Wavebreakers lessons are intended for children of primary school age (4 to 11), and both absolute beginners and swimmers with some previous experience are welcome.
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 our teachers' 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. The aim is to embed high quality technique from the outset.
Our approach is based broadly on the Swim Ireland Child Learn to Swim programme, which offers progressive and comprehensive learning for the young swimmer. Up to level 3 - when children have gained a basic competence in the water - lessons are taught in groups with a typical teacher ratio of 3:1 or lower, with teachers and/or teaching assistants in the water with the children. Thereafter, swimmers are taught in groups with a maximum ratio of 6:1, with teachers and teaching assistants usually on the poolside better to oversee the swimmers' stroke development.
For insight into what swimmers must achieve before progressing at each stage, parents/guardians can review these Swim Ireland statements: