Skip to main content
View pages in this section

Star Teacher Award Spring 2024 - All nominations



Absolutely an amazing teacher! I have travelled significantly longer just to continue being with Catherine.

I have tried numerous classes and none give me the same experience Catherine does.
She’s warm, welcoming and makes me feel really comfortable with baby. She’s brilliant at tailoring the lessons to each individual pupil and clearly puts safety first which is a big deal to a first time Mum. I just wish there were more classes near me with her running them.
Every lesson feels like my first, she greets us so politely, listens intently and reassures all in the class. She is brilliant at explaining exercises and provides tips and pointers as you go along. She’s always got a huge smile on her face and has such a lovely, warming attitude towards my baby.
Georgia Ripley-Hill & Theo


Amazing teacher & really takes the time to teach. Samantha Hancock & Reuben Wakefield


One word: amazing! Fantastic teacher explains all activities well, supports adopting them when Izhaan isn’t up for it, offers toys when Izhaan is upset. She’s very well organised and has such a great teaching tone :) Sidra Hanif with Izhaan



Catherine has made us feel at ease from our very first lesson. She is so friendly and welcoming and learned Hayley's name straight away. She is patient and informative and clearly loves what she does which makes the lesson extra enjoyable. Hayley is very comfortable with her too! Victoria Hyde & Hayley Bruce



Catherine is always energetic, happy and welcoming to her sessions. She always involves every baby and makes sure she remembers babies names from the get go! She is always helpful and there to help support both mum and baby in the pool.
Swimming wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t have Catherine as our teacher, thank you so much!
😊 Sarah & George Jarman


Catherine is an amazing teacher, she is very welcoming and supportive to both parents and students. Sian & Daphne Crookes



Catherine is an exceptional teacher who made Marlo feel at ease the moment his toes touched the water. Each week Marlo’s confidence has grown because of Catherine’s teaching and he looks forward to swimming each week. Jenna Williams & Marlo


Catherine is very attentive and always makes our swimming sessions exciting and fun for both Hayley and I.
She always has lots of energy and is friendly, along with being very encouraging and helpful.
James & Hayley Bruce


Catherine is an amazing teacher. She is friendly, approachable and helpful. Great with the kids. Always remembers you. Kayleigh Herrick & Oliver


Catherine is just wonderful, giving clear instruction and the lesson flows really well. My little one has really come on under Catherine's guidance and she has endless patience with everyone, regardless of swimming/listening ability. Thank you Catherine! Sarah & Poppy Bramall


Catherine is always super happy and friendly, and makes each lesson fun and engaging. She's a really lovely teacher and has bundles of energy, making Archies lessons a positive place to be. Katie & Archie Rough





Verity has supported both children during their time in Swim Academy. After illness and time away from the pool, our youngest developed a phobia of swimming to the point where we thought we’d have to take a complete break. We had a really helpful parents evening where we were able to talk through a proposed solution. The patience and flexibility paid off and he looks now really forward to his weekly lesson and is making great progress. Liz Iles with Alexander and Matilda


For always being patient and kind with Florence, especially when she’s been teething! For making her lessons fun and knowledgeable.

Beckie Sorby & Florence Barron



Verity is brilliant! Harris loves swimming with her. He started swim academy after 18months of no swimming lessons in December and his confidence and his abilities are worlds apart - all thanks to her patience and support. My little crazy boy who was desperate to swim but would just sink, has just achieved his 5m and he is super proud of himself. Thank you Verity.  Sarah & Harris Trentham


Verity has been there for us since day 1, and that’s almost 10 years ago! She has helped Nicholas gain so much confidence in the water, now, he’s not even afraid to swim in open sea water!

