cancelled.

Cash payments will be for the full course amount at the time of enrolment.

All pupils will be issued with a Waves membership issued at time of enrolment.

We are unable to issue refunds under any circumstances.

Lesson Prices

Lesson Price per lesson Monthly Payment Course Payment
Baby Wave £5.80 £22.62 £58
Toddler Wave £5.80 £22.62 £58
Ripples £5.80 £22.62 £58
Adult (45 minutes) £6.50 £25.35 £65
Adult (30 minutes) £4.30 £16.77 £43
Active Ageing     £35

 

For your information

Follow Progress Online

Parents/guardians can follow their child’s progress on the online Home Portal and re-enrol online. To register on the Home Portal parent/guardian’s must have a Waves Pupil Contact membership which will be issued on enrolment of your child.

Pool Changing

Pool changing is located in the Aqua Zone.

For lessons taking place in the Minor Pool changing is in the blue zone, located immediately left when entering the Aqua Zone. Access to the Minor Pool is from this area.
For lessons taking place in the Main Pool changing is in the purple and green zones with access to the Main Pool via the yellow showers.

Lockers

Our lockers are operated using £1 coin, which is refunded.

Buggies/push chairs should not be brought on to the poolside at any time. Lockers are available in the changing zones for storing buggies and push chairs.

Please Note: The pool temperature will be between 27 degrees and 32 degrees and the air temperature between 28 degrees and 31 degrees for all lessons. Changing facilities will be maintained to agreed standards at all times.

Terms and Conditions