Learn to Swim

Our Learn to Swim Program is broken down into 3 ability based levels. Children must be at least 3 years to book into this program. Students will begin learning water familiarity and develop basic stroke technique over a distance of 8m.


This level will teach children to respect the water first and foremost by learning how to safely enter and exit the pool. Children will also learn how to paddle and kick, submerge, correct body position, streamlines, floating on their front and back. The fundamentals of swimming are taught in this level as well as basic survival skills. In order to develop from Tadpole to Frog, children will need to demonstrate the following:

  • Enter and exit the pool safely
  • Submerge in water
  • Streamlined body position
  • Paddle and kick for 4 m with strong consistent kick
  • Independently float (front and back)
  • Fall in and return to the wall independently

This level will expand further on what was learnt in Tadpole by developing a basic freestyle stroke focusing on blowing bubbles as a separate skill. Students will also be further introduced to more water survival skills that will extend their knowledge and understanding of safe practices in and around water. A basic back kick is also introduced. In order to progress from Frog to Goldfish, children will need to demonstrate the following:

  • High, streamlined body position
  • Over arm freestyle for 4 – 6 m with a pop up breath if necessary
  • Strong consistent freestyle kicks
  • Demonstrates bubbling and breathing as a separate skill
  • Back kicking for 6 metres

This level will develop children’s stamina by introducing bilateral breathing in freestyle, with children required to breathe on every third stroke. Back kicking is refined and basic backstroke arms are introduced. Students will also develop a deeper understanding of water survival. In order to progress from Goldfish to Flying Fish, children will need to demonstrate the following:

  • Streamlined body position
  • Freestyle for 10 metres with consistent bilateral breathing and strong kicks over the 10m
  • Backstroke kicks (small and strong) unassisted for 10m

The students in this level will be able to swim 20 m of freestyle using bilateral breathing while maintaining correct body position. The distance for backstroke will also increase to 20 m while demonstrating straight arms and small high kicks. Basics of Breaststroke and Butterfly kick will be introduced with the use of kick boards to encourage correct leg movement and technique. The following skills must be accomplished before progressing to Dory:

  • Streamlined body position
  • Freestyle for 20m with bilateral breathing and correct body position
  • Backstroke kick and arms – introduction to Backstroke arms for 20m
  • Demonstrates dolphin kick with correct movement
  • Introduction to Breaststroke kick on back with board over knees

5 x Week blocks

30 minute classes – 5 per class maximum

Cost: $90 for 5 x Classes – Community members

$82 for 5 x Classes – UOW Staff or Student (10% Discount)

Dates of Adult learn to swim blocks are on our Swim School Calendar page


Swimmers must be able to swim 25m Freestyle – Assessments can be done prior to booking

60 minute classes – 8 per class maximum

Cost: $32 per fortnight

Can join either program at any time, however fees will be pro rata based on commencement date within the program.

These programs are via Direct Debit.


Private lessons are available as an option for those children who find group classes difficult to contend with. These lessons are only available outside of mainstream class times. Please enquire with the On Deck Supervisor if you feel your child would benefit from our private lessons.

Private lessons cost $50 per lesson and a minimum of 5 consecutive lessons must be booked.

All Private lessons are also booked via the Direct Debit option, no classes will be scheduled unless the required Direct Debit agreement is completed.

For any Swim School families who request to use NDIS funding, please email or speak to Swim School Coordinator pulse-swimschool@uow.edu.au and paperwork can be organised for your funding of programs.


Give your child the opportunity to improve their swimming and boost their swimming confidence by booking into one of our school holiday intensive lessons.

Cost for 5 x day program – $80

We all know swimming is an important life skill especially if you live around the water as we do here in the Illawarra.
An intensive week of school holiday swimming lessons offer a number of benefits for your child. These include:

  • Great re-introduction to swimming for all ages if they haven’t had swimming lessons for a while due to COVID19.
  • Increased swim confidence as a result of better recall and repetition.
  • Improved swim strokes as a result of daily practice.
  • Improved muscle memory of swim skills due to repetition.
  • Faster progression of swim ability as skills are built on daily.
  • All children are assessed at the end of the program. All feedback is available on our SwimDesk parent portal
  • And most importantly the enjoyment of swimming!!!
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