SWIM SCHOOL PARENT HANDBOOK
Welcome to Sunny Skye’s Aquatics & Wellness Hub. We are locally owned and provide a year-round heated, outdoor saltwater/chlorinated pool. Learning to swim is an essential skill that all children should eventually learn.
We want our students to be:
ALL AQUATIC ENVIRONMENTS
To Internationally promote…
swimSAFER TOGETHER, educating communities to engage and understand the importance of becoming Confident, Competent and Consistent in
ALL AQUATIC ENVIRONMENTS
To provide worldwide water safety programs, in order to save lives,
within all Aquatic Environments
We endeavor to equip everyone, from babies to adults, with the skills and confidence to be safe when around water. We also specialise in accommodating multiple birth families, and children with disabilities.
By taking a personalised approach to teaching we can ensure that everyone learns to swim with ease and confidence at their own pace. Our flexible and personal approach ensures results when parents commit to our very successful teaching structure. We pride ourselves in being an ABILITY based swim school; therefore we do not hold children back on age, tailoring a service that best suits your child’s needs.
Students of Sunny Skye’s are taught to be prepared for the unknown and will learn how to respond safely to many different situations. Our services include follow on extension programs from our general ‘Learn to Swim’ for those aged 4.5 – 13 years.
The purpose of this Parent/Guardian’s Handbook is to provide you with important information about our swim programs, curriculum and other programs on offer.
Children under the age of four are 14 times more likely to drown than be involved in an automobile accident. While our government insists that your child be buckled in a car seat, they have left this important decision to you. It is a life skill and we thank you for making the decision to join our ‘Swim family’ and trust us to help your child achieve this.
This handbook has been created to make your experience a pleasant and productive one. It provides answers to many of the common questions that we are asked, a thorough explanation of our curriculum, facts about swimming and water, and plenty of tips and suggestions to enhance your child’s experience.
Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the contents of this handbook. Should you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Swim school is predominately ran on a ‘word of mouth’ basis and we appreciate the on going support and referrals we receive every day. My wonderful team and I, here at Sunny Skye’s cannot thank you enough. We are honoured that you have entrusted us with teaching your child/ren to swim!
ABOUT SKYE – Owner/operator
Sunny Skye’s is owned and operated by Skye Bond, an extremely qualified and experienced and award winning swim teacher. Skye is committed to bringing out the best in all her students, no matter how challenging. By combining her passion for water safety with a no nonsense approach, results are guaranteed. Skye is active on the ASCTA (Australian, swimmers, coachers, teachers association) board for Queensland. Skye presents in her field both Nationally and Internationally to various swimming bodies, school and Government organisations.
Skye tailors her program to the individual needs of each child, you will receive her personal touch and experience that you are looking for. Children are taught to handle real life situations in a real life environment. Water safety and ensuring young swimmers are panic proof is our number one priority.
Sunny Skye’s teaches swimmers of all ages and levels, babies from four months, non-swimmers, safety classes, stroke correction and squad training. She has been involved with coaching up to ASCTA Bronze License Coach and has worked under ASCTA Gold License, Olympic and Ironman coaches since becoming a qualified instructor.
Owner and operator, Skye Bond is an active Gold Coaster. She has been involved with swim coaching at all levels under the mentorship of current, successful Australian Olympic coaches. Skye has been teaching swimming for 26 years and has a love of children, swimming and the beach. Skye is extremely active in Surf Lifesaving for over 37 years and has achieved state, national and world titles.
Skye is in the water every day, teaching across all ages and levels depending on her student’s ability. Skye prides herself on personally tailoring a program for every child’s individual needs, ensuring your child develops a strong swimming competency in and around the water.
Through her teaching, Skye ensures a focus on stroke enhancement and confidence in all aquatic environments. Skye’s passion to teach and determination to ensure every child that comes to Sunny Skye’s, leaves with the essential skills to be Aquatic safe.
Sunny Skye’s is a proud member of Swim AUSTRALIA, AUSTSWIM, Australian Swimming Teachers and Coaches Association, Royal Lifesaving Australia, Royal Life Saving Queensland, Australian Swim Schools Association and International Lifesaving
All lessons are sold as an 8 or 9week term and a first come, first served basis. Please remember to register as soon as possible because space is always limited. Lesson placements are only reserved with payment and accompanied enrolment forms. The first come, first served policy also applies to our customers who have been part of Sunny Skye’s for years. If you have been a valued client, you will still need to advise staff that you are returning and want to retain your regular placement or if you require a change of day or time. Listed below are some important things to remember about registration.
- Classes are limited and you will need to ALWAYS advise us before each term begins of any changes to your placement.
- If your child has special needs, please inform staff when you register.
- If your child has a medical condition, please submit a medical clearance to Sunny Skye’s Swimming administration upon registration.
- All fees must be paid in full before commencement.
- We have a NO refund policy so please double check the classes that you choose to enrol for. In the case of a Medical condition if we are provided with a Medical certificate that enables your child from attending lessons for more than 3 consecutive weeks we will credit the remainder of the clients fees, less a processing fee of $15. We require a minimum of 48 hours notice to approve this request.
All instructors are fully qualified to teach their specific classes with either AUSTSWIM or ASCTA accreditations.
Our flexible, value for money approach to pricing ensures that swimming lessons are attainable for everyone. General pricing is available on our Sunny Skye’s APP however, this can vary depending on class structure and program. Prices are subjected to change.
- We currently work with multiple NDIS clients. Please contact us in regards to this before commencement of any programs.
In Term 2 and 3, you can purchase a second class if there is availability and receive 10% discount off the cheaper class fee. These classes are non-refundable/credited or have make-ups.
Term Dates Annually
- We run within the Queensland State School Terms.
- We run an 8/9week term within the QLD State School Term.
- During Queensland School Holidays we run Swim Intensive and Surf Skills Programs which you can find information on our Sunny Skye’s APP and our website.
Swimming Programs on offer and other possible programs of interest:
- Water familiarization program (4 months – 12 months) bookings required
- One on one children’s swimming lessons for all levels – from fourteen months
- Shared lessons (maximum of 3 per class) – from eighteen months
- Squad Program (ability based)
- Swim Intensive Program
- Open Water/swimFIT Program in Terms 1 and 4 (ability based)
- Surf Skills Safety program (ability based)
- Community & International Programs – swimSAFER TOGETHER
- SwimSAFER programs Winter and Summer
- One on one adult swimming lessons for all levels
- Nipper proficiencies
- Basic First Aid and CPR for parents and family members
- Swimming Instructor courses for Parents
Cancellations / Refunds
We have a strict NO REFUND policy. Once we reserve one of our lesson placements for your child/ren, it becomes a placement we cannot sell to other customers. Please be sure to check your schedule for conflicts before committing to a session/day/time.
In the case of a Medical condition if we are provided with a Medical certificate that enables your child from attending lessons for more than 3 consecutive weeks we will credit the remainder of the clients fees, less a processing fee of $15. Any cancellations to be emailed to email@example.com and we require a minimum of 48 hours notice to approve this request.
Weather, Natural Disaster, Pandemic Policy / Pool Closures
For safety reasons, there may be times when the facility must be closed and cleared due to inclement weather or other conditions. The facility will re-open when the weather is safe (bottom of the pool is clearly visible, thunder is no longer heard and lightening is no longer seen).
- Closing for rain / wind (this consists of heavy rain and wind – where the staff cannot see the bottom of the pool clearly), it is up to the discretion of the Staff on Duty.
- Closure for Thunder and lightening is necessary. The facility will be closed 30 minutes from every time thunder and lightening is within a 30sec time frame. If the inclement weather continues, the facility may be closed for the remainder of the day at the discretion of the staff on duty. Only if the facility is closed for the remainder of the day will Makeups be issued.
- If your child’s lesson has commenced and a storm hits, classes will not be available for makeups if half way through.
- If mechanical problems occur, the pool will be closed. If pool heater and or pH / salt and chlorine are not within range, or if poor visibility, it will be grounds for closure.
- RWI (recreation water illness), for health reasons, the pool will need to be closed and treated if faecal or emesis contamination occurs.
- If there is a Natural Disaster or Pandemic that directly affects the infrastructure or safety of the place of business, Sunny Skye’s Aquatics & Wellness Hub will be closed until it is deemed safe to re-open by Skye Owner Operator, the GCCC or the State/Federal Government pending the crisis at hand. In the event of a Natural Disaster or Pandemic, clients with more than two remaining classes of the current term will receive a credit for the outstanding classes.
