Start your swimming journey with Tees Active today!

Commonwealth Gold Medallist and proud Teessider, Aimee Willmott, has been named as the Official Ambassador of Tees Active’s Learn to Swim Scheme.

The new partnership with Tees Active aims to raise the profile of swimming in Stockton-on-Tees and inspire the next generation of swimmers. Our scheme allows all our swimmers to take a journey through aquatics and develop a range of skills from their first splash right through to becoming a Tees Active ‘complete swimmer’. Watch the video below to find out more!

Reasons why Aimee Willmott is supporting our Learn to Swim Scheme:

  • All our instructors are Swim England level 2 qualified which means your children will be learning the correct technique and skill from highly accredited and experienced coaches.
  • Established and experienced programme.
  • Swimmers will progress through the programme at their own pace and receive regular awards as they progress through the stages.
  • Parents can track the swimmers progress and receive alerts using the free online Swim Hub.
  • Easy to set up Direct Debit payments (from Summer 2019)
  • Children develop self-confidence, social skills and a sense of accomplishment in a fun and friendly environment.
  • Children Learn vital knowledge about water safety.

More information about the scheme

Continuous Assessment Programme

  • We understand that every swimmer is an individual; our continuous assessment programme means that swimmers will progress through the programme at their own pace. There are no set enrolment or re-enrolment periods.
  • Coaches have the ability to report on the swimmers progress via the use of a portable device on poolside, providing up to date, real time assessments on the swimmers development against the pre set criteria.
  • You will have the ability to view the swimmers progress online through weekly reports by registering to the new free online ‘Swim Hub’ service.

Fun Approach

Why a fun approach to learning is so important. A question often asked about swimming lessons is “Why is my child just playing games? They aren’t learning.” A fun approach to learning is so important for children and adults alike, whether for swimming lessons or for any other learning opportunity.

Learning through fun and games

The easiest way for a child to acquire the skills needed to be a confident swimmer is through fun and games.

Games are an ideal way for children to develop their jigsaw of skills and may even lead to them learning how to combine one skill with another, without even realising.

The Swim England Learn to Swim Programme takes this approach to learning to swim, giving swimmers the core skills needed to become competent swimmers.


At each stage of the programme, all of the skills learned are crucial and must be achieved easily and without stress.

For example, if the swimmer does not accomplish a skill such as aquatic breathing, the achievement of skills such as rotation, streamlining, travel, buoyancy and balance will become difficult to perform effectively. There are 9 core skills of swimming your child needs to keep afloat in water and to get ready to start swimming. These are 1. Entry 2. Exits 3. Buoyancy and Balance 4. Rotation and Orientation 5. Streamlining 6. Aquatic Breathing 7. Travel and Coordination 8. Water Safety 9. Health and Fitness

Through the journey of acquiring these skills, water competence will develop. Through competence in water, the child will have more fun, will be more likely to be active, follow a healthy lifestyle and participate in sport throughout his or her lifetime.

This process ultimately results in a child being able to swim different strokes, such as front crawl, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly, as well as learning skills that may become transferable to another water-based or land-based sport.

Holiday Learn to Swim Courses

Perfect for children new to lessons or to use as a booster week if your child is currently on our Half Term Learn to Swim scheme at Splash in Stockton!

Ducklings & Stage 1

A five day crash course for children aged 3+ new to swimming lessons or to use as a booster week if your child is currently enrolled on our Learn to Swim scheme Ducklings or Stage 1.

Monday – Friday 08:30 – 09:00 & 09:30 – 10:00

£21.00 (5 day course – must be pre-booked)

Stages 2 & 3

A five day crash course for children aged 5+ who are currently Stage 2 or 3 on our Learn to Swim scheme.

Monday – Friday 09:00 – 09:30 

£21.00 (5 day course – must be pre-booked)

Dinky Ducks

These parent and toddler courses are perfect for introducing your children into the water. They will be able to have fun whilst learning how to swim and they will boost their confidence in and out of the water.

No upcoming dates – we will keep you posted when dates become available.

Duckling Awards

These Swim England Pre-School Framework Awards are a natural follow on from the Dinky Duck Awards. They are aimed at children who are old enough to follow instructions and can move on their own.

