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Star Teacher Award Autumn/Winter 2023 - All nominations


We have seen Fiona progress so much with her swimming and have no doubt this is mainly due to Emma and the way she engages and interacts with the students. Whilst delivering the same lesson to everyone, it is clear that Emma spends time helping to advance each pupil at their own speed. She enables them to push their own boundaries. Fiona absolutely loves her swimming lessons with Emma and asks almost daily if she is going swimming with Emma.
Emma appears to genuinely care about her students and we can see that she is not only amazing at her job but she really enjoys it. We love our swimming lessons with Emma and can't wait to sign our new little one up to one of her classes. Victoria & Fiona 


She is great at keeping at ease and makes it fun.:) Emma with TJ


We love attending Emma’s classes, she always greets us with a beaming smile, it’s obvious how passionate she is about teaching the babies and children how to swim. My daughter has improved so much in Emma’s classes, and really looks forward to showing Emma what she can do.
Emma is an huge asset to Puddle Ducks!
Sophie & Freya


So much patience.

Linda & Garrett


Sophie started her Puddle Ducks journey with Emma at 2 month old. We had just found out Sophie had silent reflux and Emma was so helpful at adapting activities for Sophie.
She’s now 2 and just moved up to Little Dippers. I was nervous at the thought of it, but Emma reassured me that she was ready. She was right!
The dedication and patience Emma shows to children and parents makes coming each week a joy. 
Caroline & Sophie 


Emma was amazing today! My daughter, Marcie suffered a crisis of confidence during her Level 1 class at Cedar Court last week, and was nervous and upset before today’s lesson. Emma remembered and was really good with Marcie; she spent time with her 1:1 and was positive and reassuring throughout the lesson. This helped Marcie regain her confidence and meant she came away from the lesson feeling really positive about swimming again. Thank you Emma! Dan & Marcie 


Lewis has really settled with Emma in the Swim Academy lessons. She was lovely with him when he was unsettled to begin with, having been in the Puddle Ducks class with his adult. Lewis loves going swimming and Emma has spent a lot of time with him to develop his skills and raise his confidence. Originally, we were on the list for the new baths at Barnsley but are definitely staying with Emma at Cedar Court.
Thank you Emma for all your encouragement and kindness you shown towards Lewis
! Lucy & Lewis 


Emma is such a knowledgeable and skilled teacher who had taught both of my little girls. She knows each child so well, knowing when extra support is needed or if they just need things simplified to keep them happy. Maisie loves her time at Puddle Ducks which is mostly down to Emma's hard work and passion for her job!
Thank you Emma!
❤️ Katy & Maisie


As always, we want to nominate Emma as our star teacher. Finley absolutely loves his lessons with Emma and spends all week talking about how much he loves Emma and Puddle Ducks (and now how much he loves being a Little Dipper too!). She is always such a friendly and welcoming face and it is so obvious that all of the children love her as much as we do! Thank you Emma!  Rachel & Finley 


Always is so friendly and lovely with both parents and children.  Sophia & Reuben


I have been taking my son since he was 6 months old. He quacks all the way to puddle ducks in the car and loves interacting with Emma. She is fantastic and enthusiastic. He is 2 now and it's our favourite day of the week! Thank you Emma for giving him the confidence in water and helping us bond together as father and son. Martin & Reuben 


Emma really supports Reuben when he’s not sure about something, he loves when she makes him laugh and singing songs with everyone. Especially 3 little ducks at the end. Nicola & Reuben 


Verity understands Ernie, and how Ernie learns. He has gained so much confidence in swimming and it’s all thanks to Verity and her amazing teaching! Kayleigh with Ernie

Olly has had many swim teachers since he was 3 and never once connected with a swim teacher. He has personally asked me to vote for Verity as he said she’s the best and personally I agree. She is kind, approachable, calm and understand and with Olly being the way he is he can be very easily distracted and full on but she teaches him like no other. Not sure I have ever mentioned to Verity but I will be forever grateful for the way she is with both Olly and my youngest Harry he also loves going to swimming lessons every week. Charlene & Olly 


Keira is a character - and dad once had to get out of the pool due to having a nose bleed. Verity took over and was amazing - and Keira actually behaved for her. Carrie-Anne & Keira 


Verity - my son started Puddle Ducks well over a year now and was on oxygen due to being born prematurely at 25 weeks. She was nothing but accommodating to his needs and my wishes all while making sure he was safe and secure in the water and around his oxygen pipe that also floated in the water.
Max is off oxygen now and Verity continues to show max the empathy, understanding and compassion she did on the initial visit. She makes everyone welcome and everyone feel included and we wouldn’t want it any other way, so thank you Verity and Puddle Ducks!
Jessica & Max


Verity has been absolutely amazing since we started at cedar court. She’s so approachable and has guided myself and Rowan so well through our swimming journey. Thanks so much. Rebecca & Rowan


