Want to know more? Read on for a Q+A with the General Manager of GOswim, Kirk Marks and Belgravia Group Aquatics Manager, Wayne Goldsmith.
Q: Wayne, it’s great to see the new GOswim program has launched! Tell us about it.
A: Our industry leading learn to swim and water safety program has been updated with new lesson plans, a renewed Swimming Australia partnership and some exciting new characters to bring the lessons to life.
Encouraging students of all ages and abilities to learn swimming and water safety skills through experiential and activity-based learning, our refreshed GOswim program empowers students to think, discuss and make informed decisions whilst having fun in and around water.
Q: Wayne, tell us what drove the change?
A: Belgravia Leisure strives to be the industry leader in all areas of aquatics. We are committed to ongoing learning and continuous improvement so that every student enrolled in our aquatics programs can access the best learn to swim and water safety syllabus available.
We’ve got a team of passionate and skilled learn to swim teachers across our Australian and New Zealand network – and importantly – we listen to our team members. Our learn to swim and water safety team members were directly involved in every step of the GOswim performance enhancement process.
If you like, our new GOswim program has been, for the most part, designed and developed by teachers – for optimal teaching.
Q: Wayne, there is a real emphasis on student focused learning in the new program, why is that important?
A: GOswim is so much more than a program or a set of water-based skills learning activities. We believe that it’s the talent, dedication and energy of our learn to swim teachers that makes GOswim work so effectively.
Our Student Focused Learning philosophy centers on the relationship between our teachers and each individual student. We tailor our teaching to provide each learner with the optimal aquatic education experience: we work with each student as individuals and provide them with the opportunity to learn, grow and develop confidence in the water by doing.
Q: Wayne, we’ve now renewed our partnership with Swimming Australia and the GOswim program for another three years. What does this mean for us?
A: We are immensely proud to continue delivering the GOswim program in partnership with Swimming Australia. We believe this partnership supports our mission to not only keep children and adults safe, but it encourages a love of swimming and other aquatic activities that we hope will last a lifetime.
This partnership brings together two household names in their industries to deliver a best-in-class service to children and adults across Australia. With that, we hope to work with Swimming Australia to continue to raise awareness of the importance of water safety and swimming lessons, which in my opinion are non-negotiable skills to have if you live in Australia.
In partnership with Swimming Australia, we will deliver 60,000+ weekly learn to swim lessons to children and adults across over 65 venues in Australia this coming year, to what equates to more than 3 million lessons.
Q: Kirk, we are keen to learn about what the benefits of the new GOswim program are from both a team member and a parent/carer/student perspective. Can you tell us more?
A: I’m proud to say that we are already getting great feedback on from both our team members and parents/carers/students on the clear benefits of the new syllabus.
I believe that it’s critical for our team members to believe in what they are delivering and also for parents/carers and students to understand and appreciate the process our teachers work through with each and every student.
In terms of benefits, firstly, there is now an improved and clear-to-follow pathway of levels labelled sequentially across all age groups, from Level 1 Starfish to Level 12 Orca and then onto the GOswim Academy, which makes it easier to follow each student’s progress.
The assessment tasks are also easier to understand for students, parents/carers and teachers, supporting improved competency achievement.
When it comes to infant and preschool levels, there are new friendly aquatic characters to excite and motivate students of these levels, and parents are actively participating in the water for the early phases and supporting from poolside for preschool levels onwards.
Q: Kirk, we’d love to meet the new GOswim characters!
A: Yes, these characters play an integral role in ensuring there is a clear line of progression for students as they improve and master their skills.
With Taz the starfish now only representing Level 1, the second and third infant levels will now be introduced to two new characters.
Barrie the Octopus will entertain the infants in Level 2, and Katie the Sea Turtle will have a splashing good time with infants in Level 3.
In the preschool levels, Queenie the Seahorse will continue to represent the first preschool level, Level 4.
Phil the Penguin will flip around with the kids in level 5 and Margie the Sea Lion will be sure to dive and play with kids in level 6.