During the December holidays last year, I made extensive planning on what to do with my children and where to bring them. I also wanted to them to experience new activities and find out what might interest them and if they would like to attend any enrichment classes. Enrichment programmes are not just confined to academic subjects, but also activities that help promote greater physical fitness or arts appreciation. But the thing with young children is, they want to explore different things and enjoy novelty. So it is hard to tell which enrichment activity can sustain their interest for the long run. It is also hard to decide what course to commit to for several months at a stretch without having a taste of what's in store for the children. Hence, look for FREE trial classes!
The AquaDucks swimming programmes can be found at 10 different locations in Singapore. My boys had their free trial class at their Newton branch on Gilstead Road, which is actually within the compounds of St. James’ Church Kindergarten. The pool was temperature-regulated, so the water is always warm. It was also sheltered, so lessons won't be affected even if there's light rain.
My boys were supposed to be allocated in different classes due to their age differences. Fortunately for us, my younger son happened to be scheduled in a slot where there weren't any other students, so the instructor allowed both my boys to attend the 30-minute session together, with my dad and myself accompanying them.
My boys have never seriously tried to swim, other than wading in the pool in their floats. I was very impressed at how much they could pick up even just within one lesson, credit to the instructor. My younger son was a little fearful, but the instructor was very encouraging. My older son turned out to be more courageous than I expected and he could follow instructions accurately. Within the first 10 minutes of the class, he was able to leap off from a seated position at the edge of the pool, dip his head in the water and come up and reach out to the instructor who was standing at a distance in the pool.
I'm aware that many parents send their babies for swimming lessons as early as 4-6 months old. It is indeed true that when the children are younger, they are much less fearful. So there are certainly advantages of sending them to classes at a young age. Yet it's never too late to start, or even not at all, since most primary schools, if not all, conduct swimming lessons as part of their Physical Education curriculum.
The instructors made use of different types of floats, mats and toys, with the singing of nursery rhymes to engage the children in the pool. I was told my 5yo could attend lessons on his own, but my 3yo would still require parent accompaniment.
Conclusion: I liked how private it is that the location is at St James Kindergarten. But the downside is there is limited parking within the compounds and in the surrounding area, and no parking is allowed before 5pm on weekdays.
The fees are $34.50 per 30-minute session on weekdays and $36.50 on weekends. Fees per term based on 11 weeks are $379.50 and $401.50 for weekdays and weekends respectively, subjected to GST. There's also a one time registration fee of $30 per child.
If you were to sign up for group classes at public pools, the course fees would be way cheaper.
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