They give the child more independence and start to build their confidence in water. These Awards are used to slowly build up the child ready for the Learn to Swim Framework Stages 1-7.

Please contact the venues to find out about enrolling.

No upcoming dates – we will keep you posted when dates become available.

Learn to Swim Stages

Here is an outline of how your child will progress from the Pre-School Ducklings stages right through to our Complete Swimmer stage.


The Swim England Awards celebrate swimming milestones for the children as they achieve a specific skill, distance or complete a Learn to Swim Stage Award.

This adds the star dust for the child – we all enjoy getting recognition for our achievements!

The time it takes for a swimmer to develop the crucial skills and build their jigsaw of skills will depend on their own personal development, as swimmers progress at their own pace.

Parents and swimming teachers play a key role in keeping them motivated by ensuring that they continue to enjoy being in the water and learning to swim.

Adult Swimming Lessons

An ideal opportunity for adults of all ages to renew or learn a new skill. Lessons take place at the following:

Billingham Forum – Wednesday’s, 18:45 – 19:30
Stockton Splash – Wednesday’s, 17:15 – 18:00
Thornaby Pool – Wednesday’s, 19:00 – 20:30

To enrol onto these lessons please visit the centre or contact directly on:

Billingham Forum – 01642 551381
Stockton Splash – 01642 660610
Thornaby Pool – 01642 616727

Choose Your Pool

Take a look at our 3 pools where we offer swimming lessons and see which one would work best for you!

Billingham Forum

Stockton Splash

Thornaby Pool

Swim Hub

Swim Hub is Tees Active’s free online hub that enables parents to:

  • Track the swimmers progress throughout their time on the learn to swim scheme. This is updated regularly so you will always understand where your child is on their swimming journey.
  • Receive alerts informing you of when the swimmer has achieved an award and is ready to progress to the next stage.
  • Select a day and time for your lessons that suits you best.

To register for this free service, simply click on the link at the top of the page and register your details.

Parental Information

You will be able to find all the relevant parental important information in the below document including information about how to prepare your children for swimming lessons.

Developing Water Confidence

Parents can play an active role in increasing water confidence in babies and young children from an early age. Although it’s not essential to take your child to a swimming pool, bath time activities can be a good introduction to the water.

Here are four activities to help build your child’s water confidence:

Underwater humming

If you or your children sing into hairbrushes or wave around air guitars then why not try a little underwater humming.

  • Divide into pairs or small groups and stand close to each other
  • Now all duck under the water.
  • While submerged, one person from the group or pair starts humming a favourite tune and the others have to guess the tune.

How many turns will it take them to name that tune? If they haven’t guessed it after three turns, tell them what it is and then swap. Ensure you have a good collection of humming tunes ready before you start playing.

Fishy in the middle

This game is a watery version of piggy in the middle and will get everyone jumping around.

Take with you a medium-sized soft/inflatable ball for each group of three players. Always check with the pool staff that you are ok to use these. Some pools run family splash session where they will supply balls.

  • Get into threes, with one person standing in the middle.
  • The fishy in the middle has to try and catch the ball as the others throw it over his or her head.

How high can your child jump out of the water? When the fishy catches the ball the person who threw it takes a turn in the middle.

Starfish tag

Starfish Tag is derived from another classic playground game. It is loads of fun in the pool and good at helping build water confidence.

  • One of you is the ‘tagger’ and has to try and tag all the others in the water.
  • Once someone is tagged that person has to stand still until they are set free.
  • Tagged swimmers can only be set free if someone else taps them on the shoulder or swims under their arms or legs.

Try setting a time limit to the game and see who can win the most tags.

Swimming through legs

This is a fun game and good for developing swimming and water confidence under the water.

  • Start by standing in a star shape with someone else facing you.
  • The person opposite then has to try and swim through your legs under the water.
  • Make sure you open them wide enough. Once they do it you swap over.

If you find this a bit easy, try getting two people standing with their legs open and try to swim through both in one go.

Enrolling onto the Scheme

Initially you will be required to visit or call the venue:

  • Stockton Splash – 01642 660610
  • Billingham Forum – 01642 551381
  • Thornaby Pool – 01642 616727. 

