Swim Lesson Levels: Changes on Board at Goldfish Swim School!
It’s time to celebrate: We’ve revamped our curriculum a bit, making sure we’re doing the best we can to give your kids a GOLDEN experience every week at Goldfish Swim School! We’ve done quite a bit of research, listened to feedback from members and parents, and observed classes to come up with some slight adjustments to keep up with our goal of teaching children to swim and be safer in the water – while having tons of fun!
You may not notice much of a difference, but we’ve streamlined our unique Goldfish Swim School curriculum to make the most of your child’s 30-minute lesson. Our instructors will use the same integrity, compassion and trust to teach swim skills in a precise manner: Explanation, demonstration, practice, and feedback.
We’ll also be focusing even more on positive reinforcement to build kids’ confidence, getting them more comfortable in the water and able to learn so you can keep seeing those extraordinary results (So don’t be surprised if you see more high-fives, cannonballs, ribbons and prizes!). And because teaching kids how to be safer in and around the water is our priority, you’ll still see the water safety skills being taught in each lesson.
According to Jenny McCuiston, Co-Founder of Goldfish Swim School Franchising, LLC, extensive research revealed most people are visual learners – so the Goldfish Swim School curriculum was changed from written to being drawn out with kid-friendly, vibrant illustrations. Now, instructors AND students can see what is expected for each particular swim skill with the goal to understand more easily (and all instructors receive the exact same training around the country).
“We did research on more developmentally appropriate ways of teaching, to increase retention,” Jenny said. “We tweaked the flow of skills and tried to simplify things a little to give them more swim time – and to focus more on the important things we teach in the classes.”
Plus, there are more interactive songs during lessons and pool toys customized for Goldfish Swim School (you’ll be seeing a lot more of Bubbles around the deck and beyond!) – plus more use of barbells and fish kickboards.
“We have new fun things we can add in to set us apart, and the kids love it,” Jenny said.
“Our students love Bubbles and the idea was to bring him to life in the lessons.”
And…We changed our level names!
With so many different level names previously, we learned it could be a bit confusing. So, now we’ve become a bit more concise with just four main categories (and their sublevels).
“One of our main goals of this curriculum refinement was to to simplify and focus on key components of water safety and proper swim techniques,” said Clarey Collins, Curriculum Development Manager for Goldfish Swim School Franchising, LLC. “We want it to be fun and interactive with safety always being our priority.”
Here are brief overviews of what each class entails:
Mini: Ages 3-35 months (yes, babies younger than 1 can learn to swim!)
- Mini Prep (3-6 months): Classes have a 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio, with focus on having fun, getting comfortable in the water, bonding with parents, singing songs, and starting the building blocks of basic swimming skills like kicking and back floats.
- Mini 1 (4-15 months): Classes have a 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio, with more focus on swimming and water safety skills – including kicking, pulling paddle, underwater dips, wall holds, breath control, rollovers, back floats, and more.
- Mini 2 (16-35 months): Classes have a 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio, with more focus on unassisted kicking with a barbell, pulling paddle, underwater dips, unassisted gliding, wall holds, jumping in the water, rollover breathing, back floats, – plus more water safety skills.
- Mini 3 (24-35 months): Classes have a 3:1 student-to-teacher ratio, with focus on kicking, underwater dips, gliding, back floats, pulling paddle, wall holds, jumping in underwater, rollovers and more – with attention to doing more skills unassisted.
- Mini 4 (24-35 months): Classes have a 3:1 student-to-teacher ratio, with even more focus on mastering unassisted swim and water safety skills – including kicking, underwater dips, gliding, back floats, front floats, pulling paddles, “crab” walking along the wall, rollovers, breath control, and more.
Junior: Ages 3-4 years
- Junior 1: The class ratio is 4:1, with focus on unassisted flutter kicking, underwater dips, unassisted gliding, back floats, front floats, unassisted pulling paddle, rollover breathing, rollover safety skills and water safety skills (like getting in and out of the water safely).
- Junior 2: The class ratio is 4:1, with more focus on doing swim skills unassisted – including flutter kicking, gliding, back floats, front floats, pulling paddles, rollovers, and getting in and out of the water – and more water safety and swim skills practice with assistance.
- Junior 3: The class ratio is 4:1, with focus on doing swim skills unassisted for farther lengths and longer times – such as flutter kicking, gliding, back floats, front floats, pulling paddle, freestyle, rollover breaths – and focus on water safety skills.
Glider: Ages 4-12 years
- Glider 1: The class ratio is 4:1, with focus on unassisted skills such as flutter kicking, gliding, back floats, front floats, pulling paddle, rollovers with breaths, and back glides – and assisted skills such as underwater dips, freestyle, and rollover safety skills.
- Glider 2: The class ratio is 4:1, with focus on freestyle swimming, and unassisted swim skills including gliding, flutter kicking, rollover breaths, back gliding, flutter kicking on back – along with practicing backstroke and treading water for 30 seconds.
- Glider 3: The class ratio is 4:1, with more focus on longer stretches of unassisted swim skills – such as freestyle, gliding, flutter kicking, freestyle with side breaths, flutter kicking on back, backstroke and treading water.
Pro: Ages 4-12 years
- Pro 1: The class ratio is 4:1, and the focus is mastering unassisted swim skills that are farther in length and duration – including flutter kicking with a kickboard for four pool widths, underwater flutter kicking for ½ of a pool width, freestyle with side breaths for two pool widths, flutter kicking on the back with a kickboard for four pool widths, flutter kicking on the back for two pool widths, backstroke for two pool widths, breaststroke for one pool width, dolphin kicking for one width, and treading water for one minute (and focus on water safety skills).
- Pro 2: The class ratio is 4:1, with more focus on unassisted swim skills – including dolphin kicking, butterfly, underwater flutter kicking on back, USA Backstroke, breaststroke kicking, breaststroke swimming, underwater flutter kicking on stomach, USA Freestyle, bilateral breaths, freestyle flip turns and more to prepare kids to be on the Swim Force swim team!
Sign up for swimming lessons today!