Because she has taught me swimming since I was a baby and she’s really kind and lovely - Nicholas xx
Mindy Ling & Nicholas Morrill


Verity is a brilliant teacher, personable, down to earth and brings an element of fun to the sessions. Kelly Butterfield with Poppy



Verity is a great teacher! Layla Rassouli & Maya Jandoubi

We love our swimming lessons with Verity. She is understand and knows what we need to do to improve. She makes the lessons fun and exciting… they just go too fast! Liz & Austin Norbury


My son is in their class. They teach professionally, take good care of the students, and interact and encourage them. Sze Yan Tso & Yu Him Fung



Verity was so lovely and welcoming on our very first floaties class! We were nervous how we would get on but we felt so at ease and had so much fun! We can’t wait to keep on splashing! Thanks Verity!

Laura Edwards with Jamie


Verity is very kind and patient when she is teaching me my swimming lessons. I love swimming thanks to you and Abby. Love Aida Rose.  Rachel Young & Ada Rose


Verity is fantastic with the kids, a real credit to Puddle Ducks! She always finds a way to motivate the kids and can see real progress every time. William Craik & Jack


Verity has been part of Corey and Anya's Puddle Ducks and Swim Academy journey almost from the beginning. She has been supportive and encouraging every step of the way, and both kids love her. Debbie with Corey & Anya Binnersley


Verity knows each of her little swimmers individually, she knows each of their abilities, likes, dislikes and never forces them to do anything they’re not keen on doing. Ernie has developed his swimming unbelievable amounts with Verity and although lately he’s not being as keen in attending (the joys of being 4) his face always lights up when he seems Verity in the pool! Kayleigh Shaw & Ernie





Paula is so patient and understanding of children's individual needs. As an adult who works with children who have additional needs, I love the way that Paula works with children with variety of needs and at levels. She quickly adapts the tasks if a child is showing signs of distress and that isn't always easy. The children are comfortable with her and know that she cares. She is a star. Kate & Benjamin Briggs


Paula is always patient, encouraging and engaging during lessons.
She always makes everyone feel comfortable and is always willing to give the extra support or encouragement to both parent and child when it is needed.
She is never without a smile on her face and Emma loves the half hour we spend with her on a Sunday morning.
Steph Millerchip & Emma Clark


Paula is so friendly and she explains everything so well and is always there to help if your unsure on something. Sophie & Isabelle Munn




Evie is doing so well with her swimming and it’s all thanks to Helen. She has so much time and patience with all of the children and we are so happy that Helen is her teacher. Hannah & Evie Schwartz


Patient and clearly explains everything. Lauren Peel & Jacob Finlayson


She is great with Sahil and really does take her time to understand each child as an individual and is really interactive with him. Sam Shaheen & Sahil Ellahi


She's so good with the children and has so much patience!
She's the best swim teacher we've had.
Katy & Betsy Richards


Helen is a fantastic teacher and Freddie loves his swimming lessons with her. She makes the lessons interesting and fun and is very patient. Caroline Nichol & Freddie


Helen has made swimming lessons so fun. Max loves his Sunday mornings with dad and he’s learning so many new skills in a fun way. Alice & Max O’Toole


Helen is a fantastic teacher. She is understanding, caring, kind and knowledgeable. She 100% deserves to be star teacher 💕💪

Nikki Aisbitt-Bryan with Nelly.




Emma is superb! All 3 of mine have swam and flourished under her care and guidance. Miles absolutely LOVES his lessons with Emma and gets excited as soon as we come off the M62 - he sees the Village and shouts "EMMA!" He is so happy and confident in the water. Thanks Emma

Sarah & Miles Trentham


Luca has had a few teachers in his Puddle Ducks journey but has been with Emma since Splashers. He is now in Little Dippers and it’s safe to say he adores her. He lights up at the mention of swimming and always greets her with a shout of “Emma Emma Emma!”
His favourite game in the bath is singing “5 Puddle Ducks” with his bath puppet and he calls it his “Emma song”
He can be quite a stubborn little thing yet Emma seems to find a way to get him to do anything in the pool. She has nurtured him so wonderfully and his water confidence is now sky high! He jumps, crab walks, swims, kicks and splashes like an absolute pro thanks to her!
I think it’s safe to say we all love Emma in this house!
Liz Cavallo & Luca


Ava says - because she is the best teacher ever. She is fun and makes me feel safe and happy in the water. Gemma & Ava Noble


Emma has been Ebens swim teacher for 2 years now & he loves her.

