Child swimming

Learning to swim


We want kids to feel happy in the water and teaching them to swim will be our absolute pleasure.

Learning to swim is an important life skill which our fully qualified teachers take pride in passing on in a fun but structured way.

We offer classes for babies, toddlers and kids as well as lesson schemes across Calderdale. Classes (Aqua tot, Aqua babies and Junior Swim Fit) can be booked 8 days in advance via reception or online. Swimming and other aquatic lessons including summer courses, diving, lifesaving and synchronized swimming are booked over a block of 10-12 weeks.

Choosing the right level

Getting the right lesson is important for confidence and success in the water. Beginners lessons are available at all pools but if your youngster can already swim without armbands we would advise that you book in for a swimming assessment (ask at reception for days and times), that way we can be sure they are getting off to the best possible start.

Confidence in water is a big thing for us and getting them started early is something we really encourage. These classes cover basic water skills through structured fun and games. You have to accompany your 6 month - 2 year old in the water but I bet you would not want to miss this experience for the world. A qualified poolside teacher will guide you through a structured lesson.

Aqua Babies (6 months - 2 years)

Swimming confidence classes for children 6 months to 2 years of age. An adult must accompany the child.

Aqua Tots (2 - 4 years)

Swimming confidence classes for children 2 years to 4 years of age. An adult must accompany the child.

Ducklings (3 - 4 years)

Now you can book your little superstar onto a block of lessons and see them learn the basic skills of swimming through a range of games to help build confidence. You will need to accompany your duckling in the water and work with the poolside teacher while they deliver this great block of lessons.

Pre-School (4 - 5 years)

It’s time for your little one to get in the water without you. Don’t worry, the teacher will only recommended this block of lessons when they feel that your child is ready to take the next step forward after passing their Duckling 5 Award. The block of lessons is for those having demonstrated above average skills and confidence within the ducklings lesson.

Stages 1-10

Stages 1-4 are very much about learning skills and confidence before strokes are performed in long distances. Stages 5-6 are where we concentrate on all four strokes over a short distance to enable the children to swim with good technique. Once the technique has been mastered we then start to cover longer distances to improve stamina.

Safety in the water is very important and throughout we will work to develop a core range of skills to ensure safety, confidence and competence. We feel that it is much better to do strokes with great technique in short distances rather than large distances with poor technique… we hope that you agree.

The lessons are built around the ASA National Teaching Plan and also incorporate Calderdale lessons (i.e. two awards at each level). At the end of the scheme swimmers will be able to swim in all four recognised strokes, demonstrating efficient techniques along with a range of additional skills. Swimmers will also work towards personal survival, challenge and water skills awards. We will do everything we can to teach your child to swim and fulfil their potential. On the way we will issue awards as and when they reach the necessary level but please do not expect an award after every block of lessons.

It is important to us that your children are safe in our swimming pools but also in and around water when away from our pools. With this in mind we deliver 1-3 weeks of ‘water safety’ at the start of summer just in time for when kids may be enticed to play in rivers and streams and go away on holiday. The sessions delivered in June (in conjunction with the Royal Life Saving Society National Drowning Week) every year may just save your child’s life and may help save a life if they see someone drowning.

Stage 1

For kids new to swimming lessons. We will work on basic water confidence skills using armbands or other flotation aids, climbing in and out of the pool, moving around the water on their front and back, learning to float and returning to a standing position.

Stage 2

Armbands start to come off but floats and noodles are used as a progression. Teachers continue to build confidence and introduce some new skills including how to jump into the pool and putting faces under the water.

Stage 3

More new skills are taught in level 3 including confidently moving around under the water, push and glide on front and back, travelling 10m on front and back using legs only.

Stage 4

Now we introduce all 4 strokes with the emphasis on a good strong leg kick. To progress to level 5 kids need to swim one of the major strokes for a distance of 10m showing good technique. This level can take a while to pass due to the high skill level but we will continue to motivate and encourage your kids to get there.

Stage 5

Through level 5 we ensure that all swimmers can perform all four major strokes with good technique for a distance of 10m. Treading water, sculling in different ways, learning to enter the water in different ways and surface diving are also covered in level 5. A range of additional skills are performed or perfected at this level. Again level 5 can take a while to pass.