Kind, fun, patient and dedicated. Austin is making wonderful progress and we very much enjoy our lessons with Verity. Thank you. Liz & Austin


Verity has been amazing throughout our time with Puddle Ducks from starting as Floatie right up to Swim Academy. She is firm but patient and encourages them to do their best every time they are in the water. Debbie, Corey & Anya


Scarlett (age 5) has asked me to nominate Verity as her star teacher because “she’s fun and she always makes me laugh when she’s teaching me. She is really trying to help me get my 10metres but isn’t mad if I don’t do it!”
Scarlett has swum with Verity since she was a baby and I can safely say she has been one of her favourite people from a young age. Verity “gets” Scarlett and understands what makes her tick. She always gets the best out of her and has the patience of a saint!
Scarlett also wanted me to mention that she loves swimming with Julia too and had a special mention for Abbie (who always makes Scarlett light up when she does catch up lessons). 
Elizabeth & Scarlett



Helen has endless patience and always makes the lessons fun.
She is so encouraging and supportive. Thankyou Helen!
Jo & Jenson


Helen is absolutely amazing. She goes out of her way week after week to build my daughter’s confidence in the water. She is excellent with the children and it is such a joy to see. Lucy & Annabelle.


She is a great teacher! Tiago & Naomi & Davi


She’s fantastic! Now in level 3 proving just as effective with double the numbers, especially being out of the pool! Marianne & Evie


Helen is amazing with the kids of all standards and has infinite patience and good humour. She has given Cecily such confidence and she loves her swimming lessons. Lee & Cecily


Helen is a truly fantastic teacher. So kind and patient with her young swimmers yet gently encouraging. And she gets results! All the kids at Talbot love her and we’re so glad Helen is Ruby’s teacher :-) Cheryl & Ruby


Helen is patient and kind, she encourages Rory every week swimming, and has really helped his confidence in the water. She is approachable and non-judgemental which is really important if you as a parent aren’t a confident swimmer. Thank you Helen.  Gemma & Rory



Happy and welcoming. Rachel with Otis.


Wilfred cried during his two first lessons but now he smiles at Paula he splashes around he’s vocal and it’s our favourite class.  Kathryn & Wilfred


Paula is great! During courtesy classes we had opportunity to meet few other teachers as well and we are so glad that Paula is our teacher.
The pace of exercise is perfect, not too slow and not too rushed, just perfect.
Thank you Paula for your hard work!
Oliwia & Henry


She's very lively in pool and my daughter has been showing good progress and confidence. Sandeep & Abigail


Paula’s an amazing instructor and is always super friendly. She is patient and kind and has a lovely way with the babies (well now toddlers!). The classes are fun but structured and Paula’s genuine passion & enthusiasm for her job really shines through. Watching my little boys confidence in the water grow over the past 8 months has been a real treat and I can definitely thank Paula for that. Even though I will soon be moving to Wetherby I will still attend puddle ducks in Leeds as I don’t want to leave the class. Hope Paula receives the star teacher reward as she more than deserves it. Claire & Reuben


Really kind and professional. Always makes me feel supported if I am less confident in trying new skills with Ava. Paula is really lovely with Ava and all the other children too. Rebecca & Ava


After a big break from swimming I am so glad to bring Elwood to Paula’s class! He is still a little clingy at the moment but I always feel reassured by Paula and she has great patience with him! Thank you Paula. X  Grace & Elwood


Paula is just AMAZING! Both my two LOVE going to her lessons & she is just fabulous with them. Paula modifies the lessons to suit my little ones & really pushes them to do well. She’s also very good at calling them out when they’re misbehaving (in a good way of course!) Sophie, Cooper & Bonnie



Steph is so lovely. She always has a smile on her face. She communicates throughout the lesson and explains we are doing each part and how it benefits the children. Sophie has been coming to Puddle Ducks since she was around 6 weeks old and just absolutely loves swimming. Since joining Splashers, she's developed so much in confidence and can now jump into the water off the float. This is all thanks to Steph's support and reassuring me as a worrying mummy that my daughter may go under the water. Would recommend these classes to anyone! Thanks Steph. Keep doing what you do! You're fantastic x Charlotte & Sophie Mae


Steph is super fun and a great teacher. She communicates well with the children and adults. Children feel at ease with her and trust her when they swim with her. Lessons go super fast because they're so fun and we're learning lots together ❤️ Ashleigh & Artemis


My son has had Steph as his teacher from the start apart when she went on mat leave who then Julia covered who was great. Steph has had patience with Jacob and the confidence has just come on so much and i think it is because he trusts her and seems to listen to what she is saying this is why we don’t go to extra classes. Ryan & Jacob


My daughter loves going swimming and Steph is just amazing with her. She’s really thorough and my daughter has come on leaps and bounds and is really confident in the water now. She’s only 3 x Leanne & Annabella


