Water Nippers

About us

We are an established independent swimming school for children aged 1-8, operating in locations across London, Sussex and Surrey.

Water Nippers was created 23 years ago by its founder Katie Wroe. At the time, Katie was the owner of a small hydrotherapy pool in Sussex that hosted baby swimming classes. She quickly realised there was a gap in the market for children who had outgrown baby swimming but who were too young to start formal swimming lessons. So Katie started swimming lessons for toddlers and Water Nippers was born. Discovering that many parents wanted their children to continue beyond their toddler years, she expanded the age group for classes and concentrated teaching children to swim to a confident and competent level. Today, Katie is still director of Water Nippers and isn’t afraid to get her hands, er, clean as she can often be found teaching in the pool as well as working hard in the office to ensure your child’s Water Nippers’ experience runs as smoothly as possible.

Teaching your child to swim the Water Nippers way

Maybe Water Nippers has been recommended to you by a friend? Or maybe you stumbled across our website as you researched children’s swimming lessons? Either way let us enlighten you to the Water Nippers ethos…we believe that children learn best in a safe, relaxed and stimulating environment. Our main aim is to build your child’s confidence in the water whilst reminding them of the importance of aquatic safety at all times.

Our classes are small and held in warm pools, which is particularly appealing to babies and toddlers (not to mention parents!). All swimming instructors are STA and/or ASA qualified and will also hold a rescue test certificate. In addition, each teacher will have received training with Water Nippers and will be skilled at handling your child under and above the water.

As a general rule of thumb, one parent (Mum, Dad, or other responsible adult known to your child) will accompany one child in the water until that child is around three years old.
Children aged three and over will generally be placed in classes without parents. However, we encourage parents to watch poolside if you wish.
Toddlers will be taught important life saving skills as well as basic swimming strokes. We start the basic principles of doggy paddle, free style or breast stroke, back stroke and diving all before the age of three. We have many children aged between two and three who are able to swim 5 metres unaided to their parents.
Once children are aged three and over we work to improve their technique and stamina, whilst encouraging them to go underwater and even dive down to the bottom of the pool independently.

We believe that children learn at their own pace. The child who can swim competently without any buoyancy aids in a few weeks is not the same as the child who takes a year to swim unaided. Your instructor will work hard to encourage and progress EVERY pupil, regardless of a child’s confidence and abilities. We politely request parents do not shout out instructions from the poolside – your child’s teacher will be fully in control and interference from onlookers is unhelpful. Your instructor will be happy to answer any questions you have either at the beginning or end of a lesson (provided this is within a reasonable time frame).


Book your child onto a Water Nippers Swimming course: Call 01273 621 333 or email today!