I wanted to take him swimming from a young age as I was scared of the water as a kid. I was so nervous about him going under water, jumping off the float even just handing him over to someone else in the pool. But Emma made the whole process so easy & has built up his confidence in the water.
Leanne Aylward & Eben Bainbridge


Emma is an amazing teacher who we love seeing weekly in our classes. She is very thoughtful and kind. Love Arthur. Rachel Young & Arthur George Young.


Emma is absolutely incredible!! Lucas has struggled a points over his swimming journey, and not wanting to participate. Lucas is obsessed with animals and Emma has included this as much as possible for Lucas in the classes, to engage him as much as possible- it’s worked amazingly well - she even brought her own hippo toy for him to play with!! Lucas adores Emma and loves practicing at home and showing his toy animals his swimming :) Hannah & Lucas Crumpton


Jack loves the sessions ran by Emma. Lesley & Jack Wood


Emma is always really positive and friendly. She takes the time to explain the benefits of the exercises we are asked to do so we fully understand. She is approachable and encouraging in every lesson. We think Emma is fantastic :). Emma Raikes with Nalo.




She's consistently enthused, engaged and a very good teacher. The lessons are fun and she always has time for the swimmers and the parents. Thank you. David & Arthur Herdson


Louise is a very understanding/supporting teacher, she really makes an effort with the children so they have the best time in the water. Raeyaan always looks forward to his swimming lesson day. Jemma Kapre & Raeyaan.


Louise is a lovely swimming teacher. Very knowledgeable and makes the lessons so fun. My daughter loves coming to swimming lessons with Louise! Megan & Lily Hendy





Clear instructions & fun classes. Seems to remember every child’s name (somehow?!) which is a nice personal touch. Gemma Burton & Jed Cracknell


Not only is Steph brilliant with the kids she has worked hard at reliving my own anxieties as a parent. She’s patient and approachable and I am starting to see improvements week in week out now with my daughter ! Thanks Steph! Daniel & Elsie Rowett


Very welcoming when we first started. Has made the effort to get to know each baby in the class. Always explains the reason for doing each activity. Kirsty Lee & Adelaide Taylor


With profound gratitude, we nominate Steph for her remarkable dedication and passion as a swimming teacher. 🩷 Since 2022 our 2.5-year-old Baby Girl has flourished under Steph's guidance. Steph's warmth and expertise create an environment where learning to swim becomes a joyful adventure. Her personalized attention fosters not just skills but also confidence and safety in the water. Steph's impact extends beyond the pool, instilling a lifelong love for swimming in her students. Her dedication and warmth leave an indelible mark on each child she mentors. Steph embodies the true essence of teaching, and we are endlessly thankful for her influence in our lives. 🩷🩷🩷 Anna Amrozik-Grym & Mia


Steph is great with the babies, and really makes them feel safe and comfortable. She is fab! Jess Kitching with Harri


Steph has always been very warm and welcoming, she is brilliant and extremely confident at her job and this helps the children be more confident in the water too! My daughter has come on massively since joining puddle ducks, (she practises often in the bath) and looks forward to every lesson this is all down to Steph! Tamsin Hickling & Isabelle Osborne


Steph is a fabulous swim teacher, she manages to keep everyone engaged during the lesson (both babies and adults!), my little boy has come a long way since joining floaties at just a few months old and he always smiles throughout Steph’s lessons. Steph’s energy and enthusiasm always shines through. We will miss Steph when we move up to kickers.  Rebecca Marshall & Arthur Walker



Steph is amazing at what she does! Margot loves her lessons with Steph and has come on leaps and bounds over the years with her confidence in the water, her swimming and just within herself too, a lot of that I have to give credit to Steph.
Steph is so supportive and caring in her style of teaching which is amazing for both the child and the parent too.
Margot is so excited for swimming each week and can't wait to get stuck in with the lesson!
Thank you for everything you do Steph, you are fabulous!

