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Why Choose Shapland Swim School?

Do you have a child that is a nervous swimmer? I do, so I decided that he needed a more personal approach to help him gain the confidence he needs to actually enjoy the learning to swim journey and to show him he could achieve his swimming goals instead of being lost in the crowd, so I started looking for somewhere that would have the time to actually help him focus on what he needs to do as an individual to improve.

My wish has been answered—I have found a swimming school that wants to teach children that the first step in being a competent swimmer is realising that the water will hold them up and although gravity changes in water they can use this to their advantage to have fun and stay safe.

Generations of Experience

Thomas Shapland started teaching in the late 1930’s in Toowoomba and started the family tradition which was passed onto his son Bernard and wife Dorothy who then began leasing the Toowoomba Municipal Baths in 1947, back when it was a simple fill and drain pool, Chris then continued this tradition by giving his first lesson at the age of 9 years old and has never looked back. The whole family has dedicated their lives to improving the way children are taught to swim. They have developed their unique program over seven decades of family experience and two decades of input and ideas from talented swim instructors – Swim in Five – broken down into very simple steps – giving kids the confidence to put their face in the water, opening their eyes, floating (the most important stage), moving through the water and when to take a breath. This proven method defines why Shapland have grown to become leaders in the swimming lesson industry. Simple but totally effective!

Shapland swim school has spent years perfecting the best way to teach your kids they can be confident in the water. They have lots of hints and tips to get the most out of each and every lesson and contact with water at home to help prepare them for their lessons. With a guide to making the most of water contact even at bath time developed with the help of many generations of experience in shaping the way swimming lessons are taught to kids no matter how much experience the have had with water, they take the time to make sure your little one is getting the attention they need.

Four generations of teaching kids to swim means that the Shapland family have seen the way lessons have evolved but believe the fundamentals will never change and have ways to help kids understand how water works. As Chris Shapland pointed out — water has no feelings and is a silent killer, anything over 100mm can be dangerous and an extra ten seconds could make a huge difference in the outcome of your child’s safety. He also believes that the distractions we are faced with – technology, phones, tablets and computers – make it so easy to forget that we can’t take our eyes of our kids for even a second.  Whilst in the pool the kids don’t use goggles as Chris pointed out they won’t have a pair of goggles handy if they fall in a creek unexpectedly, Chris also explained that breath control and balance are the two most important parts of learning confidence in the water.

Small Swim School Classes

I loved the idea of only three children per class, I want my son to be focusing on what he needs to do to have confidence in his swimming ability so he can go on and learn how to improve these techniques to make them work best for him not just try to swim laps of a pool with 15 other kids all competing for attention from an overworked instructor.

Swimming is such an important part of life in Queensland and I know that making the right investment in his lessons today might just save his life one day.

20 minutes is the perfect amount of time to keep an active 8 year old interested, any longer and he would have been bored and stopped paying attention. There are eight different depth levels in the pool so as his ability improves he can find the right level to feel safe but without the need to change centres when he needs a deeper pool, I also like the idea that he can form a bond with his instructor without having to chop and change as he improves.

You can find a Shapland Swim School Near You

Alexandra Hills: 07 3206 1622

Everton Park: 07 3353 3016

Moorooka: 07 3848 2777

Taigum: 07 3265 4225

Buderim: 07 5476 8066

Gold Coast: 07 5502 3066

Morayfield: 07 5498 3838

Warner: 07 3882 4816

Carindale: 07 3843 4388

Ipswich: 07 3812 7712

Sinnamon Park: 07 3279 7088

Clontarf: 07 3284 6531

Kallangur: 07 3886 0446

Stretton: 07 3272 4132

Find the full addresses of each Shapland Swim School here.

What are the Shapland Swim School Pools like?

The pool was crystal clear and very inviting…especially on a hot Brisbane day—thanks to the MagnaPool system in place using a blend of ocean minerals to ensure even kids with sensitive skin—like my son—can enjoy the water knowing it is not going to irritate them or the instructors, kept at 32 degrees all year it was very hard not to join the kids in the pool and I resigned myself to sitting in the air-conditioned waiting area with huge windows so I could watch every part of the lesson in comfort while enjoying a nice cup of coffee, I particularly liked the fact that the instructor did not turn her back to any of the kids through the entire lesson. The pool is cleaned four times a day and each filter is rinsed out at least three times a day.


There was plenty of parking available, we all know half the struggle of going anywhere with kids is getting in and out as fast as possible, they have showers available so if we want to go out after the lesson we don’t have to go home first and lots of room to change your baby with private change rooms available that were clean and had lots of room to move.

Why Choose Shapland Swim School?

I have to say that you can’t go wrong if you would like your child to spend the whole lesson listening and taking in as much as possible with gentle direction. I also liked that I’m getting the best possible value for my money….…less kids = more individual attention = Priceless 🙂

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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