HEADSTART SWIM SCHOOL was launched in May 2006, and is
run according to the Swimming
South Africa approved, Learn-to-swim
methodology. We believe that adults and children learn
better through having fun in a safe, non-threatening
South Africa runs its Learn-to-Swim programme for the
is important for children to learn to swim as early as
possible, particularly when living at the coast, and in
a country where swimming pools are ubiquitous. Both
Adult supervision and teaching children water safety and
water skills, should be a priority for parents in order
to prevent unnecessary drowning.
child is an individual and will learn at their own pace
and may have different needs in the water. HEADSTART
teachers are trained accordingly and our approach is one
of promoting water familiarity and learning in a fun and
non-traumatic manner. We have seen the extremes – we
had a pupil of 2-and-a-half yrs, learn to swim from
scratch in 6 lessons, but then another pupil took 2
summer seasons. The Headstart pool is enclosed and
heated, providing an intimate environment for adults and
children to learn
about water safety, build their water confidence and
learn to swim.
long will it take
depends on the individual. Children should not be forced
to perfect a specific skill in a set time period.
Factors that contribute to the rate of learning include
pupils personality and determination, any previous
experiences with water; frequency and regularity of
lessons, whether the child practices at home and lastly,
the attitude of the accompanying parent or adult.
should we start lessons
are swim schools which take babies as young as 6 months.
While there is nothing wrong with this… it is a good
bonding activity, but a baby of this age is not going to
learn to swim just yet. What it does do is provide
orientation and the basis for enjoying the water which
is essential for learning to swim. We recommend that in
the bath you familiarize baby with being in water – it
should be fun and baby should become accustomed to
having water on his face, eventually lying in the water
and blowing bubbles.
lessons when it is convenient – we recommend from
about 18 months.
myth: drown proofing
believe that there is no such thing as drown proof – Even
when a child is able to swim …they still need to be watched
at all times. They could hit their head or fall in with their
clothes on. What we can do is to teach our children to swim
and about water safety as early as possible.