Learn to Swim

Banner image of water and text saying Learn to swim

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 age six months to five years. Our coaches use a range of techniques to engage and teach babies and pre-schoolers. (Lessons last for 20 minutes). A parent/guardian is required to be in the pool during the lesson.

School-age children

Our ‘Learn to Swim’ courses are available to children aged five years and older. The courses take your child through every step of the process. We cater for all ages with lessons including private one-on-one lessons for adults of all abilities from beginner to competitive.

Learn to Swim Stages

Pipi (25 min)

  • Safe entry
  • Submerge and float
  • Back and front float aided
  • Kick with noodle back and front

Eels (25 min)

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

Octopus (25 min)

  • Freestyle arm strokes 6 full arms
  • Backstroke arms 8m
  • Rotations front to back
  • Freestyle kick on side 5m
  • Intro to breathing concept

Snapper (25 min)

  • Freestyle breathing unaided 3 complete cycles
  • Backstroke arms 12m
  • Underwater swim 5m
  • 12m freestyle holding form
  • Rotation  drills front to back
  • Forward rolls start tumble turns

Tuna (25 min)

  • Freestyle concept complete cycles 12m
  • Backstroke 12m
  • Intorduction to breaststroke arms and legs
  • Underwater swim 7m
  • Introduction to tumble turns
  • Butterfly kick 12m

Kingfish (25 min)

  • Freestyle breathing 25m
  • Backstroke arms 25m
  • Breaststroke arms and legs
  • Underwater swim 10m
  • Butterfly kick

Marlin (45 min)

  • Freestyle 100m bilateral breathing
  • Backstroke 100m with finish sweep
  • Breaststroke arms and legs
  • Streamline underwater 10m
  • Butterfly body action

Development Squad

Swimmers are assessed and usually move to the development squad from the ‘Marlin’ stage at the ‘Swim Cool Swim School’. The development squad gives progressive swimmers the opportunity to enter the Thames Swim Academy.

Junior Development

Introduction to the competitive side of swimming, technique based but learn race starts and turns. First squad up from learn to swim.

  • Based on skill level.
  • Must be club registered $50.00 per year
  • Must race club race nights (Tuesday nights) over the summer period.
  • Fees -$37.00 per month to be paid at Kiosk
  • 2-3 One hour training sessions per week
  • Racing at swim meets optional


Technique based squad that starts to go to junior swim meets. They can do all strokes and turns confidently.

  • Based on skill level.
  • Must be club registered $50.00 per year
  • Must also race Tuesday night races during summer period
  • Swim 12 and under targeted swim meets (Optional)
  • Fees- $37.00 per month to be paid at Kiosk
  • 2-3 One hour training sessions per week
  • Must have uniform before swim meets

Block Courses

Take a giant leap forward!

Intensive holiday block lessons are held during the school holidays, depending on numbers. These lessons are a great way to accelerate learning.

We offer two different options of Block Lesson courses.

  1. Eight 30-minute lessons over four consecutive days (one each morning and afternoon). Cost is $70/child.
  2. Four 45-minute lessons over four consecutive days (morning). Cost is $50/child.

Please note: Both options don't always run every holiday, and are only available to school-age children (no pre-schoolers).

We offer low swimmer-to-instructor ratios per class, and each session is tailored to the skill of the group.

See the pool staff for block lesson information and to register, payments are not due until the first lesson.

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.
  • Assessment time arranged, usually week 8 of the term.
  • Payment of lessons in full before first lesson
  • Lessons held during school terms (school age levels)

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.)

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

To register competitively contact the swim club recorder by emailing thamesswimnz@gmail.com