Le Mourier had offered free lessons to all reception age children for a number of years but for the last three years they have had to scale back their programme significantly due to lack of sponsorship. Now, thanks to new sponsor PwC coming on board, and with the help of the Bosdet Foundation, which runs Les Ormes activity centre, the school is delighted to be offering their free lessons programme, under the new banner ‘Learn to Swim’ to 600 reception children, starting in January 2014. Karl Hairon, sponsoring partner at PwC, explained why they chose to support the programme: ‘It was immediately evident to us that youngsters learning to swim as soon as possible in their lives, particularly in Jersey where we spend the summer with our children on the beach, is hugely important. As well as this, Le Mourier’s wish to ensure no child is excluded from the chance to have lessons, really resonated with us. As an organisation PwC’s work in the community has a particular focus on ensuring young people are not excluded from opportunities to develop skills and talents. It’s great that the Bosdet foundation have offered to support Le Mourier during their years without a main sponsor and we’re really excited to come on board and help build the impact of ‘Learn to Swim’ in the local community. ’
Parents will be pleased to know that all Le Mourier Swim School instructors are full-time, professionally qualified teachers. To make best use of the ten lessons, all participating children will be individually assessed at the start of the programme and will work towards the appropriate goals according to their individual skill and confidence levels, so that they can develop at a rate which suits them. Lessons will be taught at a teacher ratio of one teacher for five children, and at the end of the ten week course, parents will receive a progress report detailing their child’s development and outlining recommendations for the next level progress award they would be working to, should their parents decide to continue with lessons. Commenting on his aims with the programme, Malcolm Parris, Director of Le Mourier Swim School, said: ‘The ‘Learn to Swim’ Programme is all about using enthusiasm and experience to build young children’s confidence in the water, and giving parents a chance to see the progress that can be made with regular lessons, at our week eight ‘parents watch’ session. Encouraging children to swim early on in life is the best way to ensure they grow up to be strong, confident swimmers, and develop water-based interests. It’s widely recognised that the four to five year old age range is an optimum window for learning to swim because the youngsters are still more receptive to learning physical skills and also able to take in and follow instructions. This is why we’ve always been so passionate about offering this scheme to the community.’ The ‘Learn to Swim’ programme will offer each eligible child ten free swimming lessons over a course of ten weeks, during school hours of Spring and Summer terms 2014.