How do I book and pay for a course?
To enquire and book, please complete our Online Enquiry Form and we will email you with lesson details, availability and paymentt information. The terms fees can be paid in full but most families pay via monthly direct debit system, which helps families spread the cost throughout the term. Payments for one 12 week term are payable on the 1st of each month over a four month installment period. On booking, we will send you our secure Go Cardless direct debit payment link.
Can I and my family watch my child swim?
Yes, spectator area is 4-5m away from the pool. Outdoor shoes are not allowed onto poolside areas. Please take shoes off or use blue pool shoe covers provided on entrance.
Can my child do 2 lessons?
Yes, and great news because we offer a second group lesson per week at 50% off! Swimmers can book for 2 group lessons back to back (swim for an hour) or book for 2 group lessons per week, different days. Not all swimmers within the family have to book for the second group lesson.
How do I keep track of my child's progress
Our Instructors are constantly assessing and working swimmers towards their STA Awards. Parents can track their swimmers progress through our Parent Portal, where a grading system of Fair, Good and Passes is used. At the end of each term, parents will have the opportunity to puchase any awards achieved. If parents would like individual feedback from their Instructor, this can be requested via the Parent Portal message centre and the Instructor will reply with details. Feedback can be given at the pool but lessons are back to back, so an Instructor may not have time to comment due to needing to start their next lesson.
I've forgotten the term dates?
Don't worry, all your upcoming lessons are on your Parent Portal, as well as being on our Home page. We do send date reminders throughout the term, such as no swimming for half term.
How do I get to the School?
West Buckland School, EX32 0SX. From Barnstaple, drive towards South Molton along the link road, turn left towards West Buckland and stay on this road. About a mile after the village, the school will be on your left, parking is in the Sports Centre Car Park ONLY. When you enter the school grounds, drive past the front of the school and then turn left down the side of the main building, with the cricket pitches on your right. Drive over the zebra crossing, the pool is on the right but to park continue along the road to the car park next to the astro turf. Under NO circumstances must you park ANYWHERE else. The walking route from the Car Park to the pool is via the road taken to get to the Car Park, however, families must use the footpath installed.
How do I get to the pool?
The walking route from the Car Park to the pool is via the road taken to get to the Car Park, however, families must use the footpath installed. Entrance to the pool is through the top door, continue along the path and up the little incline. The top white pool door is on the right. Please pull the door over, it wont shut tight due to the security system being turned off for our sessions. We do advise all swimmers to attend swim ready, with their swim shorts or costume underneath their clothes.
Does my child need to bring their armbands or other swimming aids?
We have all the equipment necessary for your child’s lesson. If the teacher feels that your child needs extra buoyancy aids they will supply them for you.
How do I re-enrol for the next course?
All customers are automatically re enrolled for the next course, however, you will need to give the appropriate notice to leave. At West Buckland, you can cancel your next term of lessons when you receive our automatic re-enrollment email and text, giving you the option to cancel before cut off date.
What happens if I cancel my lessons?
Once a place has been booked on a course at either of our pools, there will be no refund given if cancelled less than 14 days prior to the start date. Courses cancelled with more than 14 days notice will be entitled to a refund for monies paid, but there will be a £15.00 administration fee.
What happens in the event of pool closures due to bad weather like snow?
In the event of pool closures that are beyond our or the pool's control, refunds will not be given. An example of this may be bad weather which may mean the roads are closed or are unsafe. We will announce pool closures on our website and on all our answerphone machines.
Can I do a catch up lesson as my child has been ill?
Catch up lessons may be available if you have missed three or more lessons due to illness but this is only at the discretion of our admin team and availability.
I’m going on holiday; can I pay only for the lessons we will be attending?
Unfortunately you will have to pay for the whole course to guarantee your place. Although if you miss 3 or more lessons in a row due to that ‘special’ holiday then the above rule for catch ups may apply.
What if my child has a cold or is unwell?
It is not wise to bring your child swimming with anything more than a very mild cold. Please consider the other children in your group as your child will spread infection and is unlikely to enjoy swimming at that time.
If your child has an ear infection, please do not swim until it has cleared up. It is not likely to have been caused by swimming, however it will be uncomfortable and your child’s ear should be kept dry until it is clear. If your child has repetitive ear infections you can purchase 'Ear Band' for swimming, and seek advice from your GP or consultant.
My child has been ill with diarrhoea, when can they return to swimming?
Anyone who has had a bout of diarrhoea should not swim for at least 14 days. This is due to possible anal seepage which could carry the cryptospiridia and Giardia infectious cysts which are immune to chlorine.
