Babies – Preschool Programme

New Baby (5mth – 18mth)

This is for all babies and parents who have had no structured swimming lessons before.

The first and most important aim of this class is to ensure babies develop a love of the water and gain confidence in the aquatic environment.

The second aim is to teach babies how to hold their breath under the water with a submersion cue. Approximately 90% of our babies will successfully be fully submerged with breath-holding techniques obviously displayed by the end of the 10 week course.

It is important to note that babies will not be submerged if they or their parents are showing signs of anxiety towards such an action.

Experienced Baby (7mth – 18mth)

For babies from 7mth – 18mth who have completed at least 1 term of lessons either here at Bumble Bees (in our new babies programme) or at another pool.
The aims of this class are to extend the submersion of babies who are confident under the water through free flotation activities, use of parents wearing t-shirts so that babies have control over lifting themselves up from under the water, and to extend introductory activities from our new babies programme.

Older Baby (18mth – 2.5yrs)

This class aims to encourage propulsion through the water by encouraging kicking skills and underwater arm propulsions. This is also an important age to cement strong safety skills in and around water and our programme incorporates such skills in every lesson. Submersions are encouraged to be longer for those confident children who have come through the Bumble Bees programme, whilst we are teaching breath holding techniques such as bubble blowing to those children who may not be happy going under water at this stage. At this stage children will begin to take control of their own submersions and we encourage them to have such control.

Toddler (2.5yrs – 3.5yrs)

At this level we are aiming to encourage more independence in the water and use flotation aids to assist children with having less support from their parent. Propulsion skills are continued to be focused on so that children can safely move themselves through the water independently. This level is a stepping stone in preparing children physically, socially and emotionally for the preschool programme.

Preschool (3.5yrs – 5yrs)

For any new children into the Bumble Bees programme at this stage, our immediate aim is to ensure they develop confidence in and under the water. Secondly, and for other children who may have come through our programme, and who are already happy in and under the water, then independent flotation skills on front and back and correct kicking technique are the focus’ for this level.

Confident Preschool (3.5yrs – 5yrs)

This level caters for children who are extremely happy under water and who confidently and competently float independently on their front and back. Such children also have an understanding of basic kicking technique and can propel themselves through the water for a few metres unaided. The aims of this level are to develop streamlined floating, correct and efficient kicking technique on front and back and teach basic freestyle arm actions particularly with aids. At this stage we also introduce basic breaststroke.

After School Programme

School Aged Beginner (5yrs+)

This programme caters for children aged 5yrs + who are either not happy under the water or are unable to float independently. The aims of this level are to firstly develop confidence in the child both in and under the water, to develop children’s understanding of balance and buoyancy in the water through flotation skills, and to develop a straight legged kick for propulsion.

*Transition (4yrs+)

This group caters for children who are ready to swim in our deep pool without a parent in the water. Children are able to confidently swim 4-5metres in a streamlined position with reasonable kicking technique on front. On their back, children can kick with a board and can float independently without aids. Aims for this level are to transition parents out of the pool, ensuring children are emotionally ready and are safe in the water without parental support. We aim to teach the children how to kick on front and back with efficient technique, how to roll over from front to back and how to do basic freestyle arm actions with an aid. Breaststroke kick is also introduced.

*Intermediate (4yrs +)

This level focuses on teaching children a perfect arm stroke both with and without aids. Children also learn how to stroke and roll over onto their back to take a breath (in preparation for learning breathing technique.) Breaststroke kick is also a focus.

*Advanced (4yrs+)

This level is for children who are ready to learn side breathing. This is also our final level here at Bumble Bees. Often this is a very difficult stage for children as side breathing is a complicated process. Also, children are taught full backstroke without aids and full breaststroke. By the time children leave our programme here they can consistently swim 7 metres of freestyle and backstroke and have the base knowledge of how to do full breaststroke.


Once children finish the Advanced level they are ready to progress up to our 20metre pool at 54 Wickham St, Bromley. This is our MAC’s programme in which Blair is operating manager and coach. This programme is a complete progression on from Bumble Bees and children are given the opportunity to swim 20 metres straight away.

* Parents not required in the water in these groups. Note: Transition class does begin with parents in water, but “transitions” parents out of the water within the term.


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