Stage 6

Advanced techniques are developed in level 6 including sink, push off from side from the wall and glide, swimming 10m with clothes on, swim front crawl and breaststroke with at least six rhythmical breaths, perform a ‘shout, signal, rescue’ exit the water without using steps and more.

Stage 7

It gets tougher in level 7 with a requirement to swim 25m in each of the 4 main swim strokes, to perform a movement sequence of 1 minute duration, perform a sitting dive, swim 50m continuously using one stroke, swim 100m using a minimum of 3 strokes, tread water using eggbeater action for 30 seconds and complete an obstacle course using a minimum of 4 objects.

Stage 8 -10

For the more experienced swimmer to fine tune their competitive sport stroke skills.

Junior Swim Fit Class (for ASA level 7 and above)

This class runs in conjunction with the swimming lessons on a pay weekly basis. Length swimming, stroke improvement, speed and stamina are what we are aiming for in this class.

Summer Crash Courses

During the school summer holidays we run a range of crash courses including learn to swim, synchronised swimming, water polo, lifesaving, diving and stroke skills.

Diving (6 years and up)

Have your kids been inspired by Great Britain’s world class divers? Diving is an exciting sport that is available at Halifax Pool. We start by teaching basic skills from the pool side and as divers develop they move on to the 1-3 and 5 metre boards performing a range of somersault and twisting somersault dives. Kids must be able to swim at least 50 metres confidently in deep water.

Synchronised Swimming (7 years and up)

Halifax synchronised swimming lessons are going from strength to strength. Some take part in this beautiful sport for fun and fitness while others have performed in national competitions. Kids looking to book on this block of lessons must be able to swim 100 meters confidently with good technique in deep water.

Children with individual needs

We are proud to offer swimming lessons for children with individual needs. On most occasions we ask that a parent/guardian accompany the young person in the water but this does depend on the individual’s need. Reception will be able to help with any further information.

Useful information

Existing customers

Kids already attending lessons get priority at re-enrolment three weeks before the end of the course. You will receive a letter offering you the chance to re-enrol for the next term a week or so before the places are offered to new kids.

New customers

If you want your child to join our Swimming Development Scheme please ask at reception.

Direct Debit

You can pay for the block of swimming lessons in one hit or you can pay by direct debit to split the payment over two to three payments. Please ask reception for a direct debit form.


Please let reception know if your little one has any health condition or is taking medication so that we can let the teacher know and make the necessary arrangements. If your child is taking regular medication for example an inhaler for asthma please make sure you pack the inhaler in the swimming bag for every lesson and that it is taken onto poolside.

Wanting to join the lesson scheme

Hopefully we will be able to enrol your child immediately but if our lessons are full we will put their name on our waiting list and contact you as soon as a space becomes available.


Lessons are booked in blocks of 8-12 weeks depending on Bank Holidays. Classes break for 4 weeks during the summer holidays and 2 weeks at Christmas.

How long are lessons?

Lessons are 30 minutes long for levels 1-6 and 45 minutes for levels 7+. This includes class register being taken and completing the lesson plan information.

Do I get a refund if my child is ill?

If your child is unfortunate enough to develop an illness that prevents him/her from attending over half of a block of lessons and you have medical evidence of such illness we will consider refunding the lessons missed. This is however at the sole discretion of the swimming management team.

Can I watch my child during their lesson?

We have designated areas for you to watch your child, but why not have a swim yourself. We offer a reduced rate whilst your child is having a lesson, providing the pool is available.

How can I get feedback on my child?

We encourage communication between teachers and parents so please feel free to leave your contact details with reception along with the name and level of your child and the teacher will contact you at the earliest convenience. Please do not interrupt
the teachers during lessons.

Can my child swim before or after the lesson?

If your child has a membership, swimming is included at no extra cost, so they will be able to swim before or after the lesson subject to the pool timetable and admission policy. That said we do not encourage swimmers wear themselves out before their lesson. Practicing the skills learnt after the lesson would be great though! Without a membership you would need to make payment for your child to swim before or after the lesson again subject to the pool timetable and admission policy.