Notification of pool closure will be sent out via the APP and also Facebook, if you have neither of these forms of contact you will have no indication of what is happening and left unaware of makeups for the class missed. To ensure you do not miss an update please have your Notifications ON for the Sunny Skye’s APP.
Once you have received notification, please send a text message to 0411224852 to say you have received the notice. Once we have received notification we can place you on the makeup list if required. If Sunny Skye’s has not cancelled your lesson and you choose not to attend you will not be entitled to a make-up lesson.
Changing Class Day/Time
Children learn best with consistency; therefore, we prefer to not change the children’s classes around too often. We want your child to work with the same instructor as best we can and being a private swim school and lessons, we only have two (2/3) teachers in the pool at any one time. Accordingly, we encourage your child/ren to become familiar with all teachers and this works well when we need to alternate teachers for the child/ren to get used to and not rely on the same teacher in the pool all the time. While we do not allow you to change your day and time once the term begins, we may suggest another teacher that may be better suited to your child in helping them gain confidence in and around the water. If for circumstances unforeseen you are required to change your class time or day please be aware that you will not be guaranteed your regular instructor.
The make-up policy may vary depending on the type of lesson your child/ren is registered in. Please make sure you become familiar with the policy that pertains to your child. Our policies are strictly enforced. If staff is required to cancel a class, we will do our best to inform you 30mins prior to class commencement. Please ensure you have the Sunny Skye’s APP and that we are always updated with your best contact number if we are required to contact you urgently. Please read below on cancellation policies.
- For non-attendance, 24hrs notice is required.
- All makeups to be completed on allocated makeup days or prior if a spot becomes available.
- No shows will void that lesson.
- Make ups can be done within the term, however you will need to be open to swim with another teacher on availability and only when a class becomes available.
- If cancellations are made due to inclement weather and or pool issues, you will have allocated makeup days and the school holidays to complete makeup lessons.
- We are open to pre-makeups if going away on holidays or if your child has a medical appointment that has to be addressed in the future.
- In the case of a serious medical incident, your child’s lessons will be put on hold with a copy of a Doctor’s Certificate supplied and a credit for another term of swimming will be made until the child can return. (Please note a common cold and flu is not valid as a medical condition, you will still need to give notice for a makeup).
- No makeups on group classes 1:3 unless makeup is required from a staff cancellation of class.
- Makeups requested for a share class 1:2 will be only for a 15-minute lesson as this is the lesson type you are charged for. (Unless you are happy to pay the difference for a full 30-minute lesson).
- Makeups requested on sibling share classes are only available when both siblings are not attending the lesson with 24hours notice.
- No makeups on pre organised makeups.
- No makeups on non-attendance.
- There are no makeups given for the last two weeks of the swim term. E.g. an 8week swim term will only accept makeups week 1-6. Unless Sunny Skye cancels the class’s Staff, or you have notified admin prior to the commencement of the second last week of term i.e. Week 7 of an 8 week term.
- Only two makeups allowed per term with 24 hours notice given, unless makeup is required due to staff cancellation of classes.
Please note that we allocate the week directly after our last week of term specifically for Make-ups, this is referred to by staff as ‘Make-Up’ week. For example Week 9 will be the allocated ‘Make-up Week’ for an 8week term.
- DUE TO COUNCIL REGULATIONS WE ARE REQUIRED TO SUPPLY PARKING FOR ALL CLIENTS ON THE PROPERTY;
- ON THE HOUR LESSONS CLIENTS WILL PARK IN THE PARKING SPACES ON THE RIGHT OF THE DRIVE WAY (NEAR ROCK WALL);
- ON THE HALF HOUR LESSONS CLIENTS WILL PARK ON THE GRASS ON A 45 DEGREE ANGLE LEFT OF THE DRIVE WAY;
- FOR THOSE WHO ARE ON THE QUARTER HOUR PLEASE PARK IN THE MAIN DRIVEWAY, PAST THE CAR SPACES TOWARD THE HOUSE
- PLEASE ALLOW ROOM OFF DRIVEWAY FOR CLIENTS TO DRIVE IN & OUT OF SWIM SCHOOL;
- WE WILL REQUIRE YOU TO, DEPART FROM THE SWIMMING POOL PREMISES WITHIN 15MINS OF YOUR LESSON COMPLETION
- WE ARE TRYING TO FULFIL OUR COMMITMENT TO PRIVATE LESSONS, AND DIMINISH THE DISTRACTIONS FOR CHILDREN IN THE POOL. ALSO OBIDING BY ALL COUNCIL RULES AND REGULATIONS.
