The core aim of the Wavebreakers lessons is to embed high quality swimming technique and aquatic skills from the outset. The programme is intended for children of primary school age (4 to 11), and both absolute beginners and swimmers with some previous experience are welcome.
Lessons are taught in groups of six max, with a qualified swim teacher and between one and three teaching assistants (depending on level) in the water with the swimmers. Hence the teaching ratios are kept very low, which we find is conducive for promoting swimmers' confidence in the water. Lessons run for 30 minutes for beginners, and 45 minutes for more advanced swimmers.
The fee for Wavebreakers lessons is £65 per ten week cycle, although discounts are available for families with multiple children, and for families eligible for free school meals (please inquire). Lessons run on Wednesday and Friday evenings at the BRA pool on Cliftonville Road, Belfast.
When first attending Wavebreaker lessons, swimmers are assessed and allocated to groups so as to ensure that they are working always with others at a similar stage of progress. This assessment is a conservative one, and is based on the swimmer's previous experience and teaching and learning criteria. The aim is not to push swimmers through the levels, but rather to ensure that each child is confident, competent and ready to be stretched further. These groups are designated by the colour of swimmers' swim hats. As swimmers move through the levels they are rewarded with the next level hat.