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Teacher of the Term - Autumn 2017

Who is your teacher of the term?

We are delighted to announce that our lovely teacher Rebecca Pridmore has won our Local
Teacher of the Term award Autumn 2017.

The winning nomination was picked by Shirley Towle, the owner of the Family Grapevine in Nottinghamshire who said that all the teachers should be very proud of the way they obviously work together with the parents and children to build relationships and increase confidence as well as teaching  the necessary skills. Choosing the winner was an almost impossible task! All of our teachers at Puddle Ducks train for over 300 hours before they can become an accredited Puddle Ducks teacher so you can be confident your little ones are in very safe hands!

Thank you so much to Nisha (and Anushka and Jai) who sent the winning nomination in and here it is:-

"I would like to nominate Rebecca Pridmore at West Gate School Puddle Ducks. I cannot sing Rebecca's praises loudly enough! Anushka has had a few different experiences of swimming teachers and has been with Rebecca at West Gate for about 2 years now. I can honestly say Rebecca is the BEST swimming teacher ever! A prime example of what can be achieved when you make your passion your job! She gently pushes the children to progress when she knows they are able to and Anushka responds so well to her. In Hindu culture we have a saying ... "Acharya devo bhava". This means the teacher is like God, to indicate recognition and respect for the responsibility and dedication of those who teach. Rebecca definitely deserves this accolade. Thank you so much Rebecca for all your hard work and dedication with both Anushka and Jai. You are amazing!" 

We had lots of other nominations too also detailed below and our judge Shirley had a hard job to chose as all of our teachers are fantastic and so passionate about what they do. 

Sarah Towler:
"Our nomination is Sarah. We love having Sarah back as our teacher, we are really glad she's back. There is lots we could say about her but we've chosen just a few words:  

  • Supportive, Amiable, Respectful, Affectionate, Helpful, 
  • Thoughtful, Obliging, Welcoming, Lovely, Empathetic, Rewarding"

Nominated by Sarah

Karen Daykin:
"I would like to nominate Karen who teaches my son Isaac at The Key Health Club. From the first class we did with Karen she was an absolute natural with the children in her class and Isaac took to her from day one. Always warm friendly bubbly and patient. There were days when my son wasn’t in the mood and screamed the place down but Karen was there smile on her face unfazed giving reassurance. Isaac has come on in leaps and bounds and has so much confidence in the water and I thank Karen from the bottom of my heart for being such a natural teacher. The joy I have seeing Isaac learn all these new skills through Karen is heart warming and the smile on Isaac's face.... . We will miss her in our Tuesday class."

Nominated by Tracy and Isaac

Jayne Ascott:
"Jayne has taught my two children from Floaties onwards. She is always enthusiastic, encouraging and kind and is everything I would ask for in a teacher. We have had a few changes in teachers due to changing venues and the franchise being sold but when I heard Jayne was back we re-enrolled immediately. Her positivity is infectious and she always adapts a lesson if necessary to ensure that the swimmers are developing to their full capacity. We are delighted that Jayne is back - She has fuelled Elliot’s confidence and inspired him to obtain his 10m badge recently."

Nominated by Kate and Elliott

Melissa Honeywood:
"I would like to vote for Melissa, my daughter Isabella absolutely loves Melissa. Thanks to Melissa for bringing so much fun and enjoyment to her lessons, it's made Bella a very confident little swimmer. She definitely knows how to make learning fun."

Nominated by Maria and Isabella

"We would like to nominate Melissa at Every Sensation for Teacher of the Term. Melissa took over from our previous teacher, and she has bought out the best in Ellison. She has encouraged him to progress and reach his 5m badge. He is so confident in the pool and we believe Melissa has had a lot to do with it. She demonstrates what she wants the children to do, clearly and happily. Never gets frustrated with any of them. Every week she welcomes us with a smile, and puts everyone at ease. Melissa is a fab teacher, and will be sadly missed when Ellison leaves in January next year. Thank you Melissa for encouraging Ellison, and give him the foundations he's needed to become such a confident swimmer!"