No animals of any description to be brought into the Swimming Area, however we welcome you to bring your animals and go for a walk etc. while your child/ren is completing their lesson.
We reserve the right to remove children or adults from class or pool environment if they are disruptive, verbally or physically abusive to other students or instructors. NO REFUNDS WILL BE ISSUED.
Mobile phones around water:
We have a strict NO mobile phone policy around the water, unless you are taking pictures or videos of your child for family and friends. There is a allocated area for making a call, checking social media or emails, that is out the front of the swim school on the grassed area or carport. If you have other children with you that are not in the pool participating in a lesson, you will be required to take them with you until it is time for their lesson or your child’s class to finish. With that, your class time frame is 30mins and we ask that you refrain from being on your phone for any other purpose except that of videoing or taking photos. If you are on the phone prior to commencement of your child’s class you will be required to finish the call before entering the swimming enclosure.
The rate of drowning’s around water environments due to people being pre occupied on their phones is excessive and we always encourage safe practices around all aquatic environments.
Ready Set Go:
R: IS FOR READY HAVING YOUR CHILD/N IN THEIR SWIMMERS, CAP, GOOGLES (IF REQ) SITTING ON THE STOOLS PROVIDED, WAITING FOR TEACHER TO CALL THEM. (No child/ren are allowed in the water until lessons begin)
S: IS FOR SET YOUR CHILD WILL BE ADVISED THAT THEY WILL BE HOPPING INTO THE WATER SOON AND GET THEM PREPPED FOR AN EXCITING SWIMMING LESSON.
G: IS FOR GO YOUR CHILD WILL BE CALLED OVER BY THEIR TEACHER TO WALK OVER AND SAFELY ENTER THE POOL.
Appropriate swimming attire is required. No board shorts, oversized rash shirts, ill-fitting bikinis etc.
Please have correct goggles or make any adjustments to goggles so your child/ren have maximum swimming lesson time & teachers are not spending the lesson adjusting goggles.
Before entering pool, hair should be clipped or pulled back from face, Cap must be worn either put on by parent/caregiver or teacher; this includes boys also.
As per Cancer Council recommendations all sunscreens need to be applied 20 minutes prior to going outdoors. Applying sunscreen to your child/ren just before lessons affects our pool pH levels, which impacts the clarity of the pool water.
If your child is sick, please keep him/her at home to save infecting other children. *Please refer to make-up policy.
Please ensure your child has a water bottle at all times.
Wetsuits are recommended; we do provide some at the pool however these may be wet (as earlier clients may have used) or not the correct sizes. Please also have appropriate clothing for child/ren to put on after lessons.
All children that are 2 years of age or younger or not toilet trained MUST wear a swim nappy. Whether reusable or disposable, the nappy must be two layers (That is: a disposable nappy with a reusable cover or a swim suit bottom over either style.) In the case you have forgotten your swim nappy, we do have some available for sale at a cost of $2 each.
Please encourage your child to go to the toilet before class commencement. The toilet is in front of the carport.
Any other child/ren accompanying parents/caregivers to lessons are the sole responsibility of said parent/caregiver. We are trying to fulfil our commitment to teaching our students that are in the pool, so if distractions are kept to a minimum outside the pool, a maximum learning experience can be achieved. We appreciate if all clients’ leave the pool area tidy, and all belongings collected and any toys or books that are used are to be packed away.
Information on the Progress of your child/children
Our teachers aim to make your child/ren’s swimming experience the most pleasurable one possible, but as we all know as parents that is not always the case, tired, teething, new sibling, change in circumstance at home and plain old tantrums can erupt without pre warning and they have the ability to pull at the heart strings. As a parent, along with a majority of my teachers, we have experienced it all, and needless to say, try to work our magic to help your child overcome any issues they may have whilst attending their lesson.
