We know that things can be a little confusing at the moment with guidance changing often, so to help clear things up we’ve created a list of COVID FAQs that should answer all of your questions. Please take a couple of minutes to read these below and watch our Learn to Swim Scheme video.


Video Gallery

Our selection of videos will show you what to expect in your child’s lessons, how to monitor their progress and the standard of delivery we achieve in every lesson from our experience and qualified coaches.

We teach over 2,000 children to swim each week, let us teach yours

Learn to Swim

We are Stockton’s most established learn to swim provider and have been guiding children to take their first splashes for over a decade. Our approach is simple, deliver the best possible experience to help children build self awareness, develop essential skills and enjoy being safe and confident in and around water.

Swimming is undoubtedly one of the most important life skills that you can learn, and fortunately, once you learn how, you will never forget. However, 1 in 3 children in the UK cannot swim. It is for this reason that swimming is now part of the national curriculum and reported on by Ofsted to ensure that all children leave school with the ability to swim 25m.

We follow the Swim England framework across all of our swimming pools to ensure we are delivering the latest technical, technique and teaching content throughout the stages. In recent years there has been an emphasis placed on water safety and understanding the risks of water, a theme that flows throughout our lessons delivered in a fun and engaging way.

The Olympic Seal of Approval

The Tees Active learn to swim scheme is proudly supported by Commonwealth Gold medallist and Team GB Olympian Aimee Willmott, who shares our passion and commitment to raising the profile of swimming and promoting its many benefits to children and adults across the region. We believe that every child should have the opportunity to learn to swim and enjoy swimming in their local pool, and together with Aimee we will continue to inspire the next generation of swimmers.


Learn to Swim Scheme Benefits

The most important benefit of taking part is that the participant of the Learn to Swim Scheme will gain abilities and confidence in the water. This is a necessary skill which we should all learn.

All participants of Tees Active’s Learn to Swim Scheme also receive an Option 1 Leisure Card when they join, which not only provides discounts for all swim lessons but also gives the holder discounts across a variety of leisure activities with Tees Active for the duration of their time on the scheme! This includes ice skating, swimming, birthday parties, coached activities, soft play and much more! Find out more about Tees Active Leisure Card’s here.

“Tees Active’s fun and structured approach is the perfect way to make sure your children are confident in the water”

Aimee Willmott – Tees Active Learn to Swim Ambassador

Individual Assesment

Continuous assessment to ensure your child moves at the right pace for them.

Online Swim Hub

Track progress, receive alerts and manage everything in one place easily from any device.


Receive certificates and medals to keep you motivated as your child progresses through the stages.

Experienced Coaches

All our coaches are Swim England Level 2 qualified.

Personal Development

Children develop self-confidence, social skills and a sense of accomplishment in a fun and friendly environment.

Direct Debits

Easy to set up and manage direct debit payments.

Aimee Willmott Tees Active Learn to Swim Ambassador.

Online Swim Hub

Swim Hub is Tees Active’s free online hub that enables parents to track their child’s progress throughout their time on the learn to swim scheme. The online platform is updated regularly so you will always understand where your child is on their swimming journey and when they are ready to proceed to the next stage. We will send you alerts when you child receives a reward and is ready to progress. You can then select a suitable time and date that suits you. Register for free here.

Register for the free online swim hub

Register now

Learn to Swim FAQs

Your Journey Starts Here

Starting swimming lessons is a big step for any family and we want to make you feel as comfortable as possible by proving a full overview of each stage and what you can expect. The Swim England framework is designed to equip children with the necessary skills to support a life long ability to be confident in the water. If you child wishes to continue the journey on completion of the first 7 stages, we have a number of options available to develop skills further.


The Discovery Ducks and Duckling awards are designed to help toddlers (aged 3+) and children to explore and enjoy the fun of learning to swim whilst boosting confidence in and out of the water.

