Frequently asked questions


Here are some of the FAQs that we receive from parents.


1.     What should I expect from the first lesson?

  • Please arrive no more than 5 minutes before the start of the lesson to ensure poolside does not become too busy.

  • The teacher will come and call your child’s name when it is time for their class.

  • Try to encourage your child to go to their class with the teacher. However if they are unhappy to do this, you may accompany them to the side of the pool at most venues. Unfortunately this does not apply at Energize where they operate a strict rule of no parents on poolside. All children should make their way around poolside to the decking area on their own or will be collected from the changing room entrance.

  • The class will be 30 minutes long. The teacher will encourage your child to stay in the water for the duration of the class. However, if the teacher feels your child is getting cold or unsettled before the end of the class they may feel it better to reduce there lesson time to 20 minutes for the first lesson.


2.     How can I prepare my child for their first swimming lesson?

  • Talk you your child about their first lesson in advance of the class – explain that they are going to be in the class with the teacher and other children.

  • Discuss how much fun they will have in the pool.

  • It can be useful before the first lesson to arrive in time to view the previous lesson in action and allow your child a taster of what to expect.

  • If you would like to know the name of your child's teacher please email us and we can provide this information.

  • Please see our blog for further tips.


3.     How long is each swimming lesson?

  • All classes last 30 minutes. Only exception is some of our advanced classes that last 45 minutes.

  • Please see ability group section of the parent’s handbook for more information.


4.     How many swimmers will there be in each class?

  • Preschool - 4 children: 1 teacher and 1 assistant

  • Non-Swimmer - 4 children: 1 teacher and 1 assistant

  • Beginners 1 – 5 children: 1 teacher

  • Beginners 2 – 6 children: 1 teacher

  • Improvers 1 – 6 children: 1 teacher

  • Improvers 2 – 8 children: 1 teacher

  • Advanced 1 & 2 – 8 children: 1 teacher


5.     What should I bring to swimming lessons for my child?

  • Swimming costume/ trunks (no baggy shorts or bikinis)

  • Towel

  • Goggles (we have a selection of goggles your child can try if new to wearing goggles. We recommend aquasphere goggles for our younger children as they fit small faces well. Please contact us if you would like to purchase these through Big Blue)

  • Rash Vest (some children get cold in their lesson and like to wear a tight fitting rash vest)

  • Swimming cap or hair tied back

  • Water bottles (all advanced classes and swim fit classes should bring water bottles to poolside)


6.     What should I tell my child’s swimming instructor?

  • Please tell your child’s swimming instructor about any health problems that may affect your child in their lesson i.e. hearing, sight or mobility problems.

  • It is also useful for the swimming instructor to know about any additional needs your child may have. This can help the teacher cater the class better to your child.

  • Any concerns you may have about the lesson or your child’s swimming progress. Please remember that the teachers have back-to-back classes and may be unable to speak to you at the poolside. Please don’t hesitate to speak to the poolside coordinator or contact Lucy or Calvin to discuss your child’s lessons and any queries you may have.


7.     Do I have to enter the pool with my child?

  • No, parents do not enter the pool for any of our classes. Parents should sit in the viewing gallery or back from the class.

  • *At our Energize venue parents are not allowed on poolside and when dropping off and collecting their child should remain on the changing room side of the pool. A spectators gallery is available upstairs.*


8.     Can we arrange a trial lesson to gauge if my child will like lessons?

  • Due to our set class ratio's it is not alway's possible to arrange trial lessons with Big Blue. We will however do everything we can to assist your child to settle in to lessons and following the first lesson we will arrange to discuss the suitability of the class with you.

  • We give all our preschoolers three weeks to settle into the class. If your child is not settled at this point we may discuss other options with you.


9.     How can I support my child with learning to swim?

  • Encourage them to enjoy their lessons – lessons should be fun as well as developing skills.

  • Try not to push your child too much – children do not all learn to swim at the same rate. Some children struggle with certain skills and it is important to ensure that a child is confident and ready to progress before they are pushed up to the next class.

  • Watch your child’s lesson and enjoy seeing them progress – do not interrupt the class with your instructions. It is important that they learn to understand and respect the instructions being given to them by their teacher.

  • All children will receive a certificate and badge at the end of each term. Make sure your child knows that you are happy with their progress. Some levels are harder to achieve and it is important not to get disheartened if your child does not get the next award.


10.  What do I do if my child is unwell and unable to attend their lesson?

  • Where availability allows we can try to accommodate a catch up lesson if you inform us in advance of your child's absence. Please note catch up lessons are limited to one per term.


11.  How many weeks are there in a term?

  • As we try to follow the Edinburgh school term dates the number of weeks in each term will vary depending on the time of year. We will however publish the term dates on our website for the full year. Please consult the term dates page for this information.


12.  How do I rebook?

  • Please see details on the rebooking and priority page of the parent handbook.


13.  How long will it take for my child to learn to swim?

  • Every child is different. The rate at which your child learns to swim depends on a lot of different factors such as how old they are when they start and how often they swim out with lessons.

  • If you would like any further advice on how to help your child’s swimming development please contact Lucy and Calvin.


14.  What qualifications do the Big Blue staff hold?

  • All Big Blue staff hold industry recognised UKCC Teacher of Aquatics or ASA qualifications, as well as child protection certificates.

  • Most of the team also hold additional lifeguarding, first aid and other sporting qualifications.

  • Please see the meet the team page for further details.


15.  Are all Big Blue staff members of the Disclosure Scotland PVG scheme?

  • Yes, all Big Blue staff including teachers, lifeguards, and pool attendants are subjected to a fully enhanced PVG disclosure check prior to starting with Big Blue Swim School.


16.  What are the costs for swimming lessons with Big Blue?

  • Please see the prices page of the website for accurate and up to date prices.


17.  Who do I contact if I need more information?


18.  Can I take photos of my child during their lesson?

  • In accordance with child protection guidelines and venue rules we regret that you are unable to take photos or film your child during their lesson. For further information please see our terms and conditions.


19. Will My child receive a certificate at the end of each term? 

  • Yes, every child receives a certificate at the end of each term, however this does not necessarily mean they will move to the next ability group. The criteria for progression to the next group is outlined below:

    Preschool: Ducklings 1-4 and Stage 1 --> Beginners 1

    Beginners 1: Stage 2 --> Beginners 2

    Beginners 2: Stage 3 and 4 --> Improvers 1

    Improvers 1: Stage 5 and 6 --> Improvers 2

    Improvers 2: Stage 7 and 8 --> Advanced 1

    Advanced: Stage 9 and 10 --> Swimming journey is complete. Children have the option to move onto one of our swimfit classes if they want to continue their swimming journey.