Where do children learn to swim in Germany?

38 posts in this topic

So what's the deal with swimming lessons?

 

Do most children learn outside of school?

 

When I was a kid in the UK we were sent for swimming lessons by the school, as I remember.

 

My childrens' school here doesn't appear to have a pool so will they send them to a local pool?

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Can only speak for up north...

 

Definitely out of school learning activity.

 

Gets to the point that some school trips expect a "proof of swimming ability" 

like a "bronze badge" before your child may attend some school trips (eg to the beach)

 

 

 

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As far as I know most children learn to swim before starting elementary school. So at 5-6 years old.

At least in my elementary school class everyone knew how to swim. So, I would say most learn

outside of school.

 

As far as I remember we had swim class (instead of sport) once a week in elementary school in grade 3 and 4 for

one half year. We went to the local public pool.

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Normally kids learn the basics and graduate from the first level (Seepferdchen) before they go to school, so during the kindergarten days.

In school normally they go one day a week to swimming classes when they are in third grade. The school take them to the local pool. If your kid does not know the basics by then then the kid will be put in the non-swimmer group which is not that good for their self esteem.

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7 minutes ago, HH_Sailor said:

Can only speak for up north...

 

Definitely out of school learning activity.

 

Gets to the point that some school trips expect a "proof of swimming ability" 

like a "bronze badge" before your child may attend some school trips (eg to the beach)

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much @HH_Sailor - I assume it's as you say even in the less maritime cities... ;-)

I hope I can get a place in the swimming school tomorrow. I'm trying to sign up for the weekend class and I'm sure it will book up in 10 mins...

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That's a big pain point with a lot of German parents I know, because they all remember having swimming classes during their first grade. They stopped making this mandatory many, many years ago. So yeah, you have to look for where to send your kid - at the local pool or through a club (Sportverein). And as you wrote, the classes book up incredibly quick. I tried to sign my kid up when he was 3 for a class for 4 year olds and the only got on the waiting list. Then tried again a year later. I couldn't be bothered. As a result, we go through our local gym . They have a huge regional presence and one club nearby has a swimming pool and offer swimming lessons so we send our kid there once a week. 

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My parents taught us to swim and I taught my boys. Never needed classes. We did all get on a competitive swimming team, though, when I was about 6.

 

Why can't parents teach the basics?

 

Surely one could get private lessons if needed.

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Some schools in Berlin still take their students to the local public pool for lessons. I always used to try to leave the pool before they invaded.  

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I also remember weekly  swimming lessons at school in the UK. We all seemed to be able to swim- parents had taught, seaside holidays.  

Up here, the local pools all seem to have school sessions.

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I did teach my kids the basics, but then it was kind of a "mistake". Because I had no idea about Germans being Germans for that as well, so I taught them free style. It turned out kids learn breast style here first, and opening your legs very wide is basically the key to pass the first level test. So the kids had to unlearn what they learnt from me which was specially hard for my second kid who almost did not manage to pass the test because he always went back to kicking the legs. So basically he knew how to swim for like 2 years already and he was struggling in the class. He passed the test on the last day on the very last try, by then I was already accepted I had to take him again 20 times to the lessons, which was a PITA for our logistics.

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It probably depends on what state you´re talking about. When my kids were at elementary school in Bavaria swimming classes were mandatory even for those who could swim already (most could). I remember even court cases where parents didn´t want their kids to participate (muslims for religious reasons not wanting their girls to swim with boys).

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You reminded of my unpleasant years in the UK with swimming lessons.

I'd love to meet that b'stard "George" who loved the wooden pole that he used to duck kids under water with.

 

Some years ago I heard he'd been fired and forbidden from ever doing that job again, but I'd still like to meet him in a dark secluded alley and retrun the compliments of a long wooden pole.

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Up here the Gundschule kids get swimming in Klasse 2 and 4, a half year each time, and then the Gymnasium kids get class 6 and 8, again a half year, and the Hauptschule kids get nothing. Massively pisses me off.

 

They use the local pool, either walking or taking the bus from the school.

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3 hours ago, fraufruit said:

My parents taught us to swim and I taught my boys. Never needed classes. .

Why can't parents teach the basics?

 

This works well for water babies...

 

Any pool attendant will then happily perform the exam for Seepferdchen or Bronze. 

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Thanks for the tips and nostalgia trips!

 

My parents apparently just plopped me in the water pretty much as an infant so there's never been a time I wasn't in and out of pools... it was one of the meagre leisure offerings in the boondocks where I grew up. Things are a bit different in Germany, seems like the kids are not into it that much. Anyhow they are gonna learn ;-)

 

I called up an entire hour before opening time and got a place on the course just like that! I'll pop by in person in a minute to confirm and pay...

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4 minutes ago, sos-the-rope said:

Things are a bit different in Germany, seems like the kids are not into it that much.

 

This isn't true. I live near the local swimming baths and it's chock-a-block with kids every day. Most Germans I know can all swim from an early age. 

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Just now, bramble said:

 

This isn't true. I live near the local swimming baths and it's chock-a-block with kids every day. Most Germans I know can all swim from an early age. 

 

"the kids" = "my kids"

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Oh, ok. It just seemed to me that you were referring to kids in Germany in general. 

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12 minutes ago, bramble said:

Oh, ok. It just seemed to me that you were referring to kids in Germany in general. 

 

That's American English... "have you seen what the kids are doing these days?!" it's an outward / social focus. America is the world. Society is a project.

 

In British (i.e. English) English we tend to refer everything back to our personal context. My home is the world. Society is a big mistake ;):D

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