Please keep in mind, we teach with a no-nonsense approach and are quite happy to deal with the whinging and tantrums that may occur, we only ask that, you try to work with us and leave the area if asked to, so we can try and settle/negotiate with your child to stop and have fun. You can view the class from outside behind the fence/garden area, where you are not in sight of your child. Please note we have NEVER had a
child fail at learning, we strongly believe it comes down to the parent, who may not possibly be able to cope with their child’s behaviour or feel bad for us having too. WE ARE OK, WE ARE PASSIONATE and WE BELIEVE, WE CAN WIN THEM OVER, WE JUST NEED YOU TO TRUST AND BELIEVE IN US, relax, and walk away. Most occasions it will take 1 week, however it can sometimes take 2-6 weeks for the child/ren to feel comfortable and confident, but eventually they stop and everything they have listened to all comes into play and they swim with a huge smile on their face. We may ask a parent to come into the water the following week just to get the child over the little hump of being separated from their parent; this only occurs in extreme circumstances and may only be for a week or two.
We encourage moral support with gestures and words, but it can also be vary disrupting to the class as the child’s attention may be taken away from the task at hand. Too many people asking your child/ren to do the same thing can have the reverse effect and make them feel pressured. If the teacher feels this is all too much, they may ask if you can take a step back and sit down letting them work with the child/ren as they are the trained professionals and the one that is predominately going to be working to build their trust and give them the confidence around all aquatic environments. In saying that, teachers will also ask you to watch and encourage when necessary.
Progress reports and rewards:
Verbal reports are on going as we have close ties with our families, and constantly talk to parents/guardians about where their child is at and what we/they can do to help them get to the next milestone in their swimming experience. Any communication between parents and instructors are welcome, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that your email will be actioned within administration hours.
Sunny Skye’s offers a ‘Good Choices’ learning experience, with various rewards systems in place within our programs.
The Parents’ Role:
We cannot stress enough the importance of your role of your child/ren’s swimming progression. Regardless of whether they are improving in leaps and bounds or it is a gradual process, both you and staff need to encourage them. Your reaction to their progression means everything to them, and even if they have had a class where ‘bad choices’ have been made, we like to always try and take something positive out of the class and reflect on that, encourage the child/ren to try and make ‘better choices’, next time they attend.
Parents/guardians/grandparents, can all become a part of your child/ren’s journey and progression, regardless if you have a pool/bath tub or shower at home. Just talking about what they have learnt and practicing the homework suggestions can have a significant impact on your child/ren’s development and progression in and around water.
Below, we have tips for parents and guardians. Our teachers are constantly talking with you and what you can do to help, please try to practice safe habits and work with your teacher’s knowledge, as they only want the best for your child.
We will have constant updates via our Facebook page and Sunny Skye’s APP, homework assignments given to you verbally or posted up on the website/ APP for you to print off, for when you are at home or in the water ways of the Gold Coast and or on holidays.
Other useful information sites to look at:
SUNNY SKYE’S SWIMMING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SWIMMING LESSONS
Q: WHAT CAUSES FEAR OF THE WATER?
A: Some of the more common causes of early fear of water have to do with the way parents or caregivers relate to their children in & around water. These causes include:
- Being raised by parents or caretakers that are afraid of the water & have either knowingly or unknowingly communicated this fear to their children;
- Being raised in an environment that prevents childhood water play, whether as a result of lack of opportunity or parental actions;
- Being carelessly handled in water experiences;
- Being involved in or witnessing a traumatic water accident; or
- Having a fear of the unknown or a great fear of new experiences.
Q: WHAT HELPS PREVENT FEAR OF THE WATER?
A: No matter how cautious you are, fear cannot always be prevented. You can help reduce fear in the following ways:
- Provide enjoyable non-threating water activities that are simple & fun to build confidence & success.
- Participate in regular, continued contact with aquatic environments.
- Select safe water environments & supervise all water play.
- Treat water mishaps sympathetically, but do not alarm your child.
- Be aware of your facial expressions & choice of words so you do not signal panic or fear.
- Lead by example. Get your face wet & perform some of the simple and fun activities with your child
Q: HOW MANY LESSONS IS GOING TO TAKE FOR MY CHILD TO “SWIM”?
A: When it comes to a child learning a skill, in general each child’s readiness can be influenced by physical development, previous experiences, home environment, parental attitudes, and individual preferences.
Q: WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?
A: Refer to our Parenting Tips in this Handbook
Q: WILL MY CHILD BE “DROWN-PROOF” AFTER PARTICIPATING IN THE LEARN TO SWIM PROGRAM?
A: Participation in any swim school program does NOT “drown-proof” your child. It is only the first step in developing your child’s water safety & swimming shills. It takes year round practice, regular exposure to water & positive encouragement are the tools needed for developing your child’s confidence in the water & improving their swimming ability.