Hunter absolutely loves Steph and can’t wait for his lesson every week. From Hunter not really participating he now completes every task given and is very nearly off on his own! This is all thanks to Steph! Danielle & Hunter


My son is non verbal and has special needs. He does not understand or follow instructions very well but Steph has always been very understanding and hands on. She always encourages and congratulates him when he follows. His baby Sister has joined and I am glad Steph is also her teacher. Very patient and kind with the kids and parents. She is simply the Best! Rita & Micah


We have had Steph as our Puddle Ducks swimming teacher throughout Kickers and Little Dippers. Amelia has made so much progress with Steph and continues to do so now, growing in confidence with each swimming class. As well as keeping the classes fun and engaging, we are taught different skills and activities each session. Amelia really struggles to put her face in the water, but Steph goes above and beyond to accommodate this, adding in extra support, equipment and advice into each lesson to help Amelia develop her confidence further. Steph ensures that the class is as inclusive as possible and we really value the extra support that is given. Thank you very much! Samantha & Amelia


Steph is always enthusiastic and patient with Maxwell, encouraging him to push himself without forcing him when he’s not ready. He’s becoming really confident in the water and I think this is thanks to Steph.  Lucy & Maxwell


She's been with us since day 1 when Elliot was 10 days old, she always has a smile and puts Elliot at ease in the water ❤️ Vicki & Elliot



Really interactive with Oliver and shows great encouragement. Overall very welcoming and a really nice lady. Kayleigh & Oliver


She is so friendly and a fantastic teacher! She has always made us feel so comfortable at classes and we love our lessons with her. Christina & Ophelia


Catherine is a superb swimming instructor! She delivers high quality lessons which are pacy, engaging and fun. She quickly built a rapport with my daughter, and always supports me or my husband to model the activities correctly.  Charlotte & Emily


We’ve only been at Puddle Ducks for a few weeks but Catherine has made swimming lessons for my daughter absolutely amazing! She is kind, attentive, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and clearly loves her job so much! She has helped me learn how to safely swim with my daughter too, giving me so much confidence as well! Thank you Catherine! Rebecca & Isla


Every class Catherine is very welcoming to everyone, remembers every child's name and temperament and is always positive and encouraging. She has always made the both of us feel very comfortable in class and Asher has come on in leaps and bounds with his strength in the water as a result. Despite not having a bath at home, he is now so relaxed with water and is eager to try swimming off by himself (regardless of whether he actually can or not haha). She always makes sure every child is happy and engaged and makes each Sunday very enjoyable for us both.  Emma & Asher


Catherine made Marlo feel very welcome on his first visit. She’s patient, knowledgeable and excellent with Marlo and other children in the water. We love our weekly sessions!  Jenna & Marlo



Julia is fantastic. When Joshua first started swimming with puddle ducks he was incredibly shy and really struggled socially. Julia was able to gain his trust immediately and has shown so much patience and understanding. Joshua absolutely loves swimming and a lot of that is down to Julia. Colette & Joshua 


Always has time to treat Evie as an individual no matter how hectic the class is. Richard & Evie


Julia is absolutely fantastic!! She's encouraging, easy going and good fun. She always gets the best out of the kids. Both of my boys confidence in the water has come on leaps and bounds and even when it takes a little knock, Julia can get it back straight away. We're so proud of our boys swimming - Harrison has swam his 5 metres already aged 3 years 11 months and Rupert is a super speedy monkey walker. My boys look forward to "swimming with Julia" each week! Kendel with Harrison & Rupert

Excellent teacher. Deepikaa & Athul


She has done so much to improve my daughters confidence in the pool. At the beginning of Swim Academy we had a lot of anxiety and my daughter not wanting to come or even get in the pool but with the encouragement and support that Julia has given I now have a confident girl who looks forward to her lessons.
She is always so happy and friendly and makes the lessons fun.
Hannah with Maisie


Because she is patient, lovely and kind. Clear with instructions and always makes a lesson fun! Kim & Sylvie


Gives good clear instructions, kind and always takes extra special care when the kids go in on their own. Positive moving forwards learning vibes! Kim & Ryan


Julia is such a fantastic teacher. We have always found she went above and beyond with our son. It was his first time swimming at just a few months old and he finds new situations and new people overwhelming. Julia was always patient and helpful, smiling and engaging. She definitely made Alfie’s first experiences in the water positive and he now loves swimming! Lucy & Alfie


Julia has been fantastic as Scarlett’s swim academy teacher fun, kind and patient making the transition to level 3 so much easier for both of us xx Emma & Scarlett


She pushes and gets results as well as gains my child’s trust even though he’s nervous of been in water. Kerry  & Kylain

She really explains what we need to do & makes every child feel special. Jodie & Lyla


She absolutely brilliant and helped my eldest son Jenson battle his deep end struggles and he has made a progression massively in swimming she is brilliant and I wouldn’t have anyone else teach my son. Natalie  & Jenson.