Chloe Parkinson with Margot


Steph is brilliant with Harper and patient as she is the youngest of the group and needs a lot more encouragement than others!
The difference in Harpers swimming ability just over these last couple of months is amazing and her confidence is growing every week.
Steph is so knowledgeable but also there’s an element of fun in there too so it’s not all “teaching” !
Josie Toms & Harper


We have had Steph now for over a year and the amount of joy Amelia gets from her lessons is fantastic! We have recently encountered a slight hurdle with Amelia’s swimming, but Steph was supportive from the outset. She took the time to speak to us as parents, outlining areas we can further support, but also suggestions on what we can do moving forward. We feel more positive now in Amelia’s swimming journey and hope we can continue this with Steph in the future. Thank you for your continuous support and fantastic teaching Steph! Samantha Robert & Amelia.


Thank you for introducing all three of my babies to the water. I would like to pay a personal thanks to Steph, she has been an absolutely fabulous teacher for all three of mine, the patience and persistence to get them all going has been 1st class. Her ability to remember where each individual child is and what we need to work on the most is incredible! She’s an asset to Puddle Ducks!! Rebecca & Jesse Fawcett


Steph is so lovely, Jude loves her. I think she’s great at her job! Charlotte Easton & Jude




Julia has been incredible since Annie started swim academy. She has given her so much confidence and built a great relationship with the children in the group. We feel very lucky to have Julia! Rebecca Worrall & Annie McKeith


My sons first lesson was with Julia and she made him feel comfortable straight away. We don’t often have lessons with Julia now but when we do he always has a big smile on his face and loves his lessons with her! Lucy Jones & Vincent Varley


We already did a form for our teacher Emma, but I wanted to send a sneaky extra nomination for Julia. We have done a catch up with Julia and she was just fabulous! Her lesson was lots of fun and she was so engaging with all the little ones. Miles loved his lesson with Julia and we just wanted to say thanks x Sarah & Miles Trentham


Freddie has been coming to Puddle Ducks for a while and never wanted to blow bubbles or put his face in. Julia had given him great encouragement and praise and within a few weeks is now blowing bubbles, putting his face in, and even diving for the ring. I can't thank Julia enough and can't wait to see how much further Freddie will come before our holiday in June! Lisa & Freddie Hanwell


She is so genuine and attentive with all of the kids, ensuring that no-one is left out, and still encouraging the children to keep improving. Greg Horsfall & Hailey


Elia absolutely love Julia! She is an amazing teacher. Jodie & Elia Catterall


Julia is so patient, kind, funny and really helps if your child doesn’t want to do an activity. Love her lessons! Laura & Olivia Hargreaves


Julia has taught both my boys and she goes above and beyond every lesson. Katie Martin with Freddie & Louie.


Very friendly and great with the children.
Brilliant at her job. 
Megan & Amelia Murgatroyd


Jack says: Julia has helped him learn and be happy at swimming :)
We can see how his confidence has grown and Julia has supported him as he has transition through the swim academy classes so far, thank you Julia x
Lynsey & Jack Yelland


She’s brilliant! Olivia & Finley Jackson


Where do I start? Julia has been amazing since the day we started swimming with Puddle Ducks! My LG was 4 last October and Julia recommended that it was time to start to think about Swim Academy, this scared me to death! Julia worked with me and my LG to give me the confidence it was right. Since my LG has moved to SA her confidence in the water has grown. My anxiety has reduced too! There’s been a few lesson where Charlotte has been more like a koala bear, stuck to my leg, but these are few and far between now and has even done some courtesy classes with other teachers! Thank you Julia for the encouragement and support! Carly & Charlotte Hannard


