Learn to swim

We have a class for every level of confidence and ability – from babies just learning about water, right through to our classes to support elite training squads.

We have a class for every level of confidence and ability – from babies just learning about water, right through to our classes to support elite training squads.

Not sure which level your child is at? Check out our classes, and what they will be mastering at each level. You can learn to swim at any time, and we'll have a class to suit your age and stage. Our classes run during school terms.

Classes are held at Cannons Creek Pool unless we've stated otherwise.

To make a booking, call (04) 237 1518 , email [email protected], or fill in our enquiry form.

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Dash term dates 2024

Term 1
Start 5 February 2024
End 13 April 2024
Public holidays: Waitangi Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday
Term 2
Start 29 April 2024
End 6 July 2024
Public holidays: King's Birthday, Matariki
Term 3
Start 22 July 2024
End 28 September 2024
Term 4
Start 14 October 2024
End 21 December 2024
Public holidays: Labour Day

Children's swim programme

Our under 3 programme is all about your tamariki being comfortable in the water, and working with a teacher. You (or another caregiver) need to be in the pool with your child until they are 3 years old.

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The children are working towards completing the first stage of a self rescue

  • understanding of cues
  • comfortable using equipment
  • comfortable with over & under
  • correct holds
  • comfortable with activities in class
  • safe entries and exits
  • comfortable to be held by instructor.

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Tiny Tots

Children are working towards the second level of self rescue:

  • assisted float on back
  • paddle arms and legs on front
  • assisted kicking on back
  • swim to and from bar
  • assisted roll front to back
  • assisted falling in and rolling onto back.

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Super Tots

This level is working on the third stage of a self rescue:

  • floating on back unaided
  • rolling front to back
  • swimming to and from bar
  • swimming to bar climbing out of pool
  • fall into pool rolling onto back
  • fall into pool wearing clothes.

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Super Tots Advanced

This level is working on the last stage of a self rescue:

  • jumping into the pool rolling onto back
  • kicking on back unaided
  • rolling on back calling for help
  • floating on back in clothes
  • fall into pool in clothes, swim to bar  and climb out of pool.

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This is the first level in our preschool programme, and is our first class where a parent doesn't need to be in the water with the child:

  • increasing water confidence
  • working on full submersion
  • introducing the children to a pool lesson structure.

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Increasing the children's water confidence and skill-set in the water:

  • floating with a noodle and no instructor assistance
  • basic level front and back kicking.

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Children learn the correct kicking technique:

  • unassisted front and back float
  • correct kicking technique over 5 metres.

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Little Orca

Children learn their freestyle and backstroke arms:

  • combining their kicking with their arm strokes
  • getting the correct timing with their arms.

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  • perfecting their freestyle and backstroke arms
  • introduction to breaststroke kick
  • introduction to butterfly kick.

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Little Dasher

We'll improve on their freestyle and backstroke swimming and extend as far as they can go until they can be transferred into our school-age programme:

  • full breaststroke
  • understanding of the butterfly leg kick

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This is the level for beginners over 5 years. If your child hasn't done a class before, or has only done the first level in preschool (Jellyfish), then they will start here:

  • learn how to be safe in the pool environment, water confidence
  • how to submerge
  • float unassisted on their front and back
  • introduction to unassisted front and back kicking.

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If your child has done our preschool programme and moved out of the first class (Jellyfish), then they will start at this level:

  • children learn freestyle and backstroke arms
  • they work on achieving the correct timing with their arms
  • and combining their kicking with their arms.

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This level is an extension of freestyle and backstroke timing:

  • perfecting freestyle and backstroke arm actions
  • introduction to breaststroke kick
  • kick for 10 metres on their front and back.

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This level is where they start learning the breathing position in freestyle:

  • swim 10 metres of freestyle with correct breathing technique
  • swim 10 metres of backstroke with correct timing
  • swim 10 metres of breaststroke kick with correct technique
  • introduction to butterfly kick.

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Extending their freestyle breathing technique to 15 metres:

  • swim 15 metres of freestyle with correct timing
  • swim 15 metres of backstroke with correct timing
  • introduction to full breaststroke
  • extension of the butterfly kick.

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Manta Rays

This is the first level where we are swimming 25 metres:

  • swim 25 metres of freestyle with correct technique
  • swim 25 metres of backstroke with correct timing and technique
  • swim 15 metres of breaststroke with correct timing 
  • introduction to the butterfly stroke
  • introduction to freestyle and backstroke tumble turns.

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Swimmers are building fitness to swim more than 25 metres without needing to stop:

  • swim 50 metres of freestyle with the ability to breathe to both sides
  • swim 50 metres of backstroke with a more advanced technique
  • swim 25 metres of breaststroke with the correct timing and technique
  • swim 10 metres of butterfly with the correct timing and technique
  • extending the swimmer's knowledge of tumble turns and starts.

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First step in our "high end" programme:

  • 45 minute lessons
  • being able to do freestyle, backstroke and  breaststroke to a high standard
  • extending their distance on their butterfly
  • distances for each stroke starts at 100m learning all turns and starts for all strokes.
  • an introduction to diving.

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Increasing the distance your child can swim:

  • being able to do all four strokes to a high standard
  • introduced into a "squad" setting where they will learn how to use a pace clock and self-time effectively
  • this class will introduce race diving.


Top level in our learn to swim programme, this class is run with a squad format:.

  • swimmers can perform all four strokes to high standards
  • how to complete a "squad set"
  • swimmers are working towards achieving times close to national times.

Other swimming lesson options

Sometimes the standard path through our swim plan doesn't quite work for you or your family, or you want to incorporate swimming into your overall fitness plan – we've got classes for that too.

Designed as a fitness regime for teenagers:

  • build up your cardiovascular fitness
  • great way of keeping fit for other sports, especially out of season 
  • one hour lesson.

Adult beginner

  • learn to be comfortable in the water before being introduced to swimming techniques
  • technique improvement for the less able swimmer – correcting stroke and breathing skills to help you to swim efficiently and confidently
  • classes set at individual's pace.

Adult advanced

  • get the heart pumping and the fitness building in fun but structured sessions
  • ideal for cross-training for triathlons, surf lifesaving, water polo or any water-based sport

Individual tailored programme

  • smaller classes taught by fully qualified AUSTSWIM Access and Inclusion Teachers
  • these classes are aimed at getting everyone involved in the water, no matter what their disability may be
  • these classes run alongside the Dash programme and are tailored to each individual’s needs.
  • private lessons are tailored to the individual
  • goals are set and the lessons are based around achieving these no matter what they are.