Learning to swim is great fun for both children and adults alike!
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Learning to swim is an essential life skill. The ability to swim out of danger can be a life-saver and having fun at your local pool is great for health, fitness and confidence.
Our 'Learn to Swim' programme takes a non-swimmer from their first splash to developing confidence and competence in the water, following Swim England's 'Learn to Swim' pathway. Learners will develop a wide range of swim skills becoming safe, confident and competent swimmers. They will have the skills to take part in lots of water-based sports throughout their lives.
Swimming lessons run through all the School Holidays, we operate 50 weeks of the year. We don't hold lessons on Bank Holidays. Swimming lessons run in 30 minute slots, except the junior swim skill lessons and adult group lessons which are 45 minute lessons.
Swim tests are designed for children who are new to Wakefield Councils/Aspire Health Learn to Swim Programme , who may have previous swimming experience or have taken part in swimming lessons before. Our swim tests ensure each child fits into the correct ability class from their first lesson.
Run in 15 minute slots for up to 3 swimmers at a time, swim tests are completed by one of our fully qualified site instructors. They are a small assessment of each child's swimming ability and aim to assess all 4 strokes (where applicable) and a number of skills relating to each stage of the Swim England National Plan for swimming.
In order to book one of our free, swim test slots (days/times below), you will need to contact the site directly:
Featherstone Sports Complex (01977 722842) – Friday 15:45pm Sun Lane Leisure (01924 306001) – Tuesday 16:45pm Pontefract Swimming Pool (01924 7227755)– Wednesday 15:45pm Minsthorpe Leisure (01977 722301) – Saturday 12:00noon or 12:15pm
Upon completion of a swim test, the instructor will inform you which stage of our programme will best suit your child's swimming ability and aquatic skills. They will also give you further information on what to do next and how to enrol onto our programme.
Where can I learn to swim?
Discovery Ducklings 6 months - 3 years
Discovery Ducklings is a game based learning environment, which introduces babies and young children to the water and the world of swimming”.
Infant Starter Lessons Adult and Child 3 - 5 years
Lessons for children under 5, which focuses on the FUNdamental movement through water, while engaging your child through the enjoyment of water-based games. Supported by an accompanying adult, these lessons help your child to take the progressive steps towards Swim England’s journey through aquatics.
Swim Starters (Stages 1-2)
Developing basic safety awareness, the 'class' scenario, basic movement skills and water confidence skills. Swimmers may use buoyancy equipment, for example arm bands and floats
Developing safe entries into the water, including jumping in, basic floating, travel and rotation unaided to regain upright positions. Swimmers may use buoyancy equipment, for example arm bands and floats.
Swim Improvers (Stages 3 - 7)
Developing safe entries including submersion, travel up to 10 metres on the front and back, progress rotation skills and water safety knowledge.
Developing the understanding of buoyancy through a range of skills, refining kicking technique for all strokes, and swimming 10 metres to a given standard as directed by the A.S.A.
Developing 'watermanship' through sculling and treading water skills, and complete rotation, also performing all strokes to the given standard as directed by Swim England.
Developing effective swimming skills including coordinated breathing; developing the water safety aspects and understanding of preparation for exercise.
Developing quality stroke technique up to 100 metres, incorporating skills learnt and combining them to develop a linked routine and complete successfully an obstacle course that combines a variety of skills accomplished throughout stages 1 - 7.
Swim Skills (Stages 8 - 10)
Provides the opportunity for swimmers to diversify in their disciplines, introducing water polo, rookie lifeguarding, synchronised swimming and competitive swimming.
The Learn to Swim Stages 8-10 continue the swimmer’s journey, these lessons are about building sport specific skills to encourage focus on aquatic sports and Water Safety. Developing aquatic skills doesn’t have to stop just because a swimmer has learned to swim.
Swimmers are encouraged to take part in different aquatic disciplines that develop their fundamental sports skills. Competitive Swimming, and Rookie Lifeguard are two of the services we offer in our facilities.
This framework is all about extending the skills and abilities of young swimmers who would like to do more than swim. Built into the programme are lessons on survival, rescue and sports skills…all delivered in an exciting way that will get children involved and motivated. The course can run parallel to your child’s current swimming lessons and will enhance the skills they learn in the pool.
For many of our Rookie Lifeguards, our programme offers the first opportunity to explore water safety, gradually gaining independence and confidence while learning vital life skills.
Each stage of the Rookie Lifeguard programme has been divided into three levels, Bronze Stages, Silver Stages, Gold Stages. Following the completion of each stage, Rookie Lifeguards can receive a certificate, badge and sticker to mark their progress in their own Progress Book.
The real focus on becoming a competitive swimmer is when you take Stages 8-10. By the time you reach Stage 10 you will be completing a set lasting 1500m. This class is aimed at children who are in the early stages of competitive swimming wishing to develop stamina and stroke technique, who are already capable of competently swimming 200 metres using three different strokes. The programme delves more deeply into teaching your child about speed and endurance. Your child will also learn how to execute correct race starts and turns, as well as swimming 1,500m in three different strokes.
Adult swimming lessons
Our adult swimming lessons are for anyone 16 years old or over. If you are a beginner, you will learn to be more confident in the water. If you are a more advanced swimmer, you will benefit from technique and stroke work.
Age does not have to be a barrier if you want to learn to swim!
We understand that learning to swim can be a daunting task, that is why we have designed our ‘beginners’ lesson programme specifically for adults who are non-swimmers or lack water confidence.
With a maximum of one swimming teacher to eight adults, you will gain individual tuition, empowering you to develop your skills and confidence. Equipment is provided for you throughout your sessions.
Fast Track Lessons 5 years+
Fast track swimming lessons take place during most school holidays. The Fast Track programme consists of several 30 minute lessons, daily for a week. Fast Track swimming lessons are a great way to improve water confidence and swimming ability over a short period of time.
After school Swimming Club
If your child is currently attending our School Swimming Programme and hasn’t reached the National Curriculum Key Stage 2 standard for swimming, which is to swim a minimum of 25 metres, the After school Swimming Clubs could be the answer.
The After school Swimming Club is for children in year 4, 5 or 6 at primary school and aims to improve swimmers confidence and ability to achieve the Key Stage 2 Swimming Standard.
The After school Club will be delivered by a Level 2 Swimming Teacher at one of our swimming pools. The lessons will cost £4 per lesson and your child will need to attend for a minimum of half a term unless they reach the required standard before then. Lessons will last 45 minutes. In order for this scheme to benefit your child’s swimming potential, it is recommended that your child attends for the full course.
To enrol your child on the After school Swimming Club please contact our Aquatics team at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01924 30725.
On-Course progress tracker
Login to On-Course >>
You can follow your child's swimming progress online through our Oncourse home portal.
You will be able to see:
your child's lesson day, time and teacher
your child’s assessments, what they need to practice and the percentage they achieved in their lesson – please note the date is not the last time they were assessed, it is simply the last time they made progress to the next stage
how many weeks you have remaining on your lessons before a top-up is required.
When your child reaches 100 per cent, you will be able to move them to the next stage to an available time slot - you will only be able to move to the stage that has been assigned by the swimming teacher.
Find out what your child will be learning in their lessons and when they will be ready to move up to the next stage.
How to log into the swimming home portal
To register you will need your Oncourse registration number. If you are a member, this is your membership card number, otherwise please contact reception for your card.
Log into the home portal here then click 'Register Now' and follow the on screen instructions.
Please be assured that parents and carers can only view their own child's records.
To find out more about swimming in the district please contact our Aquatics team at