Once again teaching Jayden Julia is just amazing always giving praise and pushing him to the best of his ability. Natalie & Jayden


Julie is great with the floaties and Evelyn loves her swim lessons. She always has a big smile on her face ☺️.  Maryleigh & Evelyn


Patient fun and Amaraah simply loves her. Athia & Amaraah


Julia is our star teacher every week! Not only does she make every hold feel comfortable and more confident in the water but she makes parents feel the same. She knows how to adjust each task to stretch and challenge each child. She build bonds with the children so they trust her when she helps them try new things. Thanks for being amazing Julia! Carly & Charlotte



Louise has been a part of Scarlett’s swim journey from the start.
Poolside assistant to main teacher at swim academy. She believes in the children and really pushes them in the way that they need. Louise is such a lovely person too. Goes above and beyond her role as ‘swimming teacher’ thank you Louise.  Kim & Scarlett




Grace is a fantastic teacher, my daughter was quite hesitant in the beginning and grace really made her feel comfortable by being so welcoming and understanding. She’s extremely supportive and has a lovely personality and is relatable as well as reliable! She has a friendly persona and she makes sure to involve Safa in everything to get her more used to the swimming experience. It was challenging to begin with but I see great improvement in Safa and it’s all because of Grace’s cheerful, and patient nature. We love her! Eman & Safa


I would like to nominate Grace, who is our teacher on Sunday at Everlast Barnsley. I remember some time ago her first time teaching our class in the water, I could tell she was nervous. Although after this she wasn't our teacher for a long time but since I moved our class to Sunday I was glad to see her again. It's not just the little swimmers who grow and develop their confidence, Garce did too. I can see that she is confident, formed her own teaching style and she is handling situations well, playful but assertive and the kids love her.  Agnes 


We love Grace! She’s been fantastic with Cole so patient and kind with him even when he’s been his awkward little self. We’re really grateful for how she’s helped him and will miss her so much!!! Thank you Grace xxx  Charlotte & Cole



I think Rachel shows such a wealth of experience, care and compassion. She shows every baby equal love, is funny and most importantly her lessons are so well structured, she reassures us if something doesn’t go quite to plan and she celebrates all little wins. Annabel & Oskar


Rachel is absolutely fantastic with my wild child, great at helping her to focus (and spotting when I am finding it tricky!) and really encouraging. Hazel is so excited for "swimming with Rachel" every Friday and played swimming teacher all through the summer holidays when she was missing her lessons. Hazel's swimming has come on so much with Rachel and I feel much more confident taking her swimming alone, and taking her out on the paddle board! Emily & Hazel 


Rachel has been teaching my 4 year old since she was a baby and through covid and had to put up with tears, sad faces and basically being ignored! It was worth the perseverance as now Evelyn absolutely loves swimming, diving and jumping and is so excited for her swimming lessons! And will even talk to Rachel now! Thanks for teaching her to swim! Hannah & Evelyn


Rachel always has a smile and good humour, even when her puddle ducks are less well humoured! She offers well-structured but fun lessons and always has a kind word to show her support to parents too. We were delighted to see Rachel for E’s teacher, having enjoyed her tuition on catch up swims for her brother. Well done Rachel and thank you for being awesome.  Rachel & Elizabeth



Georgia has had amazing teachers through her swimming lessons in puddleducks and swim academy. Although not her direct teacher from levels 3 to 6 Abbie has always been there looking out for Georgia, encouraging her on and being genuinely pleased with her achievements. She talks to Georgia on her level, has given her extra support and has taken the time to get to know her, so Georgia feels comfortable and safe in her care. Abbie is enthusiastic, passionate, caring, and patient; which can be seen whenever you speak to her.
We are sad to have finished the whole swim course and will really miss her, but won't forget her smiley and welcoming face.
Samantha & Georgia




They have been so supportive, patient and kind with Robert and getting him into the pool these last few weeks while I have been unable to bring him. Gemma & Robert



Florence has been at Puddle Ducks since she was approx 3 months old and at almost 2 1/2 has always had Emma as her teacher. Florence is absolutely fearless and is very water confident. This is thanks to Emma’s and Louise’s help and support every lesson, even when Florence is been a diva. Kerry & Florence 



Julia and Catherine are amazing! They are so welcoming and are always patient with my little Sadie - even when she is having a diva moment. Sadie and I love our swimming lessons because of Julia and Catherine. Rachael & Sadie 



Steph and Julia have the patience of saints. They are amazing with our 2 boys and have really brought on their confidence in the water. They always have positive comments to say and always give great feedback. Fab teachers.  Chloe, Albert and Stanley 

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