Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to our most frequently asked questions:


Q: What age groups do we teach? 

A: We have 4 main age groups:

Babies and toddlers aged 6 to 48 months old. 

Children aged 3 and 4 years old.

Children aged 5 years old and over.

Adults (16 years old and over). 

Q: What are your stages / levels?

A: Our swim school follows the Swim England Learn to Swim Programme. You can find our more about the details of the programme and of stages here

Q: I am an adult, what stages / levels apply on me?

A: There are 4 groups for adults:

Beginners (based on stages 1, 2 and 3).

Improvers (based on stages 4, 5 and 6).

Advanced (working on stroke development - stage 7).

Masters for confident and competent lane swimmers, working on their techniques, speed, and distance. 

Q: Do we provide single sex lessons and if so, who can come?

A: Yes, we do offer single sex lessons. During single sex sessions no member of the opposite sex over 2 years old is allowed on poolside, with no exceptions. 

Q: How many students are in a class? 

A: For all classes for 3 and 4 year olds there is a ratio of 6 students to one teacher. (usually with an assistant if more than 4 children in the class).

For classes for children aged 5 and over:

Stages 1 and 2 – 6 students to one teacher (usually with an assistant if more than 4 children in the class).

Stages 3 and 3+ – 10 students to one teacher (usually with an assistant if more than 5 children in the class).

Stages 4 to 7 – 12 students to one teacher.

For adults

Beginners – 8 students to one teacher.

Improvers, advanced and masters – 12 students to one teacher. 

Q: Are parents required to remain on poolside during the sessions? 

A: Parents of children under 8 are required to stay on the poolside for the duration of the lesson.

Parents of children aged 8 to 10 can leave the poolside during the lessons as long as they ensure they bring the child to the teacher on poolside at the beginning of the lesson and collect them from the teacher on poolside at the end of the lesson.

Children aged 11 and over can come to the pool on their own as long as the parent decides it is safe to do so. 

Q: Are parents of children in the 3 and 4 years old age group required to get in the pool with their children? 

A: No. All classes for 3 and 4 year old are taught by a teacher in the water. 

Q:My child is quite young or apprehensive about having swimming lessons, what can I do to prepare them? 

A: If you have a young (3-5 year old) or nervous swimmer please read our page on what to expect and how you can help them: Advice for parents of young / nervous swimmers   

Q: How do I book lessons?

A: The easiest way is to book your lessons online, clicking at the Menu option Lessons, and selecting your preferred location. You will find the current term(s), with the list of classes, the up-to-date availability and price.

Alternatively, you can contact us by:

Email –

Phone – 020 8501 8172

In person at the poolside office at The Community Pool in Waltham Forest College

Please make sure that when booking, you give all of the relevant information e.g. age of student if a child, level of student if known. 

Q: My child has passed their stage. When will they move up and get their certificate?

A: Certificates and badges are given out at the end of each term. If your child has moved up a stage after the initial assessments at the beginning of the term, they will move up immediately. If they have passed their stage at the end of the term, they will be moved into the new stage at the beginning of the following term. 

Q: My child is in a 5-12 year old class, has passed their stage 1, but remains at the same class. Why?

A: Our swim school has a combined stage 1 and 2 class for children aged 5 years old and over as the levels are about building their confidence and balance in the water and the lesson plans are very similar. 

Q: My child moved from 3 to 3+ / 4 to 4+. Will they get a certificate?

A: Our swim school has divided stages 3 and 4 into two intermediate stages, 3+ and 4+ as the stages as a whole are quite challenging. The first half of each stage (stages 3 and 4) concentrate on the majority of the stages’ outcomes and when these are achieved the child moves up to the “plus” stage (3+ and 4+) where they work on the detailed more complicated outcomes of that stage. For 3+ it is most often the 10 metre swim on their front or back unaided and for stage 4+ is usually the butterfly and breaststroke kick. Certificates are only given after passing the complete level. 

Q: If I or my child cannot attend the lesson one week can I swap it for another time/date for that week only?

A: Unfortunately, we do not offer make-up classes. Swapping children from one class to another, even for one week can be very disruptive for the class structure. If for any reason you need to permanently change the day or time of your class, please talk to a member of staff who will try their best to be accommodating, taking into account the availability of spaces in other classes and the reason for the move. Please be aware that once a student has been moved, the place they have vacated will be considered to be available to another student. 

Q: What are the terms and conditions, and where can these be found?

A: Our terms and conditions can be found on the back of our printed booking forms, or on our website You can also access it directly from the following link: Terms and Conditions 

Q: What can I do if I am unhappy?

A: We encourage our customers to deal with issues as soon as they arise. If you are unhappy about either the lesson or facilities, please feel free discuss this with a swimming coordinator at the time. They may be able to help immediately, or take a report for further action. If you have spoken to the swimming coordinator on duty and you are still not satisfied, or you would like to make a formal complaint, please contact us by e-mail at Our administrative staff will then ensure your complaint is handled with appropriately. 

Q: How do I register an account with you?
A: To register an account with us, go to the login page of our website, which can be found here, and click on ‘Create an Account’. This will take you to a new page requesting an email address. Please enter a valid email address and click ‘Next’. On the next page, fill in your details, including students you wish to enrol onto a class. Once done, click ‘Save’.