Swimming, an achievement of the family
Acquarella is the first center in Italy exclusively dedicated to baby swimming from 0 to 8 years old. It has been working since 1994 and since 1998 in Via Ferrere 9 – Torino.
Since 2002 Acquarella organizes training courses, seminars and a biennial congress in the field of baby swimming.
Our Baby Swimming Congress has become, with its three editions, one of the most important moments of exchange for the operators of baby swimming field in Italy because it involves both Italian and foreign referents of the most valued.
The three editions of the Congress have produced two important reference documents, which are the result of the exchange of all the active trainers in the country: “Charter of rights of child and his family in aquatic environment” and the “Draft guidelines for teaching baby and toddler water activies”.
To us, and to many centers of the country, the Charter and the Draft represent an ethical and pedagogical guide which orients water activities, and so our work, towards the child and his family.
“The child and his family are the subject of our work. Generally, water activities are thought for children, excluding the active participation of the family from the conceptual and project context. Conversely, our experience is based on a work in and with the family. We believe that our water activity can be one more “piece of the mosaic” to help families compacting and establishing themselves, knowing and helping each other and so becoming stronger and versatile in a relational and affective way. Therefore, knowing the familiar universe becomes to us the object of a permanent study and an important part of the different courses’/seminars’ programs that our center proposes to the water activity teachers.”
Therefore, the sportive aspects are provisionally relegated to give priority to the playful aspects, to the pleasant activities, to those which arouse interest and help knowing things, spaces, people, own body, mates, the world…
Sportiness remains latent and explodes when children feel interested to, ready and competent to deal with it and prove themselves with standard and coded movements. Meanwhile the movement has an exploratory, cognitive, expressive function, based on the emergence of the personality, on the energy discharge, on a pleasant practice.
Swimming, in this sphere of ideas, becomes a family achievement, through an absolutely personal way and mostly projected by the child himself together with the parents and the teachers. Paraphrasing Dr. Patricia Cirigliano, inspirer of our pedagogical orientation, water activity becomes an art, “the art of knowing how to stay in water”, with a personal style, discovered across a new road and so it becomes the result of children’s own personality, approach methods, timing and planning.
The project IntegrAzione (integration) is our new important pedagogical proposal devoted to the disability in babies and toddlers, who found in water a perfect environment where to build and rebuild a constellation of human relationships, motor experiences, achievements, which contribute to integrate and affirm their human baggage.
Acquarella organizes Seminars and Training Courses which provide the teacher some indispensable resources for the educational support for children and their families.
Courses take place in our school, in Turin, or, on demand, offsite, in the swimming center interested in the training offer. The first year, after the course, we offer the possibility to have the support of a telematics tutoring, through videos and presentations that can be monitored and commented by the trainer in order to adapt his own work to the criteria analyzed during the course.
The Seminars are training moments dedicated to the different aspects which complete and integrate the background of water activity teacher. They are planned with a multidisciplinary criteria and involve insights of the evolutionary, relational, expressive area with the contribution of the outstanding personalities of the sector.
Acquarella proposes training days for teachers entered in the baby and toddler swimming world who wish to introduce themselves in the knowledge of a different working method, in a center exclusively dedicated to the developmental age.
Read more about our Training Activities
Acquarella’s training offer
The purpose of our courses is substantially to supply resources to the teachers for an educational accompaniment of the children and their family to the aquatic word discovery. Therefore, it is not a course to become a mere technical instructor/expert but it is an introduction to a tutorial path allowing the teacher to acquire competences on each aspects of child personality (psychomotor, expressive, communicative, cognitive, affective, relational) in order to accompany and to help families in the complex task of growing children.
The courses take place in our school, in Turin, or, on demand, offsite, in the swimming center interested in the training offer.
Offsite courses are specifically created taking into account the specific needs of the requesting center, the prior knowledge of the teachers and the educational profile, that define the educational identity, of the requesting center.
Courses can be started at any time of the year, depending on the needs and possibilities of the center. On request, it is possible to take to the centers our working materials in order to recreate the suitable working atmosphere for the activity with babies and toddlers, also with regard to the “ludic-educational setting” that characterizes us. It is important to underline that training provides a practical part with the children of the applicant center, conducted by an Acquarella trainer, so giving the opportunity to “touch with hand” the concepts seen in the classroom.
Courses can be organized as follow:
Group courses: these are courses for 10 up to 20 teachers, with a minimal duration from two to three days. They are theoretical/practical courses, very dynamic, with a large use of videos and the trainees’ active participation. They include the possibility of doing three days of practical training with supervision in our center in Turin and afterwards get into the heart of an educational aquatic center global management.