Alternatively you can email our aquatics team on aquatics@teesactive.co.uk to check the availability and book your place onto the scheme. If a place cannot be found immediately, names can be placed on the Learn to Swim enquiry form and contact will be made as soon as a place is available.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost?
Lessons are available to purchase in blocks of 10 (weeks)

Pricing is as follows:

Standard price – £67.40

Tees Active Leisure Card Holder (Option 1) – £52.65
Tees Active Leisure Card Holder (Option 2) – £52.65
Tees Active Leisure Card Holder (Option 3) – £37.90

For further information on Tees Active’s Leisure card, please click here.

Where can I learn to swim?
You can learn to swim at Stockton Splash , Billingham Forum and Thornaby Pool. The times you desire may mean you are enrolled at any of these venues.

How do I make payment?
Initially you will be required to visit the venue to book your place on to the scheme. From then on you can buy credits through the online ‘swim hub’ and make payments quickly and easily. Alternatively, you can visit the venues reception to make payment. You will also be notified via email when your credits are running low.

How do I track my child’s progress?
Each swimmer will learn at their own pace and we appreciate that some will be ready to progress to the next stage of the scheme earlier than others. You can track your child’s progress against each aspect of the criteria needed to progress when you log in online to the free swim hub. This will give you an insight into the areas that require more attention allowing you to practice in your own time and progress quicker.

How do I re-enrol when the stage is complete?
The learn to swim scheme is based on a programme of continuous assessment. As soon as the swimmer is ready to progress to the next stage you will automatically receive an email alert. You can then log in, check availability and book into an available slot.

How long do lessons last?
All lessons are 30-45 minutes depending on which stage they are at on the scheme.

What if my child has behavioural/medical issues?
We ask that you communicate any issues with the venues reception team at your earliest convenience and this information will be passed onto your coach.

What happens if I cannot attend a lesson?
Unfortunately we cannot refund or credit lessons for the occasional missed lessons. However, we do have a refund policy where by the swimmer is unable to attend their lessons over a sustained period due to a medical condition. Details of the learn to swim refund policy are available upon request.

How will your child learn?
Our Learn to swim Scheme is 100% practical based and all our coaches are level 2 qualified and trained to help and motivate the swimmer to improve their technique and confidence in the water.

How do I access the free online swim hub?
Simply click on the swim hub link on the Learn to Swim homepage, register your details using your email address and card number and complete your registration.

How quickly will the swimmers progress be updated on the online swim hub?
Any progress made by the swimmers will be updated within 24hrs of the end of that day’s lesson.

I have followed the link on the website to register for swim hub but it says my details can’t be found?
To enable you to register for swim hub your personnel details on our system need to be correct. Please contact the Reception team and they will be happy to update your details for you.

How should I prepare for my child’s first swimming lesson?

Starting swimming lessons is a big step for many children (and often for those taking them!).

Even if you are a pool regular yourself, it’s not always obvious what to bring for your child’s first swimming lesson.

So we thought we’d help out by highlighting some steps to take beforehand and what to bring to the first session.

Before the lesson
We strongly recommend you familiarise your child with the local pool and swimming pool environment. Family trips swimming are the perfect way to do this, as well as a fun day out!

It may also be worthwhile checking what their dress code is for lessons and whether you need to take anything extra.

The lesson itself
It’s a nice idea to involve your child in what they need for their swimming lesson so they know what to expect when they get to the pool. Use our checklist below to make sure you have all the essentials.

First Swimming Lesson Checklist
Here is our list of things to think of when taking your child for their first swimming lesson.

  • Swimming costume/trunks/shorts (for both yourself and your child if appropriate)
  • Towels
  • Shampoo/shower gel
  • Hair clips/hair bands (if needed)
  • Swimming cap/hat (if needed)
  • Locker money
  • Goggles

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Aimee Willmott Swim Skills

Are you wanting to take your swimming skills to the next level!

Have you ever thought about competing at a higher level or in triathlons and want to improve your strokes and swimming ability?

With two generations of Olympians, Willmott Swim Skills aims to deliver elite knowledge to swimmers of all abilties through 1 to 1 coaching, group sessions tailored club visits, or Willmott Swim Clinics. With a passion for swimming and over 20 years of international experience their team knows what it takes to achieve podium success.

For more enquiries and information click here.