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Penguins Swim School
Penguins Swim School caters for complete beginners through to pre-competition swimmers. Minimum age is 4 years old. Lessons are planned and assessed following the ASA National Plan for Teaching of Swimming (NPTS). Many of our current competitive swimmers have progressed through our Learn-to-Swim section.
Following progression through the different stages and having attained all the awards there is a chance to continue with further swimming within our competitive arm of the club. We have clear pathways for progression and then to develop competitive swimmers.
How to join
If you would like to enroll or know more about Penguins Learn to Swim scheme, either:
There will be a reception desk at LeisureZone on Friday evenings from 6.00pm, where you can pay or ask the Committee members present to answer any questions you may have.
Parents please make sure you arrive at least 10 minutes before time to register and be put in your group. Parents are expected to stay in the balcony to watch.
All fees are payable in advance and the club operates a strict policy of “no fee, no swim”
Anybody who has not paid by the end of week 2 will lose their place - we currently have a waiting list for places.
Current fees are as follows:
Course Fees - £63.00
ASA Category 1 Membership annual fee (under 8 years) = £11.50
ASA Membership is compulsory. It is the cheapest way for the Club to buy insurance. Any swimmer not registered is uninsured, and will not be allowed to swim.
The ASA National Plan for Teaching Swimming
Penguins Swim School teaches using the National Plan For Teaching Swimming which is a nationally recognised course. We aim to make the lessons fun and enjoyable. The main emphases being to develop water confidence and to ensure swimmers have a good technical stroke understanding.
Initially, for beginners, emphasis is placed on being safe, comfortable and confident in the water. Skills in all of the main swimming strokes are then developed in structured groups where each swimmer's progress is carefully monitored. Assessment is on a continuous basis with swimmers progressing through the Plan's stages in a controlled manner. ASA achievement badges and certificates are awarded for the completion of the various stages, which gives the child a great reward.
Penguins Swim School lessons are organised as follows:
Detailed below is a brief outline of the stages:
Stage 1 : Developing basic safety awareness, the 'class' scenario, basic movement skills and water confidence skills. Swimmers get lots of support with the use of various buoyancy aids e.g. floats, woggles etc.
Stage 2 : Developing safe entry into the water, including jumping in, basic floating, travel on front and back up to a distance of 5 metres, plus rotation to regain upright positions.
Stage 3 : Developing safe entry including submersion, travel up to 10 metres on the front and back, progress rotation skills and water safety knowledge. At this stage, the swimmer will be assessed without the use of swim aids or support.
Stages 4 & 5 :Developing 'watermanship' through sculling and treading water skills and complete rotation, also performing all strokes for a distance of 10 metres to the given standard as provided by the ASA within the NPTS resources.
Swimmers will be continuously assessed and awards will be presented as they reach the required standard. It should be noted that all children progress at different rates & may stay in certain stage groups for a few courses, especially where there is a lot of technique to achieve.
As previously stated, each course of lessons is 12 weeks, generally each swimmer will be assessed for their ASA Stage badges in weeks 9 or 10. In addition, in week 5 all swimmers will be given the opportunity to achieve a distance badge.
Harlow Penguins is a competitive swimming club and our aim is to provide a structure that will enable swimmers to compete at the highest level, indeed Carmen Byfield, one of our teachers is a former National Age Group champion.
The “Learn to Swim” school is a core part of that structure. Penguins Academy classes are the first step towards swimmers joining one of the Club’s competitive swimming squads.
Penguins Swim School continues to teach Academy lessons using the National Plan For Teaching Swimming, the following Stages need to achieved before swimmers will be considered for movement to the Harlow Penguin competitive squads:
Penguins Academy 1
Stage 6 : Developing effective swimming skills including coordinated breathing across all strokes plus swimming a distance of 25 metres using a stroke of the swimmers choice; developing the water safety aspects and understanding of preparation for exercise.
Penguins Academy 2
Stage 7 : Developing quality stroke technique up to 100 metres, incorporating skills learnt and combining them to develop a linked routine and complete an obstacle course that combines a variety of skills accomplished throughout.
Penguins Academy 3
In addition to the Stage awards, all Academy swimmers will need to pass the:
Preliminary Competitive Start Award : Complementing Stages 1-7 of the LTS, this is a continuation of the ASA’s emphasis on learner safety. Shallow diving can cause serious injuries if not done properly and by securing these awards your children will show they have the competence to dive in water 0.9-1.3m deep. This is a standard demanded for competitions under ASA law.
Teaching for the Preliminary Competitive Start Award starts in deep water before moving to the side of the pool and shallower water. Once this award has been secured learners work towards the Competitive Start Award to learn safe race dives from a starting block
Penguins Academy 4
Is our first competition squad. Entry to the competitive squads is based up distance qualify times.
All of our class teachers are either Level 2 or 1 ASA qualified teachers. In addition, as part of our workforce development programme we have numerous assistants working within our classes. These are generally our senior swimmers who are trained to the level of ASA Helper Certificate and in most cases will go on to qualify themselves as Aquatics teachers Level 1 aged 16, and 2 from aged 17.
Harlow Penguins deliver a planned learn to swim programme, which is run by experienced and qualified staff. We provide a high standard of teaching throughout each course, thus achieving satisfaction and effective progression throughout each level of the plan.
At Penguins we assess our teachers and coaches regularly, sending them on ASA Continuous Professional Development (CPD) courses to ensure that skills and practices remain current.
Call: Debbie Tee 07787 318558
Learn to Swim Coordinator:Sarah Stringer
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Swim School sessions
At present the swim school runs lessons at the following times:
LeisureZone swimming groups
Young swimmers arriving for 6pm or 6.30 lessons must arrive 10 mins beforehand. Parents will be let through the gate and must accompany children to the poolside where each teacher will take the register for that group. Please ensure your child has been to the toilet if needs be. After the lesson, parents must collect swimmers from poolside. Young children will not be allowed off poolside until a parent can be identified.
We request that parents of learn to swims stay onsite during the lesson. This is for any reason where your swimmer needs to leave the pool early.
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