Nominated by Claire, Matt and Ellison

Louise Gillott:
"My daughter is normally a little shy and quiet around people she doesn't know really well. Louise has built a great rapport with her and is one of the few adults she really likes. Louise has made some excellent suggestions to help her progress with her swimming and as a result, not only is my daughter's swimming ability really improving quickly, but she talks about Louise and swimming all the time between lessons. Louise really goes the extra mile to get to know the children in her classes and adapt the lessons to the abilities of each child."

Nominated by Emma and Hannah

"Could I please nominate Louise Gillott. She is enthusiastic, focused and encouraging teacher. We have been coming to Puddle Ducks over a year now and have had catch ups with a lot of teachers but there’s no-one as good as Louise. 😊"

Nominated by Laura

"I would like to nominate Louise Gillott for the Teacher of the Term.  Louise never gives up on my two boys...she understands their fears and the power of connection with them. She insists they become the best they can possibly be.  She is great!"

Nominated by Katie

"I would like to nominate Louise at Freshfield Spa as she has made me and my baby feel at ease and very comfortable in the Floaties class."

Nominated by Joanne

"I would like to nominate Louise for Teacher of the Term. Louise has taught my eldest son Ellis since he was 6 months old and he has formed an amazingly unique bond with her. He trusts her in the water and she has brought him on so much in the past year and half. From early on she recognised how he learns best and when he is unsure on something she knows to take a step back instead of forcing him to do things. Louise is a fantastic teacher and we have her to thank for my sons confidence in the water he literally has no fear and that is all thanks to Louise. She caters to every child differently to suit them and thoroughly deserves this award."

Nominated by Kirsty and Ellis

"I would like to nominate Louise Gillott for Teacher of the Term. She is by far the best Puddle Ducks teacher we have had, not only for my daughter but for me also! I’m not a great swimmer but I want my daughter to be confident in the water, and Louise understands completely and never makes me feel uncomfortable. My daughter has come on so much with the help from Louise,  she always gives constructive feedback and praises when my daughter throughout, the lesson is so much fun too, my daughter gets very giddy when I ask if she wants to go to her lesson Tuesday morning, I think that speaks volumes itself :)"

Nominated by Kirsty

"Charlie and I nominate Louise who teaches at DW Mansfield on Wednesday. Louise is a very good teacher, she has a very good way in encouraging the little ones to learn and move on in their lessons Charlie loves Louise and loves helping show the others what to do most of the time lol. So we would like Louise to win this term as she is a fantastic teacher all round."

Nominated by Julie and Charlie

"I'd like to nominate Louise Gillott for Teacher of the Term please. Here is my nomination: Both my boys have been attending Puddle Ducks classes from the age of around 3 months. My eldest, Griffin, has just finished his Puddle Ducks journey (sob!) and is now a fantastic, confident little swimmer, which is in large part thanks to Louise's time and effort over the last couple of years. Louise is a brilliant blend of fun and firm, and her hard work with Griffin has meant that he can swim like I never imagined he'd be able to at his age (he's not even four!). The only problem is the fact that he just wants to come back and go to 'Louise's swimming' instead of his new lessons! I'd like to nominate Louise as Teacher of the Term as a massive thank you for everything - her efforts have produced a wonderful, joyful little swimmer in Griffin and we have both adored her classes over the last couple of years."

Nominated by Julia and Griffin

Here are the other nominations for Rebecca: 
"Rebecca Pridmore has been Gabriella's instructor since we joined Puddle Ducks ( When Gabriella was around 5 months old to now  - 15 months). Rebecca has been a fantastic instructor which I feel has contributed to Gabriella being  so confident in the pool. Her teaching takes into consideration each child's differing needs, levels and ability. I feel very confident in Rebecca's abilities and know that she will get the best out of Gabriella and her swimming future. The sessions are always fun and upbeat and I find the regular class we attend, both parents and babies relaxed. Rebecca always has time to talk about Gabriella's progression and is always full of helpful suggestions that we can practice with her at home. We love our swimming lessons with Rebecca and this is evident by how happy Gabriella is in the pool. Thank you Rebecca - You are a star!"

