Goldfish Swim School coming to Needham.

Goldfish Swim School coming to Needham.

Imagine a bright, tropical place where you feel welcome and relaxed, and your kids get to learn to swim there. This is the goal of the new Goldfish Swim School opening soon in Needham, MA. As a parent of three little ones, all with varying degrees of love (and fear) of the water, I am so curious to learn more about this modern approach to swim lessons. Swimming is a life skill, one needed for safety if you spend anytime around water. Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah Kepic, the owner of Goldfish Swim School in Needham, and Martha Tierney, the General Manager.

Q: What’s the difference about the Goldfish approach to swim lessons?

A: First of all, we create an inviting, tropical place with a 90 degree pool for the kids to feel safe and comfortable. The entire school is welcoming and light-hearted. The main goal of our curriculum is to teach kids how to swim and get results. We focus early on with safety skills so kids are comfortable in the water and learn to stay calm.

With a focus on results, we have “perpetual lessons” where a child can swim and move up to the next level, often while staying with the same teacher. The kids get a great sense of accomplishment and there are lots of fun rewards for them. {Comment-as a parent I am most excited to hear about the consistency of teachers when it works schedule and ability-wise.}

Q: How will parents stay updated about their child’s progress?

A: Parents are invited onto the pool deck for the last 5 minutes of class. They will get a report each week about their child’s abilities. There is a small staff to student ratio so the teacher really has a good opportunity to learn how to teach your child.

Q: What age range of children will you be working with?

A: We will see babies start around 4 months, or at least when they can hold their head up. The main age range will be 4 months-10 years of age. Older children who may still be struggling to learn swimming basics are welcome, but may be more comfortable with private lessons.

Q: At what age are the parents also included in the water with the babies?

A: We have the parent join the child from ages 4 months- 24 months. If a child is brand new to swimming at 24 months, we may have them start with a parent to make sure they feel comfortable.

Fun changing rooms at the Goldfish Swim School

Q: How are the locker room facilities?

A: This is where we really stand out from the competition. Kids can come in and change in one of 12 department style changing rooms (room for mom and siblings too!), store their stuff in cubbies and head on to the pool deck. After class, there are hot showers on the pool deck and then they return to the privacy of their changing rooms. The kids will love the hair drying station too!

Q: What can we do with siblings who may be there watching lessons?

A: We have a watching area for parents and siblings. Our goal is to make this a relaxing space where parents can connect with friends and neighbors while siblings can be entertained with an activity of the week we provide, chalkboards and other reward toys connected to our Theme of the Month.

Waiting area at Goldfish Swim School

Q: My youngest does not like the water (what??). How will you handle these situations?

A: We have several methods we have trained the instructors in to work with children who may not be comfortable swimming. Kids will cry and that’s normal. The staff is prepared to go at a child’s pace and it may take 3-4 classes for the tears to go away. The perpetual lessons provides the consistency needed to let the child feel comfortable in the pool. There are lots of awards for kids to brighten the experience, even if they are only able to sit with their feet in the water the first day. Also, in addition to the small staff to student ratio, there is also additional staff on the pool deck to help if a child needs more one on one attention.

Q: Now I’m super excited to see the new Needham location. When do you think you will be opening?

A: The updated goal is early May. Construction has been tough this winter. In the mean time, parents can visit the Needham preregistration site and get their child’s information entered into our system. We will be in touch once we have a confirmed opening date for classes.

Thank you Sarah and Martha for chatting with me! I am so excited to see my kids in the pool there once the Needham site is open. Get ready for more pictures. I wish it is was open this past winter; it would have been nice to feel a taste of the tropics after all these storms!

Opening soon! Goldfish Swim School Needham


If you are curious about pricing, you can find it here. Where is it going to be?

Goldfish Swim School: Needham, MA

  • Phone: 781-881-2108
  • 45 Fourth Ave.
    Needham, MA 02494

Disclosure: I am partnering with Goldfish Swim School Needham and I’ll be talking about them again once they open and my children participate in lessons. They are compensating me with lessons for the kids and I’m hopeful Connor gets over his fear of the water! 

6 replies
  1. Nikki AM says:

    Great article, Emily! I am super excited about this swim school. I cannot wait to get my kiddos started. Thanks for sharing your interview.

  2. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    That sounds like a great program. In my town, our kids learn to swim in school. It’s pretty cool!

  3. Scarlet says:

    This looks like such a great resource for parents to get their kids swimming. It really is a life saving skill and a great exercise all their lives.

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