Learn to Swim FAQs

How long is the lesson?

All lessons are 30 minutes long.

Who will the teacher be?

To ensure continuity for the participants in the lessons we endeavour to have the same teacher teaching through the whole term. However, in some cases there might have to be a cover teacher if the usual teacher is not available. The cover teacher will follow a plan provided by the usual teacher so that the skills that need to be covered in the lesson will still be taught.

How much will the lessons cost?

The cost of the course of lessons will vary depending on how many weeks there are in the course. To find out current prices, contact your local leisure centre.

If you are looking to spread the cost of swimming lessons, they are included on our Junior Membership! It also includes junior activities and public swimming so you can come in and practise the skills learnt in lessons at no additional cost!

There is also a reduced rate available if you are eligible for our Passport to Leisure scheme, see the Passport to Leisure page for more information.

Please click here for more information on Junior membership, Passport to Leisure and Current Prices.

How many people will be in my class?

Our recommended teacher to pupil ratios are:

Bubbles – 1:12 with accompanying adult in the water

Splash – 1:4

Waves 1 – 3 – 1:6

Waves 4 & 5 – 1:8

Waves 6 & 7 – 1:10

What happens when I need to rebook for the next term?

Once your child has a space in our Swim School we guarantee to keep them a space, however this may be on a different day, at a different time or with a different teacher. Please refer to our ‘How to Book’ section for more information.

What do I need to bring to their lesson?

Your child will need appropriate swimwear – for girls ideally a one piece costume and for boys ideally trunks or tight fitting shorts. Fashion swimwear, such as board shorts, might look trendy but they can actually make it a lot harder for children to learn to swim as they increase the resistance to the water and make it harder to float. They will need to wear a swimming hat, which are available to buy at reception. If you would like your child to wear goggles they are welcome to bring them, we also sell a range at reception. 

All aids and equipment are provided so buoyancy aids such as arm bands are not necessary. Always remember a towel to get warm and dry after the session, and any toiletries that are used to shower afterwards. In colder months, it would be recommended that a coat and hat are worn after swimming to help minimise any illness developing and to attempt to keep the body temperature constant.

What should my child do to get ready for their session? 

When you arrive the first thing you will need to do is swipe in at reception using your child’s leisure card. Before their session they should change into their swimwear, go to the toilet, remove any jewellery and have a shower to rinse off any dirt on their body – remember the swimming pool is to be enjoyed by many people and all users need to display high levels of personal hygiene whilst using the facility. Ideally, the child should be familiar with the environment and know where their lesson will be taking place and also where the accompanying adult will be during the lesson for reassurance. It is not recommended to have a large meal prior to going swimming or participating in any physical activity.

Where should I drop my child off for their lesson?

When you arrive you will need to hand your child over to their teacher at the start of the lesson and then ensure that they are collected from the teacher at the end of the lesson. Should your child need the toilet during their lesson you will need to collect them from the teacher and take them to the toilet yourself, then return them to the teacher ensuring that they safely get back into the lesson.

What if my child is unwell? 

Please follow any latest Welsh Government guidance in relation to Covid-19.

Use your best judgment, but if your child has flu-like symptoms such as a fever, vomiting or has stomach or digestion problems, you should not bring them to class for 48 hours after the last symptom has passed. If your child is going to miss a number of lessons then let your swimming coordinator know so that they will not lose their space.

What if my child has a disability?

Pembrokeshire Leisure aim to ensure that all swimmers, regardless of ability or disability, learn to swim, so that they can progress into whichever area of aquatics they wish to pursue. Our teachers are able to include swimmers with a disability in their lessons by adapting activities and lessons if/when required. It is recognised that some children may never be able to achieve all outcomes they need to pass a wave, so exceptions will be made if needed to enable swimmers to progress through the pathway according to their individual needs.

Why is my child playing games in their lesson?

The Learn to Swim Wales Framework promotes the use of the ‘learning through play’ delivery method. Learning to swim should be fun and enjoyable for the participant and for the instructor. Therefore, you might see your child playing games and moving in the pool in different ways to traditional lengths or widths. By adapting the tasks delivered, how the environment and space available is used and the equipment used within a session the children are challenged in different ways and they might be distracted into performing a task they do not realise they can accomplish. It also helps to keep all the children engaged in the lesson and minimises the time spent waiting at the wall for their next width! Using this delivery method it is hoped to get children ‘hooked on aquatic activity for life’. 

What can I do to help my child progress quicker?

The earlier that a child becomes familiar with the aquatic environment and being in and around water the better. Even if you are not a strong swimmer just taking your child to the pool and playing and having fun in the water will help them develop their confidence and enjoy the positive experiences that the water can bring them. At home, encourage your child to have a bath and play in the water. Encourage them to get their hair wet and introduce them to putting their face in the water. Our swimming teachers will be able to tell you what your child needs to practise and give you activities you can do with them at the pool. 

Does my child need to wear a swim cap?

Yes they will need to wear a swimming hat! It is beneficial to wear a cap as they can improve your child's swimming experience because long hair is heavy and can make swimming more difficult. If your child is working on breathing and head rotation, it can make it very difficult for them to take a breath. It also helps us to keep our pools a clean and healthy environment.

How long will it take for my child to learn to swim? 

How long is a piece of string? Like any new skills that we learn, different people take different amounts of time and find some skills easier to learn than others. If your child experiences more time in the swimming pool environment outside of lessons there is a high probability that they will progress more quickly as they will have additional opportunities to practice and in the early phase increase their confidence surrounded by close friends and family. We teach lessons for 39 weeks of the year so even if your child attends a lesson every week that’s only 17 and a half hours swimming per year. You couldn’t learn to read and write in less than one day and it is the same for learning to swim!

How will my child’s progress be assessed and rewarded? 

The Learn to Swim Wales Framework outcomes are continually assessed as your child attends lessons. To progress into the next wave all outcomes need to be achieved competently and consistently. As your child progresses through the programme their achievements can be rewarded with badges and certificates, which are available to buy at reception.