Learn to Swim



    • Check back here end of term 3 2024
    • Check back here end of term 3 2024
    • All new school age enrolments must have a short assessment prior to enrolling so they can be placed in the correct level, so please come prepared for your child to get in the pool.
    • Pre-school aged children aren’t required to be assessed in the water prior to enrolling as these classes are based on age, not ability. 

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. Levels with an instructor in the water are capped at 5 students per class, and levels with an instructor out of the water are capped at 6 students per 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.

By the time students are ready to graduate from our Learn to Swim program they will have vital water safety skills to be competent in any water environment, as well as have the technical skills to progress into the swimming club environment should they choose to do so.

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 



School age Learn to Swim Stages

Pipi (25 min)

  • Unassisted entries & exits
  • Movement in the water
  • Back and front float aided
  • Blow bubbles underwater
  • Retrieve objects from bottom of pool
  • Aided kick on front
  • Float with improvised safety aid


Eels (25 min)

  • Crouching jump & seated face first aided fall
  • Unassisted front & back floating, plus floating with an improvised safety aid
  • Unassisted streamline glide front & back
  • Assisted horizontal rotation
  • Assisted kicking on front & back
  • Dolphin kick
  • Assisted breaststroke kick
  • Assisted sculling


Octopus (25 min)

  • Accidental fall & sitting dives
  • Float in pairs with an improvised safety aid & signal for help
  • Unassisted kicking on front & back
  • Unassisted dolphin kick
  • Assisted freestyle, backstroke & breaststroke arm strokes
  • Unassisted horizontal glide & roll 


Snapper (25 min)

  • Kneeling dives & backward accidental fall
  • Unassisted breaststroke kick
  • Freestyle single arm roll to breathe & aided bilateral breathing
  • Assisted backstroke arms
  • Survival breaststroke
  • Sculling on front & back
  • Into to tumble turns


Tuna (25 mins)

  • Crouching dives & compact jumps
  • Unassisted freestyle bilateral breathing
  • Unassisted backstroke arms
  • Assisted breaststroke arms
  • Tumble turns
  • Intro to survival backstroke
  • Reach rescue


Kingfish (25 min)

  • Standing dives & stride entry
  • Ocean to boat exit technique
  • 15m continuous freestyle & backstroke with correct technique
  • Unassisted breaststroke arms & legs
  • Tumble turn with swimming in and out of wall
  • Intro to treading water
  • Survival backstroke
  • Throw rescue

Marlin (25 min)

  • Track start dive off diving blocks
  • 25m freestyle and backstroke with correct technique
  • 12.5m breaststroke with correct breathing pattern
  • Backstroke tumble turn
  • 12.5m sculling on front & back
  • Treading water for 1 minute
  • 25m survival backstroke
  • Intro to side stroke
  • Lifejacket sequence