Nominated by Poonam, Anwar and Gabriella

"We nominate Rebecca at West Gate School. She's so much fun that we love coming swimming it doesn't feel like a lesson but yet we learn so much. We have come so far in swimming and Rebecca is that good she's broke Sia's fear of swimming with her head in the water! We love you Rebecca! You are amazing!"

Nominated by Krish and Sia

"Rebecca Pridmore has been Arabella’s teacher for as long as I can remember and I cannot praise her enough, Rebecca is such an excellent teacher, she has great rapport with the children and parents and Arabella has learnt so much and is so much more confident in the water thanks to the support she gets from Rebecca. Rebecca is such a great brand ambassador for Puddle Ducks and we are so very lucky to have her teaching Arabella."

Nominated by Catherine and Arabella

"We would like to nominate Rebecca from West Gate School as Teacher of the Term. She has been brilliant with both our girls over the last two and a half years. Our eldest Macy has struggled with water confidence and Rebecca has been nothing but patient and kind, and always coming up with great suggestions to help at home (glow stick baths are now a regular 😂). Unfortunately due to your long waiting lists Macy has not been able to swim for a while but her little sister Imogen loves her class with Rebecca and loves her singing. We think she is fabulous and absolutely the most deserving of this award!"

Nominated by Macy, Imogen, Alex and David 

"Started lessons when Oliver was 12weeks old he seemed to love the water straight away. However when he turned 6months he had bad ear infection and from that moment he hated it, screamed every lesson and seemed scared. Rebecca has been so patient with him, let him do the activities at his own pace and even changed some of the positions to make him more comfortable in the water, changing the submersions to other things for him, until he was comfortable getting his face wet. We built it up again slowly and he is now happy to get his face wet and even go under the water, this seemed impossible 6months ago; we were about to quit lessons and I’m so glad we stuck with them, to see him smiling in the pool again is amazing and it’s all thanks to Rebecca, she is a credit to your team."

Nominated by Gemma and Oliver

"Can I nominate Rebecca that teaches at West Gate School for Teacher of the Term. She has supported Finlay a lot when he finds the skills difficult in the pool. She makes time to help him and listen to him and also advises me on things to do to help when we go home."

Nominated by Glyn and Finlay

"We would like to nominate Rebecca for ‘Teacher of the Term’. Rebecca is constantly excellent. She has a great rapport with the children in her classes and is engaging, sympathetic and full of encouragement. Both of our children have lessons with Rebecca and they are always excited for their next lesson. Evie is progressing nicely through her class, but it is Oliver that Rebecca has done wonders with this term. Oliver was having lessons elsewhere for over a year, due to not being able to make the previous class times. He wasn’t really progressing and we came back on Rebecca's recommendation and she has made an amazing difference in a short space of time. He is so much more confident in the water and has just achieved his 5 metres, something we didn’t think he would ever get to at his previous class. Rebecca just seems to get the best out of him and nothing seems to be too much trouble.”

Nominated by Phil, Caroline, Oliver and Evie.

"My son Olly attends West Gate School Puddle Ducks swimming session on a Wednesday evening, Olly is 2 and half years old he’s been going there since he was 6 months old, we have had Rebecca since the beginning and she is a fantastic teacher! She is great with Olly, makes his lessons fun as well as getting him to be more confident in the water, she has a unique bond with all the children she teaches. She deserves to win, if Rebecca left I don’t think we would enjoy it as much and Olly would be upset. She definitely keeps us motivated to attend the class whatever the weather!"

