Learn to Swim

Enrolments for Term 3 are now closed

Term 4 enrolment information:
       **   Re-enrolments for swimmers currently enrolled in the swim school:
              -  Monday 18th - Friday 22nd September from 12pm - 5pm daily
       **   New enrolments for anyone not currently enrolled in the swim school:
              -  Monday 25th - Friday 29th September from 12pm - 5pm daily
              -  All new enrolments will need to be assessed before being enrolled.
                 This can be done during the above times and there is no need to book in
                 for the assessment.

  Please email any enquiries to learntoswim@tcdc.govt.nz.

Swimming is a lifelong skill that opens up a world of incredible experiences.

Babies and pre-schoolers

Through our ‘Swim Cool Swim School’ we encourage babies and children to develop and enjoy vital skills while becoming confident, capable and safer in the aquatic environment.

Lessons are available for babies from six months of age to five years. Our instructors use a range of techniques to engage and teach babies and pre-schoolers. There are 10 lessons per term and lessons last for 20 minutes. A parent/guardian is required to be in the pool with the child during the lesson. Pre-school lessons are run in Terms 1, 2 and 4. Lessons in Term 3 are weather dependent, and this is communicated accordingly when known. No assessment of ability prior to enrolment is necessary for pre-schoolers.

School-age children

Our ‘Learn to Swim’ lessons are available to children aged five years and older. The lessons take your child through every step of the process. Lessons last for 25 minutes and groups are capped at 6 in a class to optimise learning. There are 10 lessons per term, 1 per week, which aligns with the primary school term timetable and lessons run year-round. 

Our Learn to Swim lessons cater for all ages and abilities, as well as having the option of private one-on-one lessons for children and adults at a beginner level, or who's needs don't suit being in a group class. 

Lesson requirements

  • Please ensure your child arrives in plenty of time for their lesson. Late arrivals cause disruption for the class.
  • Firm fitting swimwear, goggles and caps are to be worn during lessons. (Goggles and caps can be purchased from the kiosk if required).
  • Please do not let children swim before their lesson as concentration is more difficult when tired.
  • After lessons, please make sure your child is supervised if having a swim.
  • Please let the teachers know of any health problems or disabilities (such as hearing problems) before the lessons begin.
  • Payment of lessons in full before first lesson
  • Lessons held during school terms
  • Please phone in all absences before the start time on (07) 8688441 or 0272762548, leave a message if there is no answer.
  • Undisciplined or disruptive behaviour is not acceptable, PLEASE do not be offended if your child/ren is removed from their lesson for a time.
  • Please note instructors will need to have contact with children in the water to aid and correct their technique. Please do not be offended by this.

We do not give credits for missed lessons (under special circumstances a credit may be given for the next term - broken limbs, serious illness, etc.)

There are no make-up lessons held for classes cancelled due to an act of God, e.g. thunder and lightning storm.

*Please note: No lessons are held on public holidays.

All Learn to Swim enquiries email:  learntoswim@tcdc.govt.nz

Pre-school Learn to Swim Stages


  • Age 6 months – 1 year with parent/caregiver in water
  • Intro to aquatic environment
  • Sensory stimulation
  • Games/Songs/Fun
  • Parent/child bonding


  • Age 1 year – 2 years with parent/caregiver in water
  • Intro to aquatic environment
  • Sensory stimulation
  • Games/Songs/Fun
  • Parent/child bonding


  • Age 2 years – 3 years with parent/caregiver in water
  • Water confidence
  • Games/songs/fun
  • Developing fundamental aquatic skills i.e. Floating, bubbles, kicking and submerging


  • Age 3 years – 4 years with parent/caregiver in water
  • Developing independence
  • Extending fundamental aquatic skills i.e. Floating, bubbles, kicking and submerging


  • Age 4 years – 5 years without a parent/caregiver in water
  • Independence
  • Intro into basic strokes
  • Extending skills 



Learn to Swim Stages

Pipi (25 min)

  • Safe entry
  • Submerge and float
  • Back and front float aided and unaided
  • Kick with noodle back and front
  • Retrieve objects from bottom of pool


Eels (25 min)

  • Streamline gliding unaided
  • Streamline kicking 5m
  • Kicking on back 5m
  • Rotations 5m front to back


Octopus (25 min)

  • Freestyle, 6 full arm strokes
  • Backstroke, 6 full arm strokes
  • Rotations front to back
  • Freestyle kick on side 5m
  • Intro to breathing concept
  • Intro to Breaststroke kick 

Snapper (25 min)

  • Freestyle breathing unaided 3 complete cycles
  • Backstroke arms 12m
  • 12m freestyle holding form
  • Forward rolls start tumble turns
  • Sculling front and back
  • Intro to Breaststroke kick


Tuna (25 mins)

  • Freestyle breathing 12.5m unaided
  • Backstroke arms 12.5m unaided
  • Breaststroke kick, 3 correct cycles
  • Intro to Breaststroke arms
  • Butterfly kick 12.5m with board


Kingfish (25 min)

  • Freestyle breathing 25m
  • Backstroke arms 25m
  • Breaststroke arms and legs, 3 correct cycles
  • Underwater swim 10m
  • Butterfly kick 25m with fins
  • Complete tumble turns with streamline