We absolutely love Julia. She helps provide confidence not just to the little swimmers but to mums too without pushing them to do things before they are ready. Couldn’t ask for a better swim teacher! :-). Megan & Sonny Hartley



Nell has been back in swim academy since Christmas and the difference in her swimming since then is outstanding. Abbie is kind and patient and we are so grateful she kept her Saturdays whilst she is training! Nell absolutely loves her swim lessons and we love the confidence she has given her. Thanks Abbie. Sarah & Nell Trentham


Abbie is always kind, helpful, nice and gives me encouragement “ - Kate

Filipe & Kate Cunha


My little one loves Abbey. I think she is so patient and caring towards the kids.
She deserves this award :). 
Mounira Mansoorali & Jameela Kassim





Super friendly, always very clear with instructions and happy to help.  Sarah & Edie Roberts


We started Puddle Ducks in Floaties and now we’re in Splashers and Rachel has always been our teacher. You get the feeling she genuinely enjoys teaching the lessons and gets to know all of the little swimmers and their personalities. You can tell my son feels really comfortable in the water with her - he trusts her when it comes to doing the under-surface swim and she makes him laugh with the ducks! As soon as we walk into the building he now gets really excited - he kicks his legs and giggles and I know it’s because he is looking forward to swimming because Rachel creates the perfect environment for him to fall in love with swimming. We both love coming to Puddle Ducks. Thanks so much! Alison Gibbons & Ashton Stenning



Rachel has been amazing with Mica, always so patient, and Mica was so nervous about being in the water for a long time! She’s now come on so much and is really enjoying swimming, even if she isn’t quite sold on surface swims yet!  Amy Rushton & Mica



Rachel recently took over our son’s lessons in Chesterfield and we have seen an immense change in his development in the water!
Rachel always has a vibe about her that is energetic and encouraging, I feel that all the babies have felt this vibe and she instils a confidence in them to try lots of new things and work on their existing skills.
We recently attended one of her courtesy classes in Sheffield and despite being a really busy class, she made Seb and I feel really welcome! Even if she doesn’t win the award I hope she will be given this feedback, Rachel you are a fantastic teacher!  Jenny Lim & Sebastian Gillick


Friendly, always checking how everyone is and has a smile on her face. Also would nominate her lovely poolside assistant at Talbot school - best we've ever met! Hannah & Charlie Sharpe


Rachel has a very caring and approachable manner she manages to put both parents and babies at ease whether in the water or not. Her classes are fun and entertaining whilst also skilfully professional. Richard & Irina Brisbin



Julia and Edward run our class and they are both great! Very encouraging but don't push. Quinn really loves her lessons with them.  Frances & Quinn Cumming


Julia and Edward have managed to encourage my daughter to get into the pool and put her head under water when previously she was terrified of the shower! They are both fantastic and patient and work wonders for my child’s water confidence! Rachel & Eleanor Feather













I would like to nominate Abbie and Verity. They both help Robert overcome a difficult spot of not wanting to get in the water for the lessons and now he’s back loving it. Gemma & Robert Colquhoun







Elijah loves swimming with Helen & Louise, they always make the lesson super fun. Krista & Elijah Binns


Fabulous team, very patient with the children, always make the lessons fun while teaching the children to be safe in the water. Carrieanne Murphy & Frankie Howse





They make me and Arthur feel welcome each week and as a first time mum I was so scared of putting Arthur in the water and now I feel so confident. They are both so amazing with the children and engage them each week. Arthur absolutely loves coming and is so happy to be held by Emma whilst showing the group the next activity. Thank you both for our amazing swimming experience.  Joanne Simpson & Arthur Collington



Julia has helped both of our boys come on leaps and bounds. She always make the lessons fun and is always really positive. Both Julia and Steph helped our youngest settle into swim academy when he was unsure and spent a lot of time ensuring he was happy. He loves it now and it is down to Julia and Steph’s patience, thank you! Chloe, Stanley & Albert Barraclough





What our customers think