Frequently Asked Questions

Learn To Swim 37

What age can my child start?

For Adult and Baby/Child classes children can start at any age. Government Health experts now believe that it is now no longer necessary to wait until your child has had all their vaccinations before going into the pool. However some Local Authorities do advise 4-6 months and this can be due to the temperature of the pool. Please always consult your health visitor if you are unsure. To find your nearest pool to find out specific information please go to the pool finder at the foot of this page.

How long should it take my child to learn to swim?

There is no definite timeline, different children take different amounts of time and find some skills easier to learn than others. If you take your child swimming outwith lessons there is a high probability that they will progress more quickly.

There won’t always be leaps of progress every lesson or every week.  It is normal for learning to plateau for periods, even regress at times and surge ahead at others.

What should I look for in a Learn to Swim Provider?

If you’re Learn to Swim provider has Scottish Swimming accreditation (SwimMark) it means it is dedicated to creating the best possible swimming experience for all and to raising the quality of swimming provision across all areas.

It is more than just a stamp of approval. As a parent it is your guarantee of quality provision for your child.  SwimMark ensures that a quality structure is in place and is reviewed, it confirms the programmes being delivered are quality lessons based on the Scottish Swimming Pathway run by fully qualified teachers, that keep their knowledge and skills up to date and in a safe and appropriate environment.

What is likely to happen in lessons?

All children should be having fun. They should be involved in games-based activities to help them learn core swimming skills such as breathing, submerging and moving in the water. The swimming strokes should be introduced gradually once the child has acquired the basic core aquatic skills. Most lessons last around 30 minutes and children should be as active as possible throughout the lesson.

Why is my child playing Games in a Swimming Lesson?

'Learning through play' is fundamental to the Scottish Swimming Framework so there'll be plenty of fun activities and games in the pool to keep swimming interesting for your child whilst teaching them a variety of skills. The activities are planned by the teacher and will ensure the children are challenged in different ways and are linked to the core aquatic skills which essential for learning more complex skills.

My child has a disability. Can they take part?

Of course. Lessons can be adapted as necessary to help all children achieve their potential. If your child has specific needs, please discuss them with your local swim school.

What Can I do to help my child?

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. 

In the 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. Scottish Swimming have an Early Years bag with toys and activity cards to provide you with ideas for the bath and pool.