What is the Parent Portal?
Our Parent Portal is a great way to keep track of your upcoming lessons and swimmer award progress. You can update your family details and medical details. There is also a message center where you can message us direct with all chats being saved for quick referencing. Awards can be purchased from the award center and any teacher comments / feedback can also be seen.
I have forgotten my Parent Portal login details?
Don't panic, simply Contact Us and we will send you a password re-set email.
What changing facilities are available?
West Buckland School pool is a private school, therefore changing rooms are open spaces. Seperate female and male chaning is provided, along with showers and toilets. Anyone over the age of 8 must change in their same sex changing room, special considerations can apply if discussed with the shift Senior Teacher. We do supply standing baby changing units and mats, plus a play pen in both the female and male changing facilities, to allow parents to change little ones with ease and then keep them safe and secure whilst you change. All our changing rooms are shoe-free zones please remove any outdoor shoes (including toddlers) before entering or use the blue shoe coverings supplied on entrance to the pool.
At what age can I start swimming with my baby?
Our optimum age for a baby is between 6 weeks and 6 months of age. However, as our teachers are qualified to teach all ages, you can start your baby/child at any age. We recommend from 3 months of age at our West Buckland School pool. Very young babies should only stay in the water for 10/15 minutes on their first few visits.
At what age can children have lessons without a parent in the water?
Usually a child will have solo lessons at around 3 years of age, although this is dependant on the child, parent and teacher who will decide this together. We will aim to make this transition as smooth as possible and will happily ‘wean’ the parent away over a number of lessons.
What does my baby need to wear in the water?
It is compulsory for all non potty trained children to wear a double swim nappy system. This consists of a disposable or a washable swim nappy, which is widely available from supermarkets and baby shops, with a ‘Happy Nappy’ or ‘Nappicova’ over the top. After years of trial and error we only allow Splash About's 'Happy Nappy' or Konfidence’s ‘Nappicova’ which is specially designed for baby swimming.
We have found that some other swim nappies can be ineffective as the seal around the thigh area is not tight enough. Your nappy can be paid for with your course fees or ordred from our online shop and will be either sent to you in the post or can be collected from our Head Office in Barnstaple. It must be a snug fit; unfortunately we cannot allow any room for growth! You will not be allowed into the water without both correct nappies as nappy leaks into the water will result in cancelling classes to clean the pool.
Does my baby need immunisations before swimming?
Babies can go swimming at any age; they do not have to complete their course of immunisation. Care should always be taken when disposing of nappies and these should never be left at any of our pools, but taken home and disposed of. Further research on this can be seen on the NHS website www.immunisation.org.uk
Can both parents attend the baby classes?
Yes, but only one adult is allowed in the water. Many families alternate the adult in the water with babies, with the other adult watching from poolside. Other family members can aslo be the supporting adult in the water, such as grandparents, aunties and uncles.
My baby cries a lot in the water.
There are many reasons your baby may cry in the water. Some babies need to adjust to the new environment they are in, with the sounds, splashes and echoes around them.
Think about the timing of your class, is it close to a feed or nap time? And be aware of normal irritants such as teething or the beginning of a cold.
Some babies go through a crying phase specific to swimming. This commonly happens around the age of 12 months and can seem frustrating if your baby has been very happy so far. It is important not to stop coming to classes during this time, your teacher has experienced this many times and can talk you through problems and adjust your program accordingly. Your relaxed positive attitude will help and soon your baby will only cry when it is time to get out!
Can I practice with my baby outside of classes and on holiday?
Yes, babies are more comfortable in water the more they swim. Be aware that other pools may be cooler. Never swim your baby for more time than you do in class and if your baby becomes cold shorten your swim time to 15 minutes. You can also purchase from Konfidence or Splash About online, Baby Snugs, Baby Warmers, Rash Vests and Mini wet suits to keep your baby warmer.
To attend a baby class do I need to be able to swim or go underwater myself?
No, you can learn our techniques without putting your head under the water, though it is lovely to meet your baby underwater and share the experience. We will guide you as the parent as much as you need; we want this to be special bonding experience for both you and baby.
Can I feed my baby at the pools?
You are more than welcome to breast or bottle feed your baby at any of our pools. Unfortunately other types of food are not allowed at our pools, i.e. fruit, crisps, raisins etc.
What is your policy on photographing my child?
In accordance with our child protection policy photographing or videoing is NOT allowed There will be opportunities to have a photograph taken of your child through organised photo shoots. Mobile phones are not allowed to be used at any of pools and should always be switched off.
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