Nominated by Amy and Olly

"I would like to nominate my daughters swimming teacher for Teacher of the Term. We attend West Gate School and our teacher is called Rebecca. Below are my reasons why: Rebecca has such a lovely way with the children she is so warm and reassuring. She gets to know each child, their strengths and weaknesses and helps them to develop. Rebecca  makes swimming so enjoyable and we always look forward to our lesson. As my husband previously took my daughter swimming whilst I watched from the side I felt very unconfident when our lesson changed to a Wednesday and I was the one to do the swimming. I didn’t always remember the instructions and was a bit too quick to scoop my daughter up when she did her underwater dives. Through Rebecca's encouragement and taking time to speak to me individually I now feel so relaxed and confident and that I can be the best possible support to my daughter when we are in the water. Thank you Rebecca for supporting my daughter and me too 😊!"

Nominated by Rebecca and Isabelle

"I would like to nominate Rebecca who teaches both my son and daughter at West Gate School. She is an amazing teacher, she is so considerate of the different stages a child goes through and how that impacts them in the pool too! We commit our Sunday' mornings as a family to Puddle Ducks because we see how valuable and how much these lessons benefit our children. It's so rewarding to see the development and there progression."

Nominated by Jade

"I would like to nominate Rebecca from the South Leicestershire team - West Gate School. My oldest son Oliver came to Puddle Ducks as a 2 years old and came on very well, quickly.  He is now 5 and can swim the full length of a 25m pool unaided.  Although he no longer attends Puddle Ducks, I feel that what Rebecca did for him in his early years, the confidence she has given my son has made him achieve such a lot at this age. My youngest son Freddie has attended Rebecca's lessons since he was 3 months old and absolutely loves his swims and splashing.  He is now 2 years old and again, Rebecca has given him such praise and confidence and she has a lovely way with all the children.  Both my boys love her kind manner and really listened to her. Rebecca also has a good singing voice so the songs we sing go down well with my boys and the other children in the class. I would really like Rebecca to win Teacher of The Term as she truly deserves the recognition for her hard work and dedication to the children of Leicestershire."

Nominated by Andrea, Oliver and Freddie

"I’d like to nominate my daughter's teacher Rebecca for Teacher of the Term. She teaches our Kickers class at West Gate School on a Wednesday and she is amazing! She makes Harlow feel so confident in the water and she has come on leaps and bounds since starting Rebecca's class. Not only is she really patient with Harlow she is super supportive and helps all the mums and dads in our class. She makes sure that we are comfortable when we have to try new things. Harlow’s swimming lesson is the highlight of hers and my week and that’s all down to Rebecca."

Nominated by Daisy and Harlow

"Rebecca Pridmore- what can we say... there is no words to describe how FANTASTIC Teacher you are!! Oscar feels so comfortable around you and CAN SWIM!!! Gutted I missed seeing him achieve his 5 meters but he did say how ‘proud’ you was of him. THANK YOU for pushing him and having faith in him. You can see how confident he is around you (always the first one to put his hands up to answer the safety question. He’s usually shy but you bring the best out of him) thank you for all your support! While your teaching this class we will continue to come!" 

Nominated by Nitasha and Oscar 

"Rebecca at West Gate School - My daughter Freya-Mai has been with Rebecca for a few months now and already has achieved her 5 metres. Rebecca is a great teacher as she achieves everyone’s individual needs and really boosts their confidentce in the water she’s brilliant. My daughter is excited to see Rebecca every time."

Nominated by Georgina and Freya-Mai

"Rebecca is always calm and reassuring during lessons but also fun and has a very natural approach with all of the Puddle Ducks. Carson loves Rebecca and is very at ease with her. Rebecca really helped us get through a tricky phase with Carson where he was very resistant to using the woggles- she reassured me that it was fine and that it wasn’t a big deal and that Carson would do it when he was ready - and he’s now great at using them. Rebecca made sure I didn’t get too worried about it which meant Carson was also more relaxed. Our lesson is our favourite time of the week!"

Nominated by Simone and Carson

Well done to all the nominees and thank you to the parents who took the time and trouble to nominate as it means such a lot to our teaching team!