Stage 1

Stage 1 helps to build water confidence, while introducing water safety skills and the basic skills needed to build swimming ability. Learners will develop basic safety awareness, learn basic movement skills and water confidence skills. They will also be introduced to a structured class setting. Swimmers may use flotation equipment, such as arm bands and floats, throughout this stage.

Stage 2

Stage 2 sees swimmers develop streamlining to their strokes and travel without their feet on the floor, using a recognised leg kick. Swimmers are also introduced to aquatic breathing and taught to make safe entries into the water, including jumping. They will develop basic floating and learn how to rotate to regain an upright position without support.

Stage 3

Stage 3, swimmers will develop their kicks, on both their front and their back. They streamline through push and glides, whilst also swimming underwater. Swimmers will develop safe entries into the water, including submersion, and travel up to 10 metres on their front and back. Water safety knowledge and rotation skills will also be progressed.

Stage 4

Stage 4 sees swimmers perfect their leg kicks for all four strokes and further develop push and glides, while also being introduced to sculling. They will develop an understanding of buoyancy through a range of skills and should swim 10 metres to the Swim England Expected Standards.

Stage 5

Stage 5 swimmers will develop their skills in treading water, learn the correct arm pulls for all four strokes and learn how to do handstands and somersaults. This means they will develop their technique and perform all strokes to the Swim England Expected Standards. The emphasis is on ensuring all work done in the previous stages is developed further.

Stage 6

Stage 6 teaches swimmers how to prepare for exercise, while developing an efficient technique for all four strokes and further developing surface dives. The effective swimming skills taught include coordination, breathing and an understanding of water safety.

Stage 7

Stage 7 focuses on fully developing all four swimming strokes, as well as building stamina and improving diving skills. Swimmers should develop a quality stroke technique for up to 100 metres, incorporating the skills they have learnt throughout the stages and combining them to develop a linked routine. They should successfully complete an obstacle course, which combines a variety of skills they have learnt from Stages 1 to 7.

Challenge Awards

After swimmers have completed Stages 1 – 7 of our Learn to Swim scheme, they can continue on our scheme by completing the Swimming Challenge awards. The Bronze, Silver, Gold and Honours award challenges swimmers to develop a wide range of skills and stamina with a focus on good stroke technique.

Tees Active Complete Swimmer

Tees Active recognises the achievement of all swimmers that complete all 7 stages and then continue to achieve all Swimming Challenge awards. Children are awarded with a commemorative certificate and medal to mark their achievement.

Rookie Lifeguard

RLSS UK’s Rookie Lifeguard programme gives your child the skills they need to be confident in the pool or the sea – which means peace of mind for you. With fun, varied activities, the Rookie Lifeguard scheme teaches children how to swim and enjoy water safely, whether in shallow or deeper water.

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

Divide into pairs or small groups and all duck under the water. While submerged, one person start humming a favourite tune and the others can try to guess. How many turns will it take them to name that tune?

Fishy in the Middle

Take with you a medium-sized soft/inflatable ball. Always check with the pool staff that you are ok to use these. 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?

Starfish Tag

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.

Swim Through Legs

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.

Billingham Forum

The Causeway, Billingham Town Centre, TS23 2LJ

T: 01642 551381

IB Leisure

Blair Avenue, Ingleby Barwick, TS17 5BL

T: 01642 132020

Stockton Splash

Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 1TY

T: 01642 660610

Thornaby Pool

Thornaby Road, Thornaby, TS17 8AA

T: 01642 616727

Start Your Swimming Journey

If you would like to enrol your child onto the Tees Active learn to swim programme, please complete this short form and a member of the team will be in touch. Please provide the dates, times and venues that you are able to attend so that we can find the most suitable space. We will add you to a waiting list if your requested days and times are not available and will be in touch once a space becomes available.

  • Thornaby Pool only accepts children aged 5 years+
  • Thornaby Pool only accepts children aged 5 years+
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Get ready for your swimming lessons


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