Individual courses: they are held face to face with the applicant, mainly conducted by Hugo Lavalle; they take into account the applicant’s prior baggage in order to deepen the education in those areas the person is less prepared. They can be basic training or deepening, updating, integration of particular required aspects. So the project is done in a shared way with the applicant. They are theoretical/practical, there is an intensive videos’ utilization, so they are very dynamic. If organized in our center, they include a continuous observation of the working class groups, of all ages, in the different work stages , from the access to the center to the relationship life of the groups during the lesson. They practically include all the training background of our school and are therefore all-inclusive in preparing the candidates to the aquatic and educational work with families.
It is offered, for the first year after the course, the possibility of having a telematics tutoring support, through some videos and presentations which can be monitored and commented by the trainer in order to adequate own work to the criteria seen during the course.
OTHER COURSES OFFERED BY ACQUARELLA
Introductive course to the educational work with disabled children (babies and toddlers)
This course integrates the base training for baby and toddler water activities that Acquarella proposes. The goal is to give resources to the teachers that are going to or wish to receive, within the groups of water activities, disabled children together with their families, with a perspective of inclusion and educational accompaniment.
The minimal duration of the course is two days.
Seminars about different aspects related to the aquatic teacher training
These are training moments dedicated to the different aspects which complete and integrate the background of a baby and toddler swimming teacher. They are presented with a multidisciplinary criteria and include insights about the evolutionary, relational and expressive area, or collaborations with the main personalities of the sector which enrich the teacher’s knowledge.
Course for the global management of a babies and toddlers water activities school
The course is presented as an integral training for people interested in creating, conducing and managing a specific center dedicated to baby and toddler water activities.
The topics discussed are related with the planning and the realization of a specific center for the developmental age; with the activities organization, the promotion, the creation of a staff, the advertising and marketing strategies, the relationship with the users and, finally, the issues relating to the necessary plant engineering and maintenance in order to create an environment dedicated to a critical user as infancy is.
The proposed days range for the course are from three up to six.
Apprenticeship days with supervision
Acquarella proposes apprenticeship for teachers of baby and toddler water activities who wish to be introduced in the knowledge of a different working method with children and families, in a center exclusively dedicated to the developmental age. Therefore, it is possible to make observations about each working phase in our center, from the entrance of children, to the preparation for the swimming pool and the real class: types of games and activities proposed, animation, materials, working strategies, etc.
The apprenticeship activity is proposed with the constant supervision of a tutor which presents and orientates the candidates through the different phases of the families’ passages in the center. The observations made during the day are re-elaborated in discussions with the tutor to give a sense to activities, facts and strategies observed.
PROJECT “INTEGRAZIONE” (integration)
Is the name that we give to the group of ideas that guide our work with disabled children and their families. Also in this case the family involvement in the didactic is central and fundamental. Families with disabled children they absolutely need of normality, and this is one of the main aspects on which our lessons focus on. This is way the application of the “Integration and inclusion” concepts, which our school has always applied, is essential. So, the class groups are composed of children with and without difficulties, helping each other in knowing an integrated conformation of human groups
The integration of families with disabled children in our community, during their first months or years of life, is the purpose of our project and we do it by recreating a natural and spontaneous interchange situation, both within the couple parent-child and within the group of families. In this way, we try to foster the relationship, in itself difficult in a situation of disability, between parent and child, and, at the same time, the inclusion or re inclusion of the family in a constellation of possible social relationships with other families.
The positive repercussions of this “action” arise in different fields:
In social field: by attending a no therapeutic environment, but rather a wellbeing one for the couple and at the same time educational for the child, bringing to a family so badly affected an aura of normality.
In psychomotor field: by proposing to the child a strongly stimulating environment, able to recall the whole of his available competences.
In cognitive field: by accompanying the child to the specific discovering of the aquatic world through the knowledge of the physical effects (the physical property of water, falls, noises, effervescences, etc.) knowledge of various objects made of different materials (containers, dolls, carpets, big toys, ropes, balls, etc.) and, over all, knowledge or own body, of its possibility and limits. All this with respect of the evolutionary possibility of the child, of his learning pace and primarily of his availability and openness to the proposals.
In emotional field: as said before, fostering the relationship between parent and disable child, through the research of situations of wellbeing for both that facilitate the achievement of an emotional balance of the couple.