We started swimming with Becky Adlington’s SwimStars about 3 weeks ago. We were invited to try the lessons out at a special launch trial day at Nuffield Health, Gosforth and asked to partner with them so we could tell you all about our SwimStars journey. Since then, we’ve noticed several benefits of swimming with Becky Adlington’s SwimStars. In this review, we will highlight the reasons why we think they’re a great swim school, and how the lessons have helped to increase the boys’ enthusiasm for swimming.
You can get a free trial class at Becky Adlington’s SwimStars near you.
Our review – Becky Adlington’s SwimStars
Becky Adlington is a four-time Olympic medal-winning swimmer, a mother, and the founder of SwimStars. Becky Adlington’s SwimStars is a learn to swim programme designed for all children aged 3-11.
Max 6 children in each class
There is a maximum of six children in each class. At the moment my children are incredibly lucky and are enjoying being one of two children in their lessons, as there is just one other child with them in the water.
Teachers in the water with the lowest ability groups
The teachers are also in the water with the children, which allows them to gently alter strokes, talk the instructions rather than shout, and reassure nervous children by being close by. As the children progress through the levels, the teachers start to stand on poolside, but for those new swimmers and lower ability groups, the teachers in the water is a very reassuring sight.
Bespoke programme with a focus on fun and safety in the water
James is struggling a bit with his back crawl – his technique is fabulous, but he only manages about half a length before he’s spinning like a cork in the water, trying to see where the end of the pool is. His worry about banging his head is stopping him really getting into his stride on his back. Yesterday his SwimStars teacher showed him how to notice what the ceiling looks like at the ends, and how to cradle his head when he gets close to the end. I think yesterday was the first time he’s completed a full length on his back!
Additional awards for values such as friendship, determination and courage
In some other swim schools, you aren’t quite clear on what the children need to do to progress to the next level, but something I really like about the Becky Adlington’s SwimStars programme is that you can see what it is they’re working towards on the website. Each week the teachers can mark off what the children have achieved and slowly but surely you can see they’re progressing. Along the way, the children can earn additional awards for values like friendship, determination and courage.
How much are lessons at Becky Adlington’s SwimStars?
Lessons at Becky Adlington’s SwimStars in Gosforth currently cost £29.95 by Direct Debit each month; this makes it about £7.20 per lesson. For comparison, lessons at North Tyneside swimming baths cost £60.60 for the term (about 12 weeks), which makes it around £5.05 per lesson. Swim School at Newcastle upon Tyne area pools cost £23.00 per month but there are around 12-15 children in the pool at the same time and the teachers don’t often go in the pool with the children.
Another thing I really like about the direct debit is that you can choose a day of the month for payment to be taken that suits you, and then that’s it! No more thinking about it until you want to leave the lessons.
In North Tyneside, you have to remember to go to the desk in the penultimate week of the term to book on for the next block, but if you’re going on holiday early or just can’t make it in to pay, there’s a risk of missing the next term of lessons!
I’ve also heard that parents have been unable to book their children into the lessons, even though there are technically spaces in the lesson because there’s a waiting list and the pool has to offer the space to the whole list before someone new can take the space!
- A welcome pack includes a swimmer pack with lots of activities to get them excited about their lesson, a parent pack with handy FAQs, and your child’s branded SwimStars swim hat – the children receive new hats each time they progress into a new group.
- Online progress tracking on your online account so you can easily see where your SwimStar is up to and what they need to achieve to move up to the next ability group
- Weekly lessons in small groups of children
- Teachers in the water with the children
- The lessons have been filled with absolute pure joy for my children. Noah smiles for the whole 30 minutes, and his progress over the last two weeks has been marked.
- The teachers can tailor the lesson to the child as the groups are small.
- No waiting around after the children have swum their length, while they wait for classmates to complete theirs – this waiting time is a major opportunity for my children to mess around and lose focus, but with Becky Adlington Swim Stars they swim for almost all of the 30 minutes.
- The water is warm! At Nuffield Health in Gosforth, the pool is modern with great facilities (hello swimming costume dryer, and individual shower cubicles), and the pool isn’t too deep but deep enough.
- Great secure parking, near to main roads and routes.
- There’s a cafe and a hairdresser on site (I’m not sure how much you could take advantage of that in a 30-minute lesson though).
- Umm, my kids say their lessons are so much fun there are no bad points!
- I can’t think of anything that isn’t insurmountable.
- Local authority swimming lessons are great, and often placed close to schools and with a more ready link to the swimming club for advanced swimmers.
- Progress through the lessons depends on the teacher logging in and marking your child’s achievements in the last lesson. If they don’t do that, your child doesn’t go up to the next level even if they can do everything listed. As with most things, relying on others is occasionally frustrating, but of course, we don’t know what’s coming up on the next level!
I definitely recommend trying Becky Adlington’s SwimStars at Nuffield Health, Gosforth. Book a free space at your local pool. SwimStars is most suited to people who want their children to learn to swim in a friendly, fun environment.