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Parent information: Swim and Survive

By enrolling in the Office of Sport Swim and Survive program you have taken an important step towards ensuring your child will have the confidence and skills to be safe in and around the water.

Which grade?

Grade Age Ability
Pre School
Wonder 18 months to 3 years Lessons teach basic skills such as entry and exit, going underwater, floating and breathing. A parent or guardian is required to be in the water with the child at all times.
Courage 3 to 5 years Lessons teach basic stroke and survival skills and develop independence from adult support. A parent or guardian is required to be in the water with the child at all times.
School Age
Active 1 4.5 to 12 Years For non-swimmers and children who have never had lessons. Develops confidence, teaches basic skills such as submerging, blowing bubbles and safe water behaviour.
Active 2 4.5 to 12 Years For children with some water confidence, who can submerge, and move through water unassisted. Teaches breathing, stroke and movement skills.
Active 3 4.5 to 12 Years For children who can swim 15 metres using actions resembling freestyle, backstroke or breaststroke. NOT for children who can swim 50 metres or more. Further develops stroke and movement skills.

The following information will assist you and your child in preparing for the lessons and ensure that your experience is a positive one.

What your child should wear

  • Swimming costume
  • Rash shirt
  • Swimming cap or hair tied back (if hair is long)
  • Sunscreen (water resistant, SPF 30+ sunscreen is recommended)
  • Swim/waterproof nappy (required for children under the age of three)

What to bring

Log book
If your child has participated in a previous Swim and Survive program, please bring their logbook so our instructor can update it for you.
If your child does not have a current logbook, one will be provided at the conclusion of the program.

Sunscreen and sunhat

Spare swim/waterproof nappies

Towel (or two on cold or windy days)

Warm clothes to put on after the lesson

Please do NOT bring

Children need to learn to orient themselves underwater without the assistance of goggles.

Fins or flippers
Children need to learn to propel themselves through the water unaided.

Floatation devices
Children need to learn skills without the aid of floatation devices. Your instructor may use different types of equipment to assist children master certain skills, however, these devices will only be used occasionally.

Reporting for class

  • Please arrive on time for the lesson and ensure your child is prepared to enter the water.
  • Ask the pool attendant where the program meeting point is located. Understand that your instructor may be in the water with a previous class.
  • Take your child to the toilet before the lesson commences, so they do not have to leave mid-lesson.
  • To ensure your child has enough energy during the lesson, do not allow your child to enter the water before the lesson.
  • If your child needs to leave before the end of the lesson please tell the instructor.

How the lessons will be conducted

Children will be under the supervision of the instructor for the duration of their lesson. Supervision prior to and at the conclusion of the lesson is the responsibility of the parent or carer.

  • Wonder and Courage lessons for pre-school aged children aim to make the aquatic environment familiar, encourage enjoyment and develop water confidence. Lessons aim to provide the parent with skills to continue practicing with their child so a parent/carer is required in the water with each child. To assist your child, you should approach the lessons with understanding and a willingness to try new experiences. The more you can show your child by demonstrating yourself (eg getting your face wet), the faster your child will gain confidence.
  • Active lessons for school age children aim to develop water confidence, teach correct stroke technique and enhance their swimming ability. Games are a key component of our lessons. Games will help your child to relax and enjoy activities while learning new skills.

About your instructor

Instructor will guide your child to demonstrate correct skills and techniques

Your instructor:

  • Is a professional who has nationally accredited qualifications in swim instruction, holds current resuscitation qualifications and has a current Working With Children Check.
  • Will guide your child to demonstrate correct skills and techniques, and in doing so physical contact is required.
  • May recommend your child attend another grade after the first lesson. This may mean a change in your class time.
  • Strives to deliver high quality lessons that will encourage your children to learn to swim in a supportive and caring environment. If you, or your child, have any questions or concerns, ask your instructor for clarification.

Health and medical issues

Coughs/colds Make sure that your child does not have a fever and is not infectious before bringing them to the pool.
Ear infections Should your child start pulling at their ear, see your doctor as it may be an infection. The doctor may be able to recommend treatment without stopping your child from swimming. After lessons, make sure you dry the outer part of the ear. Do not attempt to dry deeper into the ear as this will certainly do more harm than good.
Rashes/sores Should your child develop a rash or sores, you should seek medical advice and avoid coming to classes. Signs such as these may be the start of an infection, which could easily spread within the class.

Helpful hints

  • Be supportive – Children will often express their objection, frustration or anxiety by crying. Often the first lesson is such a new experience to the child that crying will be the first reaction. Reassure your child and persist with the activities and skills. You will soon find your child overcomes their anxiety. Also, remember that any personal fear or anxiety you may have about the water can be easily transferred to your child, so try to be supportive and positive at all times.
  • Be patient – All children achieve different skills at different rates. As with learning any life skill, learning to swim takes time and practise, so be patient.
  • Practice – Lessons are only the beginning. Skills should be practised regularly, 30 minutes at a time in the water is usually quite enough. It is important that your child attempts all skills, as repetition will help to develop the skill.
  • Praise – Encourage your child in a positive way, celebrate success and ignore failures.
  • Have fun – Swimming is a fun activity and it is important your child learns to have fun in the water. Games learnt in your lesson can be used successfully to develop future swimming skills.
  • Supervision – It is essential to supervise your child at all times when in or around the water.