Frequently Asked Questions
Got a question about Total Swimming? Chances are we have covered it below! Our FAQ section is a comprehensive rundown of the questions we are asked the most.
What happens at my child’s 1st lesson?
Once you proceed onto poolside you will be greeted by our instructors. Just let them know you are new and they will have you on their registers. The children will meet their instructor, who will then assess their swimming ability throughout the lesson to ensure that they are in the right class.
The first couple of sessions are all about getting your child comfortable in the water, meeting the other children and getting them excited for the journey ahead.
How should I prepare my child for a lesson?
It's great to let your children know what they will be doing as part of their swimming lesson. Tell them they will have a new teacher (whose name will be on your confirmation email), tell them how much fun they will have learning a new sport, and why it is so important for them to learn to swim.
Please arrive to the venue approximately 10-15 minutes before the class is due to start to give you time to find your bearings and get changed. Proceed onto the poolside just before the session is about to start.
- Swimming costume or tight fitting trunks
- Swimming hat (for children with long hair) - some venues have a compulsary policy for children to wear a hat
- Goggles (not compulsary)
- No jewellery
- No armbands – we provide alternative floatation devices
- Children shouldn’t swim on a full stomach; please don’t allow your child to eat anything substantial one hour before the session
- If your child is feeling sickly, unwell or has an upset stomach it is not advised they attend lessons
What should my child expect from each lesson?
Each lesson will be structured so that it is productive and fun for your child, regardless of what ability level they are at.
Children will be warmed up for the first 5 minutes of their lesson, followed by a 20 minute focus on key swimming and technical skills, before a 5 minute fun activity at the end.
My child is of a lower swimming ability, will their lessons be different?
Children in our foundation groups who are unable to swim independently will benefit from our instructors delivering the lesson in the water for confidence and support. At this level we also use floatation devices such as arm disks, swimming noodles and kick floats to ensure the children can be independent in their swimming, to aid travel and movement in the water and, more importantly, they are safe.
The foundation classes will focus on short, repetative swims to ensure they are reinforcing all of the skills they are learning. Swimming long distances at the start of their swimming journey is not beneficial, as the children tire and their skill breaks down.
How many children are in each class?
Classes have a maximum of 6 children per instructor.
Advanced abilities have 8 children per instructor.
What qualification does my child’s swimming instructor hold?
All instructors are ASA/STA qualified along with supporting CPD training and other aquatic discipline experience, such as diving or synchro.
Also, a large majority of instructors come from a competitive swimming background and have themselves competed regionally and nationally in the sport.
Has my child’s swimming instructor been DBS or PVG (Scotland) checked?
Yes, all instructors are DBS enhanced checked and are enrolled onto the PVG scheme.
How is my child’s progress monitored?
All children are assessed on a continual basis. The focus of each term will be to learn the skills set out in line with the National governing body award schemes.
Your child’s instructor will record their progress weekly and upload the progres online during the term. The updates are uploaded to your personal online account for you to view.
What swimming award scheme is my child following?
All swimmers in the UK follow the ASA Learn to Swim Framework.
How many awards does my child get throughout the term?
We give your child the highest award that they have gained at the end of the term, free of charge.
Some children may not achieve an award every term, this is common. We test our children to the highest outcomes and ensure they are passed consistently (a minimum of 3 times).
Can I purchase the awards myself?
Yes. If your child receives more than one award in the term, you can purchase them online or over the phone for a cost of £4.
How long will it take for my child to learn how to swim?
All children progress at different levels and speeds, and this also varies depending on what point your child joins our programme.
The average time for a complete novice to progress through all of the stage awards is 3-4 years. At this point, your child will exceed the National Curriculum Key Stage 2 standard and will be a competent, aerobic swimmer with the capability to perform competitive skills. They will also have the stamina to swim 800 metres and upwards.
How long should my child stay on the course for?
The ASA recommends that swimmers stay on the programme until at least stage 7, where they are deemed to be competent, strong swimmers.
Can my child progress further?
Yes, we can teach your child how to swim to a pre-competitive level.
What if my child is too advanced for their class?
Instructors will monitor your child and decide whether they need to move classes. If you feel like your child is progressing at a faster rate than some children, please chat to us about this.
Movements can be suggested at any point during the course and it is our priority to ensure that all children are working to their full potential and capability.
I want to put my child forward for a swimming club, are they good enough?
Total Swimming Academies are keen to assess our swimmers and see if they are ready to join a club.
We have strong links with the swimming clubs in the local areas in which we operate, so please express any interest in your child reaching club level swimming to their instructor.
We can work with your child to get them to the necessary standard required, as well as arrange trial sessions at your chosen club.
My child has not received a swimming award this term… why?
As the stages progress, the skills and criteria become more difficult to meet. From stage 3 upwards, it can take 2-3+ terms for the child to achieve the criteria needed in order to pass. It is important that all skills are executed at a high and consistent standard.
How do I go about speaking to my child’s swim instructor?
If the venue has an administrator on the reception desk, please feel free to raise any issues that you may have with them. The administrator will then feed these back to the instructor.
We request the parents don’t disturb the instructors unless it is essential; we like their time to focus solely on teaching the children.
Alternatively, please email us at email@example.com or call us on 0161 764 2224 to speak to your regional co-ordinator.
My child has a disability, can they still join?
We aim to be an all-inclusive programme and do what we can to cater to everybody; it is important that we know about ALL medical conditions, no matter how small.
Please contact our customer service team to discuss your individual requirements and possibility of joining one of our classes.
What happens if a session is cancelled?
If a planned session is cancelled, our main priority is to re-schedule the session.
If it is not possible to do so, we can transfer the lesson fee as a credit to the following term, or refund you the cost of the lessons cancelled.
What happens if I don’t pay for my fees during the payment window?
If you haven’t paid for the next block of lessons by the end of the payment window, then your place will not be secured for the following term and will be offered to a child on the waiting list.
I missed the payment window, but I still want a place, can I have one?
If you have missed the payment window, but still want a place, it may be that we still have a place available for you to re-book. Simply go back through our online booking system to find a class that is available for your child’s ability.
What is the payment window?
The payment window is usually the last 2 weeks of every term.
How can I book the lessons?
Our simple online booking process allows you to book your lessons in a few clicks.
Please enter your login details - if you don't remember your username and password, you can reset this using your email address, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can send you a reminder.
Scroll to see your academies, review your child's award updates and previous award and payment history.
Please check all your contact details are up to date and manage any future bookings with us.
How do I know what class to put my child in?
Classes depend on ability. Simply choose the ability that your child falls under and reserve the place in that class.
You can check this by using our ability matrix http://www.totalswimming.co.uk/lts-academies-ability-matrix
How can I pay for the lessons?
Lessons are primarily booked online and can be paid for by any major credit or debit card. We can also take phone payments.
Futurepay is also an option, whereby you can allow automatic payments term to term.
Can I pay for the lesson at the centre?
No, no cash or cheques are accepted at the centres. Please ensure that you pay before the lesson.
I can’t access my online account, why?
Ensure that you are entering the correct email and password that you registered with.
All usernames are set as the email address that you provide us with when you sign up. Passwords are case sensitive to ensure that you are entering the correct upper case/lower case combination.
You can access your online account at: www.totalswimming.co.uk/login
For further assistance if you are still struggling, then please contact our customer service team.