Frequently Asked Questions
We can't wait to see your child poolside! Here's how we operate! If there's anything else you need to know please contact us.
Your child will need a swimming costume/trunks (not baggy shorts as these will slow them down!). Milton Hill House is normally about 30 degrees so swimming tops are optional if desired. Babies might prefer to wear a swimming wetsuit to keep warm. Abongdon School Pool is 27 degrees and younger children may prefer a swimming top. At Kingfisher School Pool with water is 34 degrees (warm!) so they will not need anything other than bathers. Please tie long hair back and wear the free swimming hat provided. We highly recommend your child wears goggles during class to get confident putting their face in from the first session and to protect their eyes from the chlorinated water.
Watching the Lessons
You are responsible for your child until the teachers take over responsibility and supervision. We know you’d like to see how your child is getting on, so whenever possible we will allow you to observe the class where possible. Please bear in mind, that some children concentrate better when you are not watching! We may ask you to assist if your child is very nervous. Please ensure you're available throughout the lesson to take the child to the toilet or if there is an emergency (for example, if the fire alarm goes off) and promptly collect your child at the end of the lesson.
Swim School Class Dates for Ducklings Stage 0+ (Not Baby and Pre-School which run every week)
Our courses run throughout the year in accordance with South Oxfordshire School Term dates. Towards the end of each term we’ll send you a handy email reminder of the last session of term and the first session of next term. Just FYI, if your child is at state school that week or part of (Mon to Sun), there will be a lesson running. If it’s a holiday week, there will be no lesson. Once you've signed up you'll have access to a parent portal which will have the upcoming lesson dates for each child's class.
Booking & Flexible Payment Terms
We charge £15.00 per 30 minute group session. To ensure you keep your space in the swim school, when you sign up, you will sign up on an ongoing basis and pay for your child’s classes on the first of every month, for the lessons happening in that month, hence holiday months will be significantly cheaper! When you sign up you pay for your child's last four lessons so you can cancel at any time. When you have given notice or need to take a break there will be nothing left to pay and you can attend the last four lessons. This is to give you flexibility if your work pattern or childcare arrangements change and we think this is fairer, more affordable and more convenient than charging up front for a whole term which you need to spend the extra time renewing termly. This price is fully inclusive of a swim hat and all award badges and certificates. The same payment system will remain in place when your child progresses to the next stage.
Progression & Changing class times and venues
We make sure that children progress quickly, through our small group sizes (maximum 4-6 children depending on age). Small group sizes help us to continually assess each child's progress. When you child is ready to move up to the next stage, they will do so as soon as a space becomes available and we will present them with their award certificate and badge and a huge well done! Similarly, if your child is in a class that is too difficult, we will move them to the appropriate stage, so that we can help them to develop their skills effectively.
As a result of the above, as time progresses it’s unlikely but possible your child’s class size may reduce. Once a class has become too small to function properly we will need to merge it with another. We try to keep class times as similar as possible but unfortunately cannot always guarantee this. If the merger of your class with another results in a change of your class time or venue, we will endeavour to give you as much notice as possible.
From time to time for reasons beyond our control the pool may not be safe to use and may close. If the pool cannot be used in the short term, we will endeavour, where possible, to notify you by text and email straight away. We regret it is not possible for us to re-schedule or refund your cancelled class. In this instance we are not responsible for any travel expenses incurred.
Where a pool is not available on a longer-term basis (more than one week), on public health or other grounds outside our control (not including operational issues with the pool), then we cannot be responsible for providing any further classes to you during that time. For closures of more than 1 week or schedule changes you cannot make we will either refund the unused balance of your month’s fees to your payment card or provide a discount on a future month’s fees.
We are under no obligation to refund classes that may be missed due to local adverse weather when the venue and environments are not safe and accessible, and classes are not held. We regret that we are unable to offer automatic refunding or rescheduling of classes in the event of adverse conditions local to you which prevent you from attending a scheduled class.
Video and photography
Whilst the family atmosphere we encourage means that parents, grandparents, and friends should feel very comfortable taking photographs or video footage, we would ask that everyone respects the feelings of others should some families not feel comfortable with this. If someone in a class has indicated they do not consent to photography or video, the teacher will inform the class and filming/photography must stop immediately and without incident.
Toiletting, nappies and changing your child
Please ensure your child goes to the toilet before class. If your child is not potty trained, they must wear a swimming nappy to their class, with an additional tighter style neoprene nappy on top to avoid leakages and resulting pool closures. Please place all used nappies in the correct bin or take them home with you. Changing mats and anti-bacterial wipes are provided at Milton Hill House baby classes.
Pool/poolside health and safety
Please remove outdoor shoes before entering the changing rooms. No outdoor footwear or prams should be taken onto poolside or into changing rooms. Please use blue overshoes (if available) or go barefoot if you prefer.
Please always endeavour to shower you and/or your child before entering the water. Removing body lotions, soaps, etc. before swimming contributes significantly to maintaining water quality, reducing the need for chemicals to be over-used and keeps the water cleaner for everyone.
Class Changeovers & Start Time
Lessons last 30 minutes and run back to back. This does mean the changing rooms may get a little crowded at times, so to help limit this please change quickly and keep belongings tidy. Whilst you are waiting for your class, please keep changing room noise down to a minimum so that all classes can take place in a calm and peaceful atmosphere. Please do not enter the poolside until your class start time.
We are happy for one adult, or other members of your family, friends, or child minders to bring your child to classes.
Cancellations & Refunds
Should a class be cancelled in advance, or already be in progress or about to start and needs be cleared on the grounds of health and safety then we are under no obligation to refund the class or part thereof. We will refund for long term closures of one week or more.
We endeavour to ensure you always have the same teacher, but we cannot guarantee this as teachers do occasionally need time off for family commitments and illness too!
Illness & Disease
Should your child or the adult taking your child into the water have, or develop, any known or suspected medical condition, please consult your doctor before swimming. If your illness is contagious and may affect other swimmers, please do inform us by email immediately so we may share basic information about this risk with other parents/carers. All information received is treated in confidence and with sensitivity.
Never bring your child swimming if they have any illness such as an ear infection, diarrhoea, vomiting, chicken pox, impetigo, conjunctivitis, or a bad cold. Please wait until your doctor has given the all-clear before returning to classes.
Please ensure that any sickness/diarrhoea symptoms have completely cleared for at least 48 hours before your class; or 14 days if a gastrointestinal bug has been diagnosed by a medical professional.
Our teachers may refuse entry to the pool if they reasonably believe that your child is not well enough to participate.
The safety of our customers is our highest priority. To ensure everyone’s safety, we ask that ahead of attending swimming classes, your child and anyone that is attending with them, do not attend if exhibiting any of the following symptoms.
a high temperature
a new, continuous cough
a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
You should follow NHS guidance on testing and self-isolation.
We also carry out the following safety procedures:
Thorough regular cleaning of door handles, changing room surfaces and other high touch areas
Ensuring children shower thoroughly before entering the water
If your child has a positive test please notify us by phone or email immediately so we can take the necessary actions. In the event of class closures due to positive testing, you will be notified in the first instance by phone or email and our Refunds & Cancellations policy as above will apply.