5 Things to Look Out For in a Swim School

Swimming is an essential survival skill we cannot do without. As we always want the best for our kids, choosing the right swim school is crucial.

As parents, we’ll always want to pick the best swim class where our children can learn to swim in a supportive environment with patient coaches.

Here are 5 vital things to look out for in a swim school!

1. Qualified Instructors

One of the most important criteria that a swim school needs to fulfil, is having fully qualified and experienced instructors teaching swimming. So, parents will know that their children are in good hands when they are in the pool.

All qualified swim instructors need to undergo training programmes to be certified as a teacher. A few widely-recognised associations, such as Sports Singapore, Swimming Teachers’ Association and AUSTSWIM, offer the necessary courses for coaches to be officially certified.

These training programmes consist of theory and practical courses. Instructors will go through an attachment programme at the end to gain actual coaching experience before receiving the qualification.

Video Credit: Swim it Right

At Swim it Right, our instructors are required to complete a total of 12 training sessions and 30 attachment classes. Training sessions provide coaches with theory knowledge and they’ll have a full understanding of our programme.

They will then be attached to a senior coach’s swimming lessons. At the end of the training programme, they’ll be certified by Swim Australia.

You may enquire for the instructor’s qualifications when finding out more about the swimming course of your interest!

2. Programme Curriculum

 A great swim school must also have a structured swimming programme with a step-by-step progressive approach. This is a clear indicator of the standard of swimming lessons that are offered by the school.

A well-structured curriculum will have several skill levels, clearly stating the requirements that need to be fulfilled to progress to the next level.

Video Credit: Swim it Right

For example, Swim it Right students will advance to grade 3 after mastering the relevant skills taught in grade 2. These skills include breaststroke, backstroke and swimming without aid for 25 metres. Coaches are to strictly follow a detailed guide to assess students’ progress.

Learning of strokes are also broken down into specific drills when taught. For example, learning breaststroke consists of drills like leg action with floatation aid, arm action and breathing-arm coordination.

Teaching accurate drills and strokes are the most important in a swimming course. A common mistake made by some swimming schools is the ‘big circle’ arm action when swimming front crawl. The correct arm movement for the swimming stroke should be a bent elbow.


The different stages of a swimming programme should qualify your child to achieve local swimming proficiency certifications, such as SwimSafer in Singapore. Apart from that, the curriculum in swimming schools should also teach students about water safety.

You can check in on your child’s progress from time to time with the school, find out what they are currently learning and what they will be taught next!

For more details on our swimming programme curriculum, click here.

3. Encouraging Teaching Style

The way instructors conduct swimming lessons is a crucial part of your child’s learning process. They have a huge impact on the kind of swimming experience your kid will receive.

Some coaches tend be too fierce with their students, raising their voices at them when they do not listen to instructions. However, such treatment may only worsen the situation. This can lead to unhappy students and an ineffective learning process.

A good instructor is one who is supportive and approachable during lessons, such as praising their students for notable progression! Children will also receive encouragement and not be forced against their will to do activities that they are uncomfortable with.

Video Credit: Swim it Right

Instructors should also be observant about the learning style of each child, and be able to help them master the swimming techniques at their own speed.

Knowing every student’s personality and effectively handling each one of them is also an admirable skill of a good teacher.

Not only will a skilled and likeable coach motivate your kids to improve, but your children will also enjoy themselves during class.

4. Small Class Size

It is recommended for children to partake in classes with a small number of students as compared to large class sizes.

An ideal number of students in a group class should be between 4 to 8 people.

Video Credit: Swim it Right

With this arrangement, the class is small enough for each student to receive individual attention from the instructor.  At the same time, it is sufficiently large for interaction between peers. This gives your children opportunity to socialise.

There will also be less down time during lessons, as students spend more time being active and swimming instead of waiting for their turn!

5. Skill-Based Class Placements

Another crucial consideration when choosing the right swim school for your child is how they are being placed into different levels of the swimming programme.

If a swim school has no qualms about fitting beginner students into an intermediate or advanced class, or if you see an age gap of more than 4 years in your child’s swimming class, these are warning signs.

Children should learn to swim at a level that is on par with their abilities and they should be grouped according to their skill levels in precedence of their age.

Video Credit: Swim it Right

This is because some students may progress faster than others, despite being younger. They may have developed motor skills earlier and are therefore learning at a quicker rate. These students may also require less practice time to master drills correctly.

If they can qualify for the next level in the programme earlier than the rest, age should not be a limiting factor in their advancement.

Not everyone is able to get it right at the same pace! Therefore, excellent swimming schools will take both skill level and age into consideration when grouping students into classes. 

Nothing is more important than making an informed decision.

With your child’s interests in heart, take your time to find out more about the different swimming schools available, and weigh their pros and cons.

Ultimately, your efforts will not be in vain. Choosing the right swimming course for your kids will surely be providing them with the best learning experience they can have!

(Header Image Credit: Getty Images)

Also, read 3 Simple Ways to Know If Your Child is Ready for Swimming Classes