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With warmer weather just around the corner, I jumped at the chance to try out swim lessons at the British Swim School in Bedford. I did some research from home prior to our first lesson and immediately loved the methods of this specific swim school. The main goal is teaching water safety. This includes learning to fall into the water and being able to roll over onto your back and float. Infants as young as 3 months are able to start working on these skills. I was intrigued.
My 2-year-old, M, had a few options for classes, but I opted to do a parent-child class as she occasionally has trouble separating. We were enrolled in the “Swimboree” class. My 4-year-old, J, has basic swimming skills but is not able to float independently, so he was enrolled in the “Minnow” class. All children enrolled in lessons are given colored swim caps for lessons, and the various colors signify their swimming abilities. I love this idea, as it makes it clear to instructors what the children are capable of in the pool and who may need extra attention/supervision.
M and I started our first lesson playing with toys and making sure she was comfortable in the water. The instructor and I then worked on getting M OK with floating on her back with my assistance. Next was getting her comfortable transitioning from her belly to her back, floating, and then falling into the water and floating on her own. All of these are necessary skills for water safety. We ended the lesson with M using a floatation ring and working on swimming independently. The ring was great, as it allowed her to use her arms while swimming. Many other flotation devices prohibit motion.
J’s class followed a similar structure, but he worked with his teacher while I watched from the sidelines. The instructor kept him busy during the entire lesson and ended by having J swim independently in the pool. During our month of lessons it was fun to watch the kids’ confidence and skills in the water grow.
Classes are taught at the Atlantis Sport Club in Bedford, but there is also a location in Westford. Families have access to the locker rooms, which include showers and a changing area. The pool is heated to 86-88°F, making it an easy transition for even the most reluctant swimmers. Swim lessons are 30 minutes long and are offered weekly. The student-to-teacher ratio is max 4:1, giving students the attention they need. If you are looking to start your little swimmers in